At YourPortal Online we know that Millenial bar goers, born roughly between 1982-2004, can be marketed to by the most cost-effective and farthest reaching strategies available. Millenials are intimately integrated with technology and social media, they respond well to Customer Experience Marketing and they have slowly been driving alcohol sales, including the presently booming craft industry, higher and higher even in a stagnant economy. The great news is, your bar can easily create effective inbound marketing for this demographic starting with your website. As a bar employee or owner, you should brush up on the consumption habits of this generation in order to curate positive online interactions between your brand and Millenial customers that directly result in visits to your venue.
In March 2016 Nightclub & Bar Chicago, one of our favorite industry bloggers, published a summary of the Annual VIBE Beverage Consumer Trend Survey. They summarized actionable insights from the in-bar consumption behaviors of Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers and Millenials. The findings suggested that Millenials prefer quality drinks and cocktails even when they are more expensive, that their consumption time frames are skewed towards happy hours and that their choice of bar skews towards those with high quality drinks, happy hours and social media reviews. In other words, Millenials are focused on quality and the promise of a personally valuable, or at least popular, experience.
Considering these facts and our expertise in event and specials marketing, we have crafted the following 3 website marketing guidelines, emphasizing quality and customer experience.
#1 Integrate Social Media
The more you can embed feeds and images from social media on your website, the better. Millenial Customers need easy access to your twitter, facebook, yelp, google maps, grubhub and instagram presences to feel informed about, and therefore connected to, your business. Furthermore, you can provide opportunities for customers to interact with your brand in meaningful ways by sharing a customer’s instagram photo, tagging them in your bar’s facebook status or offering incentives for ‘checking in’ at your bar. If a flyer on your website advertises ‘$3 off Moscow Mules when you instagram a pic at Joe’s Bar tonight!’ Millenials are incentivized to make the trip. Moreover, integrating this content directly into your website makes your site a likely target for shares and traffic.
If you haven’t laid out a social media strategy for your bar, you are behind on marketing to Millenials. Make sure your brand is either represented positively on your social media outlets (Yelp, Google +, Grub Hub, Facebook etc.), or do not create those accounts until you are ready to prioritize a positive online presence. If you do not have an employee or outside specialist focused on social media, you can use a tool that integrates several accounts in one interface, so you can write and schedule posts ahead of time all in the same window. One of our favorite tools is Hootesuite, as it offers a free account with good functionality for small businesses.
#2 Emphasize Their Personal Experience
Referred to as ‘Customer Experience’ Marketing and Design, top bars utilize this tactic when they demonstrate the quality of their service and products every time a customer visits. The highest grossing bars display quality when their products and practices are consistent, empathetic (or, feel catered to individual customers) and if a customer does have a bad experience, apologetic to the highest degree. Translating this practice into your web marketing strategy ensures that your website will not only provide an accurate snapshot of what customers can expect in house but also communicate every piece of information a customer needs to make a decision on whether or not to visit. Use the content and imagery on your site to show future customers that their experience will be unique and catered to them, and that you value their opinions. Offer deals consistently on your site’s specials page and program pop-up deals now and again to keep customers coming back for more. If you can utilize live chats on your site, or create interactive sections that “Prepare your perfect Joe’s Bar cocktail online!” Millenial web surfers will then become customers.
#3 Find Your Niche and Be an Expert
In-bound Marketing strategies, where the customer seeks information about you, place you In the ‘Expert’ seat. As an expert, you can talk about your brand and products like they are the best and most unique in the market, which caters directly to a Millenial’s desire to find quality products and a meaningful experience. However, when claiming your expertise don’t cast your net too far, because you will lose the air of exclusivity that Millenial consumers are drawn to. Why do you think craft beer sales have skyrocketed in the past five years? What sounds more appealing:
“Come enjoy the Exciting Italian flavors of Joe’s Bar Bellinis in Peach, Strawberry and Lime!” or
“Only at Joe’s will you sip Chicago’s best Bellini, ft. fresh crushed fruit and blueberry liqueur infused with elderflower.”
Regardless of how that hypothetical Bellini tastes, you get the point. Surveys show that Millenial customers want products with popular culinary ingredients, marketed as the best, most original version of the product they desire.
If these tips seem impossible to implement given your busy schedule, don’t worry about doing too much. You can always scale down on Millenial outreach, because doing any one thing at an average level can be a kiss of death, de-legitimizing your expertise in your market. If the only web presence you have is a website it needs to consist of the best design and content possible, which your staff then maintains and monitors the quality of.
With these tips on how to produce the highest return on investment possible when marketing to Millenials, you’re now ready to plan a website marketing strategy. This strategy will actually increase the probability of Millenials visiting your bar. If you’re intrigued by what you’ve read and need help implementing a marketing strategy that emphasizes quality and Customer Experience, contact firstname.lastname@example.org/hospitality today to speak to one of our industry consultants.
“Study Results: 2016 Annual VIBE Beverage Consumer Trend Survey.” Web log post. Nightclub & Bar:The Bar Industry Authority. Nightclub & Bar, 14 Mar. 2016. Web. 9 May 2016.