In 2016, few businesses aren’t incorporating content marketing into their strategy in some way.

Whether it’s through emails, social media, blog content or even just an innovative back-story, most companies are realising the benefits of content in attracting users and (hopefully) making them loyal consumers.

In the world of entertainment and leisure, content is essential for standing above the crowd and getting your brand’s voice heard. With visitors faced with so much choice when it comes to where to spend their night, it’s a good idea to establish your brand’s identity from the start, so users can know what to expect (and will be more inclined to experience it).

Here are 8 content marketing tips that will help keep your customers flocking to your venues all year round.

1. Identify your audience

Whilst you probably already have a strong idea of who your current audience is, it’s important to look beyond basic demographics and think about their likes, dislikes, attitudes and values that connect them to your brand on a more specific level.

A good way to get to know your audience is to have a presence where they are – Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr etc. – and observe what content they already like to share and consume. This will give you great insight into what types of content might lure them towards your brand.

2. Establish your area of expertise

Do you have something you are particularly ‘known’ for; a distinct message, mantra or approach to life that your audience could come to love and respect? Whether it’s partying; the good life; drinks couture, the art of mixology or simply the value of good food and friendship, knowing what’s important to you and your area of expertise will help customers connect with your brand on a deeper level.

It will also help to establish your brand’s tone of voice – are you sultry and sophisticated; witty and sarcastic; fun-loving and playful, etc?

3. Aim for a 70/30 split

A good rule of content marketing is to keep things 70/30 – 70% of what your audience wants to know, and 30% of what you’d like them to know. In other words, place your focus on sharing topics and features related to your bar’s culture and lifestyle, and keep a small portion of time for sharing deals and promotions. It’s a great idea to keep a content calendar covering any and all related events, seasonal trends and topics, so you’ll always have something to post about.

4. Invite people in

The more you show your audience about your world, the more they’ll feel and want to be part of your bar’s lifestyle and culture. Invite trust by showing your customers what goes on in the day-to-day running of your bar, or give behind-the-scenes looks into big events or announcements. Keep it short and succinct - you only want to give them a glimpse – and try to be selective. Your customers don’t want to know how your entire cocktail menu is made.

5. Leverage your audience

Let’s face it – your audience often has more power than you do. Get them to help spread the word by running a competition which enables customers to create their own content. Photo competitions are a great way to do this, as is asking your customers to use a specific hashtag when they order your infamous house burger, for example.

Whatever you’re trying to promote, user-led content has a way of creating a community, boosting awareness and engaging others to join in, all in one.

6. Show off your accomplishments

Customer feedback and testimonials are a fantastic form of content in that they highlight your company’s accomplishments, great and small. Remember to retweet positive mentions of your brand on Twitter and share positive reviews across your social networks. It’s ideal to have a dedicated part of your website which spotlights happy customers. The more personal the reviews can be (i.e their name and photo), the more compelling they’ll be to other customers. 

It’s often a good idea to offer customers incentives for giving their feedback on major review sites such as TripAdvisor, OpenTable and of course, your Google Business page.

7. Diversify your platforms

Keeping your content and platforms varied will help ensure you’re reaching your audience, wherever they may be, as well as avoid content desensitisation – the point at which your audience ‘switch off’ to anything you might have to say. 

Aim to use a rich variety of content, including visual and even interactive media if possible. Images, videos, GIFs, memes and infographics are all good ways to share topics your brand is passionate about in a concise and digestible format.

8. Review your strategy regularly

The key to any good content marketing campaign is to regularly review how your content is performing and how it could improve. The use of Google Analytics can be useful here to measure how and when your audience likes to consume content, as well as social media stats to see the engagement across your posts.

Remember that there are various metrics to look at when measuring your output - not everything needs to lead straight to a booking or enquiry.