Americans love their wine. It’s the second most popular alcoholic beverage behind beer according to a 2019 Gallup poll. Domestic wine sales were over $46 billion. That’s all good news.
Wineries still need to reach potential customers, whether they’re “on-premises” establishments like restaurants and liquor stores or individuals. Wineries of all sizes are implementing innovative wine marketing techniques using in order to increase brand awareness and ultimately increase sales.
Here is a look at nine marketing strategies wineries can use today.
1. Create A Wine Club
Wine clubs are a good way to build customer loyalty and ensure steady sales. Members agree to buy a certain number of bottles every quarter. In exchange, they enjoy perks such as special discounts, exclusive events, and unlimited free tastings.
About 33 percent of the average winery’s income can come courtesy of wine clubs, so the investment seems obvious.
2. Incorporate Cross-Marketing Tactics
Cross-marketing tactics exist in every industry, and for good reason. They work.
Make connections with local businesses and restaurants in your area to promote your wine company. In exchange, you agree to promote them. These tactics not only increase awareness, but they are cost-effective and targeted to reach your audience.
3. Host Wine Events
In order to market wines, you don’t always have to incorporate “hard sell” tactics. Events are a great form of soft selling, using your winery as a breathtaking backdrop. Many wineries find success hosting weddings, parties, and business events.
Get creative and find innovative events that set you apart, including:
- Blind tasting events
- Amateur winemaking contests
- Baking or cooking contests
- Grape-stomp parties and other winemaking activities
- Art fairs
- Music & wine festivals
- Movie & wine nights
- Lecture series
- Culinary demonstrations & classes
- Pet adoption events
- Family days
Your events can be fun or educational in nature. The point is to make your winery a destination that people want to visit, whether they are locals or in the area on vacation.
4. Pop-Up Tastings
Pop-up stores are a popular trend right now. These are temporary venues that allow you to go where your customers happen to be. The key to success here is understanding your target audience.
- What are their habits?
- What places do they frequent?
- Where do they shop?
- What events do they attend?
- What are their hobbies?
Answer these questions and then set up free tastings in locations where you are likely to connect with people who are most likely to buy your products.
5. Create Online Content
Your wine marketing should incorporate modern tools. Blogging is an easy and cost-effective way to reach new audiences, particularly tech-savvy younger generations.
Become a resource and share your knowledge of wine.
Talk about the winemaking process or how you grow grapes. Give tips on how to select a wine. Give advice about wine pairings with certain meals.
Whenever anyone is searching online for topics related to wine, they will find you. Become familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) strategies or seek out an expert for help.
You might consider setting up Google paid advertising campaigns to ensure your brand shows up at the top of the search page. You can reach a large number of people this way, even if you don’t have a big marketing budget.
6. Use Social Media
If social media isn’t part of your marketing strategy you’re missing out. You should have accounts on the major platforms and post regularly.
The key to success here is actually being “social”. Engage with people. Invite fans to ask questions and then answer them. Make use of images and videos as this type of content tends to get “seen” more often organically.
You might also think about developing a social media wine advertising strategy. For a relatively small investment, you can target and reach millions on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
7. Find Social Influencers And Micro-influencers
Social media has led to a new brand of “celebrities” called influencers. These are people who are popular with or trusted by certain groups. In other words, they can “influence” others to buy your wine.
An influencer is someone who has a large following on social media (at least 100,000) as well as a high level of engagement. This means their posts garner a lot of likes, shares, and comments.
If you don’t have the budget to afford a “celebrity,” a micro-influencer might be a good alternative. Micro-influencers are your “super fans.” They don’t usually have a large following, but they can be loyal brand ambassadors.
8. Develop Email Wine Marketing Campaigns
One of the most popular marketing basics in the modern era incorporates email marketing. It’s a powerful marketing tool for any business, no matter the industry.
Why is email marketing so important?
Print ads can be ignored. Social media posts may never be seen. Your online content might not show up in the first one to two pages of a Google search.
An email offers the opportunity to reach your customers directly. It’s a good way to keep your brand top of mind and let customers know the latest news about your winery and your products.
You can send out regular newsletters and weekly/monthly promo emails. You can also set up drip marketing campaigns, which include a series of two to four that are sent out over a certain period of time.
9. Create Video Content
Videos are a very effective marketing tool. They can be live on a social media platform like Facebook or recorded and posted on social platforms and YouTube.
Videos need not be difficult to produce. In fact, an overly produced video might seem less authentic. You don’t need a script, but it’s helpful to write down talking points so you don’t get stuck.
Another benefit of videos is that they are easily shared, so they end up having a much wider reach than a post on Facebook or Twitter. They might even “go viral”.
Toast To Your New Wine Marketing Strategy
In a time of constant media and 24/7 advertising, it can be difficult to break through and reach your audience. Use these nine wine marketing tactics to help your winery stay top of mind and increase sales.
Want to learn more marketing and business strategies? Explore our blog for ideas and strategies that work. We also offer helpful resources such as forms, templates, and industry-specific information.