As we move toward 2021, dynamic marketing is key for scaling most businesses, particularly for new and existing wineries. There’s no longer a one-size-fits all approach when creating a winery marketing plan. In fact, more than ever, winemakers are benefitting from marketing strategies developed based on industry analysis, researched target audience pools, as well as educational components. Customizing design and reorienting goals is the new era of outreach. Wineries that establish beautiful brand design, create unique content messaging, and produce high-quality websites are more consistently able to leverage digital media to rise above the noise.
Digital Strategy Spilling into the Wine Industry
The environment for selling wine over the last decade has significantly shifted, opening up new pathways to achieve better standings among potential consumers. Still, most wineries are under-utilizing these tactics and technologies, including direct-to-trade advertising and, really, digital media as a whole. Those that are using digital to an advantage are strategically integrating multichannel plans like social media, website design, and email marketing tools to amplify products, events, and other services. Further, creative development within branding and messaging is playing a larger role in how wineries are discovered.
Winery marketing that incorporates key metrics and data analytics should be the focus for every wine marketer. In today’s competitive landscape, emphasis should be placed on the end consumer. “What do they care about,” and “where are they hanging out?” are two simple questions that explore surface-level strategy. The real wins, however, dive deeper into marketing as a complete story asset. Questioning what consumers are wanting to learn about in the world of wine and creating information that makes wineries more accessible and personal are critical.
Topics of interest for winery marketing development include:
- Identifying winery buyer personas
- Focusing attention on sophisticated, clean product design
- Developing a high-quality website that supports vision and messaging
- Understanding digital marketing strategies for social media, email, SEO, and video marketing
- Establishing clear budgets for advertising
- Determining metrics to track progress of goals
Wineries and Data Analytics
Everyone knows that the internet has changed how consumers are interacting with and relating to brands. Wineries have not been an exception to this new development in inbound marketing. Effectively, wineries should be crafting content on various platforms including social media and across the web to ensure that every opportunity to pitch a story is utilized. Similarly, maintaining good standing relationships with current customers is extremely important. In this light, review management is essential for overall presence.
Today winery marketing campaigns are building feverishly on digital mediums, which are used to create more engagement. According to a study conducted in 2010 by a Center for Media Research, over 50% of marketers use social media to get messaging across to potential leads.
Wineries are not only selling wine, they’re also selling an experience. Therefore, these establishments are in a unique position of marketing wines onsite, as well as creating a community that promotes continued relationship nurturing.
According to Wine Enthusiast in 2010, approximately 700,000 people watch wine-related videos each month. Additionally, there are over 7,000 wine tweets per day, and over 1,300 bloggers focus on wine. In 2014, 90% of wine drinkers used Facebook at least 6 hours per week, and wineries at the time were the third most popular subject on media powerhouse, Pinterest.
Today, wine consumers are sharing media in multiples of what they were just a decade ago–think TikTok, memes, and wine box-of-the-month clubs, which have exploded in recent years. Wine is arguably participating in every channel of marketing now in 2020 and moving into 2021 with a more integrated approach.
In short, wineries that aren’t competing in today’s digital landscape or wineries that have inactive pages are continually missing out on bigger picture growth.
Why is Social Media Important for Promoting Wineries?
Social media in its most basic form is simply an avenue that allows brands to connect directly with potential customers. It can be a highly effective tool for building brand awareness and rallying support for new releases on products and even in-person events. Additionally, social media allows wineries to reach out to customers in real time, presenting various opportunities for building relationships through uniquely crafted content.
According to Pew Research Center, 72% of the public uses some type of social media, and these numbers are projected to increase year-over-year. The most utilized platforms are sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Facebook continues to lead the pack.
Telling a Story
Even in a digital era, story creation is inherent within the wine industry. Strategic social media, content, and brand development should highlight story-rich initiatives that allow wineries to focus on more humanesque elements. Wine, after all, is a passion for many.
Just five years ago, social media was usually kept separate from websites, inbound marketing, and general advertising strategies. However, the evolution of technology is demanding that wineries approach storytelling through various mediums, rather than just one. The connectivity between platforms and marketing methods has a common string: a heartfelt story.
Generating excitement about a harvest and new wine product, for example, can be shared through photos on Instagram, expanded on through a blog on a website, or even the creation of a YouTube video. What about all three? Absolutely! Thoughtful, creative, and unique content invites audiences to understand behind-the-scenes, plus it creates an atmosphere that provides a sense of nostalgia and even relatability. A strong social media strategy will incorporate story telling elements in addition to:
- Defining winery imagery and branding
- Addressing every type of potential customer
- Creating camaraderie
- Enticing though leaders to share uniquely crafted content
Leveraging social media is the digital method of telling a better story.
Winery Marketing & Branding Design
Research suggests that almost 50% of consumers consider becoming more loyal to a brand during their very first purchase.
Sure, there’s still some widespread ambivalence about the relevance of branding. In some ways, branding can feel like an unnecessary expense, developed solely for nationally recognized wineries with significant marketing budgets. To challenge this view, it’s actually in the best interest of the winery to explore and leverage branding as a way to gain new exposure and create loyalty to products.
Branding is not just a logo, though. A winery marketing plan that develops cohesive messaging and visuals does more to promote an experience similar to what is created for in-person wine tasting events. Strong branding captures the essence of a product or service and enhances how others respond to consistent themes, imagery, and aesthetics.
Winery marketing and branding should incorporate objectives that include:
- Delivering strong messaging that is clear and succinct
- Reaffirming credibility
- Building emotional connection with audience pools
- Generating goodwill and loyalty
- Motivating audiences to take action
- Creating excitement and movement with every event and product launch
If a website is the online store, branding is the signage that invites people in. Working with experienced wine marketers ensures that wineries can tell their story well and reach more leads with long-term success.
Winery branding should utilize a strategy that presents clean product packaging, messaging, and content that aligns from top of funnel all the way through to conversions. In a market that is now stiflingly competitive, how a winery stands out from thousands of similar establishments is becoming increasingly more important. Consumers are, in fact, becoming more aware of product placement and are undoubtedly judging every characteristic to determine best choices for purchase.
With Instagram and Pinterest showcasing superior design from customized fonts, fluid graphics, and appealing brand colors, it’s necessary that wineries seek to develop above average branding. Branding can also help create cohesion for various marketing efforts, making new campaigns more efficient and cost-effective.
Learn more about branding for wineries here.
Web Design for Winery Marketing
Winemakers must prove the quality of their products in a market filled with attentive and knowledgeable consumers who are consistently using the web to find information and advice. Building a website for a winery is now a necessity.
With the advancements in online and offline technologies, the entire world can be a potential marketplace. Wineries are, effectively, no longer competing at a local level. Growth potential means tapping into diverse markets and evaluating which are the right trends to follow. A website is always a good starting point to test knowledge based resources.
What is the functionality of a winery website?
Websites allow wineries to pronounce services, launch products, define company values and philosophies, plus display accolades and awards. Additionally, a website is a fundamental tool for dialogue with other key players in the industry, especially importers and distributors, who need to know what a winery can offer. Information, by and large, should be succinct, clear, and impeccably developed. A website functions somewhat as a high-quality, informative business card.
According to the Harvard Business Review, In the United States the wine industry has ballooned from just over $30 billion in 2002 to more than $60 billion today, making it the largest in the world. Further, the number of U.S. wineries has grown by about 50% in the last decade.
Competing within this new level of industry, wineries must create content that is unique and all their own. Unfortunately, content created on social media spaces and across forums must adhere to guidelines set by the individual media platform. A website guarantees that content created is geared for the specific winery and meets the information needs of target audiences, as well as the KPIs of the winery itself.
Educating Consumers within Winery Marketing
From small boutiques to large multinational firms, the internet has leveled the playing field for strategic marketing development. In general, more winemakers are pursuing a vision and aim to personalize outreach.
Additionally, many wine innovators have been successful in approaching content creation as a means to educate consumers. On one hand, companies spend millions of dollars to understand consumers through focus groups, surveys, and sophisticated analytics. However, there’s another piece to winery marketing that is often overlooked. Educating consumers is arguably the bread and butter (or, should we say, grapes and water) of scaling winery businesses.
Consumers looking to purchase a bottle of wine confront thousands of choices daily. In fact, the sheer volume of selections can actually create stress for potential buyers. They may be more fearful of making a poor choice or may not have enough knowledge within wines to understand how each brand is better than the next. To navigate these hurdles, wineries are effectively establishing themselves as thought leaders for which many consumers can turn to for answers. Evaluating opportunities to build content through blogs and other platforms, allows many wineries to provide an education, which in turn translates to new conversions, and converted buyers.
Winery marketing initiatives should consider how folks are searching online and how these search queries may indicate what types of content pieces are needed to help newbies and veteran wine drinkers become more familiar with the evolving industry.
Content Strategy for Winery Marketing
Within winery marketing plans, content development becomes an extension of the company itself. Producers of wine are the experts who define content categories and set benchmarks for consumers regularly interacting with brands.
As products become more complex and consumers feel more pressed to decide between various wine types, wineries will succeed by creating content geared toward cultivating authentic connections. From there, consumers are left to react and share these content pieces. Wineries can gain advantage by using social influence and education to show why they’re the better option.
Content marketing strategy for winery marketing should include:
- Topics that spark interest or answer FAQs
- Educational pieces based on emerging trends
- Personable stories that pronounce human qualities
- Consistency in outreach
Overall, content has continued to reign champion over most winery marketing strategy and is expected to continue over the next few years. Do you have an SEO or content marketing strategy in place yet?
The Brandsmen, headquartered in Denver, is well versed in creating winery marketing strategies that amplify story components and integrate a variety of platforms that deliver clear branding and messaging to potential consumers. We provide superior digital media services for winemakers globally and can help scale business through proven methodology. For expert lead marketing services, contact us for a consultation. We provide a wide array of bespoke marketing services for wineries.