by Juan Robin II
84 million Americans drink wine. That number continues to tick upwards as more young people find their footing in today’s strong job market.
If you’re a producer of wine, a person that runs a winery or do both of those things, heightened wine consumption rates is good news for you. The problem is that, without a proper wine marketing plan in place, it’s going to be difficult to stay in business no matter how plentiful consumers are.
Fortunately, putting together a great marketing plan starts with exploring ideas and our team is going to help you brainstorm by offering a few helpful marketing suggestions below!
1. Learn About SEO
For the uninitiated, SEO stands for search engine optimization and describes the practice of tailoring your digital marketing content to keywords that are frequently searched online. SEO presents a steep learning curve so if this is the first that you’ve ever heard of it, consider hiring a digital marketing company that can help you tackle this wine marketing tactic.
With some key investments in SEO and a little bit of time, you’ll see significantly higher traffic to your website and brick-and-mortar location.
2. Create a Mailing List
Your wine business’s mailing list is one of the most valuable digital marketing tools that you own. Many marketers contend that mailing lists offer among the best conversion rates out of any digital marketing tactics.
If you don’t have a mailing list yet, sign up with a service like MailChimp or Constant Contact and get one going. Having a busy website without a mailing list opt-in is the equivalent to throwing away money.
3. Invest in PPC Ads
PPC (pay per click) advertisements are a classic means of generating web traffic. There are many companies that you can advertise online with including Google and Facebook.
In our opinion, you should try wine marketing on both of those platforms and expand from there if you find that your advertisements are leading to conversions.
Like SEO, PPC has a lot of intricacies that may be best managed by a marketing agency.
4. Generate a Steady Stream of Pictures and Videos
Believe it or not, many people that come to wineries aren’t actually fans of wine. They’re fans of experiences.
A big part of the winery experience is getting to hang out in a beautiful locale for a couple of hours.
If your winery is situated in a picturesque location, take plenty of pictures and videos, and share them liberally across all of the online channels that you manage. If your wine business isn’t perched on a hill somewhere, make the most of your space by getting it professionally designed and photographing its best parts.
5. Claim Your Online Business Profiles
Platforms like Google, Yelp, Facebook and more help people find businesses that are close to them. In order to be suggested to customers in your area, be sure to claim your business pages on all relevant platforms and fill your profile out.
Getting listed on Google, for example, is as simple as creating a Google My Business page, adding your business’s relevant information and throwing up some photos.
As you start getting reviews on platforms, be proactive in responding to them, good or bad.
6. Target Locals
It may be exciting when you get tourists from around the world visiting your winery. Here’s the thing though… Tourism is seasonal. Locals are what really fuel your wine businesses.
With that in mind, make sure that a lot of your digital wine marketing is targeted at getting locals in the door. Advertise happy hours, community events and “local only” deals that make your most accessible customers feel special.
7. Offer Club Opt-Ins
Wine clubs are among the biggest cash cows for wine sellers. If you don’t have a wine club yet that makes members commit to buying a certain amount of bottles per year, create one.
Once you have a wine club in place, be sure to advertise opting into it in all relevant marketing materials. The bigger your club subscription is, the more predictable your income will be.
If you know of a popular wine-adjacent business that exists locally, consider cross-marketing with them.
For example, if there’s a business that sells great cheeses, you could shout them out in your digital marketing materials if they shout out your winery in theirs. This arrangement costs no money and carries mutual benefits.
Try and find a cross-marketing partner that has an equal or larger active customer base than you do. That way, you’re not giving more value away than you’re getting. Never cross-market with a business that sells the same products that you do.
9. Generate Backlinks
Backlinks are generated when other websites link to your winery. The more links that your website has pointed to it from third parties, the more likely search engines will be to suggest your website to people searching for wine.
Getting backlinks can be accomplished by asking popular websites for mentions, offering them free marketing or content in exchange for links or even paying for links.
10. Get Off of the Internet
Digital wine marketing is just one facet of a wine professional’s marketing strategy. Given the personal nature of drinking, it’s important that your company venture off of the internet every now and again and get out into your community.
Offer tastings are local wine stores. Set up shop at a farmer’s market. Sponsor a community sports team.
Anything that you can do to get yourself in front of locals is something that’s worth doing!
Like Wine, Wine Marketing Is an Acquired Taste
You’ve probably heard the old adage that wine is an acquired taste. In many ways, wine marketing is the same way.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by marketing, keep at it. Eventually, you’ll develop an aptitude for it and putting your brand’s name out there online will become second nature.
For more inspiration on marketing, browse the newest content that we have up on our blog!