Virginia wine tourism has grown rapidly in recent years as wineries become destinations as well as producers and interest grows in local products. Craft breweries are beginning to catch up in terms of new breweries and consumption. Breweries and wineries focus on creating excellent beer and wine, as they should. But, as for all small businesses, an excellent product needs an appreciative audience. How can you build those connections? The answer: digital marketing.
Any small business can use digital marketing tools to attract the new and old customers they need to survive and grow. BlueTreeDigital’s CEO, Nicole Skuba, led two workshops at the 2015 Wine Tourism Conference (November 18-20 at the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia).
- Digital Marketing for the Wine Industry, 8:30-11:00am, with Gary Nealon of Wine Trail Adventures.
- Digital Marketing for the Beer Industry, 1:00-4:00pm, with Neal Stewart, Vice President of Marketing at Dogfish Head Brewery.
Digital marketing tools are ideal for the beer and wine industry, allowing makers to connect and engage with targeted audiences. Nicole will share her knowledge on digital marketing techniques and tools: search engine optimization, content creation (including blogging), social media, email marketing, online advertising, and video marketing.
Marketing tips for wineries and breweries can apply to any small business. The secret is not just thinking about getting customers, but building relationships. How can you do that? Let’s quickly review three favorite marketing strategies and how they apply.
On our blog we’ve talked about the importance of storytelling when building your brand. Digital marketing tools are ideal for spreading small business stories that create an emotional connection. Wineries and breweries are brimming with stories. Some ideas:
- Behind the scenes, whether in the vineyard, the brewery, or the tasting room.
- The all-important origin story. Everyone loves a small business owner following a passion to make an excellent product.
- Employee spotlight. Who are the interesting people that make your business special while making it run smoothly?
- On the road. Do you have a booth at a festival or are you entering your product in a competition? Share the details and take pictures!
Search engine smarts
You can reach the audiences you need, and then judge right away how effective a particular campaign has been. Google AdWords, for example, can let you micro-target to specific regions—is someone looking for a winery near Leesburg for a day trip?
Email to keep your customers in the loop.
It still works to keep your business in your customers’ thoughts. Have an event coming up? Maybe a new chardonnay or IPA? How’s the harvest going this year? Newsletters and email outreach can keep customers up to date and coming back for more.
BlueTreeDigital, as always, enjoys seeing small businesses of all kinds not only survive, but thrive. Spreading the word about digital marketing techniques is what we do. How can we help your business?