The wine business is a crowded retail space, with shelves already filled with more options than most consumers know what to do with.
Here are 16 of the most effective wine marketing tactics you can use to get customers to start paying attention to your products and become fans of your brand.
The Most Effective Wine Marketing Tactics
- Wine Clubs
Nearly every major winery offers a wine club, where members commit to purchasing 12-15 bottles of wine every quarter, in exchange for a significant discount, invitations to members-only events, and unlimited free tastings at the winery. Wine clubs cultivate repeat business and provide sustainable cash flow that can be counted on throughout the year.
- Cross-Market With Other Local Businesses (Including Wineries)
Consumers are savvy with both their money and their time.
If you want people to visit your tasting room or winery, create content promoting other local businesses nearby (and encourage them to promote your business too). People who are searching for wine-related activities in your area will be intrigued when they see that by visiting your establishment, they can also visit several other local attractions.
- Host Events
Many wineries host business events, weddings, and summer concert series, and these are all great ways to leverage a stunning location to increase revenue. But instead of just doing the same thing everyone else is doing, host events that will set you apart from the crowd.
- Offer Pop-Up Tastings
Free samples work.
You’ll be a welcome surprise to people who come across your booth. And chances are, the unique setting will help people perceive the unique flavor profiles of your wines. Just be sure to check with local authorities to ensure you have the proper permits needed.
- Bring the Winery on the Road
Scottish whiskey distiller Laphroaig recently embarked on a multi-city bus tour of the United States. At each stop, visitors were encouraged to sample various whiskeys, learn about the history of the distillery, and meet other local whiskey enthusiasts.
For those who live in wine regions, a wine tasting tour bus may sound like a waste of time. But for people living in other parts of the country where wineries are scarce, a chance to have an “authentic” Napa or Columbia River experience may be enough to win lifelong brand ambassadors.
- Become a Source of Knowledge
Leverage your website, blog, social media channels, and your employee expertise to create a library of content that’s interesting and easy to read; content that people will want to turn to for insight, and you will build a loyal brand following.
- Post Consistently on Social Media
If you don’t have a Facebook and Instagram account, you’re already behind your competitors, but there’s good news. If you post regularly and follow a strategy, it won’t be long before you start to see your following increase significantly. You’ll want to stay consistent with your brand and ensure that everything you post is instantly recognizable. Other than that, remember that you only have a split second to capture someone’s attention on social media, so be creative!
- Use Influencers
While we’re on the topic of social media, using influencers is another effective tactic to use when promoting your winery. A social media influencer is simply someone who has a sphere of influence. I tend to think of the most significant influencers as those having 100,000 followers or more, but even someone with half that following can help you sell wine. You can find influencers that meet your needs with platforms like IZEA, Onalytica, and Influential.
- Use Micro-Influencers
Micro-influencers differ from influencers in that they don’t have huge followings, and you won’t find them on platforms like Influential, but they can still be useful for your brand. micro-influencers are brand advocates who may have as few as 2,000 followers on social media, but they work hard to actively promote brands they care about.
- Joining a Market-Oriented Competition
Joining a market-oriented competition like Japan Business News Awards 2020 is one of the best way to market your product and another easiest way to find importers and distributor if you win an award.
Japan Awards is a competition focused on Sales and Distribution: our mission is to help Distributors to order Awarded Quality products, which will be appreciated by their customers.
- Use Humor
Who said wine tasting has to be serious? Sure, a few decades ago, a trip to Bordeaux meant packing your most fashionable outfits and making sure you were keeping your manners and tact in check.
But then Napa and Sonoma became popular, and today, wine tasting is a casual affair where not taking yourself too seriously can help you distinguish your brand and attract newcomers who are still intimidated at the thought of wine tasting.
Currently, nobody is better at incorporating humor into their wine marketing than Jordan, as this video shows.
- Use Live Video
Live video is an effective marketing tool because it feels authentic. There’s no need for production, no need for a script (although jotting down a few talking points beforehand can be helpful), plus you have the opportunity to interact with fans and viewers in real time.
Most people are a little self-conscious when they first start using programs like Facebook Live, but usually, after a few attempts you’ll feel more natural, and it will become second nature. And remember—Live videos on Facebook and Instagram don’t disappear when you go offline, they remain on the social media platform for people to view later.
- Create a Sub-Brand
Sub-brands are brands that fall under your larger brand umbrella but are directed at a different demographic than your typical product. Think Diet Coke versus Coca-Cola. Millennials make up a huge segment of the wine consuming audience, drinking 42% of all wine sold in the U.S. If your brand isn’t appealing to this demographic, consider a sub-brand that is focused on earning their loyalty.
- Be Customer Centric
If you can exceed expectations in customer service, you will increase your loyal customer base. There was a time when returning an item to a store meant searching frantically for a receipt, or having to fight the clerk behind the counter and hoping for store credit.
- Highlight Unique Topics and Tell Your Story
With so many wineries blogging and providing helpful advice to their followers, it’s important to differentiate your brand.
One of the best ways to do this is by focusing on unique topics that appeal strongly to a niche segment. What is it that your customers are interested in? What are they searching for? Where is there a market opportunity that few other wineries are producing content about?
Don’t be afraid to get specific.
- Track Your Results
Even if you implement all of the above wine marketing tactics, there is no way to know if they are working or not unless you track your results. Whether you are instituting a wine club, hosting pop-up tastings, or creating a sub-brand, track the results before and after, and don’t be afraid to make predictions about what will happen as you implement each change.
If your results aren’t quite what you’d hoped for, tweak and try again.
Learning from your mistakes is part of the path to success.
Wine Marketing Strategy recently published By Russ Shumaker : Closing Thoughts
Hopefully these strategies have inspired some new ideas for how you can drive awareness for your brand using an integrated marketing approach, and ultimately sell more wine.