Check out key items you can implement into your marketing plan.
“There’s been a hesitancy in the industry to use automated tools, use online tools, use things like chat bots, because people don’t want to have their wines become dehumanized. But in reality, it’s a matter of getting the wine industry to make the step forward and realize that there are a lot of things that customers prefer to be automated or self-service. Those are things like updating their accounts, or buying wine in some instances. And if we can shift those or make it possible for people to use technology in those instances, we can take people and put them to do what they do best, which is human interaction and personal touches.”
“Just by putting recipe content on your website, you’re giving an opportunity to be found by google. So if someone is searching for, let’s say, a flatbread with prosciutto on it, and you have that recipe on your website, and you say that it pairs really well with your chardonnay, you have a better chance of showing up higher in the search results. So someone might not have been looking for your winery, but they’ll see the recipe, they’ll click on it, and boom! you’ve got someone on your website. And if your website is pretty good and intriguing, they’re going to stick around, and then they might become a customer. It’s a great way—without ‘selling’—to actually get customers in the door, especially when it comes to your website.”
“On a big wine reveal, I would always recommend getting a high-quality bottle shot. Because it looks so good, the people who are on social media, predominantly, like that high-quality look. And you know you’re going to get an amazing product every time. You get to pick and choose—particularly with the Lifestyle Images— where you want and how you want to showcase that bottle or bottles.”
“I think it’s really important to continue to try new things, look at your insights, to see what works well. For us in particular, I knew Outshinery was the way to go when we launched our first Lifestyle Image. I think it was in the winter of 2016, with our Seven. I sent Laurie, at Outshinery, a sales graph of this huge spike in our sales graph of sales, with that particular Lifestyle Image. We knew we had to incorporate that into our social media plan after that, and it’s been wonderfully successful.”
“If you really want to break out, go visit 5-6 wineries. Or even better yet, take a huge step back, and pretend you’re a visitor to the entire region, and try and look at it with fresh eyes and say: ‘What is it that sparks my interest? What is it that makes me excited? What is it that people are talking about?’ You know, not only what’s new, but what’s different.”
“Anything that involves a person getting in front of another person—obviously, that’s the most elevated way to sell something. But it’s just not scalable. Email marketing combined with lead generation using Facebook ads — there’s this unlimited scalability. You can literally reach thousands of people. I’m not talking about spray and pray reach—I’m talking about highly targeted things. It’s the lowest cost, highest return, most scalable thing you can do as a seller.”
“Before someone opens your email, what they’re seeing is the ‘from’ name, the subject line, and then the preview text. That preview text is really prime real estate in the inbox. So don’t forget it! You want to use that to grab their attention, and make them want to open your email. It’s equally as important as the subject line.”
“The foundation of personalization is all about the customer data you have. You can’t personalize if you don’t have data to pull from. I can’t recommend you [i.e. the winery customer] a product if I don’t know what products you’re purchasing or if I don’t know anything about you. Having a unified, clean database is the first step. That’s where you’re going to pull the insights from, that’s where you’re going to pull the personalizations from. Making sure that that database or that CRM is connected with all of your other systems out there. If you have this clean database with all of these insights but it’s not connected with your email campaign tool or other engagement or outreach tools, then how will you personalize on these platforms?”
“People that write a blog have fewer editorial guidelines, if you will. They usually are the author and the editor, that means they can control the calendar, they can decide what to publish. So sometimes you’ll have better luck with somebody that writes a blog that you really enjoy.
And the other plus — and this is one of the things that constantly impresses me, is bloggers are also usually excellent photographers, or they write their own recipes. And sometimes they’ll do something incredible with the wine — it’s like a bonus — they’re not just covering it, but they’re pairing it with something. So be aware that there are awesome bloggers out there, and that’s a great place to start if you want a first line of pitching. And they’ll probably be thrilled to hear from you too.”
“Every piece of content that you put out, you should be thinking about all of the different ways that could be useful down the road. Whether that’s something that’s going to end up in your blog and add SEO value to your website. Or that’s video content that’s going to end up being cut up into 15 different pieces and utilized for Instagram Stories and all these other things. Invest in how you can take that content and repurpose it all over the place — it’s not only going to make that content way more valuable, but continue to provide dividends for years to come.”
“We really need to think of these [virtual] events as content. And think about how this content is going to continue work for the wine industry long after the event happened. The biggest issue with virtual tastings is that people are narrow-focused. They just think, ‘Okay, I’m going to sell these tasting packs. I want to get this stop-gap of revenue stream here.’ They’re not thinking of the bigger picture. And they’re not thinking about the aspect of how their consumers engage, and with wine content.
‘Wine Intelligence’ has written numerous reports talking about how wine education is kind of, not necessarily going down, but wine retention because the average consumer doesn’t need to really know about ‘Why is Stag’s Leap District special?’ Because you know what they do if they’re looking at a bottle of Stag’s Leap Cabernet. They’re going to google on their phone: Why is a Stag’s Leap Cabernet good?
And you want, as a winery, you want your content being tied to this question. Google is probably one of the most powerful influences out there. And there’s so many wine questions that people are googling all the time: How to taste wine. Why is chardonnay buttery? If you did a virtual tasting with those broad topics as a theme, and uploaded it to YouTube, promoted it on your social media — people are more likely to find it. And that virtual wine event that you did on one evening in July, is going to pay dividends and help build your brand for years.”