Inbound Marketing For Wineries

12/08/2017 Inbound Marketing for Wineries : How To Create Inbound Marketing Strategy For Your Wine Brand

As more and more beverage businesses develop inbound marketing campaigns to boost their branding and grow their consumer base, it is important to consider how your brand is unique and what content will really highlight your company. BTN takes a look at how beverage companies can develop a unique inbound marketing campaign and how they can use their new voice to grow their business.

What is Inbound Marketing? 

Inbound Marketing is the practice of creating and posting valuable content to various media channels in an attempt to attract customers to your product. The main emphasis here, as you might have guessed, is MEDIA, MEDIA, and more MEDIA.

The purpose of inbound marketing is to: get your content ranked high in search engines to increase company exposure; circulate your content in media networks (such as, but not limited to, social platforms) in order to generate word of mouth advertising for your brand; to promote a professional, know-how identity for your company to convince consumers to trust you; and to ultimately generate leads for your sales and marketing teams to follow up on.

There are really only two ways to think of your beverage company in terms of becoming successful in content marketing. You can believe that you are a beverage company who has a subsidiary media house or you can believe that you are a media company that runs a subsidiary beverage company. Either way, you look at it when you decide to create an inbound marketing campaign you are also deciding to make media a huge part of your company profile. You are no longer just selling beer, wine or beverages, you are also selling your ideas to the world. 

How do Beverage Companies utilize Inbound Marketing?

The content production process can differ for beverage companies (who have multiple customer tiers to consider) than that of inbound marketing campaigns of more conventional product and service companies, but the underlying philosophy is the same. The overall objective of a beverage company’s inbound marketing is to produce content with the purpose of educating, entertaining and convincing people into trusting your brand as a market leader in your category. Whether your customer is an importer, retailer or the end consumer, you want to be producing quality content that really highlights the professional pride that your company has in your brand line up.

How to Build Your Team

Building your team starts by reviewing your company’s strengths, recognizing your team leaders and building a program that matches their strengths. Target leaders and use their expertise. Use people from all of your departments and ask your strongest employees to have an integral role in the creation process. If they can’t dedicate the necessary time to producing regular content then ask them to explain their ideas to somebody that does. Creating healthy relationships between your leaders and the rest of your employees is a great way to nurture your content team’s development.

• Marketing Department – Use your marketing team to develop storylines and ideas to promote your beverage company’s identity and branding throughout your content. You can also ask them to write about the development of your last marketing campaign and how successful it was.

• Design – Get your design team to generate images, templates, and logos for all of your content creators to use and incorporate into their content production. You can also ask them to show their creative process in a blog or make an interactive timeline of your company’s branding history.

• Tech – Talk to your tech side and see what they are excited about. Are they using a new technology to showcase your brand - maybe an Ipad App at your event or the new web page design?

• Sales – Use your sales team to write articles on the different techniques that work for them in the field. Ask them to showcase their sales pitch, demonstrate the life on the road or give tips to aspiring beverage reps.

• Production – Use your production team to showcase your product. Get them writing about their different techniques. You can ask them about the ingredients they are using or the bottling process to get them started on ideas.

There are so many interesting sides to a beverage company that the average consumer doesn’t know and as much as importers and distributors take pride in knowing the industry, they certainly don’t know nearly enough about your product. Covering all aspects of your company provides a great base of information to educate your customers on how amazing your company really is.

In-house breeds Identity.

Creating content doesn’t need to get expensive, so don’t go out and hire the top journalist! Working with your employees and finding an in-house solution can not only generate a strong workplace morale but can keep your branding strategy strong. The longer you develop your local talent pool the easier it will be to create interesting new marketing campaigns based on your company’s most popular media.

How to Train your Team

Not everybody is a born writer, but given the right direction, anybody can actively contribute to building a solid content base. Get Creative! There are so many different ways to utilize media; it’s not just blog, blog, blog. Get your team involved by asking them to use their creative strengths.

Some of the most popular content posts are in blog form. Lists, how-to guides, and info graphics are very successful at generating interest. They are also great starting blocks to get your writers primed for bigger projects. Here is a good list of ideas to get your writing team started:

• Step by step guides on wine making techniques

• Info graphics on ingredients used in your craft brewing methods

• Top Ten list of cocktails to make with your craft spirit

• A Time line delineating your company’s history, using graphics and fun facts.

• Articles on: your most recent partnerships with your importers; distribution agreements; sales strategies; charities you are sponsoring; your state of the art technology; support programs. Get creative! Educative and exciting articles are more apt to get covered by large media companies willing to promote your brand its philosophy.

Videos

Some people respond better to video than others. Use your more camera loving team members to create exciting videos highlighting different aspects of your company. The more you encourage your team to make videos, the easier and more natural they become at it. Take them through the steps by providing great examples of how other companies (not necessarily beverage companies) are producing stellar videos.

• Producing entertaining videos that demonstrate different parts of your production line is a great way to start.
• Filming the highlights of your beverage company’s participation at events or competitions
• A storyline dedicate to
• Tastings
• Pairings

PodCasts

Is there somebody in your team that has a smooth and velvety voice or a laugh that makes everybody smile? It’s time put their natural talents to work. Podcasts are great ways to highlight live events and interviews that your company takes part in. Take a few ideas from the list below encourage your team into creating some fun podcasts.

• Interviews with brewmasters, winemakers, and distillers.
• Live audio updates from broadcasts at events.
• Story telling chapters (use history, branding, themes, etc. to build an exciting narrative around your company.)
• Interviews with industry leaders.

Social Media

Social media should be used as your primary media channel. Posting your media to social media is easy and fast and can generate a lot of interest. Use different media on different platforms and integrate your social media campaign into your overall marketing campaign.
For more help on building a strong social media campaign, please have a look at our article Story Telling: How To Successfully Market Your Brand's Story Using Multiple Platforms

E-Books

Ebooks can be used by beverage companies in numerous ways. The idea is to create informative mini books that highlight your talents, educate your readers on your beverages and convince the industry that you have every angle covered.

• Recipe books – How to cook with your wine, beer, or distillate

• Pairing books – What foods go well with your different beverages

• Production – The various steps in your production line

• Ingredients Book – Outline the origins and nature of all your ingredients

• Local / Export / Retail – Showcase the different countries you export too, your sales figures and your different retail accounts where your products can be found

• Marketing History – Highlight your different marketing campaigns from different cities around the world

• Tech books – How to use technology to increase efficiency

• Stay creative – Keep generating ideas by looking around the industry and identifying what sectors need somebody to cover the hard questions

PowerPoint Presentations

Get your marketing and sales team together to develop a great PowerPoint presentation of your brand to use in email campaigns and to post to your website. Sending a well-engineered presentation to potential importers, distributors and retailers is a great way to grow interested in your brand from the professional side.

How to Organize your Team

Getting your team excited about the prospect of creating content is one thing, but it’s a whole different challenge to get them prepared. Send them links from new content marketing ‘help’ pages like Social Examiner, HubSpot Blog, CopyBlogger, Social Media Today, Content Marketing Institute, etc. daily (or weekly) so they have an up to date resource base to learn from. Try to use different people for content production on a weekly basis so and to keep your ideas fresh and to ensure your employees don’t feel over worked.

Put One Person in Charge

If you aren’t able to dedicate your time to the content side, ask one of your team members to overlook the content marketing campaign. Put them in charge of scheduling meetings, talking to the different content producers and organizing the different weekly teams.

Create a database of resources

Provide a centralized, online resource for your employees to group their ideas together and post any interesting resources they’ve found. You should also be posting your reading and content suggestions as well. Doing this will ensure that your team always has somewhere to look for ideas and aren’t confused in their tasks.

Create A Schedule.

At the start of the month get your Content Leader to outline the different media projects that should be completed in the month. Once they have a clear idea of what they want to produce, they should put deadlines on the various projects and encourage their teams to meet them.

How to Encourage your Team

There might be a surprising learning curve associated with getting everybody on board with your content marketing initiative, but keep motivating them by telling them they are an integral part to growing your company.

Have regularly meetings

Encourage team members to bring their ideas to the table, even if they don’t feel comfortable creating the content themselves - maybe somebody else will be perfect for the project.

Give them authorship and get them to share your content on their Social Pages

Giving your employees authorship gives them a feeling of pride and a sense of a job well done. The best way to promote your content out of the gates is through word of mouth, so getting your media in front of all of their contacts is a bonus!

Provide Incentives

Don’t just make your content team go to extra meetings. Instead, throw Friday ‘content’ parties for your team, use friendly competitions to encourage them or give them Friday afternoons off to think about their next project. You want them to be excited about content - not dreading the next deadline!

How to Curate your Team

The key to convincing users and readers that you are the go-to source for education and innovation is to be producing top quality content. Don’t skimp because of deadlines, lack of resources or external obligations. Do your due diligence and research your subjects, learn about SEO, talk to industry leaders, and do proper edits.

Quality trumps Quantity

A lot of companies think that producing a high volume of media is the best way to put your brand front and center, but the truth is that there is a balance between too much and too little. No matter what, you want to be producing the best product you can. So, even if it takes a few more hours or another day, use the time to make sure that your content is publishable and you are proud to have your beverage name on it. You should be aiming at producing 3-5 content pieces a week to keep your content junkies coming back.

Time is Money

Be sure to do monthly progress reports. You want to make sure that you aren’t wasting too many resources on the content side of your business. Recognizing what team members are the most efficient content producers is a skill you need to develop to ensure that you aren’t wasting too much money and time with employees that just aren’t capable of producing quality content in an efficient manner.

Use one of your Strongest Members as an Editor.

Make sure you have somebody thoroughly go over your content. Your employees are capable of producing some really engaging stuff, but it’s most probable that it’s not going to be perfect. Use your most meticulous employee as an editor and get him to check the content twice before posting.

How to Leverage your New Position as a Media Leader

Think of your new foray into inbound marketing as the ultimate support program to offer your importers, retailers, and distributors. More interaction, views, and comments on all of your different content mean stronger brand recognition and commercial support. You’ll need to find associated media channels to promote your content, not just your own websites and social media pages! Take the time to research the top industry journals in the industry (Wine Spectator isn’t the only publication in the wine industry!) There are plenty of regional publications and industry influencers who you can sway into becoming fans and advocates of your beverages. Each media company has certain profiles.

Target your favorites early on and shape your media to their preferences. As you continue to produce content you will find that each piece is more refined than the last.

Soon, you’ll have every media outlet covered, your customers will be coming to you with questions with the hope of being a part of your media empire and you’ll be filtering inbound ideas from people across the industry. Get your sales and marketing team involved. Send them any leads your media to generate ASAP and see what they can do with them. The idea with inbound marketing is to follow up on every lead and generate some sort of ROI on your media house.

With distributor and importer targeted media production, be sure you are sending it through the necessary channels and that it ultimately reaches the eyes of your targeted audience. Don’t just post it to Facebook, take the time to find out what magazines and websites are these people’s favorites and try and get your articles and content into them. Use emails and follow-up calls to try and stoke any fires you may have kindled. The more dedicated you are to generating leads through content the faster you will see results. Once you’ve got a good grasp on the media world the work will become fun, your employees will be excited to see the results and your company’s brand recognition will skyrocket. Now is the time to start!

About London Wine Competition

The London Wine Competition is being launched to identify and reward those brands and products that consumers actually want to buy, rather than simply recognize good quality wines for their winemaking ability alone. To be a real success a wine brand has to be bought by consumers, be it on a supermarket shelf or a restaurant or bar's list. The London Wine Competition will single out and highlight the wine brands on sale in the UK and International markets that are truly commercially successful. Read more about how it works here.