Simple Wine Sales Funnel

What Does a Sales Funnel Taste Like? Or, Conversion Strategy for Gourmet and Lifestyle Brands

Sales Funnels are Not Funnel Cakes – but they can be just as yummy!

Gourmet brands looking for new customers often entice them with samples and tastings. This is great for small purchases, like a cupcake or honey at a farmer’s market.

But what about a larger commitment like a wine club? Wine buyers expect to taste the product too, perhaps more than once, and maybe even be wine’d & dine’d first with a few parties.

This requires a larger investment on the part of a winery, from not only the inventory costs but the capital costs of a tasting room or showing at events. Given this commitment it’s important to quantify the sales process to maximize ROI. One way to do this is to map out the sales funnel.

Simple Wine Sales Funnel

Simple Sales Funnel

What is a sales funnel? It’s the concept of a path that a prospective customer takes, from initial awareness of the brand at the top, down through the various stages of research and decision making, to action/purchase at the bottom. See Fig. 1.

If you ask the marketing manager in charge of the tasting room, they’ll say their tasting room is it’s own funnel. “Marketing” is tasked with getting prospects walking in the front door and letting the tasting room staff work their magic.

If you ask a the marketing manager (who may be in charge of the eCommerce site), they’ll tell you the sales funnel is all the traffic to the home page, filtering down to some wine purchasers in the cart.

But the Funnel is larger than the tasting room or the online components alone. It’s a composite of the two. And when we look at wine club sales efforts through the framework of a combined funnel we can discover new opportunities for improvement and sales gains. See Fig. 2.

In this combined funnel we see the online component on the left side, and the offline or physical component on the right. The idea to understand is that prospects may move from the online to offline medium (and back again) as they make their way down the funnel to a potential purchase.

Prospects may discover, interact with or research the brand online first, and show up at the tasting room with potentially a lot of brand knowledge and affinity. (Think about car purchases these days, where so little is left for the showroom sales staff to do.)

These prospects in particular are further down the funnel, and the tasting room staff should adjust their pitch to account for this. Of course plenty show up for a tasting with little knowledge of the brand and so the staff needs to be flexible enough to deal with all kinds.

Prospects may straddle both online & offline mediums at the same time. Has someone in a tasting group ever pulled out their mobile phone during a tasting? Are they checking work emails? Or pulling up the average retail prices on Wine-searcher.com. Or checking CellarTracker for tasting notes. Or seeing if there is any particular buzz on the brand?

Hopefully they’re checking in on Facebook, or posting to Instagram, but figure that any activity is integral to the process in the sales funnel, and staff should account for it. How? Ask and start a friendly conversation around it. Managers can set up a “check-in” photo spot with a gorgeous view or branded backdrop, and staff can point it out.

Fig.2  A Complete Sales Funnel

Fig.2 A Complete Sales Funnel

If prospects are going online in the sampling phase, (which they are,) a mobile-ready and mobile friendly website is a must-have. Sales managers will get extra traction for having specific content aimed at the prospect who is currently in the sampling phase, which may speed the prospect’s journey down the funnel.

Conversion Rates - More Wine Club Signups

Conversion rate is the total number of sales divided by the total number of prospects. Factors that affect conversion in the offline section of the funnel are things like the salesperson, what sales training they’ve had, and even environmental factors like appearance of the parking area as guests arrive, their first greeting, how busy or how crowded the room is and the ease or difficulty getting to the counter.

Without remodeling the tasting room, are there any changes we can make for some quick hits? We mentioned a couple, which is to have mobile-ready content and some check-in/photo spots.

Another adjustment would be with prospects who are leaving without buying. This is potentially the largest segment and it warrants looking at.

“Stop Dropping Good Fruit on the Floor!” – a marketer’s mission

Consider the example of a prospect represented by the smiling (but thinking) face in figure 2.

At this point, this prospect is educated about the brand (again, via online, offline, or both) and has tasted, and is considering buying.

We can assume s/he falls into one of two camps – s/he either likes the wine or doesn’t.

If they don’t like the wine, for the sake of simplicity, let’s say that they exit the funnel, noted by the grey arrow to the right ending in a zero.

If they do like the wine, they further divide themselves into “buy today” or “not buy today.” Those that buy today are represented by the green arrow ending in $ at the bottom of the funnel.

The only group that remains is the “like wine & brand / not buying today” group, which can take either the red or yellow path, depending.

Typically, the tasting room staff will let any “like wine & brand / not buying today” prospect walk out (same as grey path). Some staff will try to get them to like the Facebook page, which is passive. Some will take a more active role and try to collect an email and get the prospect on the winery email newsletter.

Whether a newsletter sells any wine or not is a topic for another post, but we can say this: if the staff is simply sticking the prospect on the newsletter list, they are sending them back to the beginning of the funnel (yellow path). They are keeping them in the funnel, which is a good thing, but they’re placing them at the beginning, at the top.

That creates a disconnect, as the prospect is at a later stage, having been nearly sold, nearly done with their journey. After they leave the winery, this prospect is expecting a different type of conversation or interaction with the brand.

If a prospect doesn’t hear from the brand for weeks, for example when the next newsletter comes out, the prospect can feel ignored and misunderstood. Also, the communication style of a newsletter is typically the most generic and non-personal.

For this type of prospect, the interaction should instead be on a very high and specific level, applicable to someone further along in the funnel. And here is an opportunity for big gains in conversion rates.

What to do? collect an email address and send them to a very specific web page that speaks to them based on their stage in the funnel.  If that process is designed well, the path continues to a purchase stage (red arrow).

This keeps prospects in the funnel, at the right level. They just move laterally into the online medium.

Will everyone convert via the online eCommerce channel once they leave the tasting room? Hardly – that’s why it’s still a funnel. But the investment in this process change is low, so it only take a few extra club signups a month to really boost ROI.

Conclusion

For most wineries, the tasting room is the cornerstone of their direct-to-consumer (DTC) efforts. And if there isn’t one, then other opportunities to taste the wine (such as events) become an important part of the sales process. Understand that prospects interact with the brand, both before and after this tasting phase, and both online and offline. Then look for ways to improve the process and increase conversion rates.

 Takeaways:

  • Tasting Room sales staff should discover what stage the prospect is at when they first appear in the tasting room, and use that info to tailor a tasting presentation.
  • Mobile-ready eCommerce sites should offer content for the sampling/tasting prospect.
  • Collect email / contact info as often as possible. Use RSVP systems to get it up front.
  • Set up non-buyers for more funnel maturation, with a non-newsletter process

For help in mapping our your winery’s sales funnel or for help improving conversion rates, contact us at VinMarketer

An empty email signup sheet :(

Collecting More Emails At Wine Events

We all have heard the refrain “collect more emails” from tasting room visitors, from wine events, from everywhere.

An empty email signup sheet :(

An empty email signup sheet :(

But HOW exactly do we do that … we ask everyone to leave their email?

OK, why are you asking them to leave their email (to give you something)? Is it simply to “receive the winery newsletter?” and does that seem like a good deal to the owner of the email?

From the consumer’s vantage point (always put yourself in their shoes), they only want to be on a newsletter if you really feel close to the winery.

But at an event like a wine fair or tasting event, a winery should want more than just the few consumers who would be willing to “sign up for a newsletter.” Those few are ones who may have 1) tasted the wine & loved it 2) spent some time with us to build some rapport and 3) are in the market for a new winery relationship. That’s too restrictive and too few.

At the recent SF Vintners Market, we chatted with one winery at their table, and the discussion was whether they wanted emails from “just anyone.” No, don’t put your signup paper on telephone poles around town…but if you are in the VIP room at a major wine event in an affluent market, YES! YOU WANT EVERY EMAIL IN THAT ROOM! You want their phone numbers too, if you could.

So, short answer: put yourself in their shoes, and offer MORE than the newsletter:

  • Hey, it’s crowded here today. Leave us your contact info and we’ll have you up to the winery for an after-party next weekend (we understand)
  • Leave your info for a chance to win – win some wine, a VIP tour, dinner with the winemaker, or your choice! (have an experience)
  • Leave your info so we can ask  your opinion on an upcoming bottling or label design (yes, you’re part of the family!)
  • Leave your info for a special after-show discount that we don’t want to put out here on the table (we can give you a better deal if it’s limited)

Get more results. Make up your own table top sign, or use this quick PDF for a “VIP Tour” (you decide what the tour is). That winery we talked to did put out a better sign – ours – and their response was significantly better:

Better Email Signup list for wineries capturing emails at events

Better Email Signup list for wineries capturing emails at events

Yes, Marketing Wine Direct To Consumers Is Hard

Yes, Marketing Wine Direct To Consumers Is Hard..But Not Impossible.*

Consumers are fickle, trendy, unpredictable, moody, and more. That’s why it’s so tempting to unload another pallet at FOB.

That’s why the three-tier system perpetuates itself.

That’s why so many wine entrepreneurs from outside the wine world  (the retail wine world) flail, even when are positive that they can reshape how wine is sold.

Consumers:

  • don’t see all the hard costs involved, and maybe don’t care
  • have a different notion of value than you do
  • are looking at wine globally when you may be looking at the AVA level

 

We’re trying to sell them “WINE” but consumers want to buy:

  • experiences
  • a story
  • a piece of something bigger
  • memories of that fabulous dinner or party
  • affluence
  • exclusivity
  • bragging rights
  • membership/admittance
  • pleasure
  • Variety
  • Newness / trendiness

Wine “Experience” may be any of these, or combinations

  • wine with a memorable dinner
  • wine with a memorable party/event
  • wine with a memorable trip
  • wine with memorable friends

What’s a winery to do when faced with consumers who need an experience (so you need them in the tasting room, or at the winery), or who need variety & newness (so they don’t churn out of the club), or who need a story or pleasure?

* Sell them whatever you have, but at least sell them a story, and pleasing wine!

Current Wine Marketing Site
5 Top Ecommerce Secrets Wine Sites are Ignoring!  

Why is the wine business slow to adapt successful website sales tactics from other categories?

Perhaps the reasons are a field-blend of not wanting to turn off potential buyers by “selling too hard,” some “we don’t sell much off the website anyways,” and there is always a little bit of “that won’t work in our business, we’re different.”

Our stance is thus: consumers looking at your website are at the same time looking at other ecommerce websites, and are in a frame of mind to expect more of the same. They expect more ecommerce tools and functions that make THEIR life easier, and they expect less of the things that make their life hard (like too many clicks). Also, consumers like to see that you are up to date, and that reflects well on your brand.

Let’s pop the cork and see what this smells and tastes like:

1) Streamline the the purchase path to your wine.

Reduce the barriers (read: clicks) to your products. whether they be wine or wine club signups. You likely are using a hosted shopping cart solution, so don’t have any control over how many clicks the buyer has inside the checkout process, but you can control how many clicks before the checkout, when a buyer is trying to put wine into the cart.

Will we ever get as close as 1 click shopping on Amazon? Doubtful, but we do need to think hard about any site that is 4-5 or more clicks just to put some wine in the shoeComm bottlepping cart and fudge around with quantiites before they get to the checkout page (where another 3-10 clicks await our hapless buyer).

Arranging wine in nice heirarchies suits our right-sided brain, but products arranged in such a way that buyers have to go through reds, then cabs, then see the vintage or cuvee they want? The experience does not need to feel like navigating a flow chart.

What to do? Ideally, for a small catalog (even up to 12), all the wines should be displayed together on one page. Most popular items up front and center, and available directly from the front page via an image, rather than having to find the menu item called “shop”.

Some ecommerce carts are more fleixble than others, and there are ‘hacks’ to reduce clicks on some of the ecommerce carts – if you need help, just ask us.

And don’t require 3-4 clicks of age verification just to get into the site. There are other, better ways.

2) Email capture

Time and time again you have heard that you need to collet emails; so much so that it begins to be background noise. So maybe this is not such a secret.

But email is more powerful than you give it credit for – that’s the secret. It really is That important. When a stranger visits your web site one time, you need a way to continue the conversation after they leave.The most successful ecommerce sites are actively using email followup to increase sales up to 3X.The idea is to complete the sales process after they leave (and have not bought), and to do that we need an email.

Not everyone visiting your site is ready to buy something, but they are willing to leave their email if they a) believe you won’t spam them, and b) can unsubscribe at any time. There is a higher level of trust with a wine brand than with other ecommerce sellers, and almost by default the visitor believes that you would not spam them and there would be an easy unsibscribe process. So, wine site visitors are the perfect audience to ask for emails. It’s a real wonder why it’s not done more!

Should you leave email collection to your “join our list” signup form? That depends on your web traffic so far. Check your logs, and if over 80% of site visitors are leaving emails, then you’re done! If it’s less, and it most likely is, you need to consider another “offer” to trade for their email.

Bait for emails could be a giveaway/sweepstakes offered on Facebook (and other channels), RSVP to events, notification of some special event or future release that is made to sound special.

Proper followup is key too. It is not nearly as effective a sales tactic to ask someone to “Join our list” then only send them an email at your next release, which may be months later.

No, a proper “drip” campaign with a specific goal at the end of the campaign is the way to go.  That goal is not “stick around and remember us until we email you in the futuer.” A goal that drives sales is a purchase that further entwines the buyer to the brand. It does not need to be as big as a club signup, although that is a notable goal for the drip campaign too, of course.

So collect wine-buyer emails all the time – from the tasting room, from events, from everywhere.  And of course, collect from your website.

3) Free shipping,

Free Shipping (really 1$ shipping) is another ecommerce secret that we don’t see enough of in the wine trade. Of course this is due to the high cost of shipping wine, and owners not wanting “to loose money on the transaction”.

But if a dributor or broker showed up and said they would move X cases of wine, minus their fee of course, would you do it? So, consider that the loss on shipping is the brokerage fee. (We’re assuming you said yes to the above!)

You can (and many do) limit the wines that are eligible for free shipping, giving favor to some gift sets and starter/taster packs. Also it is best to limit the offer to 6+ botles, or even a case. At 6-12 bottles the gross margin is more attractive and the per-bottle cost to ship 6/12 is much lower than singles/doubles.

You can also limit the offer geographically. You can advertise free shipping but it will be for CA, AZ, and NV only where you can get cheap GSO. But before doing this, check the web statistics and sales logs to see where traffic and buyers are coming from. Don’t worry about the occasional shipment to, say, Chicago if most  of your customers so far have been from California.

4) “Introductory  Purchases”

In the 90′s movie with Bill Murray titled “What About Bob” we learn that all big issues can be overcome with “baby steps”. And that is the process we want to emulate online with a wine ecommerce site.

The large issue for the non-buying visitors to your site is that they are not yet completely comfortable with you. Sure, the guarantee and the free shipping reduce a lot of the risk, but web visitors are busy and are fickle. They want to do something, but can’t yet bring themselves to buy a case or 1/2 case in order to qualify for free shipping.

For them, we want to break the Ice with a smaller item, meant to incentivize the client to create an account on (yet another) web shopping cart, and give us a chance to earn their repeat business through great customer attention and personalized followup selling.

In wine an introductory purchase could look like a “sampler” or “discovery pack.” If your wine is loved by all who taste it, but you struggle to get enough tasters, then this is the secret for you.  Assemble the right mix of a few or more bottles, include shipping in the price, and sell it for a target “awesome deal” number, such as $99.

Next season, look into bottling more splits and have 2-3 to create a taster with.

 5) Remarketing

Remarketing is considered an advanced marketing tactic, but it’s not out of reach.

You must have had the experience: you visit an ecommerce site like Zappos or eBay, or many others, and after you leave and surf elsewhere on the web, you see ads for the site or even the products you were looking at earlier. And you’re no longer on that site! Spooky? – sure. Powerful? – you bet.

What could we do with that on a winery website? Primarily we use it to keep the brand top of mind. So many web visitors come back to the site to remind themselves of an experience they had, and think about doing something more. But “doing something more” like buying wine or joining the club actually takes time, and the prospect gets interupted and drifts away. Remarketing helps bring them back.

Remarketing also helps with your trade relations. Imagine a distributor rep on your site looking for collateral. For days later, they see your ads and are reminded to push your brand!

Google has the info on how to set up a remarketing campaign if you manage your own adwords account. Otherwise ask whomever handles adwords for you, or if you’ve not used adwords yet, pull us in to help.

 

Have a different secret, or want to tell us what has been your experience with any of these 5 if you have tried them? Leave a comment below. That’s all for now, but more secrets in the next instalment! Be sure to get on our list for notification.

 

SEE ALSO:  Social Media Ideas For Busy Winery Staff

If you are spending too much time trying to keep your social media channels active, or just need a little inspiration, leave your email adddress below for our Social Media Ideas For Wineries. It’s a monthly cheat sheet of ideas for posts and tweets for the wine world. Enter your email address below for your free tip sheet.

IMAG0933

Selling Wine DTC in 2015 – What’s The Minimum?

Marketing and selling wine DTC can mean different things to different clients. When we engage new clients at VinMarketer, we often discuss whether the site needs a refresher.
Often the idea of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes up. Or, “we’re having decent success – maybe our customers like our consistency?” Our advice is, leave that for the labels on the bottles. An older site visually registers like a polyester outfit worn by the tasting room staff.

While there are many online tools and marketing programs to assist DTC selling, there are two fundamental basic requirements for that visual “first impression” of the brand:

1) An updated, mobile-ready website, and 2) A minimal (at least) social media presence

Why A (New) Winery Website? 

Nearly 50% of your target audience (both DTC and trade) will be viewing your site through a small screen, through a smartphone. Your site has to be able to both look good and operate easily in that format. Easy operation means the fewer clicks to most popular and useful information to a visitor viewing the site on a phone.

Visitors will also be more impressed with a site with a style that is current. Every few years, web styles evolve and a site built only a while ago can look dated fast. Your website is your brand’s first impression for many. A dated style drags down the premium lifestyle brand you are working so hard to create.

Some acid tests to see if your site is dated:

  • If copyright date on bottom of page is before 2010 (or even 2012)
  • If your home page still says “Welcome to our site” or similar. That is VERY dated.
  • If  your site looks more like A than B
A) Older Site StyleB) Newer Site Style

Wine marketing site in need of a newer vintage

Circa 1990s Wine Marketing Site (Click to enlarge)

 

Current Wine Marketing Site

Current Wine Marketing Site (Click to enlarge)

With prices so low (compared to other winery and marketing expenses), an out-of-date site quickly tells visitors that its owners “do not care.”

So Social Spells Success? *

In 2015 (and beyond), anyone considering doing business with your winery (buying wine, partnering, inviting you to tasting events) will check your website and your social media presence. And not necessarily in that order.

What stops clients from using social media is the fear that it takes too long, or that they don’t get it. See this post for a few hints on using social media to sell wine DTC.  But the bar is pretty low – a winery can get away with the minimum in some cases.  A minimum, which is pretty easy to handle, is a Facebook page where a photo is posted at least every two weeks.

The goal here is to not let a potential visitor see a ghost town. Of course we preach much much more, but that can come later too. Let’s first get out of 2009.

 


 

VinMarketer can refresh a basic website at a very affordable price, do don’t let something you’ve heard through the grapevine (“20K?!”) stop you from exploring your options. Contact us today.
* Maybe it’s evident from our clever titles, but we like good copywriting. We can refresh a site and populate it with great blog articles and social media posts for a year, or teach you how to do it, or both!


 

 

SEE ALSO:  Social Media Ideas For Busy Winery Staff

If you are spending too much time trying to keep your social media channels active, or just need a little inspiration, check out Social Media Ideas For Wineries, a monthly cheat sheet of ideas for posts and tweets for the wine world.

DTC wine selling

More Than eCommerce, Ways that Internet Supports Winery DTC

Selling wine DTC or specifically online is more than setting up a wine ecommerce cart, or work on the winery website, or to get some help with a Google adwords campaigns or SEO.

There is more to the Internet than meets the eye. As we move into Internet everywhere (Google Glass, Internet of Things, the ubiquity of mobile), e-commerce

SCMtn AVAWhen talking to a new client about selling wine DTC, we like to zoom out to 30,000 feet and consider the goals and the possible paths to those goals. Sure, at the end of the day, we want to sell more wine, or sell more direct to consumer. Will we do that with more tasting room visitors? Or more top scores that will cause our email list to turn into a waiting list? Or

How do you currently sell wine DTC, or how do you want to grow your DTC channel for selling wine?

Sure the functionality of your website and mobile shopping experience are more important than ever. But certainly we’re beyond the point where we believe “build it and they will come.” All the bells & whistles don’t pour our wines if the right buyers don’t find their way to our online shops. 

Sell wine DTC through the Tasting room?

You will want to be on maps and all local search opportunities.   Using adwords for extra publicity, above and beyond what you’re doing with the offline marketing.  Selling wine DTC - Get your winery tasting room on the map!

Sell wine DTC through local tasting events?

You NEED to collect email addresses to followup. There is no other way to use the Internet to connect with these prospects before or after they visit you at a tasting event.  For followup, send them something specific to the event, not a generic newsletter, and send it within three days. Hopefully you have your DTC wine ecommerce cart set up so these new fans can buy your wine direct.

Sell wine DTC through primarily wine club (so want more club signups)

As above, work the email lists. Gather more emails at every opportunity, and offer a limited time special or other incentive to join the club. VinMarketer has a new and unique method for converting more wine club sales. Talk to us to customize it for your winery.

Sell wine DTC through email list & waiting list?

What if you are a limited production, popular wine right now, and you sell out? Great! At least push the brand through twitter hashtags  & email followups after shipments. When the fickle public wants to move on to another hot wine, or you want to extend the offerings or production levels, marketing will be again needed. In the meantime, focus on social media, rave reviews and discussion forums such as CellarTracker, Wine Berserkers, Delectible, Snooth, et al.

 

 

 Sell wine DTC through recommendations?

We rely on friends, mentions in blog posts, and recommendations from ratings and other media to ferret out new wines. This is the broadest and most general way to sell online, and many simply call it “going viral.” Of course there is no recipe for ‘viral’, but keep all eyes open for whenever your wine’s name is mentioned online and in social media, and try to push it further, even if it’s a simple “thanks for being a fan.”

Sell wine DTC via a combination of these tactics? Usually, that’s the case. So Online can help in all the steps and overall in a combined way.

Yes we can set up your wine ecommerce cart, but we don’t stop there. We show you how to use it and market it and make it work for you, so talk to us today to see what you need to be doing more of.

SEE ALSO:  Social Media Ideas For Busy Winery Staff

If you are spending too much time trying to keep your social media channels active, or just need a little inspiration, check out Social Media Ideas For Wineries, a monthly cheat sheet of ideas for posts and tweets for the wine world.

DTC wine selling with PPC

Selling Wine DTC with Google Adwords and other PPC

Advertising your wine or wine tasting or DTC wine cart with Google adwords (or other pay per click or PPC) can be a smart and powerful strategy.

Everyone uses Google, sometimes without even knowing it. Mobile searches, local, partner sites, blogs, forums, maps – they all tie into the massive Google machine. And winery advertising is still an untapped opportunity. As of this writing, the search “top napa cabernets under $50″ shows NO ads – ZERO, nothing! And, it’s an “auto-fill” search – start typing “top napa cab” and Google will suggest that search. So, plenty of people end up there. You can have the top of page for ten cents a click (assuming you have a top napa cab under $50 to sell!) DTC wine selling with PPC

There are two ways Adwords can work, A) in a broad keyword context on “partner” content sites and B) in the search results pages (SERPs) that we are most familiar with.  The partner content sites are where the real gold is, even though they’re more difficult to see at first. They include wine forums, wine blogs and even travel sites where a winery ad may be the only one showing.  Not a partner site, but rather Google, and look at only one ad for “top oregon pinots”

wine ppc - selling more wine with google adwords

As we typically do, we zoom out to 30,000 feet and consider a winery’s particular situation and how they sell now DTC and how they might want to grow their DTC sales. A winery’s AVA, location on a trail, tasting room and tasting options, their price point and much more all help determine the best PPC strategy.

We ask: Are your typical winery visitors finding your wines because they visited the winery? Are you on a wine trail, or have a tasting room in town?

Are they buying after visiting, or after discovering, or via recommendation?  Is your wine out there in the media or blogosphere and trending up (or down)? Or does your wine require that buyers find you or it and taste it first?

Armed with that info, what are the keywords your potential wine tasters or wine buyers are using, knowingly or not? When helping a new client, we research to find if potential buyers are likely to search online (or via mobile) in any of these common ways?

Searching by AVA?

If a visitor to a wine region is researching their trip ahead of time, either to fill in some gaps or educate themselves, then they may search for something like “wine tasting sonoma” or “- russian river”  ” – santa rita hills.” A winery tasting room definitely wants to bid on those keywords and compete for that direct business. Some are content to let the tours bring in traffic, but extra traffic without commissions is what DTC is about.

“wine tasting Napa” is an example, as it’s like searching “Disneyland” – it’s too broad. So other strategies need to be employed for crowded spaces like this.

Searching for tasting opportunities?

Advertising for the keywords of the town, or “TOWN activities” or “Things to do in TOWN” is a great way to push up brand recognition and help ensure your tasting room is a ‘must visit’ rather than a hopeful discovery as potential wine buyers wander through town.

Searching by Varietal?

Are you the next top Zinfandel and want new fans of the grape to discover your cuvee? Look at keywords such as “top zinfandels” “old vine zinfandels, etc. Things that appeal to the Zin aficionado. Also, the ZAP tasting event, to raise awareness of your brand before the event.

The same holds for any other varietal. Are you a new entrant to the Killer Napa Cab category? Test appropriate keywords, and in a crowded space like this, experiment to find cheaper alternatives.

Searching by Brand/Name (yours or someone elses’?)

If your wine has a name for itself, and buyers seek it out, you would then want to buy keywords for that name. This assumes that your direct e-commerce site is not showing high enough in the organic search results. If your wine name shows a multitude of (online) retailers before you, then you’re losing DTC sales to the wholesale channel.

For wines that can be positioned alongside better known options in any category, buy those names.  Say you have a killer organic Malbec, and know that potential new fans now buy Catena Malbec, then buy “Catena Malbec” in addition to “organic malbec” and others.  Catena - start with what they know

Beyond the ads top and bottom

Also look at the “organic” pages your keywords generate. Those are the regular listings beyond the ads top and side of the page (the SERP or search engine results page).

In the Napa example above, in the organic listings on the page, is a site listing “tastings without appointments”:

https://www.napavintners.com/wineries/wineries_tastings.asp

If you had tastings without appointments, make sure you’re on that page in addition to the ads, as it’s free. (In this case it’s the local association.) Look for other pages that show up in the organic section to see if you might get on them somehow.

A word about Bing

Microsoft’s Bing can be a very effective and cost conscious PPC choice. After working through the kinks in Google, which has more traffic, open up an account on Bing too.

Experiment

As in many many other industries, some experimentation is needed at the start, and that’s a sunk cost or investment that is required. Here are some shortcuts to save you some of that time and investment. And it could pay to bring in a specialist in some cases.

 

SEE ALSO:  Social Media Ideas For Busy Winery Staff

If you are spending too much time trying to keep your social media channels active, or just need a little inspiration, check out Social Media Ideas For Wineries, a monthly cheat sheet of ideas for posts and tweets for the wine world.

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9 Tips for Marketing Wine in Social Media

Marketing Wine in Social Media is not hard, but…

Marketing Wine in Social Media can be time consuming, and the payoff may seem nebulous at times. But Social Media is one of the first places people look when considering your brand. And by people we mean more than consumers – we mean distribution partners, restaurants, tasting events, and more. So, a wine producer needs to be smart about it.  Assuming there are limited social media management resources, try to follow the following process and tips, and Just Do It!

  1. pick a few few social media networks to focus on – don’t try to be everywhere for everyone.
  2. use a dashboard and posting tool to schedule regular content delivery and to monitor for items that need your reply
  3. reply to mentions “fast” – the definition of fast being the amount of time relevant to a particular network
  4. post creative, funny content, or content in keeping with the personality of your wine brand
  5. think “experience” as much as “product” and post about that, as well as lifestyle. Promote the experience that your wine delivers.
  6. involve whole team. Ask everyone to contribute ideas to a central shared document (or pad of paper!), interview different staff about their positions, and take shareable photos about everyone’s jobs for that ‘behind the scenes’ look.
  7. photos photos photos! Sunsets in vineyard, new buds, grafting, pruning, pressing, sorting, everything! And people too. Photos are worth a thousand words (and twitter only allows 140 characters, so you can really pack it in!). Sorry, no photos of winemaker dinners if they were hosted at a reseller restaurant.
  8. use guest posts & re-posts to your advantage
  9. go beyond your brand for posts/content when at tasting events. Post for the hosts, partners, et al, and ask them to reciprocate. (provided they’re not resellers or retailers, or other violations of license law)

SEE ALSO:  Social Media Ideas For Busy Winery Staff

If you are spending too much time trying to keep your social media channels active, or just need a little inspiration, check out Social Media Ideas For Wineries, a monthly cheat sheet of ideas for posts and tweets for the wine world.