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With prices so low (compared to other winery and marketing expenses), an out-of-date site quickly tells visitors that its owners “do not care.”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

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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.

Selling wine online with Facebook

To Faceboook or not to Facebook?

For selling wine online, and DTC, the debate rages on the ROI of Facebook.

It’s just a checkbox, but an important one – the winery Facebook page.

Get a Facebook page and fill it with 500-1000 likes. First pass is just a page with X number of likes. Most are afraid to start on that because they feel they need to babysit the page and be ‘cool’. Well, you don’t.

What can you post? ANYthing! Like, wow, just anything. The more unusual the better.

The winery dog, cat, lama, whatever

The harvest, the racking, the sorting, the botteling, or any part of the process

The budding, the pruning, the leaves changing color, the sunset the sunrise.

The tractor, the bins, the washing of the tanks.

Your ‘organic’ or bio-conscious choices like cover crops, good bugs, etc.

Run a contest to identify some winemaking part (close up photo).

Setup your FB page to accept uploaded photos from your mobile phone’s camera so you can post easily while on the job.

 

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.