In most of our e-mails, blog posts, and webinars we talk about digital marketing tools — social media, website, e-mail, or smartphone apps — the tools we use to promote our clients online.
And the reason we give you these tools is because there are elements of digital marketing that can, and should, be done by those in your winery.
Of course, the tools are useless if the mechanic doesn’t know how to use them. And, despite some of our best efforts, we are seeing quite a bit of user error — and that user error is coming from a place of not understanding the basics. What is the goal of social media? Your e-mail newsletter? Your website?
So, in this blog post, we are going to “reset”. We are going to remind you of goals, tell you about the biggest mistakes we see, and get you refocused on using these tools in a way that is going to boost tasting room traffic (SUMMER IS HERE!) and event attendance, increase direct to consumer sales, and expand your winery’s brand awareness.
Social Media for Wineries
The Goal: Boost brand awareness so, when people are ready to make a move (buy wine, visit a tasting room, attend a winery event), they choose your winery.
The Mistake/s We Most Often See: Hard selling. Only posting when you want something from your audience. Making it about you — not about them. Being obvious in your efforts.
Reset: Social media is, by definition, social. Your winery has been invited into the social feed of people. You are surrounded by their friends and family — so don’t be the jerk who shows up and only talks about how awesome you are. If you do, you’ll either be rejected (unliked/unfollowed/etc.) OR you’ll be ignored, in which case the tools (specifically Facebook) will stop showing your posts to those who already made the effort once to like you. Either way, you’re out.
Instead, be on your best cocktail party behavior. Be humble. Be kind. Be interested in others. If someone asks you a question, answer them. If someone compliments you, thank them. If someone complains, apologize. Be funny — but not weird. Be smart — but NEVER be a smart ass. Show them you love what you do, and they’ll love what you do, too.
Social Media Checklist (Basic):
- Post on Facebook 3(ish) times per week. Photos win every time.
- Check Twitter daily (Preferably mid-day, so you can catch people in your area and invite them in to your winery).
- Tweet if you love it (and you should!). Otherwise, simply connect it to your Facebook and Instagram accounts. (BTW, some will HATE this advice and demand you disconnect everything from Twitter and use it only as Twitter. In an ideal world, we’d agree, but, we’re going bare bones here. If all you can do is connect your account and check to make sure you’re not missing any interaction, then do that).
- Post 2 – 3 Instagram photos per week (share these on Facebook and Twitter)
- Check Delectable Weekly.
E-Mail Marketing for Wineries
The Goal: Inform your audience of winery events (new releases, winemaker dinners, harvest updates, sales, parties, etc.), and get them to take action on these events. When done correctly, e-mail marketing makes the largest direct impact on DTC sales.
The Mistake/s We Most Often See: Being scared of unsubscribes. Not e-mailing enough. Not reminding. Thinking people are going to read a huge e-mail. No clear call to action. Poor writing. ONLY selling.
The Reset: People have signed up for your e-mails because they WANT to hear from you — particularly your Club members. Don’t be scared to e-mail them. Don’t sacrifice sales for a few unsubscribes. Your Club wants to feel special. Make them feel special with your emails only for them. Respect their time. Don’t send long e-mails. Short, sweet, and to the point. ALWAYS make sure the call to action is clear. Again, e-mail is your most important digital marketing tool. If it’s taking too much of your time, or if you aren’t seeing results, it’s a GREAT thing to outsource.
E-Mail Marketing Checklist (Basic):
- Monthly newsletter sent on the same day full of general winery news.
- Short and quick emails sent weekly or biweekly that mention winery events (sales, promotions, “running low” alerts, parties, etc.)
Websites for Wineries
The Goal: Provide an easy way for people to purchase and learn more about your wine and your winery. Provide trade with the tools needed to sell your wine. Little maintenance for the winery.
The Mistake/s We Most Often See: Huge and cluttered websites. Non-mobile friendly websites (this is huge!). Stores that are hard to use. Useless trade pages. Poor organization. Time wasted on SEO. Out of date websites. Websites that try to be too unique. Event calendars that are empty. Buried information.
The Reset: Your website represents your brand online. It needs to look good, and it needs to be easy to use. If you are selling a $40+ bottle of wine, your website needs to represent a high end product. Believe it or not, people are deciding whether they are going to buy from you or visit you based on their user experience with your site. Make them want to do those thing with a website that represents your brand well (and is kept up to date with events). That doesn’t mean your site needs to be expensive. The web has changed GREATLY in the past 5 years. It is a tool to be used for specific needs. You don’t need to shove everything on your site — that’s what your social media and e-mail marketing is for — and that’s when the user (and the winery) gets overwhelmed. Your site should be clean, simple, and easy.
- Outsource your store (or order form).
- Outsource your trade asset hosting (wineries and distributors are loving Trade Locker — the custom trade kits are HUGE).
- Have your designer set you up with a calendar that is easy to use (we love The Events Calendar for WordPress sites — example here).
And that’s all the time you should have to spend on your site. Super easy.