Updated: Oct 15, 2022
The wine business is a crowded retail space, with shelves already filled with more options than most consumers know what to do with.
So how do you stand out from the rest?
Marketing strategy is both art and science, which means there are tactics you can implement to strengthen your position and differentiate your offering.
As long as you understand your target customer and have a great product that will resonate with them, test out some of the below ideas and you might find yourself reaching new heights.
Before we jump in, determine what your goals are, which will inform which tactics will work best. Of course, it also depends on your resources, product, and the story you're trying to tell.
Here are 15 of the most effective wine marketing tactics you can use to get customers to start paying attention to your products and become fans of your brand.
The Most Effective Wine Marketing Tactics
1. Wine Clubs
Nearly every major winery offers a wine club, where members commit to purchasing 12-15 bottles of wine every quarter, in exchange for a significant discount, invitations to members-only events, and unlimited free tastings at the winery. Wine clubs cultivate repeat business and provide sustainable cash flow that can be counted on throughout the year.
Despite being an overused and over relied upon channel for wine promotion, are wine clubs worthwhile?
Yes! The answer is still yes.
Wine club sales make up 33% of the average winery’s income, and that number increases for wineries that make fewer than 2,500 cases of wine each year.
2. Cross-Market With Other Local Businesses (Including Wineries)
Consumers are savvy with both their money and their time.
If you want people to visit your tasting room or winery, create content promoting other local businesses nearby (and encourage them to promote your business too). People who are searching for wine-related activities in your area will be intrigued when they see that by visiting your establishment, they can also visit several other local attractions.
When they have to choose between going to a single winery or visiting a winery like yours that showcases other wineries or related businesses nearby, they will realize that traveling to yours offers more bang for their buck, and you can reap the rewards of co-marketing: less money spent out of your budget to reach new audiences.
3. Host (Virtual) Events
Many wineries host business events, weddings, and summer concert series, and these are all great ways to leverage a stunning location to increase revenue.
During COVID-19, with social distancing measures in effect, wine businesses can adapt and focus on virtual events.
Virtual events are wonderful to form connections with your customers. And without some of the limitations of in-person events, you can actually attract a broader audience than you may have been able to otherwise!
But instead of just doing the same thing everyone else is doing, host events that will set you apart from the crowd.
Hold a blind tasting with your competitors’ wine
Invite amateur winemakers to take a weekend class from your head vintner.
Show a behind-the-scenes look at your production process
And don’t be afraid to branch outside of winemaking. For example:
If you grow organic grapes, host an event focused on sustainable organic gardening and invite local garden aficionados.
Host a pet adoption weekend with the local pet shelter
Hold a family fun day, with chaperoned games for children, kickball and ultimate frisbee for teens, and of course, wine and great food for the parents.
Not only will you sell your products at these events, but you can also collect email addresses of attendees to build your list and craft an event follow-up campaign to continue engaging them later.
You’ll also have the chance to get to know your customers in a fun, laid-back environment, providing you with firsthand knowledge that would be otherwise hard to get.
This article first appeared at Hearst Bay