Don’t depend on your bottling date to build excitement and encourage sales for upcoming releases! 5 steps you can take today to be ready for the uncharted times ahead.
There are many things we can’t control. While much is uncertain nowadays, there are some tasks that can be executed today that will benefit your winery or brand in the long term. One of those is marketing and customer engagement.
Now more than ever your audience is looking at a screen (or two, or three) for information, entertainment, and shopping. You probably have taken this into consideration already and rolled out live videos, virtual tastings, social media ad campaigns, or other new ways to shrink the physical distance with technology.
These efforts shouldn’t be limited to the products that you’ve got in stock now. What if you could get ahead by marketing wine that hasn’t yet been bottled and build interest early for an upcoming release?
Get your wine online
Double-check that your online store is ready to go with up-to-date tasting notes, and other relevant information. This is a game-changer when it comes to selling DtC because your audience can see exactly what they are buying, especially if your current marketing is pushing them online to take advantage of special offers.
This means, no missing photos, all vintages are up to date, and your storefront is consistent across your entire portfolio. In turn, you build consumer trust and increase your average DtC order when the wine is ready to sell.
Be ready for anything
Consider the material and information you’ll need to populate newsletters, tasting room materials (for when consumers come flooding back), print marketing and more. Provide your distributor with technical information ahead of schedule, so they can design shelf-talkers, tech sheets, and other sales materials that make you stand out from the crowd.
Stay timely and relevant
While your customers rely on technology for connections, ask your winemaker to record a live-from-the-cellar video message about the upcoming release. Your audience can learn insider details on how the wine was grown and crafted and get exclusive tasting impressions as she has a barrel tasting.
Meanwhile, use your social media and communication resources to build early excitement by promoting your free shipping deal, or releasing a teaser about an upcoming virtual tasting. If you know your wine will be ready soon, now is the time to let customers know.
Go behind the scenes
Take your audience on a vineyard walking tour, via a live chat on social media or a blog post with video. Do this on a couple of different days, so they can experience the weather, or seasonal changes. Your audience is likely stuck inside, and they’ll relish the sound of birds and the hints of green on the vines that thrive on your property.
This becomes an opportunity to teach and share your ethos, such as reasoning for the trellis system, the vitality of beneficial insects, or the value of biodiversity on your estate. “Show and tell” is an excellent way to build excitement for a new wine, because your audience can experience the texture of its origin for themselves.
Prepare for the return to “normal”
There will be a time when customers come back to the tasting room, and when they do it will be all hands on deck to make the transition to whatever a “normal” lifestyle entails. Strategize by knocking out marketing plans for the harvest season or winter holidays by creating your imagery and calendar before the rush. Think about which wines you’ll have bottled during the latter half of the year, and get prepared now.
Take charge of timing and avoid a pile-up (and the associated stress) during busy business segments. By prepping a press release or member communication in advance of the rollout, you free up time for more time-sensitive tasks that are sure to crop up later on.
While there are still a lot of uncertainties in the times ahead, wineries should be empowered to better market themselves. By planning ahead, you can achieve better quality and control when it comes to your brand image and marketing. There has never been a better time to get ready for whatever happens next!