For many businesses that can’t sell online or generate any revenue directly from their online efforts, investing in a high-performance website may seem like a waste of time and money. However, that’s not always the case. Although there are laws that inhibit e-commerce capabilities for breweries, distilleries and wineries, they can still see a massive return from a well thought out website and online footprint.
Throughout 2020, the 253 Media team worked with numerous alcohol manufacturers from all over the United States to increase their online presence with custom websites and targeted SEO campaigns.
In this article, you’ll learn how your brewery, distillery or winery can benefit from a high-performance website coupled with targeted SEO campaigns to elevate your brand and drive revenue generating traffic your way.
Tell Your Story
For any alcohol brand, from the smallest one-person operation to massive corporations, people want to know what they are drinking. They want to learn about the process and the passion behind the brand. Consumers want to get to know you.
This is why most breweries, wineries and distilleries offer tours. Think about it… When was the last time someone wanted to take a tour of a real estate firm or car dealership, or really most any other business establishment? Pretty much never.
But, when it comes to their alcohol, people want to know the story before their favorite drinks.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to jump on a flight to tour their favorite brewery, winery or distillery and experience a live, in-person tasting. That’s where your website comes into play. Think of it like an online version of your business. The purpose of your website is to foster a relationship with consumers, taking them on a virtual tour where they can learn about their favorite drinks and the history of your brand, meet the people behind the process, and find local outlets for purchasing your product line.
Dial In Your Branding
Like perfecting your recipes and processes, dialing in your branding is crucial to telling your story and connecting with customers at an emotional level that will make your drinks their go-to choice. Let’s illustrate this with a great example.
We’ve all heard of the great Sierra Nevada Brewery that started in Northern California. If you go on their website or look at any of their social media channels, one thing is very clear - Sierra Nevada beers are brewed for adventure. Their branding truly caters to the outdoor lover who wants to crack open a delicious, high-quality beer after a long mountain bike ride or hike.
Now let’s contrast this with something like Bud Light which, although it has a totally different flavor, also caters to a very different person. Bud Light is much more of a rowdy, event-driven party beer that people happily enjoy (and spill) while tailgating at sporting events or country concerts.
When we look at these two brands, it becomes pretty clear how they target their brand messaging to their customers. Both brands have robust websites that drive their branding home and both brands inspire people to live their best life while enjoying their favorite beer, of course. But each brand speaks a different language, talking directly to their unique audience.
Become A Resource
Alcohol is a consumable product, so repeat customers are key. However, because people need to go to the liquor store or browse down the liquor aisle to get their next bottle, they are going to see your product right next to 100 or more similar products. This can create a huge missed opportunity for repeat customers who may become distracted by flashy point-of-sale advertising or discount offers.
One way to ensure your customers go to the store specifically to buy your products is to create a relationship and provide them with the resources necessary to make the connection, and subsequently make the sale.
Let’s illustrate this point with another example.
Let’s say John is a huge whiskey fan, but he’s getting sick of his usual old fashioned cocktail so he’s looking to try something new. Typically, John likes Pendleton for his old fashioned, but with a new drink comes an opportunity to try something completely new.
So what does John do? He googles “best whiskey recipes.” Now let’s say that your website ranks #1 on Google for a complete whiskey recipe guide and, of course, each recipe calls for your specific whiskey.
If your recipe only calls for your whiskey without providing that something extra, you’re not necessarily solidifying the sale. But, if you explain how the hints of vanilla from your barrels create a sweet and smooth drink that’s hard to put down, John will want to go to the store to get your whiskey instead of just any low-cost brand.
Building value and making people virtually taste your drinks before they even go to the store is key. Becoming a resource for recipes and/or alcohol education is also a great way to build internet relevance, improve your SEO capabilities, and ultimately increase brand loyalty and revenue.
Help People Find Your Drinks
Now that people know who you are and you have their mouths watering for your drinks, it’s important to give them a resource to actually buy your products.
If your facility has a tasting room or restaurant, providing a robust section on your website with detailed information is very important. The whole goal is to give people a reason to come visit and buy from you. The more you can wow them, the more likely they are to come visit (and buy).
Another important resource to include in your website is a store locator or “Where to buy” page. This is crucial for people who are not located near your brewery, distillery or winery, but still want to enjoy your drinks. A store locator can help people find your products faster, connecting them with local businesses that stock your line of alcohol. This is also a great way to build a backlink structure with your retailers, a process that can drastically improve your SEO optimization.
Online Merch Store
Many people like to wear clothing or buy custom drinkware from their favorite brands, so offering custom products for sale on your website is a great way to create a larger online revenue stream.
Although an online store shouldn’t necessarily be the primary focus of your website, it’s a great way to add even more value, providing customers with an opportunity to connect with, and even promote, your brand offline. Logo products are a great way to promote even more brand loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising.
Summary: Increase Value and Desire
To summarize, a high-performance, branded website for your brewery, distillery or winery is a great way to help people connect with your brand on both a personal and practical level.
In a time that makes in-person interactions tough, creating a memorable experience for your customers online is a sure way to take them from an average customer to a raving fan.