You own a business that serves your local community. You understand the importance of marketing. Marketing brings new customers through the door. It also improves relationships with existing customers. But you keep wondering: “What is good craft brewery marketing?”
Marketing is essential for your business to thrive in the new economy.
Knowing that you should market your business is easy. Putting in the time and effort is much more difficult. It takes a plan. And a team.
Because there are so many routes you could take, there’s no one right answer for this. There are many different strategies and tactics you can use. You’ll find the greatest success by implementing a combination of marketing methods.
1. Get Involved in your Community
It should go without saying that you service a certain local area. You don’t need to spend money trying to bring in new customers from a state or 2 away. It’s a waste of your limited resources. Local businesses serve their community. There’s no need to try to market yourself nationally if you only work regionally.
Sponsoring a local sports teams shows you care about your community. Community involvement gives you publicity and the opportunity to create real in-person relationships.
2. Become the Local Beer Authority
Being viewed as an authority is awesome! People love talking to, and buying from, authorities in their subject.
Teaching classes on how to brew beer, do beer tastings, or teach about the different types of beer and what makes them unique. These lay a foundation for you to become a local authority. And that holds more value than almost anything. Except for producing great beer.
3. Create an Online Community Using Social Media
Social media is amazing for business for 2 different reasons!
It gives you the ability to see what people are saying about your business when they’re not there. Thirty years ago, businesses would have paid good money for the type of intelligence you get for free. Don’t ignore that.
It gives you another way to reach potential customers. Use it to build new relationships or strengthen existing ones.
When someone connects with you on social media, engage with them. Talk to them. Don’t post once every 3 months and think you’re doing SM right. Post relevant content on a regular basis, daily or even more, depending on the platform. Create a calendar for it if you want. Give your customers and regulars a constant source of information all year. Tell them what you’re tapping soon and what it took to make it. They’ll love you for it.
Most adults spend almost an hour every day on Facebook. Shouldn’t you get some of their time? You can even use it to build online forums so your customers can teach and learn from each other. And being the expert, you become the the focal point.
4. Don’t Forget Local SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential. But you’re a local business so Local SEO will be your bread and butter.
Local SEO is being ranked in Google’s Map Pack. This is the map section people see when they’re searching for a local store or service. And if someone’s searching on their phone, they may be on the road looking a good beer at that exact moment. You want them to find you, not your competition.
5. Build an Effective Website
A customer’s first interaction with you will probably be on your website. Make sure you give a good first impression.
Your website needs to:
There’s a big difference between beautiful and effective websites. People enjoy beautiful sites, but if your website doesn’t bring customers in, it’s useless.
Effective websites are still attractive. They don’t have the distracting features beautiful websites include. Effective sites have:
And, they make you money. Your craft brewery marketing and website needs to make you money. If they don’t, they’re useless.
6. Use Content Marketing to Educate Customers
Content marketing includes things like blog posts, ebooks, and YouTube videos. These bring visitors to your site and educate them about why you’re the local beer expert. Then you get to sell them the best, healthiest plants.
Use a blog or F.A.Q. as an opportunity to teach people about your beers. And you use it to add new content (and valuable keywords) to your site. This increases your ranking for what’s called longtail keywords. These are lower-difficulty keywords that send more traffic to your site.
Keywords (longtail and short tail) are one of the most important factors on your website. What keywords do you want your website to rank for? What is a bock? What makes beers taste different? Make sure your website includes a blog post about your current beer styles. And mention which ones you currently have in stock.
Basic fact: Your customers can’t find you for content you don’t have or keywords you don’t focus on.
7. Run Google Ads Campaigns
Google Ads is (somewhat obviously) Google’s pay-per-click ad service. They give you the ability to have your ads displayed to Google users who search for certain keywords.
When someone searches for “Craft Brewery near me”, local breweries show up. It should be your ad that appears on the search results page. If you’re in Atlanta, “Craft Brewery Atlanta” should show your ad. Using Google Ads, target your local area using service and location-based keywords. Wherever your business is, you should own the local keywords.
Use your ad description and headline sections to speak to your potential customers. Highlight what’s coming in soon. Speak right to what people are searching for in this season.
8. Email Newsletters
Email newsletters are part of your content marketing except they don’t go to your blog. They go to your known customers’ email inboxes. Email newsletters are about education and reaching out to them. You don’t want to be “Out of sight, out of mind”.
Don’t. Be. Boring! Keep them amused, entertained, and educated. If you don’t, they’ll unsubscribe faster than Mario Andretti in a Ferrari.
Always ask people if they want your newsletter. Sending it to people who didn’t ask for it is spam and you’ll get blacklisted so your emails won’t even hit their inboxes. Useless.
Send them out on regular basis. At least once a week, on the same day. Use scheduling to accomplish this. You want people to expect emails from you. Sending them at random intervals is another great way to get people to unsubscribe or mark you as spam.
Be interesting. Be informative. Be sure to send them out at least once a week.
9. Diversify Your Keywords
Keyword research is essential. Period. End of sentence.
If you want your site to rank well in Google, you need to know what words you want to rank for. You early on, you want to go after longtail keywords, but ones that get traffic. Build up your keyword list and go after harder keywords as you progress in your SEO journey.
There are many “vanity keywords” that you can rank for but they don’t bring in any traffic. There’s a reason they’re easy to rank for, they’re worthless. If it’s not a term real customers search, don’t go after it. Too many business owners and managers waste money and effort on worthless keywords.
Don’t forget to use current or seasonal keywords. If it’s time for darker beers (colder seasons), start working on those keywords 3 months before you need them.
Solid SEO doesn’t happen overnight.