How To Fuel Brand Growth And Boost Alcohol Sales
You can accelerate growth in online alcohol sales by forging authentic customer connections and working with vendors who support your company’s vision.
Alcohol brands that want to expand their customer base to larger geographic regions (including expansion to European markets) might turn first to social media as an expansion tool. After all, social media channels are brilliant at putting relevant content in front of an engaged audience, honing each content recommendation based on the audience's interests, and targeting users in specific locations.
But just as social media marketing tools get more nuanced, the marketplace becomes more crowded and complex.
Brands can no longer ascribe to the "Field of Dreams" marketing strategy that might have worked in years past: "If you build it, they will come." You may build amazing content for your alcohol brand, but that doesn't mean social media followers will come to enjoy it.
Instead, brands must focus on communicating who they are, what they do, and who they do it for.
Current online marketing is hyper-refined. It's the opposite of one-size-fits-all. It's bespoke, tailored to resonate with a specific audience. And because it's consistent, it feels friendly and familiar to audiences on social media.
If you follow these steps below (with patience, consistency, and a realistic timeline), you'll start to build traction for your alcohol brand on social media.
To build deep connections with a social media audience, you must understand them. And part of understanding them is defining precisely which types of users you want to attract to your alcohol brand.
Your alcohol product is not for everyone. If it's an IPA, it's not for drinkers who prefer sweet or fruity drinks. If it's a sparkling white wine, it's probably not for a big group of lads on a stag night. Have a deep think about who drinks your products and why they drink them.
Beyond its flavour profile and texture, does your product bring your drinkers closer to an aspirational lifestyle?
Does it help them feel more integrated into the culture they love?
Write a "buyer persona," a detailed description of your ideal drinker. Then, find drinkers who fit that profile and survey them on their likes and dislikes about alcohol products similar to yours.
Ask them about their drinking behaviour, such as why they drink products like yours, how often they consume them, and what they expect to pay for them. You can also gather socio-economic data like gender, monthly entertainment budget, and location to help flesh out your understanding of your buyer.
Be sure to ask them which social media platforms they use most often. That will help you steer your social media strategy to the right channels.
Key takeaway: Ask a panel of your ideal customers why they drink products like yours, how often they consume them, and which social media platforms they use. Use your friends, family, and current social media audience if necessary.
The best alcohol branding is consistent. As you design your content strategy (your plan for the types of content you'll post, where you'll post them, and when you'll post them), be sure that every planned post "sounds" like you.
People like the familiar. As your social media audience grows, your alcohol brand should start sounding familiar to them. They should be able to look at your posts and think, "Yeah! Classic (Your Brand)! They're always so (insert adjective)!"
Your post timing should be consistent, too, so try to post at set times and in regular intervals.
But posting in the same voice doesn't mean your content should be stale or boring. It just means that your language is consistent with your alcohol brand identity. A focused, familiar brand identity builds more customer loyalty for alcohol brands.
Key takeaway: Keep the language consistent in all of your social media posts and social media advertising.
Alcohol brands can harness the power of user-generated content (UGC) to build a sense of community with their followers. Anytime a customer posts content related to your brand, you can comment on their post and share it with your audience. Images or videos of drinkers enjoying one of your products or visiting your vineyard/distillery/tasting room are examples of ideal UGC.
Plus, sharing a USG is a great way to reach new audiences. That user's contacts will see that you're posting their acquaintance's content, making them curious about your product and more likely to take a chance on a new alcohol brand.
Social media platforms often have strict alcohol advertising policies about content promoting alcohol consumption.
UGC helps you promote your product without violating those policies. When choosing what UGC to share, be sure it isn't content that promotes reckless alcohol use or could lead a young person towards alcohol-related problems.
Alcohol companies should show their customers consuming alcohol responsibly and hopefully help them avoid the negative consequences of dangerous alcohol use.
Key takeaway: Encourage followers (with shoutouts, prizes, or discounts if possible) to post videos or images of themselves drinking your alcohol product or visiting one of your establishments.
We've said it before, but influencer marketing is a handy tool for many alcohol brands on social media. Influencer marketing involves finding a social media user with a large following who will promote your alcohol products to their followers, usually for a fee or free products.
Look for influencers whose audience is similar to your buyer persona - similar ages, genders, interests, tastes, etc.
Start a private conversation with them to explore the types of collaborations they prefer and their fees. Sometimes, influencers with smaller followings are seen as more genuine, so think about the kind of brand advocates your audience would like best.
And, of course, ensure the influencer and their audience are of legal drinking age in the locations you plan to sell. You don't want to promote underage drinking, and social media followers who are not of legal drinking age are less than ideal for your sales growth.
Key takeaway: Find five influencers whose audience aligns with your ideal customer and send them each a message about a possible collaboration.
As with any relationship, alcohol brands can build solid customer relationships with reliable communication.
Make social media conversations a priority, and never leave a question unanswered, a comment unnoticed, or a mention unthanked. People appreciate genuine communication with a relatable, accessible brand.
Key takeaway: Take every opportunity to communicate with your audience by answering every question, comment, or mention of your brand on social media. Conduct a search right now for your brand's name on social media to see if you've missed any.
Your social media campaigns will become more efficient at meeting your goals as you track and analyse their results. Develop a process for measuring the outcomes of your alcohol posts that gathers:
The information you gather will help you refine your social media posts by guiding everything from post timing and frequency to the effectiveness of your influencer marketing.
Key takeaway: Track the outcomes of every social media post to see which garners your audience's most enthusiastic response. Then, create more posts like those.
It's increasingly important to supplement your organic social media results with paid alcohol advertising. While each social media platform has rigid rules about alcohol advertisements, you can still create alcohol ads if you stay within them.
Paid alcohol advertising allows you access to even more powerful targeting tools when creating your alcohol ads. You'll also have access to helpful analytics tools to measure the success of each ad.
So, no matter how small your budget, it's a good idea to put some of it towards alcohol advertisements on social media.
At Tipple, we support the big dreams of the emerging superstars of the alcohol industry. You may be trying to grow a social media following today, but before you know it, you'll be ready to ship to a global customer base.
Sign up now to explore how we can help you sell your alcohol products to European markets hassle-free.
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