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.
Influencer marketing is a rising star in digital marketing, and 92% of marketers believe it's effective. The 89% who have worked with an influencer intend to continue to do so and possibly increase their influencer marketing budget.
That's because social media users really listen to their favourite influencers. Influencers have become more influential than celebrities on social media, with 50% of millennials trusting promotions from an influencer compared with 38% trusting the same from a star.
Alcohol brands have been slow to work with alcohol influencers, citing unfamiliarity with the rules about promoting alcohol on social media. But spirits influencers are popular on social media, especially Instagram, and savvy alcohol brands should start planning their alcohol influencer strategy now.
In the blog below, we'll help you do just that. We share our top tips for working with influencers to promote your alcohol products in a fast-paced and ever-growing spirits industry.
Though influencer marketing works for any alcohol product, wine and cocktail influencers are the most popular. Instagram is the most popular platform for promoting alcohol products with influencers, and it's easy to see why. It's popular with millennials, who are of legal drinking age and open to taking advice from cocktail enthusiast influencers.
Plus, the platform's interface and functionality - an endless scroll of photo and video content - allows spirits influencers to post beautifully photographed cocktails or videos of themselves mixing cocktail recipes to their followers.
TikTok is less popular with spirits influencers, primarily due to the strict rules about promoting alcohol on the platform and the young age of its users. But although there are very few cocktail influencers on TikTok, they have the most significant number of followers. (Learn more about how your brand can work with TikTok influencers here.)
Many spirits influencers use a combination of YouTube, a drink blog, and Instagram to post their content. That's great news for your brand, as you'll get traction on all three platforms.
Key takeaway: For brands new to alcohol influencers, Instagram is probably the best place to start.
As mentioned above, spirits brands often hesitate to work with cocktail influencers, fearing they'll violate social media restrictions about promoting alcohol.
Most of the guidelines focus on displaying alcohol consumption, especially over-consumption. You're likely safe from legal restrictions if you restrict your alcohol-related content to showcase cocktail influencers creating delicious cocktails with your products.
Even if it were legal to portray drinkers of your product getting drunk, you wouldn't want to. Influencer marketing is effective because it's aspirational. Influencers sell lifestyles that are a bit more glamorous, a bit more exciting, and a bit more beautiful than the average lifestyle. But only a bit - they are still attainable.
Followers trust and want to emulate the influencer. So portraying your alcohol product as part of the magic of the spirits influencer's glamorous, exciting, beautiful world should be attractive, not messy.
Key takeaway: Don't depict alcohol consumption on social media, especially over-consumption.
We'll assume that you've done your buyer persona homework and know exactly who you're selling to (if you need help with that, check out this blog). And, naturally, your ideal customer is above the legal drinking age in the locality in which you want to sell.
When you start to identify spirits influencers who might help your alcohol product gain a larger audience, the first step is to explore the influencer's audience. Ensure they fit your buyer persona's demographic details like gender(s) and location. The audience should also align with your buyer persona's interests, tastes, and hobbies.
Micro-influencers are generally considered to be more effective than macro-influencers. Social media users trust them more than influencers with larger followings, and they are usually less expensive to work with than macro influencers. Working with a micro-influencer in each locality is a good strategy for targeting several niche locations.
Key takeaway: Micro-influencers seem more authentic to their followers, and they cost less to work with.
Study your current social media stats and your online sales. Look at potential influencers' interactions with their followers. Compile all of this information into a document that helps you understand what's feasible to achieve with influencer marketing and the timeline in which you want to achieve it.
Like any digital marketing strategy, influencer marketing isn't magic. It won't earn you 1,000s of followers overnight or translate to exponential sales growth within a month. It's part of a larger digital marketing strategy that combines to earn trust in your brand and loyalty from your consumers.
But with a clear, actionable strategy, influencer marketing can boost your social media presence and online sales.
Key takeaway: Set clear goals with specific, realistic dates and metrics to achieve. The more specific you can be with your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.
Once you've found the right cocktail influencer(s) and set internal goals for online engagement growth and sales conversions, it's time to have a frank conversation with your influencer.
Speak candidly about all interactions expected in your transaction and create a scope of work document that details:
Nail down specific numbers for every item on the list, and include a timeline for the collaboration. Establish deadlines for each deliverable and define what indicates that the project is complete.
Key takeaway: Treat an influencer the same way you would any other vendor by establishing clear expectations with a scope of work that includes numbers, dates, deadlines, and a definition of "project complete."
Now it's time to get creative! It's essential to come to the table with thoughts about the types of content your cocktail influencer should create for your brand, but it's also critical to listen to your influencer's ideas. After all, they're the cocktail connoisseur. The delightful drinks dynamo. The…well, you get the drift.
Top Instagram alcohol influencers know how to create compelling images and videos that will resonate with their audience. You know your alcohol product and what makes it a thrilling libation. Together, you can brainstorm on cocktail recipes, shaking cocktails videos, and other delicious cocktails content that will earn your brand points with social media users.
While we recommend having clear ideas about the logistics and contractual details of how you'll work together, don't be too prescriptive about the creative process. Let your brand ambassadors craft cocktails, suggest a food pairing, or promote a quirky cider cocktail combination that might spark interest in their following of cocktail enthusiasts.
Key takeaway: Listen to your influencer and their ideas about the content that has worked well for them in the past. Keep the creativity collaborative.
When your influencer marketing campaign starts to show results and the crates of products begin to fly off your virtual shelves, you should have a shipping solution ready.
At Tipple, we support your expansion into European markets by handling every aspect of the alcohol order fulfilment process, from customs clearance to pick-and-pack to shipping. Sign up today (for free!) and get ready for your alcohol influencer to send European sales your way.
Use these tips to help you get started planning a successful influencer marketing campaign: