Why Digital Ambassadors are Important to Wineries
Things in the world right now are weird, to say the least. No matter which side of science you are on, the current global pandemic has wreaked havoc in everyone's daily lives, including their business. As of this writing, many wineries are still closed while others are offering outdoor tasting experiences. Long gone are the days of intimate cave tours, barrel tastings, winery tours and unique experiences - at least for now. Virtual tastings are becoming a 'thing' with smart savvy winery operators, but there are so many options in the world. What's the best wine on the market? This article will explain some of the ways that digital ambassadors (wine bloggers) can help wineries.
In today's digital world of electronic payments, on-demand everything and the universe at our fingertips, the visibility of wine is absolutely crucial. Wine bloggers can help wineries and wine brands expand their digital footprint with exposures to new audiences.
Whether it's Gen-Z, millennials or basically anyone with a smart phone, wineries need to be in front of their audience. And while most wineries are family-owned and operated, posting to social media and reaching potential customers can be a daunting task. Wine bloggers thrive for this type of work. They love posting their pictures, videos and stories. And they do it well! Let's look at some other reasons wine bloggers should be considered for brand growth and awareness:
Using the services of a wine blogger is much cheaper than hiring an advertising agency. Instead of purchasing cookie-cutter ads with a bottle against a white background and paying dearly for it, use a wine blogger. The costs? Zero. Nada. The only expense is a few bottles of wine and they can often reach the same or larger audience than a marketing agency.
I've said it a million times. "What's a good bottle of wine" is the most common question wine bloggers get asked. The majority of wine consumers have never purchased wine outside of their local grocery store or liquor store. They are completely blind to the infinite number of selections that are available from wineries around the world. Wineries looking to fill their seasonal allocations, build their wine club memberships or just sell more wine should find a team of bloggers and join their tribe.
Selling more wine isn't always as easy as it sounds. If you're like us, you don't just write about the wines. If the wine knocks your socks off, you will tell EVERYONE you know about how great it is. We also encourage our readers to visit the winery web site and sign up for their newsletter. In a recent experiment, when we signed up for a mailing list from a winery web site, 82% of those sites sent us an automated email within 30 minutes welcoming us to their mailing list. Of those, just over 70% also included a sale or special as a potential buyer. Bloggers can get those new users to wineries. And if a blogger isn't providing a link directly to the wine or winery and/or tagging them in social media, you need to find another digital media ambassador!
For wineries, they shouldn't just expect to just send a couple of bottles to be tasted, written about and forgotten. Once a blogger gets the nod, it should be a deeper and long-lasting connection with the new wine partner. We encourage our wine partners to keep us informed of any promotions they have so we can pass that information along to our readers. Continuing partnerships build bridges between the consumer and the proprietor, hopefully evolving into long lasting relationships and lifelong customers.
If you take only one point away from this article, this next detail is probably the most important one that should resonate with winemakers, owners and people who control the purse strings. Are you ready for the secret sauce? People. Trust. Bloggers. Let's face it. Wineries do a phenomenal job at creating their labor of love and they can publish a two-page mini essay about the terroir, the rocky slope that helped shape the unique grape clusters with blah blah blah..... But consumers are realize that wineries are in the business of making a profit. Believe it or not (this is tongue in cheek), we have actually purchased wines that do not smell or taste anything like what was described on the bottle, point of sale card or tech sheet. Digital wine ambassadors will always be honest and readers appreciate that!
Wine bloggers and bloggers in general are part of an all-inclusive and growing community. Their main goal is to reach audiences that seek information about products without feeling intimidated. There are no dumb questions when it comes to readers/followers/fans. They feel comfortable from behind their keyboard in the comfort of their own home and they can learn at their own pace. Bloggers are a vital connection between businesses and customers.
Finally, let's discuss a few considerations when your winery is choosing a blogger to partner with:
- If a blogger is going to post about how much they did NOT like a wine, they're not for you!
- If a blogger doesn't take the time to research your business and learn more about you, find someone else.
- If a blogger doesn't stay in touch with you and follow up with their reviews, why would you use them?
- If a blogger isn't informative, entertaining and knowledgeable about the products they are reviewing, you need to keep looking! (Hint: Check out their work).
- If a blogger wants to charge you to taste and share your wines, they have a disconnect with reality. Your wine samples are in lieu of any fees. Move along.
In closing, remember this. The next time you receive an email from a blogger asking to share your wines, take a few moments to consider these points before tossing that note in the trash. If it's not a good fit or not in the budget, that's completely understandable. If you think there is a good opportunity for a partnership, we would obviously love for wineries to consider Jeff & Melissa (that's us!) at Drink The Bottles. Cheers!