Wine marketing is similar to most other marketing strategies (including restaurant marketing and wholesale marketing). For a winery, while you are marketing a specific product and brand style, you’re still implementing longstanding marketing practices-including when it comes to selling wine by the glass. That said, there are plenty of unique wine marketing strategies you can use that are specific to wineries and wine sales.
While there’s nothing wrong with using some basic wine marketing practices like showcasing a lamb wine pairing, a winery is an opportunity to make a marketing splash-with some restaurant marketing ideas to boot. From basing a campaign around your label art to hosting vineyard events, wineries are unique in so many ways. It's your job to take advantage of that unique situation and make the most of it with your marketing.
Winery Marketing: 16 Top Winery Marketing Plans
You may be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but how do I find unique wine marketing ideas?” It’s hard to come up with winery marketing plans that haven’t been used, or are completely new. Some might say it’s impossible, but at BinWise, we don’t believe that’s the case.
Yes, winery marketing is a practice that’s been around for a long time. Yes, there are lots of people working on new winery marketing ideas every day. However, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. There are always new ideas out there. These 16 ideas–some old, some new, and some reworked tricks of the past–will set you up for success.
16. Gain Influence
Working with an influencer is an efficient way to get your brand in front of your target audience on social media. A good way to dabble in influencer marketing is to reach out to wine influencers. Start a conversation and see if they’d be willing to work with you.
15. Gift with Giveaways
The realm of social media, influencer marketing, and everything in between has brought out a marketing strategy that lights up any audience: giveaways. Yes, giveaways existed before social media, but the way news spreads on socials has reinvigorated giveaway potential.
With wine and other alcoholic beverages, you need some set rules for giveaways. As long as you cross your Ts and dot your Is, you can bring in visitors with some complimentary wine.
14. Make It Virtual
While the COVID-19 pandemic may be winding down, the last few years have opened everyone’s eyes to the joy of virtual events. You can tap into this with virtual tastings, webinars, and even virtual winery happy hours. If you can do it over Zoom, you can make it virtual.
13. Follow Through from Vine to Wine Shelf
This tip is a more general marketing strategy. With any promotions and marketing practices you use, the most important thing is follow through.
Your sales need to be on behalf of quality wines. If you’re hosting parties, make sure you have someone on staff who knows how to plan a party or a happy hour event. With everything you implement, make sure you stick the landing.
12. Wine Raffle
Everyone loves a raffle. The thrill of buying a ticket for the chance to win is difficult to resist. Raffles are even better when the item you can win is something truly exceptional, like a great bottle of wine.
As a winery, you’re in the position to host wine raffles. Once a season, or once a year, is a good frequency for hosting raffles to bring in guests and promote your wine.
11. Family Fun Days
When you hear family fun days and winery in the same sentence, you might think, “How do family activities mix with wine?” Sure, there are definitely families out there that can’t all gather and enjoy wine together.
That said, wine isn’t the only thing wineries have to offer. If you want to host a family day, you can mix up your menu with kid-friendly treats and drinks. You can also offer attractions that appeal to folks of every age.
10. Wine and Paint Night
Who doesn’t love to paint while they drink some wine? Nobody, that’s who! This isn’t an original idea, though; it can be found in bars and living rooms across the world.
It’s a common idea for good reason. Supplying some canvases, paint, and brushes alongside your wine will bring out everyone looking for an artistic retreat.
9. Vintage Sale
Every winery has vintages they are particularly proud of. There are even some years of wine that are rarely sold on the open market. To thrill your winery visitors, a small vintage sale of wines that are usually kept in the cellar (with ideal wine storage temperature) will draw in curious guests. Maybe even some sparkling wines will make an appearance.
8. Strive for Sustainability
It doesn’t need to be Earth Day for you to celebrate and practice sustainability. From refining production practices (with planning around manufacturing inventory) and producing canned wines to composting, there's plenty to do to make your winery more sustainable. Putting those practices in place and using direct to consumer advertising will bring in everyone who wants to celebrate steps to protect the environment.
7. Wine Blog
It’s a classic move, but that’s for a reason. Starting a blog for your winery is an effective way to bring in curious wine enthusiasts. You can structure your wine blog any way you like; the most important thing is that it highlights your wines and your brand. However, don’t start a blog with the expectation of a thousand followers in a month. You’ll need to put some work into SEO, content marketing, and web design. You may even want to hire someone who specializes in the above work to come in and create your blog. With the right work, a blog can bring in online traffic and more wine sales.
6. Build Your Brand
Starting a wine blog and many of the other items on this list are related to this crucial step: building your brand. Yes, you’ve got a winery, but what makes your winery unique? Showing off what makes your winery special will bring in curious folks to taste your wines and go home with a bottle.
5. Wine Tasting Kits
What goes better with wine than a wine kit including glasses, a corkscrew, a wine aerator, and maybe even a wine aroma kit? Crafting some custom wine kits to sell after a tasting is a way to sell some wine and some fun treats all in one.
4. Understanding Ingredients
In recent years, more folks have become much more interested in the ingredients that go into what they’re buying in the food and beverage industry. With wine, it’s easy to know that grapes are among the ingredients. If you mix in anything else, or you’re particularly proud of the grapes you use, sharing your ingredients list is a great idea.
3. Email Marketing for Wineries
From standard email marketing to eCommerce email marketing, email marketing for wineries is vital for your marketing plan.
You can use email marketing for sending weekly newsletters, sharing promotions, gathering loyal fans for your winery, and much more. The value of email marketing can’t be stated enough. A good email campaign can get your winery on the minds of all the right people.
2. Bottle Label Galleries
One thing you’ll put a lot of artistic effort into is the design of your bottle labels. Maybe your label will be a stylized list of ingredients. Maybe it’ll be a drawing of your vineyard. It could be anything. The most important factor is that it’s important to you. Bottle labels deserve to be preserved, not just recycled when people finish a bottle. To do that, you can create a gallery wall of your label art in your winery. You can even sell postcards or magnets with the label designs on them.
1. Work with Your Website
A lot of your advertising will involve work on your winery website. Your site should reflect the care you put into every aspect of your wine business. To personalize your site, you can include anything from a virtual gallery wall of your bottle art to a full wine list. Whatever you do, make sure it shows enough to bring folks to your winery.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wine Marketing
Like all other forms of marketing (including eCommerce marketing), wine marketing is multi-faceted. There will always be more to learn, and more to practice.
As new faces join the winery scene, winery marketing will continue to grow alongside the vines. These frequently asked questions will lead you further down the road of advancing your winery marketing plans.
How Do You Promote Wine?
The best way to promote wine is to let the wine speak for itself through your marketing practices. The marketing ideas you implement should all be focused on getting people to taste your wine one way or another. Once you get them in the door, the hard work you’ve put into the quality of your wine will do the rest.
How Do You Market Wine to Millennials?
To market wine to millennials, you need to give people the feeling of a good time with a glass of wine. The writer of this blog post is a Millennial herself, and there’s no one better to give you advice on marketing to Millennials than a Millennial. Unique wine advertising that shows what your wine has to offer will get you selling to the Millennial generation. Social media campaigns and working with influencers will also help. Of course, a great price tag on the wine itself will also help.
What Do Wine Marketers Do?
The primary job of wine marketers is to find the unique attributes of the wine and execute exciting ways to showcase those attributes. Basically, a wine marketer is responsible for coming up with ideas similar to the 16 ideas outlined above. Then, once they’ve got the ideas, they work to implement them and track how those practices are promoting the wine.
How Can I Promote My Wine Online?
Some of the best ways to promote your wine online include email marketing, paid advertising, and social media campaigns. The world is online these days. Getting your wine seen via people’s computers and phones is one of the best ways to get more people to buy it.
Wine Marketing: Ads and Aubin Blanc
As you go through the process of opening a winery, you learn firsthand the answer to: “What is a winery?” You’ll discover how each of these marketing tactics works for you. Some may work better, while some won’t quite fit your own winery. If you host winery weddings, you may discover some specific advertising that brings more couples to your venue.
The most important part of your wine marketing efforts is that they work for your winery. Pull from any source that offers relevant advice, and always come on back to the BinWise blog as questions come up.