A lot of business are on a budget. But, did you know about all the free ways you can advertise? we outline 9 below.
1) Use Google My Business to optimize for local search.
Google My Business is a free tool that can help you manage your internet presence on Google Search and Google Maps. Nothing annoys a person more than trying to search for a buisness and finding it, only to see that there is no information on their listing online.
The key takeaway here is you want to ensure that you show up in local searches. So if someone Google’s “wineries near me” or “liquor store near me” you want to make sure you show up! Google My Business helps you do exactly that. And the easier people can find you, the more wine sales you will have!
2) Check out Yext.
Yext is a website that aggregates all the listings that your business has online. To make sure you have a powerful SEO (search engine optimization) in your local area, you want to have your information be consistent across platforms.
If you moved locations and have two conflicting entries on the internet that hurts your SEO, not to mention could confuse potential clients, which means potentially lost wine sales! Keep your information consistent, and it will help your SEO ranking.
3) Publish content on Linkedln.
Linkedin is used by many of your fellow colleagues in the industry. If there is one thing I have learned in the wine and spirits industry it pays to have a good rapport and relations with your fellow vintners, brewers, and distillers. (Talking about that industry discount!)
Publishing content on Linkedln can help showcase your knowledge of the industry. If it really cuts the mustard, members might just share and promote it for you!
There is a lot of business to business (B2B) going on in the alcohol trade, so it really behooves you to be on Linkedin. 80% of B2B leads come from Linkedln.
4) Promote your website on your email signature.
Probably the lowest hanging fruit in this entire list. You should have a link in your email signature to your website. Think of every time you send an email. Not having your signature is losing out on free real estate!
5) Send email newsletters.
If you’re not collecting email addresses from your patrons, you should start! This will help you build up an email list to send newsletters out to. It might even help you build life long customers!
Now your newsletters need not always be about promotions. You can talk about other wineries in your area, share industry news, or promote the newest piece of content you might have. If you don’t think it’s a good strategy, take a look at this: 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI. (return on investment)
6) Network at in-person events.
Any industry event that is happening around you is a great chance to meet your neighbors and fellow colleagues. The industry-specialized nature of these events means you are mingling with people that you know have an interest in wine and spirits.
I have found that many a wine bar or wine shop like to feature “wine tasting” days. Volunteer to pour your wine and use your time at the event to get to know your local community. It’s also a great chance to collect email addresses!
I emphasize email addresses because I have personally found that these events are great exposure (my family has a winery that I worked for), but it's hard to see how they transelate into revenue. By making an effort to collect email addresses, you can guarantee that you walk away with something of value. Remember, those email addresses are a gold mine!
7) Create YouTube videos.
Did you know YouTube has a userbase of over one billion active users? That’s 1/3rd of the internet! You don’t need a professionally shot video. A stable surface, a smartphone with a camera, and some time are all you need to get started!
Take videos of your customers walking through your vineyard, and maybe even interview them. Show customers doing a barrel tasting. Showcase the lifestyle and enjoyment people are having at your winery. Remember, people buy into lifestyle before product.
Here’s something, how about making a video and then distributing it to your email list? Bring some traffic to the website and maybe even get some conversions into customers, or bookings for tastings, which means wine sales!
8) Post on social media.
Social media is as free as it comes! While advertising on social media costs money, posting, and circulating your content is free!
Create a social media account on your platform of choice if you haven’t already, and post interesting industry articles, videos, blogs, and photos. If your content is well-liked, people will even do free advertising for you via sharing it!
If you want to take a deeper dive into social media, check out our article on the matter here.
9) Encourage happy customers to give online reviews.
The most potent form of free advertising is still word of mouth. Just the other day I had someone suggest a taqueria to me (La Plaza in Santa Rosa) and sure enough, I found myself there for lunch the same day.
If you can get your happy customers to give you a Yelp, Google, Facebook, Tripadvisor, etc. reviews, it goes a loooong way to helping you out with wine sales and SEO.
The key here is to provide your customers or clients with stellar experiences that leave them glowing at the end.
There you have it! 9 easy ways to advertise for free! More exposure means more wine sales! I would suggest doing a brand audit before embarking on this journey. The most important thing with advertising (and wine sales) is consistency.
We wrote an ebook about branding that can aid you in being consistent with your messaging. You can download it below.