Once a string of small-scale operations, craft breweries everywhere have worked diligently to carve out a profitable niche in the food and beverage industry. By creating popular products, using memorable brewery marketing tactics, and responding to customer feedback, the craft brewery market has grown rapidly over the last decade. In fact, it's estimated that the value of the 2021 craft brewery market reached $103.85 billion in the US alone, and by 2027, the industry is expected to top $200 billion.
Facing new competitors at every turn, many industry professionals are looking for ways to improve their brewery marketing strategies, attract more customers, and stay relevant in a crowded space. In this post, we review a variety of tips and strategies breweries can use to expand their audience reach, improve customer engagement, and bring in more business.
Take your brewery marketing to the next level with these 9 tips
1. Harness the power of email marketing.
Connect with regular patrons, website visitors, social media contacts, and potential customers through brewery email marketing. An effective marketing channel for breweries, email can be used to build a repeat customer base, target new customers, share product information, promote an event, advertise a limited-time offer, and so much more.
Create thoughtful, targeted email marketing campaigns that:
- Are attractive, well put together, and error-free.
- Have concise and attention-grabbing subject lines.
- Speak directly to a specific audience or demographic.
- Communicate a clear message.
- Include an enticing and focused call to action.
- Build excitement and engage recipients.
- Encourage readers to reply or respond.
Some of the most successful email marketing campaigns are targeted, personalized, and full of relevant content that your audience finds valuable. If you’re not sure how your audience will respond to an email campaign, send test emails prior to mass distribution.
Draft two versions of your email campaign and send each email to a different subset of subscribers to measure which is the most successful; this is known as A/B email testing. Test different subject lines, the “from” name, the main email copy, various layouts, internal images, length, and external links. Identify which emails have higher open and clickthrough rates to confirm which strategies are working. Build a campaign that performs well before distributing it to the brewery’s mailing list.
2. Market your location as a brewery and event venue.
Don’t limit the potential reach of brewery marketing by focusing solely on the products you produce or by only targeting leisure travelers and visitors. Chances are, your brewery is much more than "just" a brewery. Embrace the full potential of your property by listing it as a special event venue on the Cvent Supplier Network.
Whether you're hosting private events, parties, or corporate meetings, promoting your brewery on the CSN can expand your reach exponentially. Use the CSN to:
- Reach thousands of active planners all over the world.
- Connect with planners in relevant ways through interactive ads, branded pages, and custom microsites.
- Build your brand equity by turning your website into a lead capture machine.
- And much more.
Take Denver's Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery as an example. The brewery's CSN profile lists key searchable features up front — such as total event space, seating and standing capacity, meeting rooms and sizes, and amenities like AV capabilities and internet access — to not only help planners find the venue based on their specific requirements, but to give them a general overview of the brewery's event capabilities as well.
3. Utilize SEO to boost local search results.
Use search engine optimization to help ensure that your brewery, at the very minimum, appears in online search results. Online visibility is critical for the success of small, local, and niche industries like craft brewing. In fact, 76% of consumers check out a company’s online presence before visiting in person. If your brewery is not appearing at the top of search engine results, you’re missing an opportunity to reach a vast audience of potential customers.
When someone completes an online search for a business, restaurant, event venue, park, or brewery, geolocation services kick into gear. Geolocation tools use GPS services to identify the searcher’s physical location in order to recommend nearby goods and services. If someone searches for breweries in your area, for example, and your content is optimized to reflect your location, your business will appear in the search engine results.
Your target audience, whether that's consumers on the hunt for a tasty local beverage or event planners sourcing venues, may search keywords or phrases similar to:
- “Brewery near me”
- “Brewery in (city name)”
- “Craft brewery near me”
- “Event venues nearby”
- “(City name) event venues”
- “Wedding venues in (city name)”
Using Google My Business will give you some degree of control over the way your brewery listing appears in Google search results. While the search engine behemoth does not allow business owners to have full control over their listing, it does allow personal management to an extent. Once you have an account set up, ensure that your physical location is accurately reflected in the listing so that the geolocation services identify the brewery’s position and include the listing in local search results.
4. Stay ahead of the curve with interactive event diagramming tools and virtual walkthroughs.
Another way to maximize the opportunities for meetings and events at your brewery is by exploring event diagramming tools. With these tools, you can:
- Beat the competition with photo-realistic 3D that shows clients how their events will look — down to the finest detail.
- Allow planners to envision their event at your venue with interactive floorplans that you can integrate into your website and beyond.
- Leverage real-time and to-scale diagramming with visual seating solutions for in-the-moment collaboration between planners, vendors, and event staff.
- And much more.
Additionally, breweries can gain an edge over the competition by providing potential customers with a virtual tour of the property. Whether created to simply show off unique features and amenities or to give event industry professionals an in-depth look of the space without ever having to step foot on the property, virtual brewery tours have the potential to take your brewery marketing to another level.
5. Advertise on social media.
Whether you love it or hate it, social media plays an integral part in the way we market products, promote businesses, and engage with consumers. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok offer a variety of free and paid advertising opportunities breweries can utilize.
- Hosting interactive contests and sweepstakes
- Creating and promoting events
- Livestreaming events
- Sharing updates and exclusive content
- Scheduling brewery marketing content to post in advance
- Tracking post engagement and audience reach
- Answering questions and responding to reviews
Bottom line: Regardless of how well put together your direct mailers are or how strong your local reputation has become, if social media isn’t a part of your brewery marketing strategy, you’re leaving money on the table.
6. Hit the wedding market while it’s hot.
Whether your brewery is a hot spot for weddings or you're just starting to get into the space, there's no better time to maximize your exposure than the present.
One way to get your brewery in front of more customers is by listing it on Wedding Spot — a venue-only directory that allows couples and planners alike to search, price, and compare wedding venues. Showcasing venues of all sizes and styles, including breweries, vineyards, wineries, castles, gardens, and more, thousands of engaged couples find their dream venues on Wedding Spot each year.
Take Michigan's Fenton Winery and Brewery as an example. The winery, brewery, and special event venue's Wedding Spot listing — filtered under the platform's winery/vineyard/brewery category — provides couples and planners who are searching for a venue with key facts and features directly on the profile; photos, pricing details, capacity limits, amenities, restrictions, venue details, and much more are all front and center.
7. Boost your brewery's credibility.
Follow these best practices to boost the online viability of your brewery and build credibility with your audience:
- Design an attractive and user-friendly website that loads quickly.
- Show off your brand and let consumers know who you are.
- Give your marketing personality and keep it consistent based on the audience you're targeting.
- Display awards from third-party sites (TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.).
- Highlight brewing awards, training, and certifications.
- Share reviews and feedback from industry insiders.
- Link your website, social media pages, and event pages together.
- Regularly read and respond to visitor reviews.
- Ensure that content is consistent, up-to-date, and accurate across all platforms.
8. Host local businesses and events.
Word-of-mouth recommendations can have a major impact on a business’ success; it can drive business to your brewery or directly to your competitors. Increase your brewery’s presence and credibility in the local market by hosting community events. Open your space to corporate meetings, networking events, social events, club meetups, and other local groups. Generate additional buzz in the community by partnering with local businesses for cross-promotion opportunities.
9. Track campaign performance and brewery marketing ROI.
Use business intelligence tools to identify which brewery marketing campaigns are performing best and which channels have the highest ROI. Use analytics to monitor visitor activity on your website, social media engagement, post reach, and other metrics that measure marketing success. Eliminate the lowest-performing campaigns and reinvest into channels that yield the highest return.
Build a long-term brewery marketing strategy that works!
Unfortunately, most businesses don’t get lucky enough to have a campaign go viral overnight. Finding the right marketing strategy for a business takes time, effort, and consistency. Focus on creating a thoughtful brewery marketing strategy that will grow your current audience and continue to drive business, year after year.