If you think that content marketing is just for software companies and food bloggers, you’re wrong. Content marketing is one of the most powerful ways that you can build brand awareness with new consumers and reinforce brand loyalty with your existing customers and fans.
Content marketing is used to attract prospective customers and transform them into brand-loyal fans by creating, publishing, and distributing free valuable content that builds trust and rapport with your audience. The basic idea is that you attract new customers by giving them something they value, and then continue to serve them content that strengthens their relationship with your brand.
Ever signed up for an email newsletter to get your hands on a free guide or how-to article? That’s content marketing. Watched a video on Instagram? That’s content marketing. You can use this extremely effective promotional strategy to increase brand awareness and keep your current fans actively engaged.
And in a time where in-person interactions are limited, the more you can connect with your audience online, the better. Digital marketing tactics, like content marketing, are a great way to build those brand relationships with fans from a very safe distance.
If you’re curious about how to use content marketing for your craft brewery, I’ll give you some examples.
This is one of the easiest ways to provide branded content for your fans. Blogging also comes with a lot of bonuses for craft breweries on a tight marketing budget, like driving more traffic to your website, boosting your SEO rankings, and giving you a platform to do what craft breweries do best, tell great stories.
There’s no need to push specific products or include sales pitches in your blog posts. The more authentic you can be with topics that just relate to your products or your business, the more your audience will consume your articles. Blog posts are great for adding educational content to your website, social media channels, and email marketing campaigns.
If you take the time to learn a little bit about how to effectively use keywords in your writing, you can drive even more traffic to your website. Some examples include recipes for food that incorporates your products, “how-to” articles, staff spotlights, and your origin story.
Video is one of the most effective marketing tools out there. It consistently performs better than any other form of media across multiple marketing platforms. Brand-focused videos can be a great way to connect with your target audience.
Don’t be intimidated by video, they don’t have to be fancy or professionally edited, in fact, most consumers appreciate a few mistakes for authenticity purposes. Videos can be used on your website, social media channels, and embedded in marketing emails. And if you’re selling your product in the wholesale channel, videos are a great way to conduct staff training sessions about your products from a safe distance.
Just remember that a great marketing video should educate, entertain, engage, and/or inspire your audience in some way.
Did you recently get a rave review on Google or Yelp? Did someone just tag you in a post on Instagram? User-generated content, like reviews, testimonials, and tagging or mentioning your brand, are all forms of content marketing that you can use to engage with your target audience.
If you have ever reposted something on Facebook or Instagram when your brewery got tagged by a fan, this is a great example of how to use user-generated content in your marketing efforts. Any piece of branded content that was not created by you is considered user-generated content, and a word of mouth referral is one of the best ways to advocate for your craft brand.
The best way to execute this tactic is to engage in what’s called social monitoring, which requires you to monitor any mentions, tags, or hashtags of your brand on social media so that you can interact with your fans and repurpose user-generated content. Bonus points if you can snag a high-quality photo or video of someone engaging with your products, just remember to always give credit to the creator of the content.
Craft brewing is a specialized skill, along with serving beer, tasting and appreciating beer, and how to pair beer with food. Most of your audience doesn’t have these skills, so a great way for you to connect with potential customers is to teach them something. Content marketing can help you do that.
You could write a guide about certain beer styles or how to pair certain beers with dinner. You could make a video about how to properly serve certain styles of beer or give your audience a peek at how your production team brews a full batch of your newest release. Any type of marketing materials that you can produce that will help educate your audience will always resonate with your fan base because it makes them feel like an insider or part of your team, which is a strong connection point that helps build up brand loyalty.
Since most of these materials can be produced in house, content marketing is one of the most budget-friendly ways that you can create strong connection points with your target audience. The key to success here though is to really know what your target audience wants, so make sure that you’re also taking time to get to know what your ideal consumer wants and needs. Once you master both these skills, you can start seeing tangible results for how your marketing efforts will lead to increased sales.
Julie Rhodes is the owner of Not Your Hobby Marketing Solutions, the only educational services and consulting company for the craft beverage industry that teaches you how to take the guesswork out of your sales, marketing, and distribution plans. Follow along on FB and IG @notyourhobbymarketing.