Winery tasting rooms are always looking for new ways to entice tourists to come in and experience what they have to offer. While tourism may not be lacking in wine regions like Napa and Sonoma, the competition is often fierce for wine country visitors anywhere in the country. Given this reality, you need to differentiate yourself in such a way that visitors see you as a “must-try” destination. Here are a few creative ways to attract customers to your door using digital tools.
The Biggest Challenge: Attracting Customers to Your Door
There are plenty of ways you can deliver a great experience once a customer is standing in front of you but getting them through the door is usually the most significant challenge. These days, it’s the brands that are willing to step up and step out that are getting all the love. They know what they’re doing better or differently than their neighbors and aren’t afraid to flaunt it. The way they are doing this is by applying a carefully orchestrated (or sometimes not so orchestrated) digital strategy, whether it be using social media, search engine optimization or other digital levers. Or a mix of everything. Different brands need different things.
Today’s digital tools are designed to help you use creativity to drive innovation and bottom-line, trackable results. In other words, you can reach your audience on their own turf without diluting your brand personality or sacrificing your uniqueness for the sake of commerce. By applying some of these tips and techniques, you will be able to capture business that reaches beyond the usual foot-traffic, inspiring a new audience and encouraging your loyal customers to keep coming back.
Paid Social Media Ads
When done well, social media ads can be very compelling. Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram support video ads as well as YouTube, providing a lot of leeway in terms of how you present your brand. It’s a very effective advertising platform, especially when you start using lookalike audiences based on your current mailing list, fans or website traffic. The Facebook pixel can be your new best sales friend. Some of the benefits of social advertising include:
- Targeting your audience and extend your reach beyond your existing followers
- Accessing detailed analytics to find out how well your ad is performing and converting
- Identifying new audiences (lookalike audiences)
- Tailoring your ad spending to your budget
Google Search Ads
Google search ads are a type of search engine marketing (SEM) that delivers your ad to people based on the search terms they are using. The better your keywords and key phrases, the more times your ad will be delivered. You will be reaching people who are already looking for businesses like you, so in a sense, they are pre-qualified to convert. All you have to do is make sure your landing pages are optimized and ready to work their magic.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a collection of strategies designed to help your website gain visibility in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. SEO is especially helpful in driving local traffic to your website (and location), which is what you are undoubtedly trying to capture. Good local SEO will ensure you are found in mobile search and that you appear in the map-pack—that short list of locations that pop up on top of other recommendations when you perform a search. To reach this honorific mecca, make sure you claim your Google My Business listing and completely pimped out, including plenty of photos, the placement of which you can control now. And be sure to use the “Posts” feature to communicate about events or sales and some of the newer features like Welcome Offers. SEO encourages organic (unpaid) website traffic, and it plays very well with the SEM techniques mentioned above.
Online listings, ratings, and reviews
Practically every business has at least a few platforms where their customers have rated and reviewed their experience. The more online ratings and reviews you have, the better you will fare in search engine results. These are definitely signals to the search engines that you are a great place to visit, boosting your search rankings. To make the most out of this angle, be sure that your company information on these sites is accurate and up-to-date. Claim your listings and respond to all reviews, whether negative or positive. Encourage your happy visitors in your business to rate and review you on your preferred platform, whether it’s Trip Advisor, Yelp (good for SEO), Google (ditto), Bing (yep) or Facebook.
Instagram users are highly engaged, with 60 percent of its users logging in at least once a day. 37 percent of all internet users in the world are on Instagram, making it a powerful force for visual storytelling and something you can easily tap into. Every wine, every meal, every chef, and every property has a story to tell. A full one-third of the most-viewed Instagram stories are from businesses. You should be taking advantage of IG Stories on organic social media, for sure. But since many accounts don’t have the minimum 10,000 followers to have a link in their Story, consider the paid social ad side of this platform (see above). Offer a discounted tasting, feature a unique experience, or tout your recent wine scores to drive foot traffic interest. If you offer tastings in a red barn, by all means, talk about that. Other tips: 1) Use professional-looking photos; and 2) use engaging, funny (if brand appropriate) and brand personality-driven messaging. People don’t want to be sold, they want to be enticed and entertained. This example from Gundlach Bundschu Winery is all personality and this type of attitude is perfect for the Instagram audience. What can you say to a potential visitor that would be entertaining or enticing?
Loyalty and Membership Programs
Digital loyalty programs are a great way to engage your audience and encourage them to keep coming back. Repeat customers become influencers in their communities so this is a key audience to stoke. Whether you offer points, discounts, incentives, exclusive offers, or personalized tasting experiences, this is a way to differentiate yourself from your neighbors. Customer loyalty can be tracked through your point-of-sale or through an app. Similar to a club (without the commitment), users benefit from value-added promotions, and you benefit from increased sales and detailed analytics that tell you more about your customer’s preferences so you can continue to up your game.
To discover more creative ways to attract customers, reach out today.