UK supermarkets are full of cheap wines, from all over the world, with many people picking up a bottle because of label design or grape variety alone.
When people buy English wine however, it tends to be more of a considered purchase and they need a reason to buy it.
Being local to the customer is a good start, but telling the story about how you were the first commercial vineyard in Yorkshire, or how the chalk hills overlooking your vineyard mixed with sea air create a unique terroir, will grab attention.
It’s these stories that allow those visiting local areas to enjoy a local glass of wine on a different level to a wine they pick up in Tesco.
This is where you add value.
Bacchus is a hugely popular grape with UK vineyard owners and with good reason.
It grows well here and is delicious, but in the history of grape varieties, it is pretty new.
It was only grown into existence in 1933 and globally it isn’t as popular as other dry white varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc.
The result of this is there isn’t anywhere near the amount of content out there about it as other grape varieties.
This presents an opportunity for those growing Bacchus to create great content around the grape.
Content such as recipe pairings, flavour profiles, and the history of the grape is interesting. Creating great content around the grape and wine will allow you to increase engagement with followers and will help with SEO when it comes to establishing authority for that grape.
This isn’t true just for Bacchus of course, but as far as grape varieties go, it would be my low hanging fruit.
If you have a range of wines of differing varieties and colours, and you are a youthful, fun brand, something like a “which wine is for me?” quiz is a fun way to add shareable content to your website. When it comes to SEO for Vineyards, these pieces of content can really help drive traffic and attract backlinks.
Video content is a great medium for vineyard marketing. It allows you to bring your vineyard to life, and the personalities behind your great product.
Videos showing harvest and production will be of significant interest to wine fanatics and short interviews or bio’s with members of the team will allow you to bring your brand to life.
Social media is great for getting your brand visibility. As a marketing tool, it has revolutionised how marketers work.
It’s your opportunity to engage with your customer base on a personal level, gather their opinions, and allow them to discover the personality of your brand.
It’s imperative to use the right platforms for your brand. Instagram is a great choice for vineyards, it is perfect for artistic shots of your vineyard.
It allows people to experience what it’s like on a day to day basis at the vineyard.
There’s plenty of opportunities to engage in a live discussion on social media.
Several influencers hold live talks and samplings with vineyards as they talk through their product range and discuss what makes the owners tick.
Optimise Your Website
It’s amazing how many vineyards are still using old websites which aren’t mobile optimised.
Your website is the first place many potential customers will experience your wine.
It should display who you are and be a platform to sell the story of your winery.
Taking the time to re-platform to a website on a platform such as Squarespace or Shopify can pay dividends.
Clean, premium looking websites are going to allow you to convey your brand story much better than an old flash site.
Taking the time to create content for your site such as blog articles, will aid with SEO and increase traffic to your site.
With website platforms and logistics services available today, it is easier than ever for rural businesses to sell direct to consumer (D2C) via your own website (or Amazon).
By selling direct, you retain a lot of margin lost through wholesale and increase your reach outside of your local area.
By putting a strong Ecommerce focused strategy in place, and using PPC, SEO and other digital tactics, you open up the opportunity to increase revenue and profitability.
Subscriptions & Wine Clubs
Many visitors to English vineyards are tourists, either on holiday, or a team day out.
Given the local distribution of English wine, it means after the the trip is over, they no longer have the opportunity (easily) to pick up a bottle of your wine.
By offering subscription services, it allows you to keep a continual revenue coming in from customers (the average lifetime value of a subscription customer is twice that of those making a standalone purchase).
If you have a wide range of wines, you could also offer a wine club, where customers get a mixed case of your wines monthly (or quarterly) along with tasting notes and pairing recipes.
Adding value in this way is a great way to build brand awareness and reputation.
Become a Local Destination
If you are open on evenings and weekends for people to visit for a tour or bottle of your wine, shout about it.
Going to a local vineyard and sitting with a bottle of wine is an experience, more so than a trip to a local pub and their beer garden.
Let local travel sites and blogs know about you, so people visiting the area can find out about you, when researching their trip.
This is especially effective in an area that people might not associate with wine production, where a trip may have some added quirkiness.
There’s also the added bonus of some valuable backlinks for SEO.
Following on from this, get yourself set up in Google My Business, allowing you to be added to Google Maps, and claim valuable real estate on Google Search results pages when people search for you by name.
One thing a lot of vineyards have their disposal is space. Utilising this space to offer events is a great way to drive revenue and wine sales and increase your brand awareness.
Depending on your facilities and where you are situated, you could host a whole range of events.
If your vineyard is near the coast, it might be an opportunity to offer a fish and wine night, with locally sourced products paired with your wines.
Alternatively, you might decide to invite local food producers and even a local brewery and make your vineyard a destination.
Providing live music makes it a perfect destination for a warm summer’s night.
The options are endless from tasting nights to summer fairs, but all offer an opportunity to increase awareness of your wines and encourage customers to buy wine both for the event itself and to take home.
In a vineyard, you have something truly interesting. Something people want to know more about, so show them.
Tours can provide a viable weekly revenue stream, whilst allowing you to showcase your brand.
They also encourage those attending to stock up with your fabulous product to take home.
About Farm Gate Marketing
As a marketing agency for vineyards, wineries and other rural / agricultural businesses, our passion is for all things rural Britain.
We aim to bring our years of experience working in marketing for some of the worlds biggest brands, to provide a strategic approach to growing your business.
It’s easy enough to pick someone up to manage your social media, however we aim to put the marketing strategies in place to allow you flourish in all aspects of your business, and increase your reach in a targeted manner, across multiple channels.
Need help with marketing your winery or vineyard? Get in touch to see how we can help.