In recent months, vaccinations have become a beacon of hope for microbreweries in Portland, among many other Portland bars and restaurants. However, it will still take some time before these businesses are entirely out of the woods. While the immediate future remains uncertain, specific microbrewery marketing strategies can help these businesses continue or adapt as the situation progresses. Through a combination of diligence and patience, microbreweries will have the ability to overcome continuing struggles and thrive as the economy grows.
To help when advertising a microbrewery during the pandemic, the following are some specific strategies to implement.
Use Digital Channels To Keep Customers Up To Date
Businesses must stay up-to-date on the latest regulations that might affect their operations. It’s also essential to be proactive about adapting to those changes while keeping customers equally informed. You can more easily achieve this by using your digital channels to update hours or dining restrictions on your website and social media platforms.
One way to keep customers informed is to create a page on your website dedicated to COVID-19 protocols for customers and employees. When people visit your website, you can make sure the page is prominently featured and easy to find. From there, you can list guidelines in place such as mask policies, hands-free delivery, or steps employees are taking to maintain a sanitary space. If you have outdoor seating options, you can promote them on social media by posting pictures of customers dining outside.
If you and your customers remain consistently informed, your business will have a much simpler time opening back up as the effects of the pandemic fade.
Develop Content In-House
Like other bars and restaurants, microbreweries often rely on carry-out orders of six packs and growlers at locations other than your taproom, like local beer stores or other restaurants. Name recognition is crucial when that’s the case, and so is developing your reputation. You can post content on websites or social media that demonstrates your expertise, which builds recognition and helps you engage with customers. By regularly creating in-house content that connects with audiences, you can begin to build a loyal following so people will pick your brews wherever they find them.
There are several ways to build a solid brand for your microbrewery through in-house content. For example, you can use either a blog or videos to create compelling content. In the process, you can touch on a wide range of topics, including techniques you’ve perfected, industry changes that you’re navigating, and highlights of your best brews.
Creating in-house content can also help you with brand development by shaping your voice as an industry leader. Over time, with enough high-quality content backing your brand, you’ll likely find your customer base rapidly expanding.
Embrace Loyalty Programs
Both word-of-mouth advertising and user-generated content are vital in encouraging more organic growth. If you want to benefit from these assets, develop a good loyalty program that facilitates development while showing appreciation for your customers. In turn, loyalty programs can help acquire new customers while keeping your existing ones loyal.
Using a loyalty program, you can ask people to recommend your products. You can also use incentives such as photo or video contests on social media to create user-generated content, offering prizes like free merchandise or drinks. If you’re afraid of giving too much away and losing money, you can implement these strategies on a smaller scale. You can offer discounts to repeat customers after purchasing a certain number of brews using a rewards card or a punch card. If you switch to reusable bottles for your growlers, you can provide discounts to customers who bring old bottles back when they purchase more beer from you.
Continue Holding Events Virtually
Even as businesses and other public facilities reopen and people can return to your establishment, virtual events will remain relevant. Holding virtual events or accommodating remote customers during in-person events could ensure you include people at home.
For microbreweries, hosting tasting events allows you to showcase new drink lineups while interacting with your customers. During tasting events at your location, you can offer an at-home version for people to buy ahead of time, enabling them to drink along with a live host on social media. Additionally, you can hold trivia events online, offering an at-home version where people can submit their answers using a timed quiz while people in the restaurant hear the questions.
By monetizing and regularly holding virtual events of any kind, you can essentially bring your business to people’s homes in new and exciting ways, as well as expand the amount of people who can participate. These events could even become an integral revenue stream that keeps customers coming back, regardless of where they’re located.
Implement an Effective Microbrewery Marketing Strategy
Keeping all of these tips in mind, you can get the most from your business’s content and ads. As the pandemic begins to wane and competing businesses continue to open up, you’ll have a head start as you work to adapt to the “new normal.” By using digital channels effectively, developing top-quality in-house content, launching loyalty programs, and holding virtual events, you’ll be able to stay well ahead. Taking these steps will also help you and your customers stay up-to-date with changing regulations, keeping you more compliant. Ultimately, this will help you succeed in the long term, long after restrictions have been lifted.