I live in a drizzly locale some might call a craft beer heaven—The Pacific Northwest.
There are probably five to ten craft breweries within eyeshot of my office. But craft brewing mania is no longer confined to beer cities like San Diego, Portland, and Denver.
You certainly don’t need me to tell you that craft brewing is now big business. I can picture a former Miller Beer-loving 20-something—now a wanna be craft beer sommelier—describing the mosaic of flavors found in one of his top IPAs.
Craft beer consumption has turned into craft beer culture and with over 4,000 micro breweries and growing in the U.S. alone, you can now see this brewing culture advancing throughout the world.
Plenty of craft breweries are effectively using social media to take on the big boys. In fact many are using their social media accounts to help with branding, marketing, and consumer engagement because they can’t compete with the super-sized ad budgets of giants like Miller and Budweiser.
This is great, but when it comes to creating a complete online marketing machine—one that builds brand awareness, spreads influence, and helps build a legion of beer-loving fanatics—many craft breweries are playing catch-up.
This shouldn’t be so, because the craft beer world is so beautifully setup for content marketing.
Why are craft brewing and content marketing so perfect for each other?
Because the industry is ideally setup to deliver the key elements of content marketing—storytelling, informative and entertaining content, and valuable information delivered to a target audience wanting to learn more and devour your content.
One of the earliest examples of content marketing done right was all about Guinness Extra Stout.
And content marketing will help grow your base of potential customers, and attract enthusiasts to your brand. Those that don’t just want to drink your beer, they want to learn more about your product, your team, and your methodologies. And they are also more than willing to evangelize your craft brewing brand.
Here are the 4 Reasons Why Your Craft Brewery Should Start Content Marketing…
1. Craft Brewing is Storytelling.
Think about it. Your product is just the start. Everything else you do is story. Most industries are not as exciting, or top-of-mind, or as fun as the craft beer world. So you have that going for you, but there is also your story which is everything you say and do…
Why did you start your brewery? What turned you on to craft beer in the first place? What is so special about your brews, your company, and your people? What are brewing techniques you use? And what is your opinion on the industry as a whole? I could go on but I think you get the picture.
And your beautiful little story should be integrated in every media touchpoint—social media, blogging, networking, video, and more.
Talk about your industry, your competitors, your fans, and the brewing community you thrive in and love.
In my humble opinion, you as a craft brewer should be planning your blogging strategy now—to win more fans and customers, to grow your brand, and to get the media attention you so richly deserve.
People are wired to listen to stories and remember them. Tell yours.
2. Craft Brewing is knowledge.
People who love craft brewing usually want to learn more about it.
And content marketing is all about teaching. And your brewery has a captive audience just waiting and wanting to learn more.
Your story is just one component. The other is about the following…
Consider the craft and science of brewing. You have an enormous amount of information to give away, really. Okay, you may not want to give away your recipe for Hopmazing Dark IPA, but you could teach people about your brewing equipment, techniques, and standards.
This might include a video series detailing your brewing methodologies or creative experiements with test batches.
Just provide your audience with the information they are looking for, make it easy for them to find, consume, and share.
3. Craft Brewing is Community.
I often ask companies the following…
Would you prefer …
c. Brand evangelists?
a. People who like your product?
b. Individuals who buy from you again and again?
c. Customers who buy your beer, like, know, and trust you, brag to all their friends about you, and keep coming back for more?
I think the choice is a simple one.
But here’s what makes it even better: Most businesses don’t have your great product—a golden colored beverage that’s a gold mine for relationship-building.
Beer lovers have a passion for the product, and their love just might bleed when it comes to talking about your product.
And the best way to build this loyalty is to build a content marketing machine to drive engagement on every level, from social media to industry events.
Tell your story through video, blogging, and podcasting. Share your stories. Answer fan comments. Thank people for their support. Promote your business through contests and giveaways. Share that amazing double IPA recipe from one of your loyalists.
4. Craft Brewing is Entertainment.
When it comes to thinking about big goals—brand-building and audience-building—pure entertainment brings great value.
We’ve mentioned craft brewing techniques, beer lover’s passions, and telling your story on video, but here’s the best part: Craft brewing can easily become entertaining subject matter, for you to produce and your audience to consume.
The basic message is the fact that it is fairly easy to have fun—and create entertaining content—when it comes to the combinations of craft brewing and content marketing. Now think about storytelling, go back to point number 1, above and think about how you can bring some entertainment value into your brewery’s story.
Add some drama, humor, and bit of comedy to the mix. Learn what your audience likes and deliver it. This is when they will engage and spread your word like never before.
So, is your craft brewery ready for all the great things content marketing can bring? Customers? Media exposure? Fans? Business growth?
Maybe it’s time for your brewery to embrace the content marketing bandwagon.
A version of this post was originally published on Craft Brewing Business.
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