Before we get into the nuts and bolts of beer marketing, I wanted to discuss consumer behaviour.
One of the things I noticed is that most marketing campaigns for beer don’t take into consideration the 2 main consumer behaviours and how they interact.
The first one is customers who have never tried your beer, the second one is customers who have tried your beer.
While on the surface this may seem blindingly obvious, there are some factors we do need to consider.
The first is the people who have never tried your beer are non-responsive to offers of cartons of beer.
They typically want to try your beer before committing to the carton.
Second, people who have tried your beer respond to different offers.
For example, have you ever noticed that in bottle stores, people like to buy single bottles of beer, typically the people who buy single bottles are people who want to try your beer because it’s low cost, however people who have tried your beer would rather buy six packs or cartons, that’s because a single bottle isn’t great value compared to the per unit price of a six-pack or carton.
I discuss this in a lot more detail in my Brewery Marketing Guide and show you exact strategies.
Your goal should be to emulate these consumer behaviours in your marketing.
You can achieve this by creating marketing messages designed specifically for people who haven’t tried your beer and another set of messages for people who have tried your beer.
My goal for this guide
What I want to achieve in this guide is to show you step by step, a beer marketing strategy that you can implement today and start seeing results.
What I don’t want is you to come away from reading this an think “Well it seems good in theory…But how can I implement it???”
I want to be able to answer any questions you might have and to help you market your beer.
I personally recommend this strategy by selling your beer through your own online store.
If you don’t have an online store, check out my article on how to build an e-commerce website if you want a guide that will show you the whole process from scratch.
This is because it’s very easy to segment audiences with those who have purchased through your website vs those who haven’t.
If they have bought through your website, it is safe to assume they have either tried your beer or will try your beer as soon as it arrives at their door.
You can emulate this strategy other ways if you don’t have a store but will need some way to segment your audience by people who have tried your beer vs people who haven’t.
To do this we will need 4 things, a front end product, a back and product, an email service provider and a traffic generation method.
Front end offer
A front end offer is a product that is specifically designed to appeal to new customers.
99% of the time, a front end offer for beer would be a mix pack of your core range.
The front end product needs to be something that is low cost, low risk and gives the consumer an opportunity a chance to try your range of beers.
The next question is how big to make the mix pack, should it be a 4, 6 or 12 pack?
I believe that you are the best person at selling your beer and the best mix pack size is the number that you feel is the best way to experience your beer, if you have 6 core beers and you feel the one of each is the best way to experience your brand, then sell a 6-pack, but if you have 2 core beers and you feel they need 2 of each to really experience your beer, then sell a 4 pack.
The pack size should reflect what you believe because you know your beer better than anyone else.
Customers hate paying for shipping period. I have a rule I call the 25% rule because Dan Murphies connections charge a 25% commission for selling beer through their website, I would suggest if shipping is less than 25% of the RRP then you should offer free shipping on your front end products.
If shipping is more than 25% you could reconfigure the price so it is, or try to offer extra value to compensate (eg coupons, merch, stickers).
Packaging is something that most craft breweries forget about, not only does the packaging create a great experience for your customers, but also provides you with an opportunity to create lifetime customers.
I suggest creating handouts that you could put inside the mix packs when you mail them, they could have information about the beers, your brewery and a coupon code for future purchases, not only will that help build your brand and the relationship with your customers, but it will also help drive traffic back to your website and generate even more revenue.
Back end offer
Once we’ve introduced the customer to our beer with our front end offer, now is the time to build the relationship and start to maximise the lifetime value of each customer who is introduced to your brewery.
Back end offers are designed with customers who have tried our beer in mind.
Typically these are going to be bigger orders, such as cartons.
Loyal customers are also more likely to purchase your limited releases as well.
Shipping is going to be the hardest issue to overcome with back end offers, most fulfilment companies will allow you to bundle multiple items into one and allow you to ship it as one item as long as you can put them in a bigger box or tape them together.
So what a lot of breweries do is offer free shipping when you spend over a certain amount.
This can be a great way to generate a ton of revenue because people hate paying for shipping and are willing to spend more in exchange for free shipping.
Email Service Provider
An email list is a great low-cost way to keep in contact with your customers.
Most email service providers will integrate with your shopping cart software so when someone purchases from your website they will be added to your mailing list.
What that means for you is that when a new customer purchases your front end offer from your website, they are now added to your mailing list where you can follow up and promote your back end offers and limited releases.
There is a saying among direct response marketers, that “the money is in the list”. What that saying is referring to is the bigger and more engaged your shopping list is, the more money you make, the keyword is “engaged”.
Your goal is to create a community of customers that you can promote your offers to and generate sales just about on demand.
There are some things you need to consider about email marketing before starting.
The most common email host is Gmail which has the promotions tab and one of the best spam filters.
So you need to be asking your self “how do I avoid the spam filter?”
There are a few key things you must do to avoid the spam filter.
Having a good open rate
One of the things that Gmail looks at when trying to decide if your emails should be in the spam folder is the open-rate if you’re sending tons and tons of emails out with a low open-rate, this will signal to Gmail that your email is spam.
What you can do to avoid this is to scrub your list, remove anyone who hasn’t opened any of your emails in the last 6 months.
Keeping your mailing list full of people who love receiving your emails will go along way to help you keep out of the spam and promotions tab.
Verifying your domain
By verifying your domain, this lets your email service provider know that you own the domain and aren’t trying to spam people.
This can be easily achieved as most email service providers will have documentation on how to set this up, you will need access to the cpanel.
Having good subject lines
Copywriting is an important skill to have when improving your open rate, try split testing and trying out different subject lines to see what gets the best open rates.
Creating eye-catching subject lines can really help to get people to open your emails.
One of the biggest problems have is generating traffic.
I currently believe that Facebook ads are one of the best traffic sources, you have the ability to retarget website traffic, target people based on interest and you can even have Facebook analyse your customers and create a profile based on their data points and help you advertise to Facebook users who match those data points.
To cover everything the Facebook ad platform has to offer is too much to write in a single blog post, I want to show you how to retarget your website traffic.
Retargeted audiences can be a great way to generate sales as they are already familiar with your brand.
Before you even begin to market on Facebook you need to have the Pixel installed on your website.
The Facebook Pixel is a snippet of code that you install on your website, Facebook has created plugins that make it really easy for WordPress users.
To install the pixel, head to business.facebook.com, Click Business Manager>Pixels>+ Add new data source> Facebook Pixel, give your pixel a name, enter your URL and hit create.
Click on your pixel then click Set up> Install Pixel>Connect a partner Platform and follow the prompts that are relative to your platform.
Setting up your audiences
Now you need to create your audiences, your audiences are groups of people that you can target with your Facebook ads.
To create these in your Business Manager dashboard then click Business Manager>Audiences>Create Audiences>Custom Audience>Website Traffic.
Make sure the Facebook Pixel you just created is selected and increase the days to 180 and give your audience a name.
I recommend labelling your custom audiences with as much detail as possible, over time we’ll create a bunch of audiences and we want to be able to know which is which.
Now we’ve created a Custom Audience of people who have visited our website we can now create ads that target website visitors.
To create ads click Business Manager>Ads Manager, create your campaign and choose the goal of the campaign.
In the ad set level, select your Custom Audience you’ve just created and follow the prompts to create your Facebook ad.
Putting it together
So now we’ve got our front end offer, back end offer, email marketing service and Facebook retargeting ads, we’re ready to go.
You’ll want to send your Facebook ads to your front end offer, as you remember the front end offer is designed specifically for people who haven’t tried your beer.
Once they’ve purchased, they’ll be added to your email list which you can now send promotions and offers to people who have purchased your beer about your back end offers.
The goal of this strategy is to use the front end product to build a list of customers who know, like and trust your brand that you can send targeted messages to about your products.
The next step
We can start doing some really cool things with Facebook ads.
The next thing I would recommend is to make a custom audience like we did earlier but for website purchases, we can use this in our ads in a few ways.
In the ad set level, you can set the ads to include website traffic and exclude purchases. This will tell Facebook that you only want your ads to show to people who have visited your website but haven’t purchased from your website.
We use this because we want our front end product to be specifically sold to people who haven’t purchased from our website.
We can also set this audience as you targeting for our Facebook ads so we can retarget people who have purchased from our website, we can use this to promote our back end products on Facebook to people who have purchased from our website.
Lookalike audiences are what sets Facebook apart from every other ad platform.
You can give Facebook a custom audience and their algorithm will analyse everyone in that audience for common data points.
After this, you will be given a new audience that you can use to target your ads to new customer that match similar data points to those of your customers.
This is a great way to put your products infront of people who are just like your current customers.
Is this Beer Marketing strategy right for you?
This strategy requires you to have strong market research and data analyst systems in your business.
One of the overwhelming things I’ve noticed about breweries when marketing their beer is that they aren’t measuring their results.
What most breweries do is called the spaghetti method, throw it at the wall and see what sticks.
You need to be more methodical than this.
Data is the key and you need to have a system that you can use to predictable make sales.