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How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Brewery

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By Tera Dacek

If you spend all of your time plugged in, you totally get digital marketing, right? Not necessarily. Looking at the landscape, thinking about your brand story and goals, as well as creating a plan often requires a bit of unplugging. We caught up with Drew Vetere, the media specialist at Long Trail Brewing Company, to get the online scoop about developing a craft beer digital marketing strategy.

A digital marketing strategy–does this really exist, and if so, is it developed quarterly or yearly?

We develop a yearly strategy that focuses on quarterly releases, key promotions, and events like our Century Ride to benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. The strategy’s main objective is to develop buzz around our brand.

Our strategy includes social media promotions that center around new and limited releases. Most of the media or content we create is used on our various social media channels, as well as on our website. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are our priority.

Why do you feel it is important for Long Trail to develop a digital marketing strategy?

Our digital strategy coincides with our brand release schedule, with the end goal of leveraging our digital marketing efforts into increased sales. So it’s important that the sales, production, and marketing teams are all on the same page.

What about your strategy gives Long Trail a competitive advantage in the industry?

These days, any little bit [of digital marketing tactics] helps, but the truth is, everyone is contributing in some way to the digital marketing world, so it’s hard to say.

Some content is better than others, but it is difficult for us to quantify whether the “likes” and “shares” translate to beer in people’s glasses.

What must every digital marketing strategy include?

A budget and resources help.

Every digital marketing platform is tailored for a specific type of content. I think every strategy needs some talented folks behind it who understand the differences between Instagram and Facebook posts as well as those who have the ability to create strong content in-house. Aside from that, I have a journalism background, so I believe in a solid storytelling approach.

The brands I admire in the digital marketing space include Allagash and New Belgium. They both do a nice job curating their content to tell ongoing, captivating stories that extend beyond their portfolio and go deeper into the lifestyle and culture of their brand.

Overall, I think a good strategy includes a wide range of topics that paint a broader picture of brewery life beyond sexy bottle shots.

To develop both a strategy and tactical plan for your craft brewery, learn about UVM’s Digital Marketing in Craft Beer and Sales and Social Media in Craft Beer courses.

Business of Beer

–Tera Dacek is a consultant and freelance writer. She most recently worked as Marketing Manager for Alchemy and Science. When she unplugs, she can be found at her local mountain or one of the many wonderful breweries in her home state of Vermont.