Marketing wine to Millennials

Relying on current sales and current customers is a recipe for fizzling out. Your business can’t just be profitable. It’s also got to be sustainable.

One of the biggest challenges for winery owners right now is knowing how to market to the next generations. So many wineries rely on Baby Boomers to buy their wine and join their wine clubs.

Right now, most wine is consumed by Baby Boomers. But it’s not going to stay that way.

An article in Wine Spectator quotes Rob McMillan, senior VP of Silicon Valley Bank’s wine division:

“We have 10,000 [Baby] Boomers a day that are hitting retirement. And they’re being replaced by financially disadvantaged people. The tradeoff isn’t good.”


Here’s what’s happening.

By 2021, Generation X will take the lead in wine consumption. However, this won’t last long because Gen Z is made up of only around 50 million people, compared to the 75 million Baby Boomers and 80 million Millennials.

So just five years later, in 2026, Millennials are reported to become the largest generation of wine drinkers.

Are you ready for this huge shift?

The average wine consumer will change drastically over the next eight years. And this isn’t bad! It just means your marketing strategy will have to evolve, too.

marketing wine to millennials

How to market to Millennials and Generation Z’ers

Millennials (born between 1981 and mid-1990’s) and Generation Z (born in the mid-1990’s to mid-2000’s) are different than previous generations because of their preference for all things digital.

While Baby Boomers and Generation X grew up with traditional media talking at them – Billboards, radio, TV – where there was zero interaction between brands and consumers, Millennials and Generation Z now expect interaction and a personalized experience.

Think of a dinner party where the person next to you talks about themselves the entire time and never asks you a question. This is how Millennials and Generation Z’ers view most brands.

Now think of the same dinner party where the person next to you asks you questions, and you also ask questions and it leads to a conversation. This is a much enjoyable dinner party for all involved. This is how Millennials and Gen Z want the online brand experience to be.

In terms of marketing, this means shifting from conventional advertising to content marketing strategies like email marketing and content creation.

marketing wine to millennials

Here’s another way to think about it: There’s a marketing saying, “Know me. Like me. Trust me. Buy from me.”

Each generation goes through these marketing stages in a different way.

Thirty years ago, it was about getting people to come into a physical store to make a purchase. Their customer journey went something like this: A consumer found out about companies through newspaper ads, television, billboard or radio, then went to the store, talked to the salesperson about the product, bought the product, and used it. The product worked, so they became repeat buyers.

Since Millennials and Generation Z are so digitally focused, they want this same customer journey to play out online.

Brands need to think of the entire online customer journey, so that customers can know their brand, like them, trust them and ultimately buy.

Who are Millennials?

For a host of cultural and historical reasons, Millennials prefer to spend their money on an experience or an event, not just a product. They’re socially conscious and prefer to collaborate with others and with brands (which is why social media is so important to this generation).

millennials marketing wine

They’re idealistic, inclusive and want everybody to win.

Their favorite way to communicate is by text or messaging. When making purchases, this generation is heavily influenced by social media ratings, friend’s thoughts, reviews, and recommendations.

 

Convenience is King for Millennials. If they see a photo of a product, they expect that they can immediately purchase it online.

This generation is also all about loyalty, and they want to be rewarded for it. They love loyalty programs and subscription boxes. Millennials are about twice as likely to use a subscription service as other generations.

Who is Generation Z?

Generation Z grew up knowing how to swipe a smartphone before they could walk. This generation, around 86 million in size, is known for liking privacy and finds more value creating things instead of watching or sharing. They prefer to communicate with images over text.

Since this generation is so young, their buying power is estimated at $176 billion per year, but research has shown they have influence over their family’s purchases. This generation grew up during the recession and are known for their love to save and looking for deals.

marketing generation z

While Millennials are all about texting, Generation Z prefers to communicate with each other through images, videos and emoji. Social media channels that appeal to this generation include Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. If you’re targeting Generation Z with a digital ad, use an image and 5 words or less of text.

They love the process of creating images and content, and they love to show others how to do something. This is why YouTube is their platform of choice. 95% of Generation Z uses YouTube and are particularly attracted to how-to content, like applying beauty products or gaming.

Real people, like YouTube stars (not just celebrities or brands) can create and distribute content, which lets Gen Zers feel like they’re getting a real, authentic experience. With Gen Z being all about authenticity, they prefer things that look less produced and more real.

Why it’s tricky to reach these two generations

Both of these generations have a short attention span: Millennials have about 12 seconds and Generation Z have only 8 seconds.

Traditional forms of advertising just don’t work with either of these generations.

Millennials particularly hate aggressive sales pitches, traditional media, and long-form content, while Generation Z does not like major celebrities nor promoted content. Plus, Generation Z doesn’t want to be tracked and prefers to remain anonymous.

Generation Z is known as the hardest generation to engage, because they tend to look past messages that say promoted or sponsored. They instead want personalized messages and experiences that are unique only to them.

How to target each generation

If you are targeting Millennials, host events that will increase interaction like live events, experiences, and online contests. Plus, build a loyalty program.

Make sure your brand is on review sites like Google Business and Trip Advisor, and respond to all reviews (both good and bad).

Generation Z likes to find deals online and Millennials prefer apps for discounts, like Groupon.

Both generations love video.

We often tell our clients that video produces more online conversions than any other content, across multiple generations. For Millennials, they consume video across several social media channels, like Instagram. Brands wanting to reach Generation Z can use YouTube with short, 6-second video ads.

Both generations are socially responsible and prefer to research online before making decisions. This is good news for marketers, because brands can make sure they participate in ratings and reviews. Plus, you can communicate your benefits on online.

Optimize your mobile experience. Make sure your website is responsive. 75% of Generation Z rely on their smartphone for their entire web experience, including purchases.

To better deliver a customized experience, segment your email list into different age groups and market different content to different users.

Another key tool for these younger generations is for brands to work with Influencers. They often require a flat fee or a percent of commissions for users using their code at checkout. They tell their fans about your product and off giveaways or contests with your product. Building a relationship with an influencer is important and should not be a one time thing.

You can find influencers for your brand through Ninja Outreach, Snap Influence and Keyhole.

Here’s the gist


Both Millennials and Generation Z want to have a conversation with your brand online, not just be talked at.

Brands need to consider the online customer journey across all web and social media platforms.

Rather than shying away from these next generations, think about how you can build community online and create a brand that younger generations can interact with, know, like, trust and buy from.

 

Not sure if you’re poised to attract Millennials and Generation Z?

Schedule a One-on-One

7 Tips to Improve Your Winery’s Advertising Effectiveness

Last month in our Wine Marketing spotlight we talked about How to Identify Effective Advertising Channels for Your Winery. One of the strategies we discussed was requesting a current media kit. (Hint: sometimes you can find this on their website.)

Depending on the type of media (print, online, radio, outdoor, direct mail, email, etc.), the media kit will tell you who their consumers are and how many people read the magazine, watch the show, listen to the station, drive past the billboard, receive mail in that zip code, visit the website, subscribe to their email, or use that social platform.

The media kit also contains their geographical coverage, available ad sizes, design specifications, and standard ad costs. Plus, most importantly the media kit will tell you if their target consumer is the same as your target winery consumers. (Not sure who your target consumer is? Read The 6 different wine consumers.) If any of this information is missing, don’t hesitate to ask. It’s difficult to make sound advertising decisions without it.

Here are 7 more tips to keep in mind:

  1. If asked, don’t provide your advertising budget. It’s like going to buy a car and they ask how much you can pay per month when all that really matters is the price of the car.
  2. Ad price, ad size, ad duration, and payment plans all can be negotiable. Ask for discounts such as end of the month, quarter, or year specials. Sometimes you can get a ½ page ad for the ¼ page price, or a ½ page ad for the multi-insertion rate, or special section placement.
  3. Pay attention to editorial content; many media kits include a calendar that outlines the content for a specific month. For example, if your winery has a restaurant you may want to have a presence in the food section. If you offer accommodations, you may want space in the travel section. And if your winery serves as an event venue, you may want to place your ad in the weddings section.
  4. Ask your advertising sales representative questions such as:
    • Are any nearby wineries advertising with them; if so, how do their ads perform?
    • Where will your ad be located; the front of the magazine or the home page of the site, or on a billboard located behind a tree? (This happened to one of our clients before we got involved!)
    • What content will be near your ad; is it competing or complementary? Typically, it’s not a good idea to have a competitor’s ad right next to yours unless inviting comparison is part of your overall strategy.
  5. Make sure to track results and analyze advertising performance. Use a code, a special website landing page, phone number, or some other way to help gauge how many actions (clicks, calls, visits, sign ups) or dollars your ad generated.
  6. Frequency matters. Don’t buy one ad and then pull the plug. Spend the money to ensure that your target audience has the chance to see your message. Only after repeated exposure – some experts say 7 times! – will they remember you and take action.
  7. Be wary of advertising sales reps who try to pressure you into a limited time deal; they don’t always have your best interests at heart. Perform your due diligence on any new advertising opportunity to see if it’s a good fit for you.

Above all, stay focused on your advertising goals. We’ve seen small business owners get thrown off by an expensive package because they were excited about being on TV, or the radio, or featured in a magazine; that money might have been spent more effectively elsewhere.

Navigating the world of media buying can be challenging until you get comfortable with it. For those of you who cringe at the thought of pouring over media kits to decipher the best way to proceed, we do offer media buying, marketing plans, and other marketing services to make your life easier!

How to Identify Effective Advertising Channels for your Winery

Which ad is right for your winery?

After our most recent Will Design for Wine webinar, one of our participants said their winery often struggles with trying to figure out which media channels to use for advertising. This is a common challenge for many small businesses!

There are a lot of advertising options out there including newspapers, magazine, direct mail, billboards, radio, and cable TV. Then there are online channels such as Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Instagram ads. Mobile marketing is gaining momentum, too, as more and more people interact with the world from their phones and tablets.

So you have a marketing budget. (You do, right?! If not, decide how much money to set aside each year for promoting your winery; one industry calculation we’ve seen is 15% to 35% of annual profit.) Okay, then. How do you decide where to invest your limited resources to achieve your goals and maximize your return on investment?

Don’t invest any money to drive traffic to your winery or website until you have a cohesive brand that communicates how you are different from the competition. Your website, wine labels, in-store signage, social media sites, email newsletters, packaging, etc. should all have the same logo, address, phone number, tagline or message, font, and images. Include a call to action. Consistency in your brand helps people remember you… we discuss this in greater detail in the top 5 branding tips for wineries.
  • Think about your ideal customers and their lives. What is the percentage of men vs. women? What is their age range? Are they single or married, working or retired, rural or urban, Millennials or Baby Boomers? Do they travel? Are they parents with young kids? (You can have different market segments, but focus on your primary audience, which should be either the largest or most profitable group.) Once you know who you’re trying to reach, make sure to advertise in places where your target audience spends time. For example, if your ideal consumer is retired baby boomers, you’re not going to reach them on Instagram regardless of how fast it’s growing. It just wouldn’t make sense for your winery.
  • Compare advertising channel suitability. Ask advertising sales representatives for their Media Kits; many can even be found online. This document will tell you who their consumers are and how many people read the magazine, watch the show, listen to the station, drive past the billboard, receive mail in that zip code, or visit the website. It also will detail their geographical coverage, available ad sizes, design specifications, and standard ad costs. Eliminate any advertising channels that do not reach your target audience.
  • Review the remaining advertising opportunities side-by-side and consider your ROI before investing. It’s a marketer’s dream to have enough money for everything, but chances are you’ll have to prioritize based on budgetary constraints. You can look which channel has the best conversion rate, the lowest break-even point or cost per action, and so on. Just pick one method to predict effectiveness and stick with it. Here’s a sample Ad Vehicle Analysis & Tracking tool available to Power of Wine Marketing members:
  • Power of Wine Marketing Advertising Spreadsheet

    For example, in Vehicle A there is a lower circulation meaning fewer people will see your ad. Yet because the ad cost is lower you need fewer new customers from this investment to break-even. Even though the conversion rate is slightly lower for Vehicle B, it’s not enough to offset having to bring in an additional 10 new customers.

    Once you look at the numbers, you’ll be able to make much more informed choices about where to invest your marketing budget.

    Announcing new webinar series: Will Design for Wine!

    Give us just ONE hour and we’ll give you insight on how to create and promote an unforgettable winery brand! You’re invited to attend our first-ever branding webinar on Thursday, April 9th from 10 am – 11 am CST called Why Your Winery Brand Should be like Weird Al.

    It’s completely FREE, and my marketing expert Michelle and I are going to discuss the strategy behind Weird Al’s personal brand that led to a successful decades-long career, plus provide relevant social media tips you can really use to promote your winery. To register, just visit http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB57DD87814E39.

    Want a sneak peek? We thought so!

    Weird Al is such a great example of embracing modern marketing and we want to share how your winery brand can do the same. We will discuss:

    • How to create a unique brand
    • How to use Social Media like a pro
    • How to keep your content relevant
    • How a partner can help you grow
    • How and why consistency matters

    And there’s so much more we want to share! The goal of our new Will Design for Wine webinar series is to educate, inspire, and empower you throughout the year. We’ll cover a variety of branding and marketing topics to help you stand out from the competition, learn how to use social media, improve your advertising, optimize your website, keep tabs on your brand reputation, and more.

    We can’t wait to dive into our first fun and informative webinar, and answer all of your questions. To join us on April 9th, sign up now at http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB57DD87814E39. We’re looking forward to it!

    Visit booth #830 at the North Coast Wine Industry Expo

    North Coast Wine Industry Expo
    Happy #WineWednesday! I’m really looking forward to attending the North Coast Wine Industry Expo in Santa Rosa, CA on December 4th and hope to meet you in person!

    Stop by and visit me at Booth #830 at the North Coast Wine Industry Expo in Santa Rosa, CA for your chance to win a free registration to the Power of Wine Marketing online course. Designed specifically for boutique wineries, this proven step-by-step program will help you increase sales, get more customers, and save time.

    Jam-packed with strategies, tip and tools to help you brand and promote your winery, the Power of Wine Marketing puts years of branding and marketing knowledge gained from working with wineries around the country at your fingertips!
     
    Want a little preview? Check out a FREE 3-part video training series I created where I share some of my best wine branding and wine marketing tips:
    • Video #1’s topic is 5 Keys to Building an Unforgettable Wine Brandto help you define your brand the right way.
    • Video #2 reveals 11 Mistakes to Avoid When Marketing Your Winery. This video training alone will save you countless hours of hair pulling and sleepless nights (oh, and thousands of dollars too!).
    • Last, but not least, Video #3 is all about 9 Free Tools to Save You Time & Hassle. Learn easy ways to survey and email your customers, how to edit a picture without expensive software, and how to keep track of your brand online.

    All you need to do to join this exclusive wine marketing group AND get access to the free training is to provide your email address. That’s it! Visit www.GetMoreWineryCustomers.com now to get started on your personal path to wine branding and marketing prowess!

    See you at booth #830!

    Cheers!
    Becca Ritz, Owner of Bauerhaus Design

    5 Keys to Create an Unforgettable Wine Brand + 9 Free Online Tools

    Wine marketing video seriesDear Wine Branding & Marketing Fanatic (Wait. Is that just me?!),

    In case you’re a winery owner and missed it, I’d like to personally invite you to join an exclusive group. A free support system, if you will. Years of branding and marketing knowledge gained from working with wineries around the country is within reach.

    My goal is to empower you with the knowledge and tools you need to increase your sales and get more customers. To that end, I’m almost ready to share a comprehensive online solution to help you grow your winery!

    In the meantime, my passion for design, wine, and helping small businesses is well known. And I’m VERY excited to announce that all three videos in my FREE wine branding and marketing training series are ready and waiting for you!

    Video #1’s topic is 5 Keys to Building an Unforgettable Wine Brand to help you define your brand the right way and stand out from the competition.

    Video #2 reveals 11 Mistakes to Avoid When Marketing Your Winery. This video training alone will save you countless hours of hair pulling and sleepless nights (oh, and thousands of dollars too!).

    Last, but not least, Video #3 is all about 9 Free Tools to Save You Time & Hassle. Learn easy ways to survey and email your customers, how to edit a picture without expensive software, and how to keep track of your brand online.

    All you need to do to join this exclusive wine marketing group AND get access to the free training is to provide your email address. That’s it!

    Visit www.GetMoreWineryCustomers.com now to get started on your personal path to wine branding and marketing prowess!

    Cheers!
    Rebecca Ritz, Owner of Bauerhaus Design, Inc.

    P.S. What’s holding YOU back from growing your winery? Simply send me an email at [email protected] and let me know!

    P.P.S. While all of the information and tips in this free video training are applicable to any small business, the content is specifically designed to help winery owners and winery marketing managers. If you’d like me to create something specific for YOUR industry, send me an email and let me know!

    3 ways a blog can grow your winery

    Owner of Bauerhaus Design, Rebecca Ritz, answers a wine marketing question from Phyllis at Meramec Vineyards. She wants to know:

    “Do I really need a blog? I am already so busy.” – Phyllis at Meramec Vineyards.

    I recommend that all of my winery customers blog because it will:

    1. Build Trust

    The online consumer’s four step decision-making process is: “Like me. Know me. Trust me. Buy from me.”  Today’s consumers want to know your story and what makes you unique before they buy from you. They want to feel like they know you.

    A blog post (just like this one) is a great way for people to get to know you. Talk about your life and passion for your company. This will lead people to have the perception that they know you.  People are more likely to purchase from businesses they feel like they already know.

    2. Get More Website Visitors

    Companies that blog typically have 97% more inbound links than those that don’t, which means more search engine traffic.

    There are 2 ways to get more customers to your website. One is via Pay Per Click ads and the other is by blogging. With a minimum of 2,000 words per month, you will rank higher than your competitors and receive at least 20% leads online.

    3. Convert Visitors to Leads

    Every blog post is a chance to convert a visitor to a future customer. Salesforce reported that it still takes 7 touch points to convert someone to a buying customer. Because of this, you need to insert a Call to Action on each blog post so you can reach that potential customer at least 6 more times.

    Call to Action Examples:

    • Sign up for our email newsletter
    • Follow us on Twitter
    • Like us on Facebook
    • Take a survey
    • Sign up for an event

    Do you have a wine marketing question?

    Email any wine marketing question to [email protected] and you’ll be entered to win our Wine marketing course – a new comprehensive 100% online course for busy winery owners that’s coming soon. Learn the marketing skills you need to get more customers and grow your winery! Sign up to become a special VIP for our Online Wine Marketing Course to stay up-to-date on course development and receive free insider tips.

    Like this video? Tweet @bauerhaus with #SellMoreWine and share your thoughts or questions!

    3 Tips to Reach More Winery Fans with Your Facebook Business Page

    How are the changes with Facebook affecting social media strategies for wineries? Do you have to use paid Facebook posts to get in front of your fans? Owner of Bauerhaus Design, Rebecca Ritz, answers a wine marketing question from Mike at Grafton Winery in our very first video answer.

    Last month we asked for you to email us your wine marketing questions for your chance to wine a free copy of our Online Wine Marketing course for wineries and vineyards. We were so excited to receive so many great wine marketing questions. Each month we are going to answer a new question via video with tips you can use right away. This month we are answering:

    How are the changes with Facebook affecting social media strategies for wineries? Do you have to do paid posts to get in front of your fans?
    – Mike, Grafton Winery

     Highlights:

    Since Facebook changed their algorithm many business owners have noticed that they used to get 30% likes for each post and now are only getting about 6% likes per post. That is a huge difference!

    So, why is this happening?

    Facebook released an explanation and stated that they’re not trying to force users into buying ads. Instead they say that the amount of content that is published to Facebook has dramatically risen. Facebook says the best way to show in feeds is to create good content. What does that mean? Let’s break it down into 3 tips you can do right now.

    3 tips to get into your fan’s feed:

    1. Post original content (not just sale info). We recommend an 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your posts should be entertaining, engaging, or informative – and NOT about you. Share other people’s content such as the history of a certain grape, or funny wine illustrations. Post a favorite recipe with a wine pairing. Ask a question. Write a holiday message with no sales angle. Share relevant and interesting news stories. This approach enables you to build a relationship with your fans. Only 20% of your Facebook posts should be about your winery, where you talk about your wine brand story, your wines and any promotions you may have.

    2. Use images with an external link. Many of our clients have seen an increase in likes by posting photos. Facebook gives priority to posts that include a link as well so make sure to include a URL when possible.

    3. Post when your audience interacts the most. The easiest way to test this is to schedule similar content posts for different times during the day and then note the times you receive the most likes or shares. Think about when your audience is most likely to be online. Test posts before 9 am, between 1 – 4 pm, and after 9 pm. Review your Facebook analytics each month and adjust the times you post based on the engagement you see.

    Do you have a wine marketing question?

    Email any wine marketing question to [email protected] and you’ll be entered to win our Wine marketing course – a new comprehensive 100% online course for busy winery owners that’s coming soon. Learn the marketing skills you need to get more customers and grow your winery! Sign up to become a special VIP for our Online Wine Marketing Course to stay up-to-date on course development and receive free insider tips.

    Like this video? Tweet #SellMoreWine and share your thoughts or questions!