I often get this question from wineries owners: How can I spread the word about my winery? This week, I’m going to let you in on a secret. You need to be like Weird Al. I don’t mean that every winery owner should wear a black curly haired wig and start singing parodies. However, wineries should take note of Weird Al’s successful 35 year career and how he built a hugely successful video promotion to launch his latest album. Just a few days after the release of his first of eight videos, he was the No. 1 spot on iTunes and the No. 1 album on Amazon.
Here is Word Crimes, one of 8 videos Weird Al launched to promote the album:
1. Create a unique brand
When you think of a parody, you immediately think of Weird Al. Why is that? One search of YouTube and you will see how many other parodies are out there. While Weird Al is a very talented musician, singer and songwriter, he is best known for parodies. Why? Because Weird Al knows his brand is based on parodies and he sticks with it.
What else is unique about the Weird Al brand? First of all, Weird Al’s persona and style are always the same. One glance at him and you see someone tall, thin and dark curly hair. His image has remained the same, no matter who he is parodying. Plus, his parodies are always clever, positive, and in general make you smile.
How does this apply to your wine business? Make sure your owner or winemaker has a consistent image, and that your brand voice is the same across all media.
2. Use Social Media
For his latest album, Mandatory Fun, Weird Al didn’t just announce his new album with a press release. Instead he created eight videos to be launched over eight days. Plus, in partnership with this campaign he created the hashtag #8videos8days.
Think how viral your winery could be if you announced your new wine or upcoming event with 8 promotional videos. Could they be educational? Yes! Could they be parodies, like the below video “Blurred Vines” by Jordan Winery? Yes! Select topics that are keeping with your brand’s voice.
3. Keep it relevant
My husband is a huge Weird Al fan and a few years ago talked me into going to a Weird Al concert. I was envisioning him standing on a stage singing “Eat it!” Yet in reality the Weird Al concert incorporated pop culture icons like video of the Simpsons, video interviews with Eminem, and a surprise performance of dancing Stormtroopers. The lesson: Weird Al is easily shareable on social media because he is always relevant. Journalists and bloggers find it so easy to share his work because it pertains to culture right now. Plus, he has a fiercely loyal fan base that love to help promote him.
The lesson for you: keep your communication relevant. Using pop culture and the latest news keeps you in the mind of your customers. Having an opinion about the latest wine trends shows your customers, journalists and bloggers you are a thought leader, which further increases your brand value.
4. Partner up
Yankovic didn’t get any money from his record label RCA to make videos, so he partnered with sites like College Humor, Funny or Die, and Nerdist to produce them. Each website has a different demographic and in return also benefits from increased traffic. Plus, Weird Al let each of these outlets keep the ad revenue that was associated with each video.
He also enlisted his comedian pals like Jack Black, Margaret Cho, and Eric Stonestreet to strut through his videos. This allows him to be shared on social media by these comedians and their fans. One source I read said his comedian friends expanded his reach to 1.5 million people on Twitter alone. Wow!
Do you have a cool idea for a winery promotion, but don’t have the budget? Partner up with businesses that your winery frequently uses, like your glassware provider, barrel maker, or local produce farmer. Or, make a list of businesses that have the same target market as you do and start contacting them about your idea.
Next time you are going to launch your latest wine or product with a press release, think again. How would Weird Al launch it? If you need more wine marketing inspiration, sign up for our free 7 week wine marketing email series to learn how to sell more wine using a powerful brand, social media, and online tools at sell-more-wine