As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate — but that doesn’t mean your marketing efforts should be pushed to the wayside. So how can you elevate your marketing without spending hours of your time or a large chunk of your budget? From creating an effective website to crafting high-quality videos for social media campaigns, utilizing different marketing tools will help you build a strong online brand.
Even with a tight budget, there are a variety of affordable and effective resources that can take your brewery, cidery, or winery’s marketing efforts to the next level. To help you create a well-rounded, effective marketing campaign, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite free and low-cost marketing tools to help promote your business, build brand awareness, and increase sales.
Social Media Marketing Tools
With so much of your target audience on social media, it’s a no-brainer place for your business to be. But without a strategic plan in place, it can be a major time suck because of all the moving pieces. Investing in a social media marketing tool can help you organize your social media content calendar and build a consistent voice for your brand.
Social media best practice: It’s important for you to have an active social media profile. When customers visit your page, are they going to find outdated photos from a few months ago? It’s recommended that you post content on your social media channels daily so there is always new content for your audience to engage with. This content can be consistent across all platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more.
Here are a few tools to make crafting an effective social media campaign easier.
Buffer is a helpful social media tool that makes it easy to schedule out social media posts in the future, so you can spend less time publishing content every day and more time engaging with your audience. The tool also offers robust analytics which allows you to track how your social posts are performing and pivot your strategy as needed.
Along with a social media tool that makes scheduling easy, you need reporting that guides your future strategies. With Hootsuite, you have access to a reporting dashboard with filters that allow you to monitor any mentions of your brewery, cidery, or winery across social media — making it easier for you to engage organically on these mentions! While Hootsuite isn’t free to use, it’s a relatively affordable option starting at $15 per month.
Similar to Hootsuite, Sprout Social is a user-friendly CRM, social media scheduling tool, and engagement monitor. By using all of this tool’s capabilities, you’ll be able to effectively monitor a variety of campaigns and determine what aspects of your marketing offer the best return on investment. Because this tool offers more in-depth monitoring capabilities, Sprout Social pricing starts at $99 per month.
As a brand, you’re going to be sharing links on your social media pages. But with character counts being limited, you don’t want to waste that space on the URL you plan to include! Bitly is a free tool that allows you to shorten and manage shared links — helping you better understand engagement on your shared linked content.
When posting content on Instagram, you may have noticed that you can’t add a hyperlink to the caption of the post. Adding a single link is only available in the bio section or attached to an individual story if your account has more than 10,000 followers. This can make it difficult to link to a specific product or service that you’re offering. Linkin.bio is a landing page that resembles your Instagram feed but associates a specific URL with each photo. You can direct users to specific content on your website or link to items in your online store — improving the user experience for your customers (and driving more sales or clicks in the meantime!).
Have you noticed that you can only link out to one website in your Instagram bio? Linktree is a tool that allows you to create a landing page that houses all the links you would like to share with your followers. Whether you want to link to your website, online store, YouTube channel, or another website, Linktree makes it easy. You can use this via Instagram, Facebook, TikTik, Twitter, and more.
With the world on social media so saturated, it can be difficult to grab the attention of your audience. But standing out from your competitors doesn’t have to be expensive. With high-quality graphics for your social media channels, you will elevate your online presence from nay to yay. Canva is a user-friendly tool that helps you create eye-catching visual assets for Facebook cover photos, Instagram ads, YouTube thumbnails, and more. Whether you have an eye for design or need guidance with their extensive library of templates, Canva has you covered.
High-quality imagery is an absolute must for your social media channels. Although real-life photos of your taproom, brewing process, and team are the best way to connect with your audience, there are times when stock imagery is necessary. Instead of spending money on stock imagery, opt for royalty-free image websites, such as Pexels, that offer millions of free stock photos for commercial use without attribution.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing gets a bad rap as an outdated marketing practice, but it’s one of the most effective digital marketing tactics because it gets your brand directly in front of your target audience. To stay top of mind with your existing customers, it’s important to send out regular communications to those who have shared their email address via your POS or website.
Email marketing best practice: Create a consistent schedule that works for your audience — do your customers respond well to a weekly newsletter or are they more engaged with a monthly round-up? Track and tweak accordingly for optimal performance. Send them a newsletter packed with details about product releases, upcoming events, or promotional offers to keep them excited and engaged with your brand.
Here are a few of our favorite email marketing tools to help you execute a regular newsletter for your craft beverage.
Mailchimp is a clear frontrunner in the world of email marketing for its user-friendly interface and abundance of features. Along with making the email creation process stress-free, this tool provides you with smart recommendations — helping you tweak future campaigns based on their valuable insights. Whether you plan to send out a monthly newsletter or you want to build a more complex campaign that prompts abandoned cart reminders, Mailchimp has you covered.
If Mailchimp doesn’t suit your fancy, you might want to give HubSpot a chance. Known for their robust marketing automation platform, they’ve launched an email marketing tool that is perfect for small businesses. One of our favorite features of HubSpot is how easy it is to use. You don’t need years of coding experience (although that is a plus!) to create a beautiful email template. With their easy-to-use drag-and-drop visual editor, you will be able to customize your emails exactly to your liking.
Email marketing doesn’t get much easier than it does with Constant Contact. From their extensive library of design templates to the ability to add in images, polls, videos, and more to your emails, Constant Contact has everything you need to create highly effective email marketing campaigns for your brewery, cidery, or winery.
Website Creation & Ecommerce Tools
Did you know that 97% of people go online to find a local business? If your audience goes to search for your brand, what are they going to find? Your craft business needs to have a well-designed, informative, brand-differentiating website to drive additional revenue.
Website best practice: Having an online presence is an absolute must — and your website needs to include the information your customers are searching for. Before visiting in-person, prospective customers or existing customers often like to see what craft beverages are available on tap. Include a list of your availability on your website and make sure to keep it up-to-date so your guests can plan their visit accordingly.
Here are some website creation tools to help you get started.
As a business in the craft beverage industry, you need a vendor that understands how your business operates and what your audience is looking for. Craftpeak provides breweries with unparalleled web design and beer-specific ecommerce tools to take your marketing game to the next level. Step up your web presence with a team that knows how to highlight what makes your brand top-notch.
When building your brand’s website, your customers must be able to access it from their computers or their phone. If you’re using Square as your POS, it’s a no-brainer to use their easy-to-use website builder. You don’t need to have any coding experience and you’ll be left with a beautiful final product that is responsive to any device. Square makes it easy for you to get an ecommerce site up and running, helping to drive revenue and increase your bottom line.
User experience is an absolute must when it comes to your website and online store. With Commerce7, you can rest easy knowing your customers will be receiving an unmatched shopping experience on your winery website no matter what device they’re on. Designed with the customer journey in mind, Commerce7 allows you to personalize the user’s experience by dynamically changing content and products, as well as manage new and existing club and subscription packages for your winery.
If you’re in the market for a versatile ecommerce solution, look no further than VineSpring. Their product makes it easy for craft producers to manage clubs and subscriptions, accept online orders, and capture in-person payments all with the same, simple-to-use tool.
Video Marketing Tools
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video worth? The best part about video content is that you don’t need fancy equipment to get started. High-quality content is easily created simply by pulling out your iPhone and grabbing a few shots.
Video best practice: Video is a great medium to grab the attention of your audience that makes it a bit easier to digest your messaging. Shoot content surrounding product releases, show behind the scenes of the brewing process, or create a weekly series that you share on your social media platform.
Video content can seem daunting to many business owners, but with the right repertoire of tools, it doesn’t have to be!
Nowadays you don’t need a professional camera to create something spectacular. With videos taken on a smartphone and edited using a tool like Animoto, you can craft some remarkable videos that are perfect for your social media channels. With no experience necessary, Animoto’s simple drag and drop editor makes piecing together photos and videos into a wow-worthy final product.
Canva was mentioned as a helpful social media tool because of its well-stocked library of templates for various social media elements — but did we mention it doubles as a video editing software? From creating professional YouTube intros and animated social media posts to a high-quality Facebook video, there are plenty of options to get you started.
iMovie is an easy-to-use (and free!) video editing software that makes it possible for those with minimal video editing experience to piece together engaging content. One of the best parts of this tool is that you can access it via your laptop, iPad, or iPhone, which allows you to create quality video content on-to-go or from the office.
Adobe Creative Cloud
If you need something more robust to highlight your business, new products, or a special event, you may decide to invest a bit more money and time into creating a promotional video. With Adobe Creative Cloud, you can utilize a variety of video editing tools. Keep in mind, that these tools will be less user-friendly for someone inexperienced in video editing. When opting for a more professional video, it’s best to hire a videographer with the right equipment and tools to piece together your vision.