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Intro to Paid Advertising for Your Brewery

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You’ve already done the hard part — building a sustainable business model, establishing your brewery’s physical space, and crafting the perfect product. But what happens when there’s no one around to enjoy the fruits of your brewery’s labor? 

Every business owner understands that marketing and sales go hand-in-hand, working together to bring in new people and convert them into loyal customers. For many, an organic marketing strategy has helped to build a strong foundation for their brewery’s business — but in many instances, it’s not enough. That’s where paid advertising comes in. 

Here is a quick guide to the key things you could be doing to advertise your brewery and raise awareness about your unique and delicious beverages to a wider audience.

Key Steps to Developing a Strong Advertising Strategy

In order to educate the world at large about your brewery’s presence and your delicious beer, it’s important to establish a robust advertising strategy. Advertising is an important marketing device to influence potential consumer behavior, increase overall brand awareness, and boost revenue as a result. But an effective advertising strategy should follow a series of steps – starting with understanding your target audience. 

Define Your Target Audience

It’s crucial to clearly define the group of individuals who have the greatest chance of visiting your brewery or buying your beer so you can then customize your ads to show up in places where they will see them. First, use existing customer data to identify customer demographics, such as age, gender, location, income level, marital status, etc. Once you’ve clearly defined who it is that’s interested in your business, you can begin to tailor your ads to speak directly to them in places they’re likely to be present in already! 

Assess Your Existing Efforts

Step back and reevaluate your existing brewery marketing strategy. What seems to be working? What doesn’t seem to be producing a lot of sales activity or brand awareness? Depending on what your target audience analysis reveals, you may want to incorporate an advertising strategy that works well with some of the other existing marketing you’re doing.

Set Realistic Goals

A productive advertising strategy is going to take time, patience, and investment. Setting realistic goals on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis will help you to review what avenues are working to bring in new customers, build loyalty with existing visitors, and promote your beer to a larger audience. Depending on what point of sale system you use, you may even be able to track this data on a granular level.

A few examples of potential goals to set can include: 

  • Increase merchandise or can/bottle sales by X each month
  • Improve your star rating on Google or get X number of positive reviews
  • Number of times in a set period that customer return to the brewery or make online purchases 
  • Year over year revenue increases 
  • Increase website traffic by X percentage each month

Understand the Different Types of Advertising

Chances are, your brewery is already following some version of a marketing strategy, but does it include any paid advertising options — or simply utilizing an organic marketing strategy?

There are a variety of avenues your brewery can use in your advertising strategy, but because this type of marketing requires a financial investment, it’s important to understand which direction will be most effective in reaching that target customer base. Here are some of the most common types of paid advertising to consider. 

Google Ads

Google has become synonymous with the concept of answering questions, which is why this search engine receives billions of inquiries every second of the day and night. Google Ads are a smart way to boost your brewery’s visibility to your local community — in fact, nearly 1 in 3 small business owners say they would have had to close part or all of their business without Google Ads. 

Setting up your brewery’s Google Ads account can take some time initially, but once it’s up and running, it’s a powerful tool that will give you a clear picture of what is working with your advertising approach — and what’s wasting your money. 

Familiarize yourself with some important key terms, and begin to organize your Ads account by breaking down your products or services into specific categories. During this process you will also want to review your website, since these ads will be directly referring new leads to it and you’ll want it to be clear and easy to navigate. First impressions matter!

Once you’ve set things up in the Google Ads account, you will set your budget to control how much you’re willing to spend on certain bids or a daily budget. You can adjust as often as you need to, and use the existing analytics to get your ads in front of the right people. 

Social Media Advertising

Much like Google Ads, platforms like Instagram and Facebook offer effective paid advertising options because it’s where most of your customers spend at least part of their day. If you’ve already determined who that target audience is, you’ll be much more successful in selecting one or two social media platforms that they tend to frequent. 

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when developing your social advertising framework:

  • Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind when setting things up initially.
  • Stick to your budget.
  • Monitor, monitor, monitor — and adjust as often or as little as needed for maximum impact. 

Much like your website, audit your social media profiles and make sure they are up to snuff so potential customers will feel excited to visit your space and try your products! Paired with an organic social media marketing plan (i.e. posting regular content to your business page, interacting with messages, etc.), your brewery will see optimal results over time. 

Traditional Ads

While not as popular as it used to be for small businesses, traditional advertising via newspaper, television, and radio channels is still going strong. Again, determining whether or not this avenue is right for your brewery will depend on who your target customers are — and where they spend their time. 

Traditional advertising is usually a more expensive endeavor — and could require more professional equipment, time, and manpower to accomplish. But television, radio, and print media still offer powerful opportunities in some areas. Partner with local media outlets to introduce your brewery to the hyper-local community. 

This type of strategy can also be more intensive when it comes to dissecting the data to see what’s working versus what needs to be adjusted. After all, how can you find out if that new customer coming through the brewery doors is a result of a television advertisement unless you ask? Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of this type of advertising before making the initial investment, and consider pairing it with a digital advertising plan for the most effective solution! 

Evaluate, Test & Adjust as Needed

Once you’ve launched your digital or traditional advertising strategy, it’s important that you continually monitor, test, and adjust things as you see what’s working and what’s falling flat. 

Depending on things outside of your control (like changes to the Google algorithm or massive world events that overtake newsfeeds on social media), you may need to scale back or ramp up your ad spend to continue hitting those pre-set goals. 

And, when in doubt, enlist the help of professionals to optimize your paid ad strategy and make the most on your investment.

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