It’s no secret that the craft beer world is (still) booming. CNBC recently published stats from a Brewers Association report claiming that the United States is home to a whopping 3,739 breweries as of June 30, 2015. That’s an increase of 699 breweries over the same time period a year ago, and an additional 1,755 breweries are expected to open in the near future.
What does that mean? The fog of (friendly) competition is getting thicker, and—in this sea of beer—it’s important to make moves that the other guys aren’t.
Blogging helps you stand out! Need proof? Here are nine reasons your brewery should have started blogging yesterday:
1. Stay Relevant
Blogging is like small-batch beer … it keeps things interesting.
Small-batch beers keep your loyal flagship drinkers excited, interested and wanting to come back for more. The same is true for your website. You spent a lot of time and money building your website, so you should make sure that people are coming to visit it. The best, easiest and fastest way to do that is with fresh content. Update your readers, customers and potential customers with “small-batch” information and they’ll feel like they are getting a special, insider’s look into your brewery and will eagerly want to come back for more.
2. Increase Traffic, Increase Sales
The bigger the party, the bigger the tab.
Blogging at least once a week will help your SEO increase, and over time you’ll see traffic grow. Businesses that blog ≥ 15 times/month get 5x more traffic than those who don’t blog at all. (Source: Hubspot) But consistency is key. A blog with its last post date from two years ago isn’t a good look for anyone.
It’s Business 101: if you increase the number of visitors through your brewery or brewpub doors by 50%, you should naturally see an increase in sales as a result.
The same applies to visitors to your website. If you increase your web traffic (and you can do that easily with blogging), you’ll have a better shot at converting those visitors into raving fans—and, as a result, you’ll get more subscribers and sales. 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog. (Source: BlogHer)
Customers love brewery tours.
Visitors that take a behind-the-scenes brewery tour, know the brewer, learn from a tour guide or gain knowledge about the process of making beer will naturally trust the brand more and view that brand as an authority. The same is true of your blog.
Guests can take a virtual “tour” of your brewery by reading your online articles, discovering information, looking at images, watching videos and more. As a result, they’ll feel more familiar with your brand and will be more likely to take the next step toward becoming a customer. 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs. (Source: BlogHer)
4. Build Communities
You know it’s important to have facetime with customers—do the same online.
Don’t just talk, listen. You sponsor events, you give gift certificates to nonprofits, you care, you give back. Why? Because you are a proud part of your local community and it’s a great chance to have people see your brand in action.
Likewise, you also support a community of beer lovers who patronize your brewery and love your product. With this in mind, blog about what you know your community wants to talk about. And don’t just talk. Listen and ask for feedback too. New yeast? Special hops? Your involvement with a local event? Talk about it and ask for comments. Your online community will rally around you and come back for more.
5. Become Industry Experts
Be beer thought leaders.
A lot of people are “beer experts” today. Bloggers, home brewers and consumers all have their own opinions, information and insight to share.
It’s important that your brewery is part of that conversation. A blog is a great place to share your thoughts, strategy, passion and expertise and show your readers you know what you’re talking about. They will, in turn, trust your expertise, appreciate your continued interest in the industry and—if they find what you say to be valuable or if it resonates with them—share it with their networks and audiences.
6. Brand Awareness
You give out beer samples, t-shirts and stickers at events to build your brand and get your “face” in front of the public. Similarly, one of the best things about blogging is that it naturally helps to create brand awareness just by being there. By sharing informative, interesting and relevant topics and thoughts, you increase the chances of having valuable blog content shared, pinned and read. Give your readers a virtual “taste” and we bet they’ll want to fill a growler.
7. Showcase Company Culture
Don’t brag, blog.
You know your team is great. That’s why you work with them. Your product is top-notch, the labels are pretty and the team is fun and talented.
Who cares? Your customers care! No one likes a bragger, but people do love reading blogs, especially when they give insider info about employees, company culture and the business. Sharing is caring.
8. Complement and Boost PR Efforts
If you blog it, they will come.
Here’s an insider tip about the media industry: when writers are assigned a story, they usually head to the web to do some basic research before digging deeper. By blogging you will have content and information about your brand that’s ready and waiting to be searched and found. The next time a local magazine is doing a roundup of best breweries, you’ll have a much better chance of being included because you have information out there to be consumed.
9. Build Your Audience
They like you, they really like you!
If you attract more visitors, earn trust and have something interesting to say, you’re likely to have an audience that will want more. The best way to stay in touch and on your customers’ radar is to ask them to follow you on social media (where you can share new blog posts) and sign up for your newsletter. Both are great ways to contact customers and continue the conversation.