Updated: Oct 7, 2018
If you read my last post you now have some ideas of how to brand a craft brewery, but now what? Well, once your branding is in place it's time to start getting the word out there about your super cool and unique brewery! If you've got it, flaunt it.
So for that reason, let's talk promotion.
Promotion can be an intimidating task for lots of smaller businesses, including most craft breweries. You don't really want to put much money towards it, and if you do invest some cash, you need to guarantee a return on your investment. Lucky for you, there are some really cool free and low budget promotional tactics you can be using to get the world buzzing about your brews.
This shouldn't be new news to anyone, but it bears repeating that your brewery should be on social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Untappd should be your jam, although it doesn't hurt to incorporate other sites like twitter if you have the time. If you don't already know what Untappd is, it's an app that allows users to check-in where they are drinking beer and rate each brew. It's a great way to gain some traction amongst people who really know their beer, so get on that.
Outside of the lovely and free world of social media though, it can be difficult to come up with promotions that don't break the bank. My best suggestion? Team up with your friends to make new friends (and customers).
Do you know the head brewer at the other brewery in town? Do a collaboration beer! Their diehard fans might just realize that they can love both breweries equally, plus local businesses working together can usually bring in some great press.
If you have a brewery or tasting room, you have an event space. Use it! Bringing in a band or trivia is great, but outside-the-box events are way more unique and interesting. I've seen a brewery bring in a local yoga instructor on Sunday mornings, a great way to gain some new customers at a time that isn't typically busy for a brewery! Do you have some land? Host an ultimate frisbee league or volleyball tournament! You can guarantee that they'll pay your bar a visit after their game.
These are just a few ideas but at the end of the day, your goal should be to be a part of a community of beer lover. Whether you build your own community or join one and help it grow, the most effective promotion is genuine word of mouth endorsements from people who know what you're all about. So give them a reason to say something nice.