Summer is the season of the grape for wine lovers! Something about the sunshine brings out every wine aficionado, many of whom spend their summer months going on a winery tour or two (or three, or four…or five…). One of the great things about some of the places we serve such as Victoria, Nanaimo, and the Fraser Valley to name a couple is that they serve up some pretty fancy wine! Their vineyards and wineries are well-known to their customers.
…Or are they?
Like any business, a winery needs a website to stand out amidst their competition. Otherwise, the wine aficionado may choose to venture towards vineyards way, way past their ideal destination simply because it looked better online. If that sounds like what your customers are doing, let us help. Here are a few ways to ensure your winery’s website stands out amidst the nearby competing vineyards.
- Define your target audience
It’s all too easy to say that you ideally want to bring wine drinkers to your website, but defining your target audience a little more can go a long way in attracting the right audience. The age of your target audience matters a lot, as does the voice, colours, and pillars that your winery’s brand represents to your desired audience (for more information as to what we mean by things like voice and pillars, see our blog post on brand terminology).
You need to define your audience because doing so will set the tone for all of the marketing strategies you intend to apply. Knowing who your customers are, what they like in terms of wine, and how they behave will go a long way as opposed to targeting simply ‘anyone who drinks wine’. Think hard about the ‘what’ that your winery has to offer via your website, and which audience it could attract the most.
- Make your winery accessible to said target audience
When it comes to selling what’s coming out of your winery and vineyard, the direct to consumer path must be crystal clear. It should take no time for the consumer to arrive at your site, and shopping and exploring the site should be a very straightforward process overall. That means there should be no problem to find exactly what you’re looking for online, whether it’s to order wine, make a reservation for touring or events or meals, or to find out more about who you are and who you serve.
Accessibility doesn’t simply mean having a website that runs and loads fast either. To be accessible, you need to make your winery trustworthy and engaging to your customers online—that’s how you can build loyalty from those who love your wine and will drink it regularly. This means doing things like the following:
- Showcase your winery products with clear and crisp images.
- Listing all of the information your customers need: price lists, wine product descriptions, flavour descriptions, alcohol content, packaging, menus (if applicable), any deals available, membership details, etc.
- If some wines you sell are purely seasonal and available for a limited time only, let them know that too.
- Go mobile with your site. Regardless of your target audience, more and more people use their phones as a means to discover what businesses, including wineries, have to offer. This in turn increases their accessibility to your winery overall.
However you have to make your wine more accessible, you need to showcase it all on your website. Wine aficionados will want to know everything you have to offer, and if you don’t tell them that, they’ll go looking elsewhere.
- Enhance the experience
Wineries are no longer a means of selling wine and that’s it. In fact, they are their own special touring industry! From the minute your customers step in through the doors they are there to experience the wine you have to offer, not just drink it. That means you have to step up and offer such an experience from start to finish. Offer unique events, wine tastings, and personalized tours to those who are new or returning. Some wineries offer restaurants and bars where you can enjoy your favourite wines with delicious food.
However you go about it, let people know the experience can be felt from the get-go. If your website doesn’t reflect that opportunity, then that’s where you need to change things.
- Get social
Events are a great way to interact and connect with your customers and guests to your winery. However, you also need to keep in touch so they don’t forget about the experience they had. What better way to remind them than via social media? That being said, you need to be strategic about how you use it in order to achieve the results you desire to see.
All of the posts about your winery need to be engaging, relevant, and attractive to your intended target audience (the very audience we discussed in points 1 and 2). A blog on your website goes hand in hand with your social media, allowing you to present all sorts of valuable tips on wine tastings as well as event announcements. It can help you to create a content calendar in advance so you don’t end up scrambling at the last minute for ideas. Don’t forget to add the fact you have social media to your website, either in the header or footer.
- Show your customers you appreciate them
Many wineries offer club memberships to loyal fans of their wines and selections. Other times, wineries will ask their customers for feedback on the tastings or experience they’ve just had. It’s great to have both recommendations from local publications and feedback from people who have actually tried your winery’s products. That way, potential and new customers can get a better idea of how good your wine is.
If you have customers who appreciate you, show your appreciation back! Display their feedback and testimonials for each product you sell. Encourage your winery’s club members who have tried your products to leave reviews also. Fair warning, not everyone may leave a 5-star rating but that’s actually normal; after all, different wine aficionados have different preferences in their wine.
The winery industry is a tough and competitive one, but by applying these ideas to your website, you’re on your way to standing out above the crowd. If you need a website for your winery that is safe, secure, and beautifully designed, give us a call at V3 Media.We can give you a site that you can be proud of and one that will have your wine club members and new customers returning to time and again!