5 Steps to Rocket Fuel Your Brewery's Growth with Beer Festival Marketing

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Festivals can be an opportunity for growing your brewery and brand on your home turf and to fuel expansion into new markets. In this guide you will learn: …

Festivals can be an opportunity for growing your brewery and brand on your home turf and to fuel expansion into new markets. In this guide you will learn:

-3 tactics to effectively grab attendees attention and get more people to your booth

-How to create a cheat sheet and set your pourers up to turn attendees into fans and customers

-Specific tactics to engage attendees on social media so you keep them involved long after the festival ends

-The best giveaways to not only help attendees remember you, but tell their friends

-How to keep in touch with attendees and turn one time tasters into brand advocates

Brought to you by http://theportablebarcompany.com/

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  • 1. TABLE OF CONTENTS Grab their attention ........................ 6 Start the conversation .................... 11 Create an interactive engagement .. 14 Give’em something to remember you ................................................ 19 Keep in touch ................................ 24
  • 2. As beer festivals continue to gain popularity, more and more craft brewers are using them to expose their brand to new markets and grow their brewery. Trouble is, some brewers have found beer festivals to be less effective in introducing the brand to new customers. Even worse, beer festivals are either offering less compensation for product poured or even asking brewers to give their beer away for free. It’s no wonder that a lot of smaller brewers are scaling back on festivals. The truth is, beer festivals are an excellent venue to market your product, meet your fans and customers, and ultimately, fuel your brewery’s growth and expansion.
  • 3. that will turn beer festivals from a “marketing expense” into a powerful and effective source of growth for your brewery.
  • 4. Once you put these to use you will: Get more people to your booth Create memorable experiences that turn attendees into loyal customers Turn customers into “raving fans” (that do your marketing for you!)
  • 5. 1 Grab Their Attention Make your Booth the Talk of the Festival Is Your Booth Generating Buzz? A festival may be host to up to 50 breweries or more, and each brewery pours at least two beers. It’s easy for attendees get lost. Your first goal is to make sure attendees get your booth so you can turn them into raving fans.
  • 6. Signage For outdoor festivals, tents are often a bring-your-own commodity. Make yours easy to locate. Purchase a brightly colored or patterned tent (so long as it doesn’t clash with your branding colors). If you’d rather not have your name printed directly on the tent, invest in an all-weather banner, table cover, and potentially a jockey box cover. You want people to easily identify your brand. Large letters or a large logo are the way to go. Outgoing Pourers Smile! Say hello! Welcome attendees to the event and invite them over to try your product. They’re overwhelmed with stimuli and could use some friendly coaxing and conversation. A friendly greeting and invitation to try your brew is all it takes to turn a passerby into a taster.
  • 7. Prime Location The locale of your booth is often a factor out of your control, but it’s important to work with what you’re given. If tucked away in a corner, this is where bold, colorful signage works to your advantage. It doesn’t hurt to ask event coordinators ahead of time for a particular location. If you RSVP to the festival quickly, you’ll have a better chance of getting a good location and festival organizers will be more likely to help you. If you’re a late entry, chances are, the map has already been laid out. Every festival has it’s own flow. This is dependent upon the venue and the festival’s size. In general, the bigger the festival, the more valuable a booth location is. If you want to be the first brewery the attendees lay eyes on, you will most likely want to be near the entrance. However, just because you will be mobbed in the beginning, doesn’t mean attendees will remember to return later or remember
  • 8. you when they leave. You also don’t want to be hidden behind a crowd of people the second the doors open. The restrooms are rarely thought of as a glamorous hangout, but nearly everyone will be headed there at some point. They’ll probably empty their sampling glass before and be eager for another beer once reemerging into the festival. If the festival has food, locations near the food stalls can be great choices. After grabbing a burger, they’ll be parched. Reel them in and quench their thirst! Sear Your Booth’s Location into Attendees Minds When you’re chatting with your audience, before they leave your booth to meet another brewery, remind them of your booth’s location so you’re easy to find as the festival progresses and they can return to continue the conversation and enjoy another pour.
  • 9. If you’re exploring the festival yourself, make sure you’re representing your brewery somehow (brewery t-shirt or hat) and let attendees who haven’t tried your beer know where your booth is. Reference memorable landmarks so they don’t forget: “Take a left by the human chess board and look for our slightly obnoxious red banner on the right.” RECAP SIGNAGE You want people to easily identify your brand OUTGOING POURERS Welcome attendees to the event and invite them over to try your product. PRIME LOCATION If you RSVP to the festival quickly, you’ll have a better chance of getting a good location SEAR YOUR BOOTHS LOCATION INTO ATTENDEES MINDS Remind them of your booth’s location so they can return.
  • 10. 2 Start the Conversation Get ‘em Hooked on your Brand You Gotta Give Before You Get There will be beer snobs, beer novices, and there may be people who’d rather be somewhere else (the horror!). You need to be able to cater to all. And a, “Huh? Oh, I don’t know. I just volunteer,” is the response from hell. Educate your pourers! Many guests have ventured to the festival to find a new favorite beer or learn about beer in general. By seeking out those who are genuinely curious and feeding their curiosity, you’re engaging the people most likely to turn into longtime customers (and eventually brand advocates that spread the word for you!)
  • 11. 1 Use a Cheat Sheet 2 Don’t Be Afraid to Have a Bit of Fun For each beer poured, share the style, ABV, and where the beer can be purchased locally. People may also want to know hop and grain origin, brewing style, and original gravity. Make sure there is an arsenal of brand knowledge handy for your servers; a cheat sheet with the above data points should do just fine. While some are there to learn, others may have purchased a ticket just to get drunk with their friends. The best way to handle this crowd is to have fun. Oftentimes the memories that stick out through the haze are the funny conversations. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun and keep yourself from getting annoyed.
  • 12. How a Dirty Women’s Tank Top Led to Positive Exposure There will be spills and there will be slobs. If a guest spills his or her beer onto merchandise, take the loss and create a gain. At a festival a few years ago, I saw two female reps dare a guy to wear the tank top he’d spilt beer on for the remainder of the session. It was a win-win for everyone. The girls utilized a damaged piece of merchandise and gained extra exposure for the brand. The crowd loved it and the stunt attracted additional guests to the brewery’s booth. And, the participant scored a free (women’s) shirt.
  • 13. 3 Create an Interactive Engagement Reel in Attendees Hand Over Fist Create MEMORABLE experiences Engage your audience so they won’t forget you after last call. In-person engagement and conversation, be it at your brewpub, beer dinners or at beer festivals, is one of the best opportunities to convert the curious into customers.
  • 14. Build Personal Relationships A common interest has delivered your target audience directly to you. Connect over it. Talk beer. Empower your audience by valuing their opinion. Personal connections and stories create a narrative and story about your brewery and brand that’s far more powerful than just good beer. Save Thousands by Leveraging In-Person Feedback Use the feedback you get to your advantage. Major companies pay thousands for market research. A beer festival is an excellent opportunity to conduct your own research for free. A brief chat with one guest can be insightful. Imagine what 1,500 one-on-one engagements could tell you.
  • 15. If you’re planning to expand your merchandise catalog or introduce a new beer, ask tasters for their input. Which color shirt do they prefer? What’s their favorite style of beer? What kind of beer is the market lacking? Take note of what people like and don’t like about your beer. Pay special attention to how they describe the beer. That language is ideal to reuse in your marketing. Don’t forget, people like talking about themselves and giving their opinions. By engaging them, they’ll leave with a much better impression of your brand. “Crush it” with Social Media Social Media is an incredibly powerful tool for keeping attendees engaged long after they leave the festival. Make it easy and actively encourage attendees to connect with you.
  • 16. 6 Sound Social Media Marketing Practices: 1. Use QR Codes to connect. Use the code to drive attendees to your website, Facebook page, or an email newsletter signup form so you can stay in touch. 2. Encourage guests to check-in at your booth via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. 3. Develop a hashtag and encourage your audience to get it trending throughout the day. For example, on Twitter, ask guests to tag your brewery in their post with the accompanying hashtag phrase “#aperfectdayforabeer.” The line may trend and even capture attention from Twitter fans in the area that aren’t even at the festival! 4. Post photos via Instagram or Facebook. Include the event’s name as a hashtag to track where you’ve been, too. Invite guests to jump in, and ask if they’d like to be tagged. If you keep showing up, curiosity alone will make sure anyone watching their social media feeds will have to check out your booth.
  • 17. 6. Thank guests for a social media shout-out with a free koozie or other piece of swag. Not only does it leave them feeling good about your brew, it’s free advertising to their friends online and off. Can Pick-up Lines Sell Beer? Hold your own small-scale competition. This could work just as well at a bar promotion or in-house brewery event. What do people do at bars (and beer festivals for that matter)? Meet people! Hold a competition for the best pick-up line. Post the winning lines on your social media outlets. Winners receive a free t-shirt or pint glass and bragging rights. You may be out $1.25 - $5.50 for the merchandise at cost, but you will have created a memorable experience for the participants, gained attention on the web, and hey, you may even learn a new pick-up line.
  • 18. 4 Give ‘em Something to Remember You Avoid the One Night (or Afternoon) Stand How Many Attendees Think of You the Day AFTER the Festival? The biggest fear for most brewers at festivals is being forgotten. The last thing you want is someone to say the next day, “Yeah, that beer was awesome! What was the name of that brewery again?” Once the beer goggle vision fades away, don’t let you beer and booth fade away too.
  • 19. Abandon Hope All Ye Who Still Use Business Cards Treat your merchandise - giveaways and paid - as a business card replacement. Include your brewery name and a big logo or memorable, cheeky tagline Include some a call-to-action like a website or QR code that lets people connect Include your contact info - web address and a physical brewery address if you have one Save Cash, Spend Creativity Giveaways need not be four-color, vinyl masterpieces. Two-tone can be ust as effective and far more affordable. What people will really remember is the creativity you put into the merchandise. Let’s talk coasters. They are two-sided, so there are opportunities to
  • 20. deliver two different messages. You can create a game by flipping the coaster like a coin. One side could read “next round on me” while the other is “next round on you.” You’d be shocked the places people think to stick stickers. Magnets are great and often wind up on display on the fridge. (You know, that place where people keep the beer!) Bottle caps are great collectibles. Some caps have puzzles on the underside, like pictionary. Bottle openers, especially the type that go on key chains, are relatively cheap, last years, and serve as a constant reminder every time someone starts their car or opens their door. Are Your Giveaways Ending up in Drawers or on Display? Brewery memorabilia collectible clubs are an international market and shared hobby for many beer lovers. Would any of your current merchandise offerings fit in? Collectors proudly display their collection
  • 21. which amounts to a nice little in home endorsement of your brewery! Whether it’s a high-quality piece of merchandise or something unique and catchy because of the tagline or design, brand yourself to stand out. If you’re going for quality, order a small run of really nice neon signs. Increase the demand by offering a limited availability. This will also help keep your overhead costs down. Vintage designs are popular and fit the ‘memorabilia’ mold. Before you know it, people will be trading your bottle caps and buying sleeves of coasters. When you’re ordering merchandise - think of items you have around your own home or something you are always looking for. Think functionality. Let’s take a barbeque for example. What do you need to host one? A bottle opener for the beers, koozies to keep the bottles cold. A portable cooler to transport or keep the drinks nearby. How about a spatula to flip the burgers or an apron for the master chef? By focusing on functional items, you’ll make sure people will keep using them (and thinking of you) for months or years to come. Bonus if it’s something they use at public get togethers!
  • 22. 5 Keep in Touch Create Raving Fans Are People RAVING about your Brewery? How do you properly follow-up after a job interview? A thank you note (or e-mail) of course! While you probably can’t get the personal, the small extra effort to thank your customers, old and new, and treat them like a new pal pays off HUGE in the long run. If you can get them raving about your brew and brand. They won’t only become loyal customers, they’ll become brand advocates that do your marketing for you.
  • 23. Leave a newsletter sign-up sheet at your booth with space for their name and email address. Once you have captured an email address, you can begin putting together an online fanbase. As an incentive to get people to sign up, choose one name at random per session to receive a gift certificate to your brewpub or merchandise catalog. Offer people on your mailing list exclusive invitations and offers to upcoming events. This can be a great way to promote on-premise events on otherwise slow nights! Post photos from your booth to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Post a short video clip of reps pouring guests a beer or capture attendees reactions to your product to Vine or Instagram. Prompt guests to follow you on Twitter or Facebook so they can see pictures of themselves (everyone loves a bit of flattery). When you post, try to stir up some conversation and interaction. Pose a question or offer
  • 24. a prize. For example, the tenth person to comment wins a free t-shirt. The more you appear on your customer’s newsfeed, the more in-tune and connected with your brand they feel. Encourage fans to tag your brewery and post photos of themselves enjoying your beer wherever they are - at the lake, on the beach, at a ball game. Retweet or share their photo to your other fans. Remember those bottle caps? For people who uncover a cap with a specific logo on the underside of the cap, have them snap a photo and share it. Winners receive a free dinner or private brewery tour within the next calendar year. Ask attendees to track your beer via free smartphone apps like Untappd or Beer Citizen. Untappd allows users to check-in with where and what they’re drinking at the moment. It also allows users to rate the product. Beer Citizen takes the rating a step further and allows users to rate beers specifically with aroma, flavor, and other factors. There’s not a whole lot that’s more convincing than a host of favorable customer reviews.
  • 25. Keep ‘em in the Know - Create a Passionate Fan Club Keep the people that follow you in the loop with brewery news and updates. Offer discounts and exclusive event invitations. They’ll feel like a million, and you’ll have gained a new lifetime customer, one festival at a time. Newsletter & Post-Worthy Ideas Brewery news - Are you expanding? Has your brewpub’s menu changed recently? Any new hires or exciting people news such as a birth or marriage? If it’s something you’d be comfortable sharing with a friend of a friend, consider sharing it with your customers. People love to be in the know. Discounts - Run a special sale on t-shirts, tank tops, and bottle openers over a long Memorial Day weekend to welcome the warm weather. Only share within your fanbase and require a specific code or phrase for the discount to be applied. Events - What other beer festivals will you be attending this month? Next month? Share your calendar.
  • 26. Beer Festival Give your attention, fresh product, brand knowledge and yes, swag. Take the value of a small-scale market research experiment and use the results for future product and marketing development.
  • 27. 1 Grab their attention 2 Start the conversation 3 Create an interactive engagement Use a colorful tent or a large branded sign to stand out Have your reps engage the crowd and start the conversation If possible, request a prime spot near a communal mark at the festival (i.e. near the food) Educate your pourers with an arsenal of brand knowledge, specifically about the beers they are pouring Be prepared to turn “spilt beer” into a marketable opportunity Connect with social media by posting photos and asking attendees to hop in the picture; tag them if they give you permission Thank festival-goers with free swag for checking-in at your booth Conduct a live survey for any upcoming brewery initiatives - new t-shirt color or new winter beer style
  • 28. 4 Give’em something to remember you 5 Keep in touch Think pocket-sized and functional with stickers, magnets, double-sided coasters, BBQ essentials Treat the giveaways like a business card by including all the info someone would need to reach you - website, physical address, etc. Ask your guests to stay in touch by signing up for a newsletter or following you via social media Keep your fanbase in-the-know with brewery news and upcoming events Offer members-only discounts and invitations Enjoyed This Guide? Share! Let us Know! If you found this guide useful - we'd love it if you shared it with your friends! If you have any feedback or want to talk more - email me at taylor@theportablebarcompany.