On February 28, 2022
Local pride acts as a strong force when it comes to spirits marketing. People feel a bond to the distillery down the street — or the one in the next neighborhood over. Marketing your place and city of production instills a sense of authenticity.
Your distillery has a natural edge within its own community, where your spirits already have a presence. Tapping more deeply into the local pride allows your distillery to activate passionate local brand ambassadors. It leads to a lot more word-of-mouth marketing that comes organically.
Other than hanging a few more posters in your windows for the passersby, what else can your distillery do to deepen that local sphere of influence? Here are a few key tactics that will get your neighbors through your door — or at least seeking out your spirits.
Host Product-focused Events
Your distillery’s location offers the best spot for a local launch party or event featuring your spirits. Organizing a dinner or tasting event may be enough to attract a crowd. However, incorporating an exclusive feature will draw even more visitors to try your spirits. Perhaps your head distiller leads guests through a personalized tasting, or each guest gets a complimentary cocktail upon entry.
Weaving a giveaway of some sort into the event can entice locals. A chance at winning a decent gift basket, including branded glassware, merchandise, and perhaps even a bottle of your spirits (if legally viable), will get more butts in seats. It also ensures that the winners will act as local brand ambassadors, donning T-shirts or hats emblazoned with your logo around town. You can increase that benefit by simply giving T-shirts or merchandise to everyone who walks through the door.
Update Google My Business
Take advantage of local searches and get your Google My Business listing up to date. Aside from ensuring all your basic information is correct, such as location hours and menu, add posts that feature your spirits. This is a great place to promote an event or feature a product.
If filled out correctly, a local Google search for your distillery or a very similar search will call up the listing on the right side of the website. The entry features images of your location — or other images you’ve uploaded. It’ll show off business details and your most recent posts, including those events or products you’ve recently added. It’s an excellent way to get in front of a local audience searching for spirits.
Reach Locals on Social Media
Posting an event through Facebook gets you in front of locals who either like your page or have friends who like your page. So post the details of that launch party as a Facebook event and dress it up with gorgeous photos of your tasting room or spirits. Play up those exclusive elements and any giveaways. Add updates regularly to drive notifications to any users who’ve shown interest in the event.
Outside of Facebook, there are effective ways to reach local audiences on Instagram and Twitter as well. Incorporating local hashtags on either platform will catch the eyes of locals who may follow those topics. Additionally, on Instagram, use location tags to indicate to locals that your products are available nearby.
Target Local Audiences with Ads
Wherever you decide to invest in online advertising, you’ll be able to narrow down the audience to a geographical region. Ads through Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Bing will allow you to outline the locations of your desired audience.
Once you have a pulse on your audience location, customize messaging to them specifically. Play up the details of your spirits and where people can find them. Call out landmarks, neighborhoods, or other directional identifiers your neighbors will recognize. A headline like “The Finest Gin from Ladd’s Addition” appeals to locals who both want a fine gin and are familiar with Ladd’s Addition.
Connect with Local Press & Influencers
Enlist the local press and influencers to spread the word for you. Do this by reaching out with personalized messages and invitations to limited press events. Make this audience feel like the most critical audience of all. You want to make friends and keep them on your side.
Once you’ve got this group’s attention and you’re able to introduce them to your products, they’ll be more likely to evangelize those spirits for you. Press could write reviews or incorporate these products into other features they’ve got in the works. Meanwhile, influencers will feature your spirits all over their social media accounts, reaching an audience you’ve likely not connected with yet.
Expand Your Presence In the Community
Digging deeper into your local market means you sometimes have to go outside and mingle with the community. It’s best to bring your spirits to the places where the locals hang out. This may mean sponsoring local events, like festivals or concerts. You may need to do a bit of research to ensure that the events fit your brand’s identity and serve the right audience. But getting your logo on a giant banner will increase your distillery’s name recognition around town.
It’s also important to show your neighbors that your distillery cares and thinks beyond production and serving up cocktails to the community. Supporting local charities that speak to your distillery’s values will allow you to give back to your community while also giving your neighbors another reason to cheer for you.