By Karen On October 24, 2018

5 Things to Include in Your Craft Beverage Company’s Marketing Plan

Marketing entails way more than just than social media, and it may be one reason you do not have a full-scale marketing plan yet. Clients often tell me it comes down to lack of time or knowledge of what to include in the yearly plan. SO what do you include? Marketing plans are much like crafting a cocktail — if you leave one ingredient out — it can throw off the entire drink. If you use only one ingredient (like social media in this case), it’s not really a cocktail, now is it?

At High-Proof Creative we include over 10 categories in our marketing plans. Our marketing plans for distilleries, and craft beverage brands are delivered with a table of contents they’re so detailed! But if you’re set on tackling your own marketing plan, here are the top 5 things you won’t want to leave out.

Competitor Research

Do you know who your competitors are? If so, it’s time to dig into:

  • What kind of advertising campaigns they’re producing
  • Which keywords they rank for in Google searches
  • Where their products are sold (online?)
  • What kind of events they plan and execute
  • Which publications have covered their products
  • How many people visit their website
  • How many people follow them on social
  • And more!

Social Media

If we all know social media is essential, then why are so many of us just posting to social media to post something? Use your marketing plan to dig deeper into the voice and tone of your content, the overall look and feel of your photos (cool, warm, bright, etc.), how often you will post, social campaigns ideas, micro content, and more.

Search & SEO

Once you know how your competitors are stacking up in the digital space, you can set new goals for which keywords you will rank for and how you’ll drive more traffic to your website. Why does any of this matter? 81% of consumers will research something online before purchasing it (even if they can’t buy it online), according to Adweek. Do you know how often and when consumers are finding you online? If not enough, be sure to add this into your marketing plan.


Your website should and can be a marketing tool, if you utilize it correctly! Even if you can’t sell your liquor online, think about how you might use your website to grow your company and create a lifestyle around your brand that consumers want to buy into.


We base advertising campaigns on data when possible. Are people drinking less gin in February? Time for a campaign! While it’s really not that simple, campaigns can help push you a head of the competition. A campaign can consist of imagery, messaging, a blog post,  and social assets. Next comes promotion on social media. Campaigns don’t have to promote your product directly, but rather promote the lifestyle that supports drinking your product.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by your craft beverage company’s marketing plan? Contact us today. We know the market well and we can get to know your craft spirits brand inside and out. We promise there will be a table of contents!



Karen Locke is Founder of High-Proof Creative. She has written about booze for magazines like GQ magazine, Bon Appétit, Thrillist, Sip Northwest, Chilled, and more. Additionally, Karen has many years of creative, and marketing agency work in Portland. She believes the darker the bar, the better.

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