Digital Marketing for Wineries (Case Study)

digital marketing for wineries

If you think digital marketing for wineries is all about social media marketing, think again. While winery marketing for ecommerce certainly involves Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, it's content marketing, search engine optimization, and backlinks that attract new customers and drives online conversions.

Contrary to popular belief, PPC and influencer marketing are more effective than social media too.

Let's face it, someone searching for wine is much more likely to be a buyer than someone perusing their social media newsfeed. When it comes to digital marketing for wineries, social media marketing is anything but failproof.

In this episode of the Earned Media Podcast, learn how a small, family-owned winery built a website that attracts more web traffic and drives more direct-to-consumer sales than even some major wineries, without spending a nickel on advertising.

If you'd like to find out how my content marketing agency can help you grow revenue through SEO, click here.

Digital Marketing Fine Wine DTC

This is an audio case study with my clients Ross and Jennifer Halleck, the owners of Halleck Vineyard, who have been using my Digital Pivot Framework to transition the majority of their wine sales from the more traditional retail shopping to direct to consumer ecommerce.

Halleck Vineyard is an award-winning boutique luxury winery characterized by higher-priced, and higher-quality wines made in smaller batches for the upscale market. With the exception of their white wines and Rose, bottles start at $50 each.

By contrast, mass market wines are lower in price and produced in larger quantities for a larger market. Mass market wines can be found in supermarkets. Luxury wines are rare. These varietals are made from specially cultivated grapes and may be aged for longer periods of time.

Luxury wines also come from more specific regions. Mass market wines might be labeled simply California, while used in luxury wines can be traced back to a single vineyard in the Russian River Valley or Sonoma Coast. The place wine comes from is used to generate demand and highlight scarcity.

There are hundreds of thousands of wine brands, of which fine wine is just a small fraction, competing for attention online. Using the Digital Pivot methodology I lay out in my new book, the Halleck Vineyard website achieved massive growth, from less than 500 to more than 20,000 visitors per month.

In 2022, Sonoma wine tasting room visits were up 331% over all of 2021. The Digital Pivot methodology is a sequential approach to digital marketing that prioritizes organic over paid media, social media, and earned media.

Sebastopol Wine Tasting room sales growth at Halleck Vineyard.

Digital Marketing for Wineries in Sonoma

Unlike Napa Valley, Sonoma County is home to more small wineries. The Halleck's original thought was that email marketing would be the key to increasing sales. But as email slips in its ability to drive transaction for luxury brands, I was able to demonstrate how owned media marketing is far better suited to fine wine marketing. In the wine industry, selling a brand is equivalent of telling the story behind it.

Fine wine marketing requires inbound demand generation. Outbound digital channels, like email marketing, work best when the marketers present offers that appear to deliver a greater value than the cost. In the case of fine wine, or any luxury product for that matter, overly generous offers have the potential to cheapen a brand.

To find out how Sonoma County Winery Halleck Vineyard increased their wine sales DTC online, listen to this episode of the earned media podcast. If you'd like to achieve similar results, apply here to become a delegate of the Digital Pivot Program.

I'll be at the Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium later this month in Concord, California. If you need help with digital marketing for wineries, contact me, and let's meet up at the conference.