Irish whiskey is on the up and up, and while recently attending the Irish Whiskey Awards and Whiskey Live events, it struck me that there were a lot of lessons digital marketers could take away from the lift in spirits, so to speak, within that industry. Here’s a few I distilled down for good measure…
It takes time to achieve results
Just as it takes three years and a day before Irish whiskey can be called whiskey, and to see the fruits of your distilling labour, so it takes time for any digital marketing campaign to start reaping the rewards. Thankfully, it doesn’t take that long for your digital marketing to take effect, but it’s important to note that even the best campaign needs to ferment for a few months before the business starts to see real results.
After that, as this blog from leanlabs.com says, it comes down to factors such as how frequently you blog, how good your content is, and how well you are promoting it.
If you think you are doing all you can to get your content out there, attract visitors to your site, and turn them into leads, but are still not seeing any progress, it’s time to read the signs, evaluate what might be going wrong, and revise your strategy.
A blend can produce great results
One of my favourite tipples is the Midleton Very Rare, and just as it is one of the finest blended whiskies on the market, your business can achieve great results by combining and integrating a digital marketing strategy across multiple platforms, incorporating blogs, social media and email marketing to produce real ROI.
There’s no point in creating great content your target market would love to see if they don’t know it’s out there, so a mass communications strategy that blends many elements into your campaign is essential to getting it seen and promoting it across as many channels as possible.
It involves layers that bring you through an experience
A good whiskey doesn’t just offer you a single taste that makes you think ‘oh great, that tastes like whiskey, fantastic!’ Take this year’s Irish Whiskey Awards overall winner, Knappogue Castle 14-Year-Old Twin Wood. It has layers - the nose suggests apple pie, barley and vanilla, while the taste is rich and fruity, hinting at oak. The finish is medium in length, going from full and fruity to a dry barley end. So it’s not just a single step.
Just as there are several stages in that experience, so a good digital marketing campaign doesn’t end when you get a visitor to your site. It brings the consumer through a buyer’s journey – attracting them with relevant and useful content, then offering further helpful content through CTAs and Landing Pages that convert them from leads into potential customers ready to make a purchasing decision. And just as the finish of a good whiskey stays on the palate, so a digital marketing strategy should not end once the customer is closed – through further nurturing they should be enticed to become an advocate for your brand and a repeat customer through even more valuable offerings.
It brings together innovation and more traditional approaches
The Irish whiskey industry has seen a dramatic resurgence because distillers are happily combining traditional methods with innovation to produce new and exciting products that are opening it up to new markets.
While I’m hesitant to call methods such as email ‘traditional’, in today’s fast-evolving world, it does seem relatively ‘old school’ when compared to the constant innovations of social media. Many marketers are openly struggling to keep up with these innovations in a changing landscape, but a reputable digital marketing agency can keep on top of these changes for you, and use them to their full potential to keep your business ahead of the pack.
Blogs and social media are fantastic ways to produce content for your consumer base and promote it across huge audiences to draw people into your website, and great CTAs and Landing Pages will help convert them into leads. However, despite being ‘old school’, email marketing is still up there as the most effective way to turn a lead into a customer.
Whether it’s a single pot still or single malt, single grain or blended, Irish whiskey works, and so too does an inbound digital marketing strategy, whatever the ingredients.
Instead of buying ads on Google (80% of which are now ignored by savvy online consumers, or blocked), buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your business. If the organic content you create is good, that’s where they want to be, and that’s also where you want them to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and further delight.
According to Social Media B2B, companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that don’t. If you have an active blog, you have a better chance of making a connection with your website visitors. The Content Marketing Institute reports that 80% of people identify themselves as blog readers, and 23% of all time spent online is spent on social media sites, so to put it plainly, more and more people are reading blogs, and when they find blog articles they like, they are sharing them with their social media networks.
Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links, according to ContentPlus. Indexed pages and indexed links translate into higher search rankings, meaning more traffic to your website, and more leads generated. After that, it’s all about bringing them through that journey until they are ready to buy.
Implementing an effective inbound digital marketing strategy that attracts visitors and converts them into leads through great content promoted across multiple platforms will give you every chance of achieving the sort of success seen in the Irish whiskey industry today. However, those businesses that don’t take on board the most effective and efficient way to generate leads will soon find themselves on the rocks.
Find out how you can generate more leads through an inbound marketing strategy with our Lead Generation Survival Kit: