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Sheri Hebbeln
 
January 10, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln

Supplement Wine Marketing Efforts with Content

Setting up an online wine store is only half the battle. Unfortunately, with the massive universe of the Internet, you can't just build your e-commerce platform and expect customers to come. You need to bring them in with savvy wine marketing efforts.

E-commerce presents wineries with a huge opportunity to expand their sales reach and boost direct-to-consumer sales. The Internet has allowed even small businesses to grow outside of their geographical borders. In fact, the most successful companies are expanding by moving into foreign countries with their online operations, according to a Huffington Post blog article. Other countries have huge sales days similar to the U.S.'s Cyber Monday, such as China's Singles' Day, which generated $5.7 billion in sales.

If you already sell wine online, it's time to think about your promotional strategies. While email marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage customers and highlight special offers, content marketing is a valuable way to boost your brand's visibility.

Content rules when it comes to e-commerce

In 2013, the popularity of content marketing for e-commerce rose, and it's expected to keep doing so this year. You don't even need to break your marketing budget to effectively put this strategy into place. As long as you're producing unique, relevant, engaging materials, customers will take note. For example, you can write seasonal content about different wines, offer recipes and suggestions for wine pairings or even include links to charities you support.

In the past, content marketing was largely driven by search engine optimization efforts, which meant it was more focused on keywords than delivering value to readers. However, this tactic has evolved. Keywords can still ensure that shoppers find your website, but Google's search algorithm places higher priority on relevance. You can get higher search engine results from providing educational content than stuffing articles with keywords.

Things to keep in mind for content marketing

While the prospect of writing and publishing content every day can seem daunting for small wineries that already have their hands full with other tasks, it doesn't need to be complicated or time-consuming. Quality and originality are major drivers of how well your strategy will function, Fox Business stated. This can ensure that audience continues to read what you have to say.

In addition, you need to be sure you're sharing relevant content. Think about your customers' needs and deliver materials that speak to them. One of the most significant changes in content marketing in the past few years is the rise of visual materials. Videos, infographics and photos are more likely to be consumed than large blocks of text, and this is one easy way your winery can win at content marketing. Wine lends itself to photography. A picture is worth 1,000 words, so if you don't have enough to say, visuals can do a lot of the talking.

E-commerce and Internet marketing are rapidly changing, and you need to keep up to maintain a profitable level of online wine sales. Content can supplement your e-commerce offerings because it gives you a venue to highlight your unique capabilities. In fact, brand distinction still matters a great deal for Internet sales. With a high number of competitors on the Internet, it's more important than ever to stand out, and content is one way to do so. Having an established brand can make it easier for you to keep gaining new DTC sales.

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