Marketing A Special Beer Release With Your Distributor

Marketing A Special Beer Release With Your Distributor

Born in a garage, bred in a brewhouse, shared with the world. Your beer's story is personal, we get it. But when your craft brewery begins to distribute, your story becomes quite public.

How will you tell your story when it does?

[Tweet "How will you make your personal #CraftBeer story public when you distribute?"]

Brand Your Beer

Your beer is not just any beer. It's a work of art, a masterpiece. And, if you want to market it as a beer worthy of its own special release (not just another product from Brewery X), you need to treat it as such.

Give your beer a kick *ss name, a logo with a story, and a description that would make Shakespeare quiver in his boots.

Brand Your Beer

[Tweet "Brand your #CraftBeer like it's worthy of a special release. #Marketing"]

Share A Teaser

You can't give away all the goods at once. Tantalize both consumers and distributors with some juicy previews. It's important to connect with both of these groups, to generate meaningful demand and interest.

Share A Teaser

[Tweet "Connect w/ both distributors and consumers to market your #specialrelease. #marketingtip"]

Create Content

Here comes the real meat and potatoes of your craft beer marketing campaign. These marketing materials will tell the story of your craft beer and create a lot of hype.

Potential content includes:

  • Branded Graphics
  • Videos
  • Custom Photography
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Press Releases
  • Hashtags
  • Interviews
  • Blogs
  • Recipes

Create Content

[Tweet "#Marketing content inspiration for your #specialrelease beer."]

Arm Your Allies

Don't misquote us here - we want you to make beer, not war.

Now that you've created all this fantastic content, get it into the hands of the right people.

Share your content in a clearly worded, simply packaged email to all your distributors. Make their marketing teams' jobs as easy as possible. (Hint: The easier you make it for a distributor, the more likely they are to share your content.)

Your distributors want your craft beer to succeed; when you're in demand, so are they. So, help make the success happen!

Arm Your Allies

[Tweet "Partner with your distributors to find real success in a #specialrelease beer marketing campaign."]

Take Ownership

Yep, you really have to do all the legwork here. You've already created the content and pristinely communicated it to your distributors, but you're not done yet.

You have to take ownership of all marketing, especially during the height of your craft beer special release.

A few items to add to your checklist:

  • Schedule posts on social media accounts ahead of time
  • Make use of your massive email list, and send out a newsletter
  • Use Twitter lists to inform consumers
  • Thank distributors who promote your campaign
  • Encourage consumers to get involved and engage with the campaign
  • Update Untappd (and Beer Advocate, and Rate Beer, and everything else)
  • Create a special event at your brewery for the release date

Take Ownership

[Tweet "#Marketing checklist for your #brewery's special release."]

Special Release Case Study

The Brewer

The history of Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout begins in 2008. In the past 8 years, this campaign expanded more than anybody could have foreseen.

A look at the content they created:

  • 3 hashtags: Beer, Video Series, and Overall Campaign
  • Which hashtags not to use (eg. #BCS)
  • Links to social media channels
  • Custom photography (beer, brewers, production, cases)
  • Custom infographic on the brewing process
  • Sell sheets

The Distributor

In our work with College City Beverage (a beer distributor and valued client of ours), we took advantage of this quality marketing material.

To be honest, it had our mouths watering a bit. Here are a few steps we took to promote the campaign through College City Beverage channels:

  • Created a Facebook album of custom photos provided by Goose Island
  • Scheduled tweets, Facebook posts, and Google+ updates using the most relevant hashtags and links
  • Shared content posted on Goose Island's page (e.g. retweeting)
  • Pinned custom photography and infographics on Pinterest provided by Goose Island
  • Posted several blogs promoting the release
  • Created a hashtag specific to the College City Beverage delivery day
  • Created and promoted a Twitter list of team members scheduled to deliver on Black Friday

The Moral

When Goose Island unleashed a wave of content on their distributors' marketing teams, we were empowered to build off it in our own campaigns.

Who would have guessed...all it took was one email.