Online festival participation

Is your craft beverage brand planning to participate in an online festival this summer? With many organizers making the call to cancel in-person attendance due to coronavirus, we’ve prepared a simple checklist for brands looking to quickly pivot to a virtual event strategy.

Summer festivals are a major source of revenue for industry associations and event organizers: from advertising and sponsorship to tickets and tourism. To avoid cancelling completely, many are choosing to move the experience to an online festival format. Some of the more notable examples include:

How does participating in an online festival make your brand more discoverable?

Man in a virtual meeting for online festival postOrganizers will be challenged to create a compelling agenda, delivered in a highly interactive and engaging way, for enjoyment at a safe, social distance. Fortunately, the community of craft producers is a resourceful one, with many recently embracing video for tastings, happy hours and other events. We outline 5 additional tools that may be used to attract new customers – first to your brand, and then to the online festival:
  1. Promote the event on your website
  2. Design a social content calendar
  3. Distribute a press release
  4. Announce via email newsletter
  5. Leverage online sales channels

promote the event on your website

Winemaker photo for online festival postThe team at Market Your Craft believes in a mobile-first marketing strategy: customers will discover your brand using their mobile phones. The same is true of events. With that in mind, start with a landing page for your event participation:

  • Choose a web address that’s easy to share.
  • Include tasting notes, suggested pairings and featured product info.
  • Give background on the presenting production team member(s).
  • Discuss any charities benefiting from ticket sales.
  • Help attendees prep for the event, including instructions on how to purchase samples, access the video stream, etc.

Every one of the following tools will point to this landing page, so it should be engaging and easy-to-find in Google. Want to feel more confident about your mobile web? Let us help.

design a social content calendar

Man enjoying a beer for online festival postIn addition to your day-to-day social activity, plan a separate calendar of posts and content to highlight your event involvement:

  • Aggressively promote (3 posts/week) leading up to the event; heavy-up (3 posts/day) during the event; and taper off (2 posts total) the week following the event.
  • Consider ticket giveaways or attendees promotions (where allowed).
  • Make it easy for existing fans and followers to share event details.
  • Promote festival-branded assets, like skins for social posts, available to media and sponsors.
  • Use 5-15-second video teasers to raise event awareness.
  • Aggressively promote (3 posts/week) leading up to the event; heavy-up (3 posts/day) during the event; and taper off (2 posts total) the week following the event.
  • Consider ticket giveaways or attendees promotions (where allowed).
  • Make it easy for existing fans and followers to share event details.
  • Promote festival-branded assets, like skins for social posts, available to media and sponsors.
  • Use 5-15-second video teasers to raise event awareness.

New to creating social content calendars? We’ve put together a complimentary guide to help get you started.

distribute a press release

Organic winemaker photo for online festival postSharing a press release with industry publications not only exposes your craft beverage brand to new audiences, it helps promote the online festival for organizers (win-win). We like clear, timely announcements sent to a handful of receptive journalists covering the following:

  • Announce your participation and why it’s a good fit for your craft beverage brand.
  • Give dates, ticket prices and any other pertinent info to help hook the reader.
  • Discuss the product(s) being featured as well as any notable distinctions (i.e. award-winning, seasonal release, organic).
  • Introduce any value-added partnerships or collaborations available to attendees.
  • Link to your landing page.

Writing a press release is pretty straight-forward (and free). Sometimes writing the first one can be daunting, which is why we’ve outlined the process in one of our downloadable guides.

announce via email newsletter

Distiller photo for online festival postSimilar to social media, email is a great way to engage those who want to know more about your brand. Consider longer-form announcements about the event:

  • Schedule 1 email/week the month leading up to the event, and a single follow-up after.
  • Use each email to highlight a single topic. For example: production team bios, products being featured, charitable support and others.
  • Share registration or call-to-action buttons early and often.
  • Get visual! Help attendees see themselves enjoying the new, virtual format.
  • Include links to your landing page and social channels for even more energy.
  • Schedule 1 email/week the month leading up to the event, and a single follow-up after.
  • Use each email to highlight a single topic. For example: production team bios, products being featured, charitable support and others.
  • Share registration or call-to-action buttons early and often.
  • Get visual! Help attendees see themselves enjoying the new, virtual format.
  • Include links to your landing page and social channels for even more energy.

Customers rely on email to stay connected with craft beverage brands. Our guide to email engagement will help you reach them in a meaningful way, or we can walk you through it.

leverage online sales channels

Beer keyboard for online festival postSocial distancing has prompted a radical shift in craft beverage purchase behavior, including where and how customers purchase alcohol. If you have an online store:

  • Enable online beverage purchase for curbside pickup, local delivery or shipping.
  • Promote a “sampler pack” of featured products for purchase prior to the festival.
  • Sell event registrations on your landing page (where allowed).
  • Feature merchandise and cross-promotional items.
  • Consider “live audience” upsells to allow customers to attend any production team live streams in-person (where appropriate).

Not yet selling online? Your distributor partner(s) may be able to assist, or we’re happy to walk you through the online storefront we enabled in 2 hours as an example of what’s possible.

MailChimp archive:
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