With thousands of wines from countless wine regions in the marketplace, promoting a wine brand or a region and reaching consumers through earned media coverage sometimes isn’t enough.

Like a hypodermic needle, a strong story in a respected outlet injects consumers with powerful information about your brand. And when done well, it compels readers to track down a bottle or two and try it. However, this approach affords zero direct engagement with the consumer.

A multi-tiered communications strategy is critical, with activations that supplement media coverage and drive brand engagement. Successful programs should include an experiential and immersive component—and when technology is involved, it makes the activations’ ability to scale cost effectively and target consumers even stronger. 

A multi-tiered communications strategy is critical, with activations that supplement media coverage and drive brand engagement.Click To Tweet

Cue in online meet-up communities like Meet Up. These tools are designed to connect likeminded people with each other, whether it’s for weekly art exhibit tours, bike rides, or wine appreciation. As wine consumers love nothing more than interacting with fellow wine fans to discuss and enjoy a glass, this strategy can be quite successful for wine brands.

The idea behind these online communities is simple: You create an interest group around the wine region you represent; you schedule various gatherings in your city of choice; wine lovers discover your group on the site and attend the meet ups.

The gatherings can range from casual to formal. They can be structured as low-key wine-tastings at a local restaurant that carries your wine, or you can host more structured wine seminars at a local wine bar. Either way, you’ll be directly engaged with consumers, having control over their enjoyment of the wine.

Ultimately, the success of a campaign goes beyond education and awareness—it needs to inform behaviors and drive consumers to action. Online communities can efficiently and effectively complement earned coverage, and allow brand representatives to interact with consumers on a regular basis.

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