Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Stone Brewing's "Enjoy By" Campaign Is A Case Study In Smart Digital Marketing

Beer is what you may call a very social product. People come together around a few drinks to talk, party, watch sports, and most anything else you can think of. Many also enjoy discussing, reviewing, and sharing photos of the multiple varieties, flavors, and brands with other enthusiasts online.

Through social networks like Google+ and Instagram, as well as dedicated websites like craftbeer.com, and mobile apps such as Untappd, beer drinkers can, and do, keep themselves engaged with their peers for hours.

All of this is not lost on the exploding American craft brew industry, many of whom leverage social media specifically as a key way to inform and engage with their customers, and lure more thirsty patrons looking for something they have never had before.

The Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego, California is one great example of a brewery with a seemingly innate ability to share their passion for good beer online in an integrated way that builds passion and brand loyalty in customers.

Case in point is the marketing around their double IPA known as “Enjoy By” where the deadline is filled in after, depending on when it is released. 

Let's take a look at all of the elements at play here:

1. The Offline Outreach: Those who find "Enjoy By" in their area are informed of their responsibility to keep each fresh batch to follow coming back to their area right on the bottle. They are encouraged to visit the micro website, and "vote" using a dedicated hashtag along with their zip code in a post to Twitter, Instagram, or Untappd.  

2. The Microsite: The dedicated site begins by educating the customer on what this beer is, and why freshness is so important to one's enjoyment of it. This site then acts as the hub of activity to follow, and even keeps fans coming back to see their own content contribution. 

3. The YouTube Video: This video provides the same education as the written tale of the beer. But, the added visual element is important because it is more engaging and shareable for fans. It allows a deeper connection to the brewery because you get to hear the actual brewers discuss what they like about their creation. Stone also let's fans know that they have a YouTube channel they can subscribe to for additional content.

4. The Email Newsletter: The action requested by Stone is to vote for the beer to come back to your zip code. On the microsite you can make your vote count 10 times, and you're then prompted to give your email address for quick updates on that next batch. The address is confirmed, and boom! - future updates delivered through email. 

5. The Social Media Interaction: This is where the fun happens and the word spreads. Using the #EnjoyBy hashtag, fans can communicate their desire to have the next batch sent to their area and follow the conversation with other beer lovers. A page on the microsite displays a running feed of posts from all three networks being used for the promotion - Twitter, Instagram, and Untappd. Fans can return to the site to see their post show up and view others' posts as well.

    In Summation:

    Obviously, the sense of urgency is here with a call-to-action right in the name that plainly states when you will have missed your chance to experience this brew at its finest. That's motivation!

    But, this campaign works because it has several digital pieces that all work together to promote this beer, educate on the importance of freshness for this style, and get people talking about the brand.

    Lastly, I'm not sure you noticed the date on this most recent batch, but you had better hurry up and get one before it's gone. The clock is ticking. 

    Happy 4th of July!

    Want to talk more about integrated marketing strategies? Leave a comment below or circle me on Google+