2020 could appropriately be called “the year of virtual tastings,” as many beverage brands added virtual tasting components to their marketing strategies as a reaction to the disruption in the traditional channels of communication. But, with disruption come opportunities for growth and innovation.
By incorporating virtual tastings into your long-term marketing and communications strategies, you are opening the ability to expand your reach, increase brand awareness, and ultimately drive sales by honing in on consumers more likely to purchase through guided trials. The hybrid virtual tasting model combines the live in-person event experience with the digital online component.
When thinking about how virtual tastings can add value to your brand’s future goals, think about the following:
- Expanded Reach: Elements such as an individual’s physical location or the cancellation of a babysitter can come in the way of reaching your target market with in-person tasting events. By incorporating a virtual component into your long term communication strategies, you have a greater chance of getting your message out to a greater number of people. A virtual tasting can offer access to everyone interested in attending, regardless of whether they’re in another state or unable to travel.
- Building Consumer Relationships: With so many beverage brands to choose from, building a relationship with consumers is crucial when it comes to keeping them returning. Adding virtual activations into your long term communications strategies provides the opportunity to stay connected and engaged with consumers. Thus, building brand loyalty.
- Owned Content: With the ability to record live events and edit into user-friendly content, you can also limit consumers’ scheduling conflicts. You can also use keynote and session recordings as promotional pieces in the future, which can significantly lower your overall marketing costs. You can delight audiences with free content and plan how to monetize and leverage deeper, archived content long after your live hybrid events are over. To do so requires an organizational paradigm shift from marketing a single Virtual Tasting event to selling an integrated content distribution channel that builds upon itself over time. Taking this type of long-term approach creates greater brand awareness.
- Improved Return on Investment (ROI): The cost of virtual events is significantly cheaper than in person activations leading to a greater ROI. While in-person events will continue to be imperative and irreplaceable to communications programs when permissible again, virtual events will continue to provide broad reach to participants at minimal costs and no overhead — allowing for more tailored experiences for broader audiences than in-person events can cater to.
To learn more about ways to incorporate virtual tastings into your long term communications strategies as well as best practices when it comes to technology platforms and execution.