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The alcohol industry thriving on content marketing hubs

Alcoholic drinks take their slice of the pie in content marketing

The landscape of alcoholic drinks is undergoing major changes. More and more channels and marketing tools are being utilized to encourage consumption. The alcohol market is thriving and giants like Thrillist Media Group have been quick to react. The digital media powerhouse has recently launched a special unit, under the name of Supercall, entirely dedicated to creating content related to alcoholic drinks.

The roadmap to spirits

The quantity of spirits being consumed is on the rise compared to the consumption of beer, according to Hayden Lynch, senior director of creative strategy.

On a parallel note, bars and retail outlets, especially in the United States, are being inundated with craft spirits. The industry has gained US $ 2.4 billion in sales in 2015 and its market share is expanding at an incredible speed. Currently, there are more than 4,200 craft breweries.

Similarly, the art and science of cocktail and drinks recipes, known as mixology, is also flourishing around the world. As such, more and more people are being attracted to try spirits in an innovative style. The alcohol market is expected to boom.

Partnership with Diageo

Thrillist’s interest to invest in Supercall was equally boosted by the fact that Diageo- the British multinational behind famous alcoholic beverages like Smirnoff Vodka- showed curiosity in this marketing strategy. The largest producer of spirits and one of the biggest producers of beer, Diageo definitely saw an advantage in the setting up of Supercall.

However, the deal with Supercall is that only 5 to 10% of the content will be dedicated to Diego which will equally not be able to influence the editorial output. Supercall should expand as a full-fledged independent digital publication. On its behalf, Diageo has expressed its keenness to provide support in terms of research to gauge the impact of the content marketing maneuver.

Alcohol brands doing creative marketing

Alcohol brands are usually associated with lifestyles. As such, the best marketing strategies is a presenting a highly desirable lifestyle and blending it seamlessly into the life of the customer. Behind the product, the wisest brands are creating powerful impact by selling stories and experiences to their audience.

Brands like Smirnoff Vodka or Absolut Vodka have innovated by relying on content marketing hubs which are digital platforms where they publish their own content. Here again, the idea is to tell a story to the customer or viewer without highlighting the promotional side of the product. Instead, the product is subtly laid in the background but all the experiences shared remain anchored to it.

 


 

Marketing is no more selling. Evolving into something more personal, it is now perceived as virtually having a conversation with customers. It is about sharing emotions associated with the product or services with targeted groups in a very creative manner. To meet this end, the alcohol industry has not delayed in embracing content marketing hubs that are seen as powerful magnets. Leaning on these hubs is allowing two big brands- Absolut Vodka and Smirnoff Vodka- to demarcate themselves from competitors. Together with the bottle, they have to sell experiences and ideas.

What are content marketing hubs?

A content marketing hub is a digital destination (website, blog, or social media platform amongst others) that is owned by a brand. The latter acts like the publisher and publish content on a regular basis targeting their audience. The content may be on a variety of topics but related in the end to the brand itself.

They are generally non-promotional and are rather oriented towards sharing stories and emotions with the audience. In many cases, customers or followers are invited to engage themselves by making comments or sharing their own experiences.

Content marketing hubs can be branded either “on domain” or separately. These hubs have been burgeoning in various fields lately: business, technology, retail, fashion, financial services, travel, and healthcare amongst others.

Content marketing hubs and the alcohol industry

The alcohol industry has to constantly keep innovating and presenting creative ideas and strategies to attract audiences. Basically, apart from a bottle with a sticker, they do not have much to sell. So, the brands have to adopt such marketing strategies to appeal to customers by intimately connecting with them and pushing their products into the limelight. Both Absolut Vodka and Smirnoff Vodka have wisely betted on high quality images than texts to create more forceful and visual impact. Visitors feel attracted and leave the websites on a happy note, carrying a positive perception of the brand in their subconscious.

Absolut Nights behind the Absolut Vodka

The famous Absolut Vodka struck hard by designing the #AbsolutNights concept. Alcohol is intimately connected with parties which are closely related to night time. The idea is to invite the audience to get into the realm of unforgettable nights and treasured memories around the Absolut Vodka.

The website has been designed in such a way to promote the experiences of common individuals, targeting youngsters to elderly people. Heartbreaks, reunions, happiness, sadness, and of course recipes… Ultimately, the masterstroke is the Absolut Nights events that extended themselves over one whole month, gathering artists and designers.

The next hit is expected to be the Absolut Art Award 2017 that was inspired by Art Bars around the world. Absolut Vodka has thus managed to create a wide spectrum of feelings and experiences that are finally revolving around the vodka as the main product itself.

The Good Times of Smirnoff Vodka

Smirnoff Vodka has more or less based itself on emotional advertising to reach out to its audience. By creating the Good Times, the brand has tried to associate its products with happiness and positive feelings. Smirnoff Vodka cunningly uses everyday simple actions and habits- such as watching a movie with a friend or simply meeting with forgotten friends- to pitch its products.

On its website, the brand highlights personal stories from common people. One example is the road trip of two best friends who set out on a cross-country trip and about how they meet up with new interesting people around some shots of Smirnoff Vodka. These encounters leave the protagonists with long lasting happy memories- again associated with the product itself. Of course, as its rival, Smirnoff Vodka equally shares a panoply of unique recipes to engage customers.