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In 2021, Beer Marketing Moves Along Digitally Focused Lines

In 2021, Beer Marketing Moves Along Digitally Focused Lines

The downturn the beer industry recently experienced is being seen as an opportunity for global producers. Bloomberg reports that Japanese lager giants Sapporo are planning to invest big sums in a new plant on the West Coast amid investment across the country transferring from one area to another. With a new and highly competitive market being created, beer industry branding and marketing experts are looking to fine-tune their digital approach to marketing to make headway and rise above new or resurgent competition.

Generating visitors

Creating a buzz is the first step being taken in these new marketing efforts. Increasingly, that’s through the web and search engine optimization (SEO)-focused content. SEO focuses on generating organic searches through high-quality content that search engine algorithms prefer. This isn’t some sort of trick on the computer; when you consider that customers are likely to prefer websites with good content and an engaging experience, and turn that into purchases, the benefit of high-quality organic content is quite plain to see. Companies as big as Budweiser are trying to move in on this act now, and have started focusing on hyper-local searches to try to pick up new business in the 25-34 age category of beer drinkers, according to marketing magazine The Drum. The hyper-local search is crucial, too.

Craft and local brands

When it comes to craft beer, authenticity is a big factor. Numerous studies have been conducted in to trying to establish just what authenticity is. A recent March 2021 study, Watered Down: Market Growth, Authenticity, and Evaluation in Craft Beer, found that the question might be more complex than previously thought, as consumers’ subjective experience of what constituted ‘authenticity’ extended to big-name brands. What it does show is that local matters. Craft beer producers, and big brands trying to generate an ‘authentic’ product, are keen to always highlight the local story of their brew. A great example of this is Hop House 13, the Guinness lager, which is by all measures a big-brand product – yet, it leans on hallmarks of a storied past within Dublin as part of its authentic marketing drive.

Questions over branding

What does this come down to? Branding, of course. Using digital means to drive forward sales provides the technological and data basis on which to focus marketing, but the way that consumers act shows that branding remains key. This has been put into focus like never before by the booming sales of Corona, which many analysts prompted would be hit by a huge downturn in sales given the connotations of its historic name. Instead, sales jumped 40% over a year. Corona, of course, is not a craft beer or ale, and is renowned for its association with Mexican history and being a down-to-earth drink.

That focus on branding will be a clear winner for beer brewers over the next few months. Highlighting the local message and authentic credentials of any brew over competitors, and communicating that effectively via digital means, is a winning formula.