Online Marketing Blog: The Benefits Of Blogging

Blogs are first intended as means of expressing one’s thoughts and opinions. Then, they gradually became a tool for publicity for celebrity and paparazzi. Later, blogs were picked up by the business world and used as a tool to promote their sites, create more online presence, and expand their businesses. From simple web pages, blogs have become an important online marketing instrument that can benefit both small and large businesses. Here are the benefits of blogging in online marketing:

Brand Building
A marketing blog builds your brand as easy as making one post per day. Blogs help you to generate not only online presence, but also brand recall, making it possible for your business to become known to whoever has access to the internet.

SEM or Search Engine Marketing
Blogging is a great way to generate organic traffic and a great way to directly communicate with your clients, but more importantly, if you are running a marketing campaign, it helps you generate traffic.

Inexpensive
Blogs are generally very cheap compared to other online marketing campaigns. You can just hire one blogger who will maintain one or many blog sites as well as update contents daily. Or, you can simply write one blog per day about your business and it will easily build online presence and reputation. And as long as blogs stay live, your content is valid and can be picked up for many years to come.

Accessibility
Users do not need to sign up to view your site. They can open, read, write comments, and get information easily without the time consuming process that is more common with other marketing tools like online forums.

Direct link to customers
Other forms of marketing tools do not quite match the power of blogs. Because your clients can post comments in blogs anytime, businesses can get instant feedback and can send messages back to the clients to provide answers to their queries. This makes the business more connected to the customers, providing a sense of personalized service.

Reputation building
Image is crucial to any brand. Any problem of your company or complaint raised by customers can be damaging to your business. If not addressed as quickly as possible, your reputation will suffer. Blogging helps your clients to discuss these issues directly to the business. You can then send replies to your clients addressing these issues right away, protecting the business from any damage that may result from any unresolved or unaddressed concerns.

Buy Your Wine Direct From the Winery

How wine is sold is subtly changing. Until recent history wine was sold through an arcane system known as Three Tier Distribution that came about when prohibition ended. The winery or brewer or distiller has no choice in how they get their product to market. Gradually however, this is changing as states approve wine being shipped directly from the winery to the consumer.

The 2016 Direct-to-Consumer (DtC) wines sales report has some interesting information. It confirms that wineries are focusing more of their strategies on marketing their wines directly to the consumer. In fact, this method of distribution isn’t just for the smaller wineries; the large wineries are now focusing more attention on this outlet. Greater than 5 million equivalent cases of wine were shipped direct to the consumer and it wasn’t limited to less expensive wines either. Sonoma wineries had the highest grow rate in 2016 of nearly 30%.

Wines and Vines has a 2016 database of 9,069 U.S. wineries that they have divided into 5 categories based upon number of cases produced annually. The largest combined categories are called Limited and Very Small producers, each producing up to 4,999 cases per year. These two categories represent 79% of all wineries shipping direct to consumers, roughly 3,600 wineries in each category. If Small Wineries (totaling 1,570) are added to the prior two categories they represent 96.4% of wineries in the U.S. The take-away from this information is that wineries each producing 49,999 cases of wine and less annually, while selling DtC, have a significant market presence.

The five million cases of wine shipped DtC in 2016 represented a 17% increase over 2015. This was made up of single or multiple bottle shipments. “The value of 2016 shipments rose 18.5 percent over 2015, topping $2 billion for the first time and culminating at $2.33 billion”, as reported by Sovos ShipCompliant/Wines and Vines. The average price of a bottle of wine shipped to the consumer in this format was $38.00; far from the $15.00 per bottle of wine making up the greatest number of bottles shipped. Jon Moramarco, Managing Partner of BW 166 LLC reports that the average bottle of wine sold “off- premise” was $9.29.

This points out that consumers are not shy about buying expensive wine on-line/phone and receiving the wine via FedEx, UPS or contract shipper. With the number of wineries growing at approximately 5% annually, most are in the limited and small producer category, therefore it would appear they are the group most receptive to reaching out directly to customers. With DtC shipment representing 8.7% of domestic wine sales there is plenty of room for growth.

The very large wineries, in 2016, represented 13% of all DtC shipments which was a 183% increase over 2015. However, it appears they did this by reducing the price of their shipped wines. The average price for the wine shipped by the 64 largest wineries (producing >500,000 cases) fell to $16.00 per bottle. Obviously, there is some elasticity in the wine business. There are some exceptions however, some Napa and Sonoma wineries did raise prices and still realized an increase in shipment and therefore values.

The varietals that have seen the greatest increase in shipment volumes since 2011 are: Rosé (+259%), Other White and Other Red (+174% and 172% respectively) and Pinot Gris (+101%). Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Blend wines are still the stellar performers in annual increases in DtC sales. The Red Blends are surprising because they are relatively new for people to try.

In all the good news for direct shipments to almost all states (expect Utah, Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi) all regions/states producing wine saw increases. Sonoma County’s 2016 surge is worth noting – “to the tune of $100 million over 2015 – was so impressive that, despite the region representing only 18 percent of the total dollar value of DtC shipments, Sonoma County accounted for 27% of the $363.6 million added to the DtC shipping channel during the year,” as reported by Wines and Vines.

Direct to Consumer, as a channel of distribution is becoming more important to a winery’s success. Yes, technology is an important tool to selling direct, but the ramifications on reducing costs cannot be over stated. This channel allows wineries to respond in real-time to changes in markets, need to promote products; even promoting products geographically. Shipping costs can be less than the discounts required to distributors.

If used correctly, DtC marketing can increase cost effective sales, reduce marketing costs and create brand loyalty by the wineries knowing their customers in more depth.

Baby Boomers – Unstoppable Market That is Cashed Up and Ready to Spend!

One of the keys of generating wealth is discovering market trends and market opportunities that can be acted upon. While it is not always important to be the first to discover the wealth making opportunities, it is important to take advantage of them in the best possible ways. One of the largest market segments currently within the US is the Baby Boomer generation.

Baby Boomer is a term that refers to a person born between the years of 1946 -1964. There are approximately 76 million Baby Boomers within the US alone, presenting a tremendous opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs.

Here are some ideas on how to take advantage of the market:

# Health Care

As this large market segment ages, one of their primary concerns is and will be health care. Access to quality, affordable health care will be a top priority for many Baby Boomers. Working in or starting a business within the health care field is one of the primary ways to profit from the Baby Boomer opportunity. For example, senior care consultants, health care facilities, long term care facilities and wellness centers are possible considerations.

# Health and Fitness

In addition to traditional health care, the Baby Boomer market is also interested in alternative forms of health and nutrition. Supplements, natural solutions and diet considerations tailored for this market segment are viable possibilities to consider for revenue generation. Websites offering this information are also possibilities for generating online revenue from products and services, ads or even affiliate marketing when they provide strong information to the Baby Boomer market.

# Financial Services

As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, one of their primary concerns in addition to health care is financial planning. As individuals are living longer and retiring early, it is more important than ever to protect assets and generate income for the duration of an individual’s life. Businesses within the financial field or insurance field are in demand for this age demographic and anything related to the field presents viable business opportunities.

# Travel

A common hobby for retirees is to travel. Travel services both offline and online are possible considerations for revenue generating ideas to target to this market. In addition to travel related services, travel amenities or even accessories are also possibilities. For example, you may offer special luggage or luggage tags, or even specialized packages that are marketed directly to Baby Boomers.

# Volunteer or Fundraising Possibilities

The Baby Boomer generation is fond of volunteering for a variety of causes. So, products or services that donate money to non-profit causes would be a great consideration. While almost any cause is a great opportunity, selecting the most popular organizations or causes to donate for will allow you to have additional visibility for your business efforts.

Also, travel services that organize volunteer vacations either domestically or abroad could be possibilities. Many Baby Boomers are looking to combine their leisure activities with raising money or doing something for those who are less fortunate.

# Vintage Products

Baby Boomers are often fond of items that remind them of their past, or even the time era of their parents. Selling those exact products or products that resemble those brands is an excellent way to profit from this demographic.

# Teaching

Baby Boomers are considered to be a generation of Do’ers. So, they are more likely to continue learning and trying new things than from other generations. Consider offering classes for scrap booking, learning a foreign language or for cooking, marketed to the Baby Boomer generation. You may be able to do this in local retail stores, or at the local college.