Audio is eating the beer industry. Spotify powers most taproom playlists, there are hundreds of beer podcasts to choose from, and live music has shifted to live streams.
The connections between beer, conversation and music are as old as brewing itself.
With the disruption caused by COVID and reduced marketing budgets, many breweries and bars have had to rethink how they can replicate the sights and sounds of the bar experience.
If you are struggling to plan out live music with the revolving door of lockdowns, or simply want to give your brewery more of a voice (literally!), read on.
Think Like Radio, Share Like Social
Rumours of the radio’s death have been greatly exaggerated. While the hardware is all but gone, the format has lived on and evolved into podcasts.
While many brands have dipped their toes into podcasts around Asia, the beer industry hasn’t yet seized the opportunity.
The principles behind a successful podcast are the same as those that powered the most successful radio stations.
While not in beer, the BBC is one of the world’s best examples of a broadcaster who could index their vast content library of programming onto podcasts.
If you’re thinking about tapping into this awesomely powerful medium, you need to start with your proposition and how it connects with the audience.
What is your business objective behind your podcast? Will it be interesting for the audience? Does it have staying power? Where will it be distributed? How will you promote it?
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), a militant consumer organisation well-known in the UK for encouraging consumption of high-quality ales, is an excellent example of a successful podcast.
Now into its third season, it explores topics as diverse as the popularity of ales in Argentina, the mental health benefits of pub-going (something we wholeheartedly endorse at ABN!) and how best to taste cider.
Their podcast is widely promoted on social media, their website and easy to find in Google search from a distribution perspective. It isn’t restricted to one platform, either: you can listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or their website.
The lessons from CAMRA are simple: create content that intersects between your objectives and your audience’s interests, programme it with variety and consistency, and share it everywhere people might want to listen.
From Live Music To Livestreams
When Malaysia faced a severe surge of COVID-19 cases, Taps – one of Malaysia’s largest craft beer bar groups – quickly began translating their offline experiences to digital.
With live music silenced under Malaysia’s Movement Control Order, Taps switched to doing live streams with their regular musicians.
Drinkers could order a six-pack of beer from the bar for delivery and later be guitarist and singer Uncle Richard on Facebook & Instagram Live.
By creating continuity by broadcasting on Friday nights, Taps could engage and entertain their otherwise locked-in audience of local drinkers – while also staying relevant and encouraging delivery and take-out sales.
Out Of The Box Collaborations
From crowdsourcing your taproom’s playlists from regular drinkers to collaborations between breweries and bands, your audio marketing strategy and activities need not be limited to podcasts and live music.
Collaborations come in all shapes and sizes.
Pasteur Street Brewing Company partnered with a local ska band Hem Hem Saigon to create a ‘No Rice, No Life’ rice IPA.
Street culture-powered Deme Brewing collaborated with a local musician to create a playlist for their new beer on Spotify and built the playlist into their packaging design.
Deme tapped into an underutilised Spotify feature that allows playlists to be scannable codes, creating a memorable and distinctive experience.
Building a successful audio marketing strategy requires planning, creative thinking, and a basic understanding of audio engineering.
If this commitment seems daunting, the dividends from developing and distributing engaging audio experiences like live music, collabs and brewer interviews can be tremendous.
You might create deeper customer connections, educate people about your products, or simply give people a convenient reminder to order more beer!