Marketing Trend Alert: 5 Trends to Follow in 2022

How to stay updated with new digital marketing trends

How do you stay updated with new marketing trends? This is one of the more common frustrations we often hear about from our craft maker community. With Gen-Z seemingly creating new trends every day (sigh), the only way to keep up is to constantly immerse yourself in the digital media world. #unrealistic We know as busy craft makers and entrepreneurs, you don’t have time for that, which is why we, at The Crafty Cask, do it for you!

To kick off the new year, we dove into annual summaries, trend reports, and expert predictions to find, what we consider, the top marketing trends for craft alcohol makers for 2022. Why does this matter? So that you can think ahead and plan your marketing strategy accordingly. 

Here are 5 trends you should consider working into your marketing plan this year, plus, exactly what it means for our industry.

1. Education Over Sales

These days, our world is surrounded by marketing messages and the average person has learned how to tune out content that isn’t valuable to them. To get your brand in front of consumers, it’s important to think about what you can teach them. Think of what holes your brand fills in the lives of your audience, and use that angle to teach them something new.

According to Intstagram’s 2022 trend report, “1 in 5 young adults over 21 are interested in getting more into at-home mixology.” Young adults are interested in going out of their way to learn about new ways to source ingredients. In addition, 2022 will be a year they continue to expand their skills in the kitchen.

What this means for the craft alcohol industry:

No matter what type of booze you’re making, you can teach your audience new ways to enjoy it. Think about mixing up your ingredients, both in your products and in cocktail recipes, and educate your audience. Teach them something new and unique so that they crave the experience of your products. Doing it through video? Even better!

2. Brand Image & Personalities

Consumers continue to be very interested in the personalities behind the brands, rather than the products the brand creates. Instagram reported that relationships are more tightly aligned around shared interests rather than popularity or follower count. This means consumers are looking for brands that they can relate to.

Branding is so much more than packaging and products. Your brand’s voice and story need to be present in everything you do and consistent across everything. This helps your audience recognize you when they see you, and want to get to know you more.

This also means avoiding mundane and mediocre content. In December, Instagram announced updates to their feed coming in 2022 to help better control the type of content seen. Later predicts that this means a new chronological “following” feed and “suggested for you” feed (ugh to learning a new algorithm again – but we’ll be here to help!). This announcement means your new goal is to make it to your followers favorites list, which will be key for engagement!

What this means for the craft alcohol industry:

Add your personality, humor, opinions, and feelings into your content. Help your audience find reasons to relate to you. Think of your marketing messaging as an invitation for your friends to come hang out, not a sales pitch that will hopefully convert. It feels counterintuitive, but in today’s marketing landscape not “selling” will actually help you sell more. If you don’t feel confident in your brand’s story and voice, check out our Bootcamp Course to help you develop an unstoppable brand image in just a few hours!

3. Online Events

You all know that we are no strangers to the world of online events that emerged during the pandemic back in 2020! Not only have they become a critical part of our own business, but we have resources to teach you how to host great online events yourself.

Better Marketing predicts that these will still be a key part of marketing strategies throughout 2022. Specifically events like seminars, webinars, and product launches. These events might not show huge immediate returns, but two years after their initial boom, they are proving to have significant impact for brands who used them heavily. If you do it right, it can be like having 50 people in your tasting room for a tour and tasting all at once. Who doesn’t want that kind of awareness, attention, and engagement?!

We still have tons of companies taking advantage of our virtual tasting events as networking opportunities with cross-country clients, team happy hours, or other occasions. In fact, while we hosted 115 in 2020 and 164 in 2021…selling almost $300k in craft alcohol in essentially a trial-driving sample program!

So from where we’re sitting the demand for engaging virtual events continues to grow and is a great way to drive awareness and trial. Featuring your brand in a virtual tasting event is an easy (and free!) way to get your brand in front of new faces, and educate them about your brand and products. And they have proven to be successful for our clients too!

“So thrilled that we found you…nearly every rep talked about how awesome the many tasting events have been with The Crafty Cask. From our first three events alone we influenced almost $1 million in opportunities and already closed a couple of deals that were in the works and just needed to get across the finish line.”

– Cyber Security, a virtual event client

What this means for the craft alcohol industry:

Continuing to use virtual events can be huge for your brand as you launch new products, or continue to build relationships with your audience. Don’t forget to consider Instagram Live as a platform to bring your audience together sometimes too!  Learn more about featuring your brand in our virtual tasting events to take advantage of this marketing trend throughout 2022! If you have 50ml spirits, wine tasting pour bottles, or other single serve offerings we can also talk about getting your product featured in our corporate event tasting kits!

4. Video Content

2021 is the year that video content really took off. While it’s been around for a long time, short-form video officially dominates the internet with the rising popularity of TikTok. Did you know that TikTok surpassed Google as the most popular website in 2021? Mind officially blown.

While you may be able to have a successful social media strategy that doesn’t involve creating video content, it’s getting harder and harder. We can’t deny the results we are seeing from consistent video content ourselves.

Looking at the insights for our social media accounts:

  • Our Instagram account reached over 18,000 non-follower accounts this fall, and over 13,500 (75%) came from video content. Hello new follower potential! We did this by posting just 1-2 reels per week (and no, none of them have gone “viral”…yet!).
  • Posting those same reels to Facebook has increased our Facebook Post Reach by 500% since October. 😵 (yeah we said 500%).
  • We honestly haven’t put much strategy into TikTok yet, but by posting those same reels to the app, we reached almost 2,000 accounts in December, with 16 profile views. We call that a win since we put literally zero effort into it!

The point we are making here is that every one of those accounts reached is a potential customer, and we are honestly just doing the bare minimum with video content at this point given our own resource constraints. #thestruggleisreal While it sounds intimidating and time consuming (we get it, it totally can be), it can be a vital way to grow your brand in 2022.

What this means for the craft alcohol industry:

If you don’t have anyone on your team ready to tackle the video content part of your social media plan, it might be time to outsource. Finding a team member or contractor that can create on-brand video content for your social media could be huge for your brand awareness and growth. Digital presence in 2022 will be crucial for your brand, and videos should be part of it!

5. Influencer Marketing

With the rise in influencer marketing, apps are starting to introduce more features for creators to utilize. As authenticity and transparency become more important to followers, many brands are utilizing more nano and micro influencers to “nitch-down” on their audience.

Utilizing influencer marketing for your brand can be BIG in 2022. If you’re not sure where to start, The Crafty Cask offers Influencer marketing services across our social media pages for craft alcohol brands. And if you’re looking for more, here’s a few accounts we like to follow and learn from in favious niches.

@TheBrewBabe – Michelle’s Instagram account takes us on her skating and hiking adventures while she explores the world of gluten-free beer and cider.

@PNWCiderGirl – Ava is a cider enthusiast that reviews all cider, but especially loves Pacific Northwest Cider

@WhiskeyBaeKC – Holly is based in Kansas City and reviews local whiskey and other creations made by local distilleries, along with non-local craft brands. She’s great about finding cool collabs and telling stories behind what she’s sipping.

What this means for the craft alcohol industry:

Check out Later’s 7 steps to finding influencers for small businesses. Influencers and content creators are likely already tagging you in their posts as they try your products, so that’s a great place to start. Also spend some time on Instagram and TikTok searching through hashtags related to your brand and products to find people who post in your niche. Building relationships with a few influencers that fit your brand and can rave about your products is a near guaranteed way to bring in new customers this year.

Keeping up with the ever-changing marketing trends is not easy, but worth it to create a strategy that will help your brand thrive!

Free Marketing Tips to Your Inbox

We know it can be hard to keep up with marketing trends while managing a business, which is why we are here to do legwork for you. If you’re looking to stay up-to-date on all of the latest marketing trends without the research hassle, our Craft Alcohol Maker Newsletter drops marketing tips and trends into your inbox every month.

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