Southland farming leaders and environmental activists have called for a breather in their set-to over winter grazing practices.
Global Marketing Director Chris Yorke tells Tessa Nicholson about them.
Utilising digital and social media
For many this is a strange new world of marketing yet it is one of the most important tools in the box for New Zealand Winegrowers and wineries alike. Which is why, Chris Yorke says, they are undertaking tests across all the major NZW activities in an effort to help the industry.
“The idea is to come up with learnings we can share with wineries and NZW staff in terms of how best we should use the different elements within digital and social media. We want to develop tool boxes and playbooks for our members that will show the best way to use social and digital media, how to use them and the types of things that are needed to be successful.”
Lending a helpful hand has been Alyssa Vitrano from America. A lifestyle influencer, Vitrano was in New Zealand earlier this year courtesy of NZW. With 168,000 followers on Instagram she provided a wealth of knowledge on the how, what and whys of social and digital media.
“The areas we worked through with her included detailing specific requirements for social media coverage pre, during and post her trip to New Zealand. We saw which of her posts were the most successful in terms of likes and then we looked at boosting one of her top posts to different audiences, monitoring which topics of interest and geographical locations generated the best engagement. We wanted to work out what was the best way to do that, and we have gained some very good learnings from that exercise.”
In another “test” an article written and posted by Bloomberg’s Elin McCoy, regarding New Zealand Pinot Noir, is being studied carefully.
“We are now testing to see how we can drive people to that article, so they read it.
“The aim is that when influencers come to New Zealand and we are going to be having a lot during the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration 2019, we want to know the best way to leverage what they are doing for us.”
The tests are boosting stories and comments to between 30,000 and 40,000 people, which as Yorke says is much higher than the 1,000 to 2,000 followers most wineries would be connecting with.
Part of the learnings being gained are just how to effectively use social and digital media. Just firing any old thing out, is not all that effective he says.
“We are looking at what images people respond to, and what is the best form of text required to gain a response.”
With those tests having already been carried out, Yorke says they are now planning to take the learnings and put them into practice at NZW events being held in Canada during May.
“We want to see how we can use Instagram and Facebook to drive people to register for and attend our events in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. From this test, we aim to create playbook for wineries, which will show them how they can gain the best leverage for events via social media.”
At the New Zealand Tasting held in Dublin in January, a test using social media and newsletters proved how important and cost effective this form of marketing is.
“We invested €450 and sold 250 consumer tickets, which is double what we would normally sell in Dublin. So not only was it an efficient investment, but it was also very effective in terms of bringing in an active audience. There was a real buzz in the room at that event.”
All of the results and learnings will be available to wineries and NZW staff later this year, so look out for them.
– Friday May 4th
“We want to drive impressions, drive engagements and build our data base, so NZW is organising a number of retail promotions, key influencer lunches and there will also be a major focus at wine fairs being held in Canada around that time,” Yorke says.
On top of that, more than 100 independent wine stores in the UK have joined a promotion to run New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc events on May 4.
“The best store promotion will win tickets to come to New Zealand for next year’s ISBC 2019.”
NZW communications team is also supporting this with a global social media campaign - it’s not #sauvblanc day without #nzwine - which will launch in the month leading up to 4 May.
Yorke is also encouraging wineries who are undertaking events to ensure they use the hashtags #sauvblanc and #nzwine, to ensure the message reaches as many people as possible.
Wine Marlborough is hosting a Sauvignon Blanc Day degustation dinner on Friday the 4th of May. Tickets are limited and will be released soon.
They are also organising a competition to find the biggest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc fans from across the world. Event kits will be provided to at least five people across the globe to host their own Sauvignon Blanc Day celebrations. There will also be an opportunity for someone to win a trip to Marlborough for Sauvignon Blanc Day!
Talking about hash tags, did you know that Tourism New Zealand has a hashtag #nzmustdo? It allows visitors to post photos of things they loved doing while here in New Zealand. Currently there are more than 900,000 posts. Yorke would like to see more winery and cellar door photos added to that long list.
“We want to make sure that cellar doors and other wine tourism experiences throughout the country are encouraging visitors to use the right hashtags when they post. Firstly make sure visitors have the winery hashtag, then the regional hashtag and then the #nzwine hashtag. Also encourage people to include #nzmustdo, so that when people outside of New Zealand are looking for the must do things here, they are seeing a lot of wine.”
And finally NZW are working with wine-searcher.com to negotiate access to reports on searches for New Zealand wine and listings of New Zealand in our key markets, which will then be available to share with members.
So lots going on, and more to come. ■