Jordan Lukeš; Content Marketing Specialist

20 Mar 2019

When it comes to social media, the alcohol industry knows what they’re doing. Despite strict advertising rules and age restrictions, they’ve managed to create engaging content, adopt new formats, create alluring alcohol marketing campaigns, and engage with their audiences. However, there’s still room for improvement. Read on to learn how alcohol brands are spending on social media and discover possible solutions to cut costs.

Unlike other industries, alcohol brands face many challenges on social media. With age restrictions and laws that vary across countries, they need to carefully construct a social media strategy that is creative, engaging, yet also lawful. 

This is why alcohol brands need to place extreme emphasis on knowing who their audiences are, what they like to do, and which content they like to consume. Getting a detailed look into their audience personas will allow them to easily overcome the barriers of advertising restrictions. In turn, leveraging the vast amount of audience data available will enable alcohol brands to target more efficiently than ever before, perfecting their top of the funnel marketing.

Advertising on Facebook Comes at a Cost for Alcohol Marketing

When it comes to Facebook advertising, alcohol brands are among the top three industries that have the highest CPC at about 14 cents. With the growing advertising cost on the platform, alcohol brands have the ability to truly experiment with new advertising formats, content ideation, and targeting that can make their budget go even further.

Alcohol Marketing and Ad Distribution on Facebook

When it comes to ad placements, the alcohol industry has a clear favorite. Using Socialbakers data we found that 100% of alcohol marketing campaigns on Facebook were placed on the News Feed. Due to extreme competition and revamp of the News Feed to prioritize content from friends and family over advertisers, the costs of Facebook advertising has jumped more than 122%.

With a variety of different ad placements, available alcohol advertisers can experiment to reach their audiences in unique ways while simultaneously bringing down costs. 

Alcohol Brands and Instagram Advertising

When it comes to Instagram, we see a similar trend with over 80% of alcohol marketing ad campaigns displayed on the News Feed. However, while less than 20% of alcohol campaigns are placed on Facebook Stories, 40% are posted to Instagram Stories.

Of course, Instagram has less ad placement options which can partially account for such a huge difference. But it also sheds light on how popular Instagram Stories have become over the past year.

Even more impressive is that advertising via Instagram Stories is actually cheaper for alcohol brands. In fact, when it comes to CPC, Instagram Ads placed in Stories are 7% cheaper than ads placed on the feed. It may not seem like a lot, but with hundreds of ad campaigns running costs can easily add up quickly.

With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram Stories should be utilized more as an opportunity for advertising. There are plenty of great alcohol marketing examples and some of the most renowned alcohol brands are already using Instagram Stories to their full potential.

Best Instagram Stories from Alcohol Brands

  1. Kahlua

Kahlua is a sweet coffee flavored liqueur from Mexico. Because of its unique flavor, this liqueur can be used in a variety of different ways. To show their audiences just how versatile their product can be, Kahlua publishes quick and easy recipes to their Instagram Stories. They are easily screen-shotable and saved to highlights so they can be found after the 24-hour story lifecycle is up.

  1. Jameson

This blended Irish whiskey is no stranger to Instagram Stories. Jameson constantly posts engaging Stories that are not only fun but interactive. They regularly tap into events that resonate with their audiences such as St. Patrick’s Day and Movember, and use Stories to run polls and contests that make their brand stand above the rest.

  1. Malibu Rum

Malibu Rum used Instagram Stories to promote their Malibu Games event which was attended by some of the most famous influencers in the industry. They allowed influencers to take over their Instagram Stories so audiences could join in on the action from anywhere.

Alcohol Brands and Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is undoubtedly a lucrative strategy for alcohol brands. However, unlike other industries, alcohol brands again, face the challenge of overcoming advertising obstacles when it comes to social media.

Because of this, it’s extremely vital for alcohol brands to thoroughly vet any influencers they collaborate with. Some of the things that should be taken into account are investigating which brands influencers have worked with in the past (are they age appropriate), the age of the influencer themselves, how relevant their interests are, and more.

Luckily there are social media tools available that can make this process painless. With Socialbakers you can browse through the largest influencer database, getting AI influencer recommendations that match your different audience personas. Each influencer is also given a score that reflects how effective their performance will be.

But keep in mind, selecting influencers is just half of the battle. When it comes to alcohol marketing, it’s absolutely vital to brief influencers you work with on content limitations. While this has become second-nature for alcohol brand’s marketing teams, it’s likely completely new for influencers unless they’ve worked with age-restricted products in the past.

Alcohol brands are overcoming the challenges of having to cater to a mature audience. It’s safe to say that influencer marketing has been an effective way to get messages across to the right audiences when done in a legal and tasteful way.

This top 10 list shows exactly which alcohol brands are utilizing influencers the most. From this list, we can see that Tennessee whiskey giant Jack Daniels clocks in at number one with the highest number of influencers that mention their brand. It’s important to note that although classic cognac brand Martell has the smallest amount of influencers mentioning their brand – they actually have the most mentions.

The Takeaway

The alcohol industry faces many challenges when it comes to marketing – high advertising costs being one of them. Luckily, there are many different avenues alcohol brands can use to reach their audiences while keeping costs low.

While the News Feed is the most sought after place to advertise there are so many other types of placements that are cheaper and possibly even more effective. As we move further into 2019, alcohol brands should leverage the power of Stories across platforms, learning from top performing leaders in their industry.

The emergence of influencer marketing has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for alcohol marketing. Through careful vetting and coaching, alcohol brands reach age-appropriate audiences in an impactful way. Some of the most successful alcohol brands are already leveraging influencers to create compelling content that reaches new audiences. With new AI technology, alcohol brands can rest easy knowing that the right influencer in just a click away.

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