New Study Adds Gravitas to Wine Bloggers

By
[ 13 ] Comments
Share




red_wine

A study published today in Wine Business.com examines the growth and impact of wine bloggers on winery brands. According to Sonoma State University Wine Business Professor Liz Thach, Ph.D., blogs can be especially helpful to wineries with less well-known brands, as well as new wineries located in up and coming wine regions.

There are several reasons that wineries need to pay attention to wine bloggers. The first is that the number of wine blogs is continuing to grow, and this provides an opportunity for wineries to have their brands featured on blogs. For wineries with a small public relations budget or those that can’t get the attention of the larger media publications, this can be a positive alternative — especially since some of the more popular wine blogs have thousands of followers and receive 30,000 to 40,000 hits per month. – Professor Thach


The study looked at a sample size of 222 blogs taken from the over 700 wine blogs available on-line. Focusing on the English language wine blogs, 42 trained wine business students analyzed content, grouping the blogs into nine wine blog types based on their major focus. Wine Review blogs made up the largest group, followed by those featuring Wine and Food, and Wine Education. Looking at the categories, we don’t know exactly where they would put this blog, because in addition to the first three categories, ours also covers Wine and Culture, Wine and Politics (which falls into the “other” category) and random musings that tangentially are related to wine. That’s why it’s called Another Wine Blog. We also note that Russ Beebe’s Winehiker Witiculture was referenced as a unique “other blog.”

Only 9% of the sample included Winery Blogs — or those created by wineries to describe their wines and news at the winery. This illustrates an opportunity for more wineries to create their own blog. Other less frequent blog categories included Wine Business and Winemaking & Viticulture. The category of Other was created for those very unique blogs that didn’t fit into major themes. Examples included wine & hiking; wine & politics; wine under $20; and an emphasis on a specific grape, such as shiraz.

I very much enjoyed the advice to wineries on how they can benefit from working with wine bloggers. Professor Thach provides a number of suggestions, which have also appeared in our posts, as well as in the blogs of PR consultants like Rob Bralow and Michael Wangbickler. Some of the suggestions include the following:

• If you find a positive review or mention of your name, consider sending an email to thank the blogger for featuring you.
• If you find a negative review, contact the blogger and ask them for more information. Consider inviting them to visit your winery or a tasting you are hosting so they can learn more about you. DO NOT EVER get in an “online flame war” with a blogger (which has happened in the past).

Professor Thach also suggests that wineries pay attention to what is being said about them in wine blogs:

Since there are no official guidelines regarding what can be published, the stories and reviews may be positive or negative. Likewise, bloggers have diverse backgrounds in that some have a high level of wine knowledge and experience, whereas others have none and just want to share their viewpoints on wine. Therefore, in terms of writing quality and level of sophistication of wine blogs, there is great variation. Because of this wineries need to monitor what is being said about their brands online.

You can read more about the study in Professor Thach’s article.

Cheers!

~ Amy Corron Power,
aka WineWonkette

About Amy Corron Power

A licensed attorney, Amy is a wine-lover, foodie, photographer, political junkie and award-winning author who writes about Wine, Food, Beer & Spirits. As Managing Editor & Tasting Director for Another Wine Blog, she travels all over the world's wine regions to share her experiences with her readers and nearly 10,000 twitter fans. Amy holds certifications through the International Sommelier Guild, and is also certified, with honors, as a California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). She is a member of the Guild of Sommeliers, The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas and regularly attends Houston Sommelier Association events.
  • RobBralow

    Thanks for the mention! I thought that article from WineBusiness.com was a good brief overview of what wineries and wine regions should be paying attention to.

    • http://www.anotherwineblog.com WineWonkette

      I'd be interested in getting a copy of the entire study, too!

  • http://www.anotherwineblog.com WineWonkette

    I'd be interested in getting a copy of the entire study, too!

  • davidhonig

    Now if only there were one place where wineries could find American Wine Blog Award winners, 20 or more of the Top 100 Wine Bloggers, original content and commentary, and more. Maybe a place that brings together bloggers who, among them, get not 30-40,000 hits a month, but 200-300,000 hits a month.

    Hmmmm…. Nope. Nothing. Can you think of anything?

    Oh wait a minute. I've got it. PALATE PRESS: The online wine magazine, launching September 1, 2009. And two of the contributors are the amazing Amy Corron Power and Joe Power.

    http://palatepress.com

    (yes, I'm shameless)

    • http://www.anotherwineblog.com WineWonkette

      Seriously, you ARE!

  • http://twitter.com/marktnorman929 marktnorman929

    Amy…very interesting piece….it is important to show the wineries the positive effects of getting involved in social media…you always here them wanting to be shown that it works. I also thought it was very telling that less than 10% of the blogs studied had come from the wineries themselves. Every day I am reading 30 to 40 news articles from around the world telling of the challenge to selling wine and an maintaining prices for winery owners..the PR side of blogging for them could be significant

    If only they would express their passion about wine in words they could captivate the readers, which should make it easier to sell to them.

  • http://sacrebleuwine.com/ ashleylauren

    Nice heads up.

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan Opaz

    Would be nice for them to look at the most up to date wine blog list: wineblogger.info with 1000wineblogs in multiple languages, and all (soon to be guaranteed) up to date within one month…we're currently vetting them.

  • http://www.suburbanwino.com suburbanwino

    Interesting stuff. The climate of marketing and advertising is incredibly fascinating these days. I have customers (in a completely different industry) who are generating more leads off a Facebook fan page than through thousands of dollars of “traditional” media (TV, Radio, Direct Mail, etc.). The great thing about blogs, social networks, etc. is that the product endorsement has credibility, since many of those reading know (and trust) the writer. Basically, this media has created “word of mouth” advertising on a large scale.

  • marcjardine

    Nice article, Amy. I don't know about the situation in the US, but here in Australia most of our winemakers still haven't grasped the power of social media, or they see it as a spectator sport. It's frustrating, but it will take time for their attitudes to catch up (by which time the technology will have moved on again). The few who are embracing the new media are getting results and are seeing an increase in brand awareness of course, but they are the exception, not the norm.

    BTW, can I be shameless too? If you're interested in Australian wine or New Zealand wine, take a look at http://www.BoozeMonkey.com

    Cheers!

  • http://www.BoozeMonkey.com marcjardine

    Nice article, Amy. I don't know about the situation in the US, but here in Australia most of our winemakers still haven't grasped the power of social media, or they see it as a spectator sport. It's frustrating, but it will take time for their attitudes to catch up (by which time the technology will have moved on again). The few who are embracing the new media are getting results and are seeing an increase in brand awareness of course, but they are the exception, not the norm.

    BTW, can I be shameless too? If you're interested in Australian wine or New Zealand wine, take a look at http://www.BoozeMonkey.com

    Cheers!

  • ridwanzero

    Affiliate Marketing is a performance based sales technique used by companies to expand their reach into the internet at low costs. This commission based program allows affiliate marketers to place ads on their websites or other advertising efforts such as email distribution in exchange for payment of a small commission when a sale results.

    http://www.onlineuniversalwork.com

  • Pingback: Is Your PR Giving You a Bad Name? | Another Wine Blog