Craft Beer Marketing – Bear Republic Case Study
February 24, 2016
Bear Republic Brewing Company is a respected and successful craft beer company in the United States, consistently one of the top 50 brewers in the United States in terms of volume. The company has a loyal following and strong brand, but wanted to reassess and leverage its digital presence to increase awareness and sales.
What We Knew
While brand loyalty is high, we knew that customers were interested in more engagement and education from Bear Republic in the digital space. Craft beer drinkers are a unique demographic:
- 84% of craft beer consumers want to discover new beers (Mintel, 2013)
- 73% of craft beer drinkers usually know what brand of beer the are going to buy before going to the store (Mintel, 2013)
- 45% of craft beer drinkers would try more craft beer if they knew more about them (Mintel, 2013)
We also knew that while Bear Republic’s current website conveyed updated information on beers, events, and the team, it could benefit from expanded search engine optimization work.
Increasingly, it is becoming more important to ensure that a company’s online presence can be accessed across multiple devices. Responsive design solves this problem.
- 77% of mobile searches are in a location where people likely have a PC available to them, such as home or work. (Google & Nielson, 2013)
- By 2014, mobile internet usage is predicted to overtake desktop internet usage. (Richmond, 2011)
What We Did
Together, we crafted a strategy to increase website visitation, social engagement, online sales, and search results. An important tenet of the strategy was educating craft beer consumers (both current and potential customers) about Bear Republic.
From the start, we knew that a reimagined, responsive website could have a big impact on visitor use, search results, and satisfaction. Starting with a fresh design, we laid out a site that focused on ease of use and storytelling through compelling content. Today, the site is easily viewable on any type of device and clearly guides visitors to the specific content they are searching for.
After completing a full analysis of existing search engine optimization work, we dug in and expanded seo efforts by creating individual pages for each beer; this makes sure that these pages are found when beer drinkers search for more information about individual beers. This approach resulted in a 96% increase of organic traffic from Google and an 82% increase from Bing, with 81% more visits and a 191% increase in page views (from date of launch in May 2013 until now).
In order to really address the impact that consumer education can have, we created a number of videos for Bear Republic. These talked about the history of the brand, the brewing process, and the company’s philosophy. Photography continues to be a part of our work for Bear Republic, as we shoot images of each new beer as it becomes available.
We also crafted a campaign in partnership with Untappd to promote the release of Racer X. A special badge was created for those who checked into Racer X from October through December. The results were impressive:
- 6,941 total unlocks of the badge
- 2,489 social posts as a result of unlocking the badge, for a social share rate of 35.4%
- The reach of those social posts was 783,124
In addition, we worked with Bear Republic’s marketing team on strategies for growing and engaging their fans through social media, including Facebook (including ads), Instagram, and a separate social presence for their brewpub.
Almost one year after relaunch, the results are impressive. Specifically:
- Website traffic has increased by 74%, compared to the previous year.
- Organic search has increased by 72%, compared to the previous year.
- Visits via social referral have increased by 259% compared to the previous year.
- Brewpub Facebook page fans have increased by almost 2000%
- After the May 2013 site launch, e-commerce sales increased three-fold on the year
In 2013, compared to 2012:
- Site visits from mobile phones increased by 188%
- Site visits from tablets increased by 156%
We remain partners with Bear Republic, helping them continue to make strides with digital marketing so their great beer can reach even more fans.
“Digital Relativity has become an integral part of our digital marketing strategy. They have helped us develop a clean look for our digital presence and have accelerated the growth of our social audience. Bear Republic Brewing Company depends on their punctual, quality work to help convey our message to the world.” – Clay Grosskopf, Bear Republic Brewing Company
The following sources were used in this case study:
Google & Nielson. (2013). Mobile search moments: Understanding how mobile drives conversions.The Full Value of Mobile, Retrieved from http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/research-studies/creating-moments-that-matter.html
Mintel. (2013). Mintel celebrates American Craft Beer Week with some boozy stats
[Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mintel-celebrates-american-craft-beer-week-with-some-boozy-stats-207399241.html
Richmond, H. (2011, March 21). The growth of mobile marketing and tagging. Microsoft Tag, Retrieved from http://tag.microsoft.com/community/blog/t/the_growth_of_mobile_marketing_and_tagging.aspx