Sunday, December 21, 2008
Winery after winery
A few weeks ago, Jenny and I took our darling Renita on a tour through Niagara's wine country for her dirty thirty. (No worries, I can't drink so I was DD).
When setting up the day, I actually had a difficult time trying to figure out what to do there...make up our own tour, be part of a tour group or do a little of both, purchase a do-it-yourself tour.
After some searches online, I could hardly find any reviews or advice on how to tackle the day in one of Canada's sought after wine regions. Trusty chowhound offered some feedback, but not enough to sway how we were to spend the day. I was surprised the tripadvisor came up short, with only some link love to be found.
We settled on the Taste of the Season passport, which got us into 18 (we only did 12) wineries and got us a tasting and food pairing at each (yup, loved the food part). The passport landed up being a great experience (even though I only got to taste and spit or just smell). We had a wonderful time and would definitely do it again.
AND, now my online marketing tidbits:
If the province of Ontario or the town of Niagara-on-the-lake, or heck, even a handful of wineries could develop some type of digital marketing plan - they can easily turn search traffic into foot traffic ...here are some easy tactics:
1. Create an interactive map where users can develop their own tour (via car or bike) that they can download to the GPS or access online their mobile. Let them provide reviews and ratings on the spot. Give them the ability to share them with friends. Below is the map I started in Google Maps.
2. Create a community blog of all the wine makers. Let them post about their new releases, events and special tours.
3. Create a blog specifically for reviews on niagara wines.
4. For all the tour groups - how about a place where people can review the tour, the guide, where they visited, what they tasted, what they liked and didn't like about the tour.
5. The city should purchase some google ad words. Believe it or not, but a lot of people click on them and if organic search comes up empty, it is a great place to turn to.
6. Wineries should focus on building and keeping their site updated and focus on organic key words that make search easier and drives wino's to their site. Afterall, some of the best wineries are small and have no web presence.
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