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Block 81 is a design studio producing beautifully crafted websites and brands for independent businesses and startups.
August 25, 2016
Craft distilleries are no different from any other local small business in one way - they all need websites.
As a distillery owner, you’re probably wondering what type of website you need. Do you need a few pages or full-fledged website? Do you need a CMS website or not?
Deciding what’s best for your craft distillery isn’t difficult once you understand why you need a site and how it works for you. Then, the choice is easy to make.
Just a decade ago, there were only 50 craft distilleries in the US, but now that number has jumped to over 750. The growing industry is a good thing for consumers, but it does mean more competition for you. Currently, approximately 50 distilleries are the only ones making a profit, according to the president of the American Craft Spirits Association Tom Mooney.
How can you become one of the profitable ones? Obviously, quality spirits is number one, but you need to market your distillery if you want to bring in new customers. Part of any marketing strategy now is creating an online presence. The two best ways to do that is via social media and your own website.
Even once you gain customers, you need to market your distillery to keep them coming back. In fact, the process of gaining new customers versus maintaining existing customers costs up to seven times more. Working to gain repeat customers is crucial to your distillery’s success. This is where an online presence helps. It gives you the opportunity to constantly connect with your audience to remind them of upcoming special events, special season only spirits or even discounts.
Here’s where choosing the right type of site helps. With a CMS website, you’re able to easily update content whenever you need to without knowing a thing about web design or maintaining a site. Plus, it’s easy to setup an email list to stay in contact with subscribers. No complicated setups, just a few quick clicks, write up your newsletter, hit send and you’re done.
97% of your customers are researching local businesses online.
You might still be on the fence about even getting a website because you’re just a local business, but keep these statistics in mind:
40% of consumers between 18-54 are more likely to interact with local businesses that have websites
43% of consumers 55 and older think well designed sites give local businesses more credibility
The top things consumers want on websites are products/services, phone number, address and hours
Adding details to your website make consumers 13% to 18% more likely to visit a business
Now, think about the fact that only 51% of small businesses have websites. Craft distilleries looking to be more competitive need to think about having a website to better reach their customers, especially when 97% of your customers are researching local businesses online.
With a CMS website, you gain even more benefits. You’re able to add plugins, sometimes without a developer, to add details to your site, such as a map or a contact form for customers to get more information. Plus, most CMS platforms are already SEO friendly, helping your site rank higher in search results.
Now that you know that you do need a website, the final decision is what type of website. While having a few pages about the basics is fine, it may not be enough to help you rank. The idea is for your craft distillery website to drive traffic to your business organically, meaning no extra work from you.
With site builders, your options are severely limited. With non-CMS professionally designed sites, it’s difficult to manage them on your own. A CMS site gives you the following benefits, making it the go to type for most small businesses (and many large businesses too):
Easy to maintain a blog - Regular useful content boosts organic reach
Simple social media integration
Change page layouts to freshen the site at any time
Add or remove pages as needed
Regularly update product listings quickly
Integration with your other business systems (point of sale software, email marketing tools, CRMs, etc.)
As you can see, a CMS website saves you time. When you’re already busy trying to craft the best spirits possible, you don’t have time to be an expert in managing a website. A CMS site takes only minutes to learn and it’s easy to maintain.
Now that you know what you need, it’s time to get started. Save time by letting professionals set up your site. We’ll even handle regular maintenance so all you have to do is write content and run your business.