The Great Revenue River Brew Tour has really taken off over these last few weeks! We’ve covered nearly half a dozen breweries across the great state of Colorado, visiting some of the bigger craft brewers in Fort Collins and Denver, while still making sure to focus on the little up-and-comers in Colorado Springs and elsewhere! Hell, even the big man Eric Pratt showed us what he’s got with his love for Colorado Native! We’ll gloss over the fact that his beer of choice is owned by a giant beer conglomerate and just be happy that he picked one of their tastier, home-grown brews!
If you haven’t noticed by now, here at Revenue River we love beer. And we also love inbound marketing. This brew tour is not only an excuse for us to go out and buy awesome new beers to drink in the office all in the name of “research,” but it’s also a great chance to look into the different marketing techniques that Colorado micro and craft brewers are utilizing to get their brands out there. In a saturated market like Colorado, and in fact the entire nation, micro and craft brewers need to be very creative when it comes to how they market themselves if they want to be successful. Large scale advertisements on TV and radio are nothing more than a dream for these little guys, so instead they’re turning to more grass-roots marketing practices to reach their target market. The funny part for us is that a lot of the channels and mediums these crafty craft brewers are using are inbound marketing techniques!
While we’ve covered some great breweries so far in our tour, I got to thinking about some of our famous mountain breweries and how they differ from the more urban brewers we’ve mainly focused on up until now. Talk to anyone from Colorado, or any other mountain state and they’ll tell you that there is a very big difference between living in Denver or another big city in the foothills/plains versus mountain town living. For one, there is a greater sense of community and another, they LOVE their beer! Even though cities like Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder have a majority of the state’s breweries; it would seem that nearly every other mountain town throughout the Rocky Mountains has their own brewery! So for this week’s brew tour stop, I figured it was high time we went higher in elevation and stopped in at a nice mountain brewery!
Ska Brewing Company- The Stats
Location: Nestled in the beautiful mountain town of Durango, Colorado
Brewing Since: The good ol’ year of 1995
Author’s Favorite Brew: Ten Pin Porter
Now, I would be lying if I told you that Ska brewing didn’t get an initial look from me because their president and head of marketing is a fellow Metropolitan State University of Denver alum. That being said, a roadrunner being the head honcho at a brewery does not get you a free ticket to the Revenue River Brew Tour! No, these guys deserve to be here with their extremely unique brand identity that really pops out at you when you visit their website, their strong social media presence and their support of what is known as ‘open-source brewing!’
- A Different Kind of Brand- If you ever have the pleasure of sipping on one of Ska’s great brews, one of the first things you’ll most likely notice is the how the brand is portrayed. Not only do they seem to try to stay away from the slightly boring earth-tone colors that many breweries seem to love to slap on their labels, Ska also comes at you with creative comic-strip-style artwork on every bit of packaging they can find. It works to catch your eye right away while also providing the beer-goer with a refreshing change of pace compared to the many other brands on the shelves that seem to just take themselves too seriously. If you take the time to read some of their comic strips placed on their bottles, cans and cases you’ll get an even better understanding of who these guys are and what their brand really stands for. Each strip looks to tell the story of noble heroes (the Ska brewers) fighting against the evil Pinstripe empire of conglomerated beer through funny and creative stories. A strong brand is absolutely crucial for any small business, especially for one in such a saturated market, and Ska has done a great job in separating itself from the pack and connecting with consumers on a more personal level.
- An Eye-Catching Website- After my rather sad attempt to describe Ska’s comic-strip-style image, you may be wondering what exactly I’m talking about. So while I do suggest that buying a pack of their beer is a great way to see for yourself, visiting their website will also do the trick. While you’re there, take a look at how it’s laid out! I’m a huge fan of website that are laid out like this, essentially taking all the different pages of the site and laying them flat on a table. Depending on where you click on the top bar, you’ll be swept away to another part of the website instead of seeing your page go blank and having to spend the next few seconds watching the page you chose load. Beyond the obviously cool custom web design, the content provided throughout the pages makes it so that you not only find exactly what you’re looking for, but enjoy the process of finding it and learning more about Ska’s cause. One of the most important things for any inbound marketing campaign is to optimize your website not only for search engines but also for your customers, and that’s exactly what Ska did with theirs!
- Time Well Spent on Social Media- Social media is a major asset an inbound marketing campaign relies on when it comes to getting the word out about a brand and its activities. With large followings on both Facebook and Twitter (17,000+ and 13,000+ respectively) Ska is the poster child of what a brand should be doing on social media. Not only do they post regularly (multiple times a day on Twitter and about once a day on Facebook), but they post fresh content on each! I can’t tell you how many times I go to check out a company’s social media presence and find that they’re just auto-posting everything from their Facebook page to Twitter. It’s lazy and unfair to your Twitter following. As I said, Ska doesn’t do that, but instead takes the time to not only post fresh and unique content to each of the sites while also engaging with their following and others within the industry. That kind of commitment to Denver social media marketing makes me tear up a little and is the reason why these guys are doing so well online!
- Open Source Offerings- So my last connection I have with Ska’s business efforts and inbound marketing is a little bit of a stretch, but when I saw it I immediately made the connection and thought that what Ska was doing was just absolutely awesome! So Ska takes part in what they like to call ‘open source brewing’ where in exchange for signing up for their newsletter, they will provide you with their actual beer recipes! How awesome is that?! If you’re a home-brewer and you want an already awesome recipe for free, what better deal is there?! Ok, so for the inbound part: here at Revenue River we believe in sharing our knowledge with everyone, regardless if they’re a client or not. Whether it’s Denver social media marketing, custom web design, or just some of our Denver marketing services, we provide FREE eBooks, blogs and whitepapers to anyone interested in exchange for their contact information. By providing clients and potential customers alike with this free information, both Revenue River and Ska are establishing themselves as credible sources of knowledge while also putting them in the front of that person’s mind the next time they need more information on that subject.
Even though these guys call the mountains home, Ska is one of the biggest up and coming breweries in the entire state! Their presence is ever-growing in stores throughout Colorado and beyond and I can’t say I don’t attribute at least a little bit of that to some of the unique and outside the box marketing efforts they’ve established throughout the years (the majority of credit still goes to the great tasting beer, obviously). So the next time you’re in Colorado stop by Ska or pick up a sixer so you too can see what I’m talking about! Follow Ska on Twitter here and like them on Facebook here to get all your Ska updates and see how a real multi-site social media campaign should be run!
Revenue River is a full service Inbound Marketing & Sales Firm located near Denver, CO. If you’re looking to raise your flow of profits we believe we can help. We’re disruptive. We’re passionate. We’re different. We’re driven.Follow us @revenueriver or take a peek at www.revriv.com