The Basics of Home Brewing

 

If you are a beer lover, you may have considered brewing beer at the comfort of your home. It’s not only economical; it’s also a great hobby that you could share with your friends. And by the end of your project, you’ll be welcomed with a cold glass of your very own beer.

Purchase a starter kit

As you begin to explore the art of brewing beer, getting a starting kit would be your best option. This kit contains all the supplies and equipments which are needed for home brewing, plus, detailed instructions also come with the package. This is especially recommended for beginners as you’ll be provided with everything you need for this project.

Prepare the ingredients

Surprisingly, beer involves a simple process. It’s basically just water with malt.

Most of the time, the ingredients needed in brewing are included in the home brew starter kit. As you master the art of brewing beer, you can start experimenting and add in hops, grains and malts. These could provide an added flavor to your beer.

Brewing the beer

Brewing beer is easy, especially if you’re using a starter kit. Follow these steps and start brewing your own beer.

Brewing – This process takes about 2 hours.

Start off by cleaning and sterilizing your equipments. Dissolve the brew in 2 to 4 liters of hot water then add in 1 Kg of dextrose or sugar. Then, put 10 liters of cold water in the fermenter, add the hot mixture and mix it well.

Top it up to 23 liters. When the temperature reaches below 30°, sprinkle it with brewer’s yeast.

Fermenting – This process takes about a week

This is where the magic happens! After adding the yeast, you can now seal the fermenter. Remember to partially fill the airlock with boiled, cooled water.

Allow the brew to ferment for a week, letting it stay at about 20 to 22°. Once you notice that the brew clears and the airlock stops bubbling, set aside for 48 hours. After this, you beer is ready for bottling.

Bottling

Make sure to sterilize all the caps and bottles. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to each bottle. Fill the bottles, leaving 40mm from the top.

Cover the bottles and tilt each bottle for a few times in order to dissolve the sugar. Keep them in a warm place for about 5 days, then transfer them to a cooler place and let it stay for another 5 days. Leave it alone for another week. After this, you are free to enjoy your very own beer.

The Basics of Beer Marketing

Craft beer is one of the most profitable and fastest growing segments of the beer industry. It’s also a very competitive and crowded market, so you’ll have to work hard and stand out among the competition if you wish to succeed in this industry.

In this business, success could be translated to being different. This article could help you in focusing on the key factors that would contribute to your business’ success.

Know the market

Every market is unique. Thus, you’ll have to understand what makes you area different in order to build a profitable business.

Here, you should be able to gather as much information about beer drinkers (your prospective clients) and your competitors. As you learn more about your prospects and competitors, you’ll be able to come up with an effective marketing plan that would set you apart from these existing establishments, reach your target audience and penetrate the market.

Create your brand

Your brand is more than just a logo. It’s how you present your business to your customers. A great brand provides its clients with an interesting story. As you introduce your brand to the market, you’ll want to capture their attention and connect with your customers.

Once you capture their attention, this becomes the core of your identity. If possible, try to incorporate it through your marketing plan in order to create a more powerful presence.

Improve your product

More than anything, your product will be the center of your business. So, it is important to provide your customers with a great product. Also, device a plan on how to carry your brand story through the product you offer.

Create excitement among your customers

Getting your customers excited is an important aspect of your marketing plan. Execute your plans early on and engage beer drinkers to follow you until your launching day. A lot of beer drinkers get thrilled with the introduction of new breweries. By going with the right approach, you could easily create a buzz among the beer drinking community even before you start selling.

By putting up your own site combined with the power of social media, you can easily reach your target audience and provide them with the necessary information as you prepare for the launch of your brewery.

 

3 Game Changers in Online Marketing

There are a lot of tools that promise to help, but the better approach may be to focus on the following three areas that every marketer needs to address if they want to succeed online

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1. Speed

Many websites are still under performing when it comes to speed, and there’s a measurable financial cost associated to this. Every second added to a website’s load decreases conversions by a massive 2% to 7% and reduces page views by 1% to 2%. Just as importantly, Google makes no secret of the fact that speed is part of its ranking process, meaning that a slow loading site is going to suffer in search results.

A fast website is, therefore, the first thing you need to ensure if you’re going to win in the increasingly competitive online retail world. There are basic, technical things you can do. For example, ensure your site is technically optimized.Also, check out your hosting and bandwidth providers and make sure that you’re not unnecessarily forcing users to download massive videos or images.

Another route to faster site speeds that’s being adopted by major players in web retail is the tag management system. Website tags are used by third-party technologies to track and control activity on a page. Many sites can have twenty or even thirty different tags per page, and each one of these will slow down a page’s loading speed. A tag management system can manage this process, speed up your site, and improve performance.

That said, speed isn’t just about the rate at which your pages load. The best companies are constantly evaluating and rolling out new approaches. To succeed, your marketing team needs to be working with your technical team to ensure that you can move quickly and make the most of the technologies and approaches that exist.

2. Customer View

Online shopping behavior is becoming more complex. Three quarters of customers use more than two points of contact to make a purchase, whether that is multiple visits to a single site or using different online and offline access methods. As a result, 25% of sales cycles take more than a month to complete from consideration to purchase.

During these extended purchase processes, there are hundreds of different influences, offers, social messaging, and other touch points that can influence a consumer decision. A user might visit your website initially, but then they might friend your Facebook page, see a display ad, visit through a search link, or head into your physical store. Retailers need to stay on top of this journey throughout its life cycle. You need to know what led to a customer buying something from your site and, more importantly, what led to them not buying.

The answer is to take a customer-centric view of your analytics, rather than a web-centric view. Traditionally, analyzing website traffic has been all about tracking individual visits to your website, but instead you need to think more broadly about what customers are doing that leads into their on-site experience.

Amazon does a great job of this, using all the information they have on you to ensure that their recommendations are almost always spot on. Similarly, Apple does a great job of integrating the in-store and online experience. They’ve taken the pain away from in-store lines with their remote iPhone-style checkouts. Would you like them to email you your receipt? Of course! And in doing so, you’ve just handed them valuable information about your purchase that they can use on their website.

 3. Personalization

Once you have a distinct understanding of your customer the next step is to see how you can personalize their experience. Personalization isn’t the same as recommendation. It’s not saying ‘you bought that so you might like this.’ It’s about building an online experience that’s truly personal and unique.

Imagine a store owner who knows you by your name, your size, your preferences, and hang ups. Imagine if you’re hesitating to buy a pricey shirt and they offer you quality reassurance or even a special offer if you’re about to walk away? What about if they can help you curate an outfit or even try it on? What if the store layout was adapted to your liking? What if you always walked into the Hugo Boss section? (Assuming that’s your cup of tea?).

This is personalization: The combination of bespoke design, layout, stock, and messaging. Some websites out there are starting to do this, but only a few so far. However, many websites still work on a site-wide change basis, changing everything for everyone. Research by Jim Manzi , has shown that only 10% of site-wide changes actually drive business change. True personalization relies on being able to serve the right content to the right segment at a specific time, nearly guaranteeing that your changes are going to drive results.

Of course, personalization isn’t a simple process, and it requires what could be the fourth game changer: automation. If you’re going to personalize for individual users effectively without killing your backstage team then you need to be able to customize on the fly based on the data you hold.

 

Mobile Usage in Travel on the Rise

In December 2012, I wrote a piece called The Mobile Revolution in Travel about recent trends and reports that painted what seemed to be an optimistic portrait regarding mobile adoption rates and its impact for the travel industry. Less than a year later, it appears as if reports were, if anything, very conservative: the growth is in fact staggering!

MOBILE BOOKINGS ARE BOOMING

All the statistics show sheer growth, not only for smartphones but also tablets and other wireless devices, i.e. iPods. According to a recent study by Tradedoubler Insight Unit, tech-savvy European travelers are ignoring travel agents and instead using mobile and online sites to book their vacations. This study looked at the online behavior of 2,500 smartphone users from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Poland. Overall, 19% of these tech-savvy travelers booked their vacation through their mobile device. But if you dig a little deeper, you’d find that in the 25-34 years old demographics, 28% of users say they now book their holidays from the comfort of their mobile phone!

This should come as no surprise, though. Google Travel found that 25% of all online search for travel came from a mobile device at the end of 2012 and eMarketer predicts that this figure would jump up to 40% by the end of 2013. Well, lo and behold, it seems we’re already there! Looking at results gathered during Q1 2013 for the various hotels across North America managed by HeBS, a New York-based agency, we find that 39.5% of all online traffic came from either a smartphone or a tablet – in 89% of cases, an iPad.

Sources of Traffic and Revenue per Device Category

Source: The 3 Screens in Hospitality, Q1 2013, HeBS

As can be seen in the chart above, while there is a considerable amount of traffic generated from mobile devices, bookings & revenues remain a small fraction. Nevertheless, it now represents more than 10% of revenues, and growing! So much so, in fact, that PhoCusWright estimates it should reach20% of online travel dollars in the U.S. by end of 2014, when mobile bookings will reach US$25.8 billion.

Yet, another aspect that requires marketers’ attention is the fact that while bookings may remain on the lower end of the spectrum, mobile is increasingly important at the research level. Thus, travel brands should ensure they have optimal mobile sites and/or applications to properly capture their fair share of bookings, whether this eventually comes through a mobile device, laptop, desktop or even call center.This recent study and infographic from Mobiquity sheds some interesting insights on the matter.

How People Book After Researching

MOBILE IS MORE THAN A CHANNEL

Share of time spent per day with major media by US adults, 2010-2013At the end of the day, however, we need to grasp and understand that mobile devices are taking an omnipresent role in our everyday life and that they represent more than just “another channel” to market, communicate or advertize through. In fact, eMarketer recently found that for the very first time, as of this year time spent on nonvoice mobile activities will surpass time spent online on desktop and laptop computers!

We have a much closer relationship with our mobile devices than we would with the office desktop or even a personal laptop. Some bring their smartphone with them to the washroom, others bring their tablet to bed for nighttime reading… it has therefore become a lifestyle item, above and beyond its useful and inherent attributes.

Some takeaways:

  • Not all mobile is mobile. Treat smartphones and tablets differently, and have a distinct strategy for each. Behavior and willingness to spend are not the same, whether in research mode or in booking mode, according to different devices.
  • Online travel agencies (OTAs) have taken a clear leadership in this space yet again, with mobile applications and mobile sites adapted, in some instances differently according to tablets or smartphones. Hotels, airlines, cruise lines, restaurants and destinations should take a few notes from their best practices.
  • Have a mobile marketing strategy in place and appropriate dollars to fund future initiatives. If it’s too late for 2013, then it’s certainly time to prioritize this for 2014 strategy planning sessions that are taking place in various travel brands headquarters right now…

Article Source: http://socialmediatoday.com/gonzogonzo/1645006/mobile-usage-travel-rise

12 Ways to Market Your Beer Event with Social Media

12 Ways to Market Your Event With Social Media

Whether you’re planning a real-world event (like a “largely publicized craft beer event”) or a local event (like a “street fair or in-the-park beer social”), social media can be an inexpensive, cost-effective way to build buzz, fill seats, and turn a one-off gathering into a recurring event.

The trick is to know which social media tools to use and when to use them.  This article contains 12 useful social media tips designed to help your events shine.

Before Your Event

The first step is to make people aware of your event, to mark it on their calendar, and to

register. Here’s the game plan:

#1: Market Your Event Through Twitter

There are many ways in which you can use Twitter to raise awareness. Many conferences and events have their own hashtags, such as #smss10 or #metweetup. There’s no magic to creating one—just start using a hashtag in all your related tweets and encourage other people to do the same when talking about your event.

To encourage people to tweet out your hashtag and spread the word, sweeten the deal with a free pass, door prize or other giveaway for one lucky hashtag-er.

If your event is large enough, give it its own Twitter account such as @Blogworld or @socialmediaFTW, which serves as a customer service “hotline”and adds credibility to the event.

Mix up your event tweets by varying the message.

Mix up your beer event tweets by varying the message.

Constantly tweeting that your event is coming will annoy some of your followers, so mix it up: use tweets to announce new sponsors, special guests, an open bar, secret after-party, or to ask questions that might help shape the event.

Finally, ask for people to share your event with the simple phrase, “Please RT!” You’ll be amazed at the results. Just don’t overdo it; you don’t want to look desperate, do you?

#2: Market Your Event Through Facebook

Certainly you can update your status with news of your event, but don’t overlook Facebook events, which Facebook guru Mari Smith calls “one of the most powerful tools on the platform.”

A page for your event attracts fans.

I’ve found success by first creating a page for the event, and then creating a “Facebook Event” from that. This is especially helpful if you have a recurring event, such as an annual conference or a tweetup, as it helps build a fan base over time.

A page for your event attracts fans.

Other benefits of creating a Facebook page include:

  • You can add a “Like Box” to your website, blog or other web presence to promote your clambake.
  • You can invite fans as well as friends to the March on Washington.
  • You can take out targeted Facebook ads to reach people outside your network who would be interested in your Save the Whales Sit-In.

#3: Market Your Event Through LinkedIn

Promote business functions with LinkedIn Events to reach your professional network. As Lewis Howes points out in his excellent post, Top 5 Ways to Market Your Business with LinkedIn, “once someone RSVPs to your event, it shows up on the home profile of everyone that person is connected to, spreading the message for you.”

It’s simple and straightforward to create an event on LinkedIn. Once you’ve completed that task, it’s just as easy to invite up to 50 people from your LinkedIn network. It also shows up in the events search.

#4: Market Your Event Through Your Blog

Whether through an existing blog or a blog created specifically for your gathering, be sure to create posts announcing the event, calls for presenters, and sponsorship opportunities. Follow up with guest posts from presenters who should welcome the opportunity to reach a wider audience (and steal people who might have attended competing events!).

#5: Other Places to Market Online

There are plenty of online calendars, and you should list your event in any that seem appropriate.

Local papers, TV channels and radio stations’ websites often host a calendar of events that offer free postings. Tweetvite is a site for promoting and learning about tweetups, and Eventful is one of many sites where you can list all types of gatherings.

#6: Event Marketing and Registration Tools

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when handling online registration for your event. Constant Contact is a highly popular tool for the social media crowd sourcing and email reach and registration.

With these tools you can create and market your event, and even collect payments with registration. Registration forms appear on the event marketing company’s site and can be embedded into your website or blog.

Sharing tools let attendees post to Facebook and Twitter, which builds buzz and generates more registrations.

During Your Event

Just because your event has started doesn’t mean the marketing has ended! If you’re promoting an all-day affair of beer nirvana in the park, people will be milling in and out all day. Keep the excitement and foot traffic high by leveraging social media well into the night.

#7: Foursquare and Gowalla

Events on Foursquare will encourage attendees to share.

It costs nothing to create an event in Foursquare or Gowalla, and attendees who are hip to location-based apps will want to check in to your event for the extra points!

Since many people link their Foursquare and Gowalla activity to Twitter and Facebook, check-ins reach well beyond early adopters of location-based apps.

Events on Foursquare will encourage attendees to share.

You can greatly increase the number of check-ins by adding signs and table-top displays reminding people to check in, and even sweeten the deal with a giveaway or random drawing.

#8: Use Those Hashtags!

Hashtags make your event more findable, searchable and memorable.

People will tweet out memorable lines from your event, so make sure everyone knows the Twitter hashtag: put it in your literature, on name tags, and announce it during your keynote.

Hashtags make your event more findable, searchable and memorable.

#9: Live Blogging

If you’re putting on a conference, it might be worthwhile to have someone “live blog” the sessions. Instead of just taking notes, have them take notes straight into a blog post and publish it as soon as the session ends.

#10: A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Although Twitpics and iPhone photos are great and shareable, hire a photographer for the day. If you can’t afford one, consider an in-kind trade of a free pass. Make sure you come to an agreement on who owns the photos and how they can be used online to promote this and future events.

#11: Thoughts on Video

There are so many ways to use video at your event: quick interviews with attendees and speakers on Flip cams, recorded sessions, or live streaming the event with UStream.tv.

#12: After Your Event

After the glow of a successful comic book convention, bean supper or Tri for a Cure fades, it’s time to get back to work.

Create a blog post of your reflections on how the event went, what you learned, and even how the next one could rock even harder.  Ask for feedback and suggestions in the comments field. Post something similar to your Facebook page and encourage fans and friends to leave comments there as well.

Upload your photos to Flickr and other photo sharing sites and be sure to give them appropriate titles, descriptions and tags. Use the Creative Commons license to let them be shared as far and wide as possible.

After you’ve finished uploading your photos to Facebook be sure to tag everyone you know and ask them to “fill in the blanks” by tagging anyone else. This can have a viral effect as people love seeing photos of themselves and their friends, driving them all back to your Facebook page.

Post video to YouTube, Facebook and other video sharing sites. Ask your presenters to share their slides on Slideshare, again with appropriate tags, titles and links.

Wrapping Up

Undoubtedly, there are more sites and techniques to promote your event through social media. What platforms do you use, what techniques have proven especially effective, and how did you generate excitement and fill the seats at your last event?

Cirqle Media and Brewing-A-Brand have tools and support that can take your event to a new level.  If you have a beer event in the works or a 2nd annual that needs more lift – send us a note and will provide some ideas and marketing support that will get your vendors, sponsors and attendees talking about your event for years to come.

Contributing Writer Rich Brooks and Our Marketing Team