Habits change, the way of experiencing sociality changes, the way of purchasing wine also changes. And wine influencers play a role in these changes.
The pandemic has only accelerated a process that has been underway for some time. Although still a minority overall, the trend towards purchasing wine online is confirmed to be growing , from around 4% of the current market total to more significant percentages, which must be evaluated in the medium and long term.
Over 70% of consumers who use social media use those channels as possible "suggestors" of purchasing advice. Millennials in particular (around 13 million in Italy) rely on it to decide their purchasing intentions, which they then tend to share on the same platforms. And again, around a third of young people aged between 18 and 34 tend to trust a brand more if it is promoted by an influencer , a trend that the market has been dealing with for years now.
And influencers also play an active role in the world of wine.
Wine influencers: who are they?
They are experts in wine but also in communication , who with advice and suggestions are able to convey the purchasing choices of their followers. They are people capable of generating identification and trust thanks to the spontaneous and simple story of their daily life and the products that populate it. From there, the active involvement of the community .
Yes, because the basis of influencer marketing is the trust that is created with followers , thanks to the authenticity of the language, contents and values .
The community, for its part, is interested in receiving advice and establishing a dialogue, sharing opinions and asking questions as if it were friends.
From an age point of view, almost 60% of influencers are under 30, 23% are between 30 and 40, and few are over 40.
Wine influencer: specificity
Born in the wake of fashion, one of the challenges of beverage influencer marketing is to distinguish itself from food by focusing on its specificities.
The starting question is: how do you communicate, online, emotions and ideas that arise while tasting a glass of wine (the most offline activity you can imagine)?
Especially the younger wine influencers, then, speak differently compared to the "classic" communication of the wine world. The goal is to bring everyone together, making even non-experts feel at home .
Wine influencer: channels and tools
Instagram today confirms itself as the main channel for influencer marketing: here communication is simple and immediate, photo and video-centric. Followed by Facebook , blogs, Youtube (the latter being interesting more for its contents than for its numbers) and then Twitter, LinkedIN and Pinterest.
As for TikTok , it is a channel still to be fully exploited by wine influencers (exception: Italian Wines, with 150,000 followers): in itself it is suitable for creators - and for this aspect of "creation" it is more similar to YouTube - thanks the functionality of the platform and the characteristics of use. It should not be forgotten that the user base is very young: on TikTok one user in three is between 16 and 24 years old, and the average age is 34 (that of other social networks is around 40). Here, influencers are called TikTokers: kids who are often minors with millions of followers, who challenge each other with challenges.
In the difficult challenge for attention, the most effective tools in the hands of influencers are the effectiveness of the impact and the immediacy of the contents . These are purely visual: especially videos , which are increasingly relevant and growing, and images . But in these times of lockdown, podcasts have also started to make themselves heard.
Opportunities for companies?
Influencer marketing is used by companies in the wine sector for the dual action of strengthening the brand and its reputation , as well as increasing sales - the much desired conversion . Of course, the right meters must be found for everything.
Food & beverage in Italy covers 17-20% of influencer marketing, confirming itself as a fast-growing sector. The key to successful collaborations? Finding the perfect marriage between brand and influencer , made up of similar and matching values.
- Definitely keep an eye on TikTok .
- The “ storytelling ” approach will consolidate and videos will be by far the most used content.
- The " no-edit " trend will increasingly gain ground, a real challenge for the sector, which involves sharing moments, photos, videos immediately, without working too hard on the contents to improve them. And this authenticity will in turn also influence brands and their way of communicating.
- Companies will look for influencers with ever greater attention, with the aim of working with those who communicate the same palette of values and the same language , looking a little less at numbers but aiming for the quality of very specific messages, targeted targets and creativity.
- Micro influencers will grow, i.e. those with up to 10,000 followers. These are, among other things, those who seem to boast the best engagement , net of the lowest volumes.
Some Italian wine influencers (on Instagram)
Andrea Albagli of @Corvino, engineer by day, wine enthusiast by night, lived the last few years between Milan and San Diego where he specialized in seismic design. He shares his passion for wine on his blog and with 110 thousand followers on Instagram. This very early passion came to him from his uncle with whom he spent his summer holidays. Andrea shares his wine stories without technicalities, he has a large following... but he doesn't like being called an influencer!
Emanuele Trono , @Enoblogger, with 90k followers on Instagram. Graduated in Business and Management, a Master in Italian Wine Culture, he loves to share his love for wine but also for Italian beauty and fashion. His goal? Bringing enthusiasts and younger people closer to this magical world, communicating its richness and multiplicity.
Giulia Sattin , architect and sommelier - took her passion for the magical liquid which was forbidden to her as a child from her paternal grandfather. Today she shares her tastings with over 70 thousand followers (@winegirlfriend on Instagram).
Stefano Quaglierini , of @Italian_Wines, with 70 thousand followers, almost all between 18 and 45 years old. Father busy in the leather district of Santa Croce, mother busy managing a racehorse company: two worlds apart from wine. His passion blossomed in the fifth year of high school, so Stefano chose to study "Viticulture and oenology" in Pisa, becoming one of the pioneers of wine influencer marketing in Italy. His goal is to communicate what's behind the labels: the stories of the winemakers, the harvest, the vineyards... He defines himself as a wine popularizer and - why not? - wine influencers.
Francesco Saverio Russo , @ItalianWineLover on Instagram, with 66 thousand followers. Born in the Marche region and Tuscan by adoption, after having worked in event organization and the web, he was literally struck by the world of wine and threw himself into it headlong. Driven by this passion, he writes Wine Blog Roll, one of the most followed and interesting blogs in the world of wine in Italy. His secret? A technical and emotional storytelling together.
Italian wine influencers who address an international audience
Simone Roveda : born in '88, engineer and sommelier, at the helm of the @WineryLovers community, an Instagram page that boasts 196,000 followers. An important rise, the one of which Simone was the protagonist, who in addition to wine and good food loves travel, taking his followers around the world. Great ability to be listened to and read, his has become a very large community, which follows him on Instagram but also on other platforms.
Enrico Maggiore & Diletta Quarta Colosso , from @enrico.onthewine, are a recently married couple of wine and travel enthusiasts: they live in Paris and share their passion with 119 thousand followers.
Eleonora Galimberti , founder of the Enozioni blog, today has 101 thousand followers on Instagram (@Enozioni). Born in Milan, she is a Marketing & Communication specialist and wine influencer. Her connection with wine starts from afar (her mother is originally from the land of Brunello di Montalcino) and as she herself declares, with the authenticity of wine she rediscovers a new self, every single day.
Cantina Social is a project born in 2015 with the aim of making wine more accessible to everyone. Between blogs, podcasts and various social channels it is carried out by Matteo Franco , Adriano Amoretti and John Murnarne , and on Instagram it is followed by 98k followers (@CantinaSocial - Wine Informant).
Can we go further?
Obviously yes. All to be written is a list of micro wine influencers , that is, those who have a smaller number of followers. And it would hold interesting surprises.
An example? Not Just Wine , a beautiful project by Luca and Matteo born to share experiences and grown with the aim of talking about wine to everyone. Over 36 thousand followers on Instagram (@notjustwine), podcasts, travel, community, events and of course lots of wines!
We cannot fail to note the choices that go against the trend, such as that of Maximilian Girardi , who in past years has been one of the most authoritative wine influencers in Italy. His account is no longer online due to Girardi himself choosing to dedicate himself completely to his estate.
A confirmation, if any were needed, of the fact that the story of wine , in whatever form it is done, requires a lot of energy .