Influencing the Influencers

Michigan Wine Collaborative teams up with BevFluence to promote member wineries


The Michigan Wine Collaborative (MWC) recently partnered with BevFluence, a group of beverage-related content creators, to promote Michigan vineyards and wineries.

“BevFluence is an organization that brings content creators in the beverage space together to share stories, share marketing campaigns — basically, to collaborate,” says Justin Koury, co-founder of BevFluence.

He and Jennifer Nelson created BevFluence when they grew tired of the content — or lack thereof — that they saw being offered at industry conferences around 2016 and 2017.

After bringing on several partners, BevFluence moved in two key directions. First, they collaborate with content creators through influencer marketing campaigns — like the one they did with the MWC. They also provide consultancy services.

“We help those in the industry with design, implementation of strategy and with whatever else they need,” Koury says.

The nonprofit MWC was established to focus on the promotion and marketing of Michigan’s wine industry after the state Grape and Wine Industry Council was dissolved. As a nonprofit with no promotional budget, the MWC relies on social media to fuel its campaigns.

“It’s just a really great resource for the industry and for consumers to connect,” says Emily Dockery, executive director of the MWC. “We’re able to engage both the industry and consumers about Michigan wine.”

BevFluence initially reached out to the MWC with the goal of driving a regional campaign. The plan was for seven or eight people to travel for a Michigan wine, beer and spirits experience. With the COVID-19 pandemic altering the initial plan, the campaign had to adjust.

BevFluence is now working via social media to promote and highlight several MWC member wineries, including Aurora Cellars, Left Foot Charley and 12 Corners Vineyards. Participating wineries provided BevFluence team members with their wines.

“They are writing about the wines, creating content about the wines, sharing it among that network and their outside networks,” Dockery says. “The rate of exposure is really good because there’s seven people and they all have really good connections, and a lot of them are different.”

The project is ongoing, with new posts continuing to be released about the wines the content creators received. Although not all of the data has been compiled yet, both teams speak very positively of the campaign. The initial idea of combining resources proved beneficial for all parties involved.

“We’ve been very successful,” Koury says. “We’ve had hundreds of thousands of impressions, thousands of likes, thousands of social media engagements.”

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