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How to Maximize Influencer Relations in the Wine Business

Influencer Relations is increasingly becoming a core discipline of my agency’s integrated communications programs. Whether organic (unpaid) or paid, influencers are integral to targeting specific audiences with efficiency and authenticity. In fact, the idea of influencer marketing is as old as advertising and PR: convincing a trustworthy expert to speak well of your product to your target audiences. Now, with the growth of social media platforms — especially Instagram — the concept has become more formalized and strategic.


Mar Barbera, the Influencer Relations Specialist at Colangelo & Partners, provides an overview of how we approach Influencer Relations and a case study of a recent, successful program.


Gino Colangelo


Colangelo & Partners




Mar Barbera

Influencer Relations Specialist

Colangelo & Partners


An influencer is a person or small group that has the ability to influence the behaviour or opinions of others. Today, when we talk about influencer marketing we typically mean digital influencers. In fact, we are most probably referring to Instagram influencers, since this fast-growing social media platform is proving the ​most relevant at influencing purchase decisions​, especially among millennials.


From ​nano influencers ​(under 2,500 followers) to macro influencers (over 100,000 followers), the range is wide, and so are their areas of influence. Whether covering general topics like travel and lifestyle or niches such as natural wine or brunch cocktails, influencers can develop quality content that help brands reach their potential consumers in new ways. Whether by impacting a broad audience or a very specific demographic, or by crafting content with a technique or style that is new to the brand, influencers can take a business’ social media presence and ecommerce business to a completely different level.


If the topics that influencers cover are extensive, the brackets in which their fees fall are even wider. In general terms, an influencer’s fees are based on their reach (number of followers) and the type of content to be developed as part of the agreement (e.g. photos or videos on their Instagram feeds or Instagram Stories). There are other factors that can impact this number: the complexity of the content to be developed can take the budget for a post from a hundred dollars to a thousand, and influencers with unusually high engagement levels (with engagement rates over 15%) might charge more than influencers with the same number of followers and more modest engagement. A long-term partnership can see the cost of individual posts reduced, but if the brand is seeking exclusivity for the duration of the contract, the cost will go up.


Generally, working with a micro to mid-tier influencer will require an investment anywhere between $100 and $2,000 for an individual post. If a good relationship exists between the parties, fees can be waived in specific cases. Nano influencers won’t usually charge brands for posting, but their influence is usually limited to consumers in their immediate circle. This makes their opinion more authentic, but also more limited.


In the wine industry, we often offer tasting experiences and sampling to both media and organic influencers. But for partnerships with paid influencers, our creativity should go further. Instagrammable events, campaign awareness activations, ambassador programs, hosted events, key account visits: The ways in which we can partner with influencers are endless. However, there is one thing we always keep in mind during the planning and execution process: the key objective we want to achieve, and how we are going to measure the results of our influencer marketing.


Case Study: Fontanafredda’s Barolo Week[s]


Barolo Week (#BaroloWeek) is a global celebration of the iconic wine from Italy’s Piedmont region. Fontanafredda, one of Barolo’s most renowned producers, has been celebrating #BaroloWeek for three years, working with trade, media and influencers to maximize awareness of their wines and the Barolo category.


As part of an integrated communication program, Colangelo & Partners defined an Influencer Relations strategy with the double objective of educating consumers about Barolo wines and creating awareness of Fontanafredda’s Barolos. With those objectives in mind, influencers of different sizes, areas of influence and geographic locations were selected. Wine knowledgeable influencers were selected to educate, food influencers to highlight food pairings, and lifestyle influencers to reach key audiences with crafted content.


The influencer part of the integrated communications campaign achieved more than 500,000 impressions and over 20,000 engagements, educating new consumers and effectively raising awareness on the yearly celebration of #BaroloWeek. Below are examples of successful posts generated by influencers we contracted for the campaign.


Sveta Damiani for Fontanafredda Wines’ #BaroloWeek via Colangelo & Partners

Rupal Shankar for Fontanafredda Wines’ #BaroloWeek via Colangelo & Partners

Richard Miyake for Fontanafredda Wines’ #BaroloWeek via Colangelo & Partners

Chelsie Petras for Fontanafredda Wines’ #BaroloWeek via Colangelo & Partners



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