During a short lull in the action, Tequila Aficionado’s Founder Alex Perez, and CEO Mike Morales, took a moment or two to catch their breath and to reflect on the nearly twenty years of honest, authentic tequila and agave spirits news and reviews.
Growing with The Internet
We often say that Tequila Aficionado has grown parallel to the Internet.
For instance, in the early days, most all of our reviews were audio only. Later, with the creation of YouTube, Tequila Aficionado moved to strictly video reviews on its own channel.
To date, we have over 500 video reviews, with new ones being added weekly.
The Resurgence of Audio
As the Internet continues to evolve, it seems that certain things never really die. Audio podcasting has been reinvented and is even more popular than ever.
Whether using an elaborate set up, or simply pressing the button on the voice recording function of a smart phone, anyone can establish their own podcast channel.
The advances in software have allowed us to pull the audio from our Sipping Off The Cuff(c) episodes and to upload them to our BlogTalk Radio channel.
Multi-tasking is a way of life these days, but now you can take us with you wherever you go–
To the gym, on the way to work, to the local bar, or even to your neighborhood liquor store.
“Alexa, play Tequila Aficionado podcast”
Another easier way to stay up-to-date on the latest Sipping Off The Cuff(c) episode of your favorite tequila, mezcal or agave spirit, is to tell your virtual assistant, Amazon Alexa, to play it for you.
Simply repeat the above command and–BAM!–Alexa will play the latest Sipping Off The Cuff(c) review for you. If you’ve missed earlier episodes, just ask Alexa to play the previous review, and so on.
[Note: BlogTalk Radio inserts short commercial breaks into the audio. A radio aggregator then picks up the audio tracks and feeds them to Alexa, however, the ads are blacked out. Please disregard the intermittent “dead air,” and keep listening to the end of each episode.]
Hey, nothing’s perfect, but…
We have come a long way from handheld tape recorders, microphones and tequila glasses.
We’re packing up and getting ready to ride for some spectacular brands this year. Here’s what our tour itinerary looks like, barring any unforeseen adventures. It’ll be a nonstop month of tequila and mezcal fun!
In the RV, we’ll have Mike Morales and Lisa Pietsch.
Brands that are going will be announced on our Instagram and Twitter, as they commit.
What does it cost?
The Early Bird Price (prior to June 14) is $300 per expression. If we have room on the tour, we may open registration again in late July, but the price will go up the longer you wait.
Where are you going?
Each tour covers a different geographic area and has a different theme. This year’s theme is the Wild Wild West so we’ll be hitting some cowboy faves in America’s Southwest that include everything from rowdy saloons and ghost towns to glitz, glamour, and glamping! Some stops we’re planning include White Sands, NM; Tombstone, AZ; San Diego, Los Angeles, & Palm Springs, CA.
When does it start?
We plan to head ’em up and move ’em out on October 1st so we can provide sponsors with great content leading up to Dia de Los Muertos and right on through Christmas and New Year’s Day.
This year (2017) we’ll be offering a special Early Bird Package of additional sponsor brand content that we’ll start posting in July which adds a whole summer of extra promotion before we even start the tour. People who register as Early Birds (prior to June 14) will receive this package absolutely free with their sponsor price and get 6 months worth of brand promotion for only $300 per expression.
Why do you do this?
We spend all year in our office researching and creating articles and filming Sipping Off the Cuff. Getting out on the road once a year gives us the time and opportunity to get really creative and go local with a lot of brands we feel deserve much more attention from consumers but are running on a bootstrap budget.
How did this start?
We had to visit New Mexico to pick up some things Mike had stored there and the only way to make the trip with the kids, cats and dog was with an RV. We didn’t own one, but discovered renting one was cheaper than driving and staying in hotels. Before we left, Larry Large of the Diva, Penasco, and Route 66 Tequila brands gave us a few bottles “for the road”. Driving through West Texas, it struck us that we had a great opportunity to provide some co-operative marketing to craft brands that might not have the budget to visit locations independently with a camera crew.
What is the Purpose for Tequila Aficionado Tours?
The main purpose for our annual tours is to seek out interesting places and situations that will allow us to create great social media content for the brands that come on as sponsors and introduce our readers and viewers to their products. In marketing jargon, his is an influencer marketing campaign that kicks off the holiday buying season for our sponsors.
What Do Sponsors Get?
Each year, we develop a different sponsor package based upon the most popular social networks that agave spirits brands will want to be seen on. Every piece of content (pictures, articles, and videos) we create goes out to our networks and reaches over 1/2 million consumers within 24 hours and 3+ million in 48hrs.
If you have accounts with the networks we’re posting to, you can share the content we create with your following but…
If you don’t have an account with a network we’re using, you still get the benefit of having a presence on that network through Tequila Aficionado.
A photo posted by Tequila Aficionado (@tequilaaficionado) on
But My Brand isn’t Available in the States You’re Visiting.
We aren’t visiting these places to sell your brand in those states. (It might help, but it won’t hurt!) We’re visiting these places because they grab our audience’s attention and provide us with great backdrops to create photos, videos, and articles about your brand. It doesn’t matter if your brand is available where we’re going. When brands aren’t available and we share them with aficionados, they start looking for them and creating buzz. everywhere.
Tequila Aficionado has a worldwide audience! Do you think it matters to the aficionados in Maine that they don’t have Gracias A Dios Mezcal in their local liquor store? Of course not! They know they love mezcal, saw our reviews and the social posts we made about it, and now they’re looking for it online and wherever they travel.
But What if I Already Have an Ad Agency?
That’s great! You must be awesome!
What we do doevtails perfectly with what your agency and/or Social Media Manager does. We are influencers in the agave spirits industry and they’ll understand that the content we create can be curated and reused to your benefit as the endorsement it is. (Only Brands of Promise nominees are allowed to roll with us on a tour – a brand that has been nominated is one we feel we can endorse in good conscience.)
But if you’re dealing with an agency, you should know that 70% of advertising and marketing agencies are spending at least 25% of their budgets on influencer marketing. What we do is eliminate the agency markup and provide our influence at a reasonable price that doesn’t gauge your bottom line. We know how much work you put into what you do with your brand and we know how much work we put into ours. The price we charge is fair and reasonable to small brands (and agencies) who don’t have a Brown-Forman budget.
Can I Coordinate an Event with You?
Sure! We’re always happy to make room in our tour schedule to attend a sponsor’s event. We’ve had sponsor brands ask us to meet them for lunch at one of their best accounts so we can do a profile on that restaurant. We’ve also had sponsor brands ask us to attend private tastings where they’ll be entertaining their investors.
If you come on the tour as a sponsor with at least 3 expressions, we’ll fit your event or a stop at one of your preferred accounts into our itinerary.
If you aren’t a sponsor and want us to participate in your event or do a profile on your restaurant then we must politely remind you that this is our profession. You wouldn’t be in business if you gave away all your liquor or food for free, would you?
I Don’t Have a Tequila Brand but I’d Love Your Audience to See My Product
Great! In addition to being aficionados of agave spirits, we are also a (fairly) normal American family. If our demographic and your demographic intersect then let’s talk! We eat, drink coffee, exercise, use a full array of electronic devices, watch TV, listen to music, and travel with our kids, dog and cats like other people. Let’s talk!