COMPANY PROFILE

ASTRA DIGITAL MARKETING SERVICES

Astra Digital Marketing Services logo


CONTACT INFO

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Address

1830 Soscol Ave., Suite C
Napa
CA, 94559
United States
Phone
707-681-5392
Fax
Primary
Ryan Neergaard

OUR TEAM

We are strategists, storytellers, sales drivers: Cultivating communities of engagement by passionately connecting consumers to brands with purpose.

Astra Digital is a firm of 15 professionals based in Napa who have executed strategic social media content creation and utilized action-based tactics for over 50 wine brands in our 3-year history. 

Lead by owners with 40+ years experience in both the three-tier and DTC channels, we strive to deliver best practice digital marketing strategy to make a difference in the lives of our customers and their audiences and consumers.

We know that every client has unique needs that require custom strategies and execution. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and build a lasting relationship forged in hard work.

At Astra, we care about our clients, and it shows.

DIGITAL MARKETING SERVICES


There are many ways that we can partner together. Here are just a few!


Strategy

Your time is valuable. Take the time to do it right, not do it over. 


Social Media Marketing and Management

Tag it, tweet it, boost it, tease it. 


Email Marketing

All hail: Email is king of the marketing world for growing your business.


Digital Advertising

Advertising is the lifeblood of your online business. 


Content Marketing

Success is 85% strategy and 15% magic - and the magic is in how we help you tell your story. 


Google Analytics & Reporting

Move beyond a "gut feeling." Knowledge is power. 


Search Engine Optimization

Increase organic traffic & increase revenue. 


Engagement & Data Capture

Give the people what they want, and they will give you data. 


Photography & Videography

Visual content connects us. It reminds us of people, places, feelings, and stories. 


Website Development

Designs that showcase your brand's story. 


This is how we DoNapa
This is how we DoNapa
Created for our proposal for the City of Napa
This is How We DoNapa
This is How We DoNapa
Created for our proposal for the City of Napa

News Archive


Five Steps for Mastering OND Sales
14 October, 2019

With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how your brand can successfully utilize the most popular shopping months of the year. October, November, and December (or OND, as we call it around here) is the ideal time to make your year-end sales goals and provide enticing deals for your customers. Give us 5 minutes of your time, and we will give you 5 tips on how you can make the most out of this holiday season. Happy OND planning!



Step 1: Create a Calendar


Which holiday sales will you be participating in this year? Take a look at your revenue from last year to determine the pros and cons of your efforts. This will help you to make a decision regarding how many sales you want to participate in and what discounts you should offer.


Step 2: Segment Your Data & Audience


Now let’s think about what the audience is going to look like. Segmentation is the process of dividing and organizing your audience into manageable groups. With segmentation, brands are able to tailor their messages to a specific group in order to connect. During this stage, determine what characteristics you already know about the groups to create the most effective sales strategy.


Step 3: Develop Enticing Offers


There is an endless amount of possibilities for you to engage audiences and provide them with the most enticing offers. Sit down, get creative, and think about your target audiences. Will you participate in Thanksgiving-themed packs? Or will you find yourself promoting Small Business Saturday? Whichever route you decide to take, it is always important to sell your brand and create a personalized experience for your customers.


Step 4: Let’s Advertise!


It’s time to get the word out regarding your planned sales! Ideally, this will take place at least three weeks before the sales are set to launch. The best way to get the most bang for your advertising buck is by communicating with your audience ahead of time. Get creative, wow your customers, and help them remember your brand! Keep in mind, this is not the time to try to reach a new customer base. Focus on the ones you already have and ways you can make them repeat purchasers.


Step 5: Track, Track, Track


How are your advertising efforts performing? Take a look at how people are responding to your messaging. It may be time to reach out to another audience or switch up your marketing strategy. P.S. Don’t be afraid to decrease your ad spend each day as you approach the sale date! 


So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start planning your OND strategy. The holidays are coming!


Free Webinar - Digital Trends 2019
31 July, 2019

People have transformed how they live, work, shop & play. Businesses need to adapt. We're diving into the top digital trends of 2019 and the 5 thinks your brand should focus on for the remainder of the year. 


In July, CEO Ron Scharman hosted a free webinar on Digital Trends in 2019.


Click here to watch


5 Hot-Button Topics for the Wine Industry in 2019
19 June, 2019

1. ADA Compliance on Your Website 

The American Disabilities Act states that businesses must facilitate full and equal access to “goods, services, facilities and accommodations” for all individuals. In what capacity that extends into the digital realm has come into recent question. By the logic that there are more and more online-only businesses and that even businesses with a physical location receive an increasing amount of website traffic, this digital point of business nests itself within the “accommodations” category.


There have been a few lawsuits directed at major retailers in recent years (e.g. Target, Five Guys, Omaha Steaks), but there have now been lawsuits filed against 15 New York wineries.


With this in mind, there’s no better time to take a moment and understand the implications of California Law and ADA Compliance and begin taking steps to bring your site into compliance. Where to begin? Reviewing the resources below is a great place to start.


Free Evaluation Tool: Functional Accessibility Evaluator

Read 5 Tools to Help Make Your Website Ada Compliant

Astra-Blog-5Topics-GDPR.jpg

2. GDPR Compliance

While GDPR isn’t new news in 2019, it certainly is worth revisiting or catching up on if you didn’t take care of it in 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is aimed to protect the personal data of European citizens. Whether your business is based in the EU or not, you’re impacted if you have EU users (i.e. visitors to your site or tasting room) or customers.


What’s at stake if you fail to comply? Up to 4 percent of your yearly profits. So what should you do? Focus on transparency and ensure you’re using GDPR-compliant data collection on your site for all emails collected.


Read: 5 Easy Steps to GDPR Compliance on our blog

Astra-Blog-5Topics-Prop65.jpg

3. Proposition 65: California Health Warning

Also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act this legislation has been around since 1986. The requirements we’re discussing here went into effect on August 30, 2018, and apply to businesses with 10 or more employees. What’s new? You’re now required to place the Alcohol Beverage warning language on winery websites and DTC shipments to California, as well as post it in California tasting rooms.


So how do you proceed? Look for resources in your eCommerce platform help center. For example, Wine Direct has integrated easy options to fulfill these requirements online and to only display these warnings to California customers.


Read New Prop 65 Warning Requirements for Online Sales and DTC Shipments on The Wine Institute

Astra-Blog-5Topics-Map.jpg

4. Shipping Compliance

Of course, it’s no surprise that you need to know where you can and can’t ship wine to your customers, but the rules are always changing. Staying up-to-date on Direct-To-Consumer Shipping Laws should be a routine part of your business. 


Moreover, you should take a minute to ensure that you are displaying what states you do or do not ship to on your website and on your order forms to improve the customer experience.


The Wine Institute is a resource for you to explore the ins and outs of all state policies, and also provides alerts on changing policies.

Astra-Blog-5Topics-Millennials.jpg

5. Missing Millennials

The 2019 Silicon Valley Bank Wine Report covers a number of insights on how the wine industry will face challenges over the next five years, but one topic stands out among the list: millennials are not increasing their hold as wine consumers. The SVB annual report author, Rob McMillan, elaborates on this singular issue in his article, “The Lost Wine Consumer of 2019.”


Notable takeaways that are affecting millennials decision making include: wine’s growing price point compared to the perceived cheapness of beer; the negative health perception of alcohol; and the propensity to purchase spirits from their celebrity-touting labels.


So what’s the solution? Although there’s not a concrete answer, one place to start looking is at tasting room visitation and wine clubs. McMillan notes that millennials are extremely underrepresented in these areas. How could you consider structuring your club differently to attract this particular audience? 


Looking for more great content? Check out our other blog topics here.  



Free Webinar: Social Media Tactics for DTC Success
17 April, 2019

In a changing digital landscape, you can't be reactionary. You must push the limits. This session covers the changing environment of the wine industry and focuses on the best techniques to achieve success in the DTC channel leveraging important social media platforms.

Join Astra for a FREE webinar aimed at teaching you methods to improve conversions driven by your social presences.

WHEN?

Tuesday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. PST

WHERE?

Online: Register Now! It only takes 10 seconds!

WHO?

Hosted by Ryan Neergaard, Director of Business Development

WHAT?

FREE WEBINAR - Social Media Tactics for DTC Success

WHY?

  • State of social media and what you should know
  • How to profitably segment your current customer data
  • How to create strategic content
  • Steps for taking action to find new customers
  • Case studies of proven digital marketing tactics for wineries


https://www.astradms.com/astra-blog/2017/11/1/webinar 


Free Webinar: Benchmarking Your Business for a Successful 2019
26 December, 2018

image

 

New Year, New Opportunities...

Planning for the new year is too important to wing. So why is it that year after year many companies seem to do exactly that?

For small and large wineries and businesses alike, often times the year seems to fly by quarter after quarter without taking the time to reflect on what is working and what isn't. We want to demonstrate why benchmarking is a key step in setting yourself up for success.

So if you haven't started your 2019 planning, or even if you are on top of it, let us walk you through some targeted ways to get organized for the new year and implement lessons you can learn from 2018.

Join Astra for a FREE webinar focused on bringing a fun and fresh perspective to letting metrics that matter power your success - both digital and in the tasting room.

 

WHEN?

Tuesday, January 15 at 10:00 a.m. PST

 

WHERE?

Online: Register Now! It only takes 10 seconds!

 

WHO?

Hosted by Ryan Neergaard, Director of Business Development & Guest Host, John Keleher, Founder of Community Benchmark

 

WHAT?

FREE WEBINAR - Benchmarking Your Business for a Successful 2019

 

WHY?

Learn why benchmarks are paramount to your business success

Explore what relevant data you should be tracking

Learn how to make better-informed decisions using data you already have

 

Click Here to learn more and register for the webinar. 


5 Key Ways to Master Black Friday
26 October, 2018

Black Friday is just around the corner and there’s no time like the present to prepare. So take 5 minutes, maybe even 10, and take a look at ourtop 5 ways to set your brand up for success. From planning to executing, here are some points to consider when optimizing your ads this Black Friday.

5 Key Ways to Master Black Friday

Want more great content? Check out our other blog topics here.


Facebook Ads That Work
27 September, 2018

The Importance of Creating an Evergreen Sales Funnel

Run Facebook ads, they said. It will be fun, they said. And most importantly, it will pay off, they said. And yet... It doesn’t seem to be working and it just doesn’t make sense. You think you’re doing all the right things. You’re using your data, targeting relevant interests, selecting age ranges and using geo-targeting to the best of your abilities… Sound familiar?

Well, the truth is even if you have all the pieces of the puzzle in front of you, they have to be in just the right order for it to work to your advantage. And to have ongoing success? Now that’s what dreams are made of.

So, what’s the secret to an evergreen sales funnel that works? Let’s take a look.

 

Know Your Audience

The Facebook ads funnel will look different based on who you’re talking to. So first things first, are you sending the same message to different audiences? The biggest mistake we see in Facebook advertising is to ask for a purchase from both your high loyalty customers and your new prospects. Each of those groups are in different phases of a relationship with you – different phases of the funnel – so it’s important the content of the ad you’re serving reflects that.

Take a minute to identify who these groups are. The more specific you are, the more engaging your ads will be to the target audience. Keeping in mind that you should capitalize on your data when building custom audiences, some common groups are high lifetime value customers, email lists, tasting room visitors, website visitors, lookalikes of each of these, and targeted interest groups.

 

Establish Your Steps

Once you’ve mapped out who you’re talking to, it’s time to tailor the right messages to each audience. For example, your longtime wine club members’ evergreen ad funnel may simply look like a reminder of their wine club benefits or ongoing sales.

However, a lookalike of a wine club member who is new to your brand and will require more steps on the path to conversion and consequently a higher cost per acquisition. So lay out what those steps are and the timeline for each, and think about how you like to interact with brands. Maybe the first step is to introduce the consumer to a blog. This leads them to the website where, with the Facebook Pixel, their data is captured and they can then be retargeted with additional content. From there, perhaps website visitors are directed to learn more about the brand, be it team members, winemakers, events, etc.

After a few touchpoints and building brand trust, then the funnel moves to be product-facing – but reality check, this could be a year out from the first touch point. Introduce the consumer to your products with an entry-level purchase offer. Take advantage of Facebook’s Custom Events so you can segment even further and retarget cart abandonment with either a shipping offer or simply a reminder of what they were browsing in your shop.

 

Review and Pivot

Evergreen Facebook Ad funnels are beneficial for the omnichannel marketing process, but they can’t be left alone forever. “Always be testing” is a marketer’s favorite mantra and it absolutely applies here. Check in on your funnel periodically and pivot accordingly. Using Google Analytics, if you have applied UTMs to your campaigns, you can take a look at time spent on your website, bounce rates, and ultimately conversions. Based on the information you find, make changes to your funnel in terms of art, content, and offers.

 

Efficient and Effective

Creating ads that run well and are worth your money can be tricky. The best way to maximize your budget is to accept the fact that not every group will be amenable to the final sales pitch at first introduction. Segmenting your audiences as much as possible and serving them each with the appropriate messaging will allow you to build qualified, quality relationships with new customers. Meet your consumers where they want to be met!

 

Looking for more great content? Check out our other blog topics here.


Everything You Need to Know About the GDPR
15 August, 2018

General Data Protection Regulation

Customer relationships are at the core of the wine industry, and in the digital age, a new customer relationship can start anywhere. The new data protection regulation launched on May 25, 2018, reinforces EU individual’s rights, and it should have raised more than one eyebrow in the wine industry, especially for businesses that have a web presence and/or ship products purchased online. Have you hosted international visitors in your tasting room? Do you have “clear” consent to use their data? Here’s what you need to know to safely continue communicating with your EU customers.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new set of rules to protect the personal data of European citizens. Moving forward, all business with European customers must ask permission before collecting personal data from them. Replacing the old 1995 Data Protection Directive, GDPR specifies what type of data a business may collect, how it should be stored and used. The goal? Strengthen data protection policies for residents of EU member nations. Data is defined as “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person” such as name, email or location, for example, of a wine club member.

MY BUSINESS IS NOT LOCATED IN THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY, SO WHY SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?

The GDPR impacts any business, EU-based or not, that has EU users or customers. If you offer your goods or services to any EU resident, then your business must comply with GDPR. Even if a company does not have a European presence, it’s all about the data you process. With these new regulations, the geographical scope is borderless. Napa law firm Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty illustrates how the wine industry may be impacted (1): “for example, a winery that had a single sale to an E.U. person in its wine club database might appear to meet the requirements to comply with the GDPR.”

Sunlit Napa Valley Vineyards

WHAT’S AT RISK IF I DON’T COMPLY?

A heavy fine. The GDPR could bring costly penalties for noncompliance. If you are not storing data properly or failing to report a data breach, you may be fined up to $24 million or 4% of your worldwide turnover of the previous financial year, whichever is greater. The numbers are scary. The exact fines will depend on several factors such as the importance of the personal data breach or how noncompliant your business is. “Based on 2017 figures, penalties could top $1.6 billion for Facebook” stated cnn.com. Don’t forget that this data regulation does not apply to data about a company or any other legal entities. Just a short time after the launch of the regulation, it’s still too early to know how effective the 11 chapters of the law will be but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

SO WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Become GDPR-compliant. The purpose of this regulation is to protect data of EU individuals more efficiently. The first step for businesses is to be sure to have clear consent before collecting any data from EU citizens. No more passive acceptation, opt-out or pre-ticked boxes. You want to send email to your European customers to invite him to a Mediterranean wine cruise? You need to clearly specify how you will use their information at the moment they give it to you. Not sure if you are GDPR-compliant? Play it safe and start your GDPR journey with an audit of all your data. Update your privacy policies and start a conversation with your customers to inform them you care about the information they share with you. The keyword in all of this? Transparency.

Ready to become GDPR-compliant? Get started with these 5 easy steps here.


Customized Winery Marketing: Astra Digital Marketing Services
20 July, 2018

Just a two-year-old in the wine industry, Astra Digital Marketing Services is redefining direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing and pushing wineries of all sizes to think outside the bottle. Much like their clients’ wine, Astra’s process is hand-crafted. They know that no winery is the same, and neither is the team at Astra. Taking on a client means starting from scratch, forging a genuine relationship, and absorbing that brand’s product, heritage, personality and goals. Their buffet of services include strategy, content creation, social media marketing, digital advertising, blog writing, email marketing, website design & SEO, analytics & reporting and data capture.

“Our mission is tailored content marketing,” says Ron Scharman, CEO. “We hire people from all over with amazing skill sets, which allows us to present a diversity of experience to those clients who can’t or don’t want to hire a full-time marketing position.”

Ron Scharman, CEO

While many wineries have an in-house marketer, oftentimes it is not their only focus – tasting room host, DTC manager, wine club manager are just a few of the titles that might also be responsible for marketing. But as the only marketer in-house, it’s easy to get stuck in an unevolved limbo of marketing wine.

When you go in with Astra, not only do you get a dedicated account manager, but you get the whole team – a team with collectively more than 40 years in the wine industry that lives and breathes in the digital world – a talented patchwork of strategists, designers, analysts, writers, and even interns from Bordeaux, France. They’re constantly collaborating, experimenting and learning with the newest tools, developing new skill sets. Astra keeps a foot in the vineyard, but their minds are always on the brink of innovation, making them a weapon for the wine industry with a razor sharp competitive edge.

Astra’s small but mighty operation is in the heart of Napa, but they don’t stop there. Once the contract ink is dry, Astra hits the ground running with their clients, visiting the properties and winery owners in what they call an immersion meeting. Getting their hands dirty allows Astra’s business owners and account managers to create ideas and produce content that’s one-of-a-kind.

Ryan Neergaard, Director of Business Development and Social Media

“Each client has their own unique needs,” says Ryan Neergaard, Director of Business Development and Social Media. “We work to understand all aspects of their brand, from the tasting room staff to the winery dog. Their story needs to be personal and authentic.”

Perhaps the most methodical and crucial part of Astra’s tailoring process is their Starter Package. They pull out a fine-tooth comb and audit a client’s social media channels, email marketing, third-party profiles, Google Analytics, website performance and design, and SEO, measuring and analyzing the bones of the business to come up with a tactical marketing plan based on data and best practices. The Starter Package is the rock-solid foundation for Astra’s sales objectives and strategies, as it allows clients to, “… move beyond a ‘gut-feeling’ approach for measuring success to a tangible system that defines what success looks like based on specific metrics,” says Scharman. “Don’t guess what is working for your company.”

Out of the starter package, one of the paramount findings for wineries is the health of their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Oftentimes, Astra sees wineries that have poorly implemented SEO, sort of like a puzzle that still needs pieces, or no SEO at all.

Nick Billings, CTO

“We have had wineries, big and small, come to us with stunning, brand new websites, but there’s not a single trace of SEO built into them, and they had no idea,” says Nick Billings, CTO.

SEO is easily brushed aside because it isn’t pretty or visible to consumers, and it can be intimidating. But Astra tinkers with these wineries’ crude or nonexistent SEO puzzle pieces and fastens them into a compelling mosaic – a masterkey to wineries’ online traffic and sales in the digital realm. Astra’s work is proof that when you properly build and consistently track your SEO, it acts as the backbone of both marketing strategy and a winery’s success.

It’s clear that Astra does what many firms and agencies fail to do for the wine industry – radiate a culture of wine knowledge, individualism, passion, and loyalty. The marketers at Astra are in this niche industry not only because they love what they do (and love wine), but also because they want to make a difference in the lives of their clients, their client’s consumers, and the wine country community. They believe wholeheartedly in the power of digital marketing and the promise it brings to the evolution of the wine industry.

Ashley Cummins, Senior Account Manager

“We’re telling [a winery’s] authentic story, which gives winery brands more stickiness in the market and stronger selling power online and on the shelves,” says Scharman. “We’re always striving to provide that unique, personal 3D tasting room experience in the 2D world.”

Using modern, data-driven strategy to connect with a profession as ancient as winemaking is no simple business deal – in fact, it’s bridging two, polar-opposite worlds. And for Astra, it’s working.

Learn about Astra’s services and see how they can transform your winery in the DTC marketing field by visiting astradms.com.


3 WAYS TO OPTIMIZE BOTTLEROCK VISITOR TRAFFIC
22 May, 2018

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND WILL BRING THOUSANDS OF VISITORS TO NAPA VALLEY… ARE YOU READY?

BottleRock Crowd

Now in its sixth year, BottleRock Napa Valley is the wine-iest music festival around—and thousands of fans are expected to attend in 2018 alone. With one-day passes selling out in mere minutes, and three-day passes selling out in less than an hour, the demand is clear. The hype is for good reason, too — from featuring exquisite food and wine vendors at the festival to bringing dozens of top performing artists, this three-day experience showcases Napa culture and presents a real opportunity to neighboring businesses to engage with the demographics who attend the festival.

To make the most of the influx of visitors, we put together a few best practices.

1. DEVELOP AN OFFER THAT YOU CAN MEASURE

Start by discussing your offer with your team. What unique experiences might your winery offer to visitors? Try an exclusive tour or wine pairing for those with BottleRock tickets. Or maybe you want to boost tasting room traffic. Either way, you’ll want to make sure there are measurable key performance indicators in place so that you can determine what results stem directly from your marketing efforts. Embed your reservations widget directly on your website so that the traffic from your advertisements land on your site.

Napa Valley Sign

2. USE GEO-TARGETED ADS

Let’s start with the basics. Using geo-targeting within Facebook’s ad manager allows you to engage with relevant and potential customers. Leading up to the event, start with a wider radius and target cities around the Bay area with interests relating to BottleRock. Optimize your campaign during Memorial Day Weekend by narrowing the geo-targeted area to Napa Valley. Focus on local traffic during the weekend.

Wine bottle pouring

3. USE YOUR DATA + TARGET SPECIFIC INTERESTS

Supercharge your ad delivery within Facebook by using the custom audience feature. Upload your email list to a custom audience. Then, expand on that rich data by selected lookalikes, which helps find people like your best customers based on the data you provided.

Next up is the interest feature. You can select interests such as “BottleRock Napa Valley,” “music festivals,” or “Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival.” Use these selections and the data above to build your ad with your desired expected reach. Audience still too large? Consider narrowing your audience further with specific wine interests relating to your brand.

EXECUTE, REVIEW, AND PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR

Lastly, let your optimization work its magic. This festival continues to grow and grow, so your strategy should be improved upon year-to-year. Having an event with such prestige and popularity in the summer allows you to showcase to visitors all of the fabulous reasons to visit Napa Valley. So, in the musical spirit, let’s put on one heckuva show.

Looking for tickets to the sold out BottleRock Napa Valley festival? Enter our ticket giveaway for a chance to win 3-day passes to see all your favorite musical acts!