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Captivating Consumers with Video

Hint: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect

Let me start with the most important thing to know about using video.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, it’s better if it isn’t.

That may sound counterintuitive, especially if you think about the style of so much of the wine video content we see out there. Sweeping, beautiful landscapes. Picturesque villages. Impeccably polished imagery and people.

The problem is that such idyllic-looking video runs the risk of coming across as inauthentic. That’s because, outside of wine content, today’s consumers are used to watching imperfect videos, with raw or unedited footage that’s been pieced together in a way that’s far from seamless, much less polished or picturesque.

Follow the first rule of communications: put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Meet them where they are. Where they are, is watching videos. And those videos are imperfect.

That’s a relief, isn’t it?

Your videos don’t have to be perfect. You do, however, need a plan. Here are some expert tips and advice.


The number one reason video works is that it builds trust and helps you to establish relationships, according to Monique Soltani, executive producer and host of Wine Oh TV, which was named the Best Drink or Beverage Program on Television in the 2018 TASTE Awards. “Connecting with people is more important than ever,” she said. “Video brings out the truth in people when you’re honest and open and putting yourself out there. You’re establishing trust because you’re teaching them something. They start to get to know you.”



Authentic, thoughtful videos? Check. Now, what do you do with them once you have them? For retailers and restaurants, social media “presents a huge opportunity and a more seamless way to embrace social media, and to ultimately think video first, because that’s where consumer usage and social media platforms are headed,” said Kelley Rochna, Vice President of Marketing & Innovation at Vine Connections, who formerly led Instagram’s Global Business Marketing brand strategy.


Here are three social media options:

  • Facebook is the “big beast.” Viewers watch Facebook Live, a video streaming service, longer and they watch it three times as often, Soltani said. But there’s a finite limit – 24 hours – for video to live there and be elevant. For that reason, Rochna advises retailers to use Facebook as a great tool for promoting news, wine features including scores or press, event announcements, winemaker dinners, and more in-depth education. The same advice applies to restaurants and on-premise accounts as well.
  • “Instagram creates unique opportunities for businesses to inspire their customers with moments of their day, not just the ones they want to keep on their business profile,” said Rochna. Explore videos in feed as well as the emergence of innovative mobile video formats like Instagram Stories, with 24-hour ephemeral content.

  • YouTube is a must, Soltani said, and keep in mind that viewers will be searching directly within that platform. Viewers are there either to laugh or to learn, so teach them something. YouTube can be a valuable destination for longer-form content such as demos and training and, since Google owns YouTube, it can also be beneficial for your SEO efforts, Rochna noted.


The first step is to understand why visitors come to your website, then use those website “hotspots” to create videos. Or initiate a poll on your Facebook page about content areas that your audience wants to see from you. The point is to make videos focused on things that you know your visitor/ viewer already likes.

Here are some guidelines:

  • People love to sound smart, Soltani said, and they love facts, so give your audience a little bit of information. Make the videos short and easily shareable.
  • Remember that viewers love to watch and wonder what’s going to happen, as at a live tasting event or opening a newly-arrived box of an old vintage. Don’t rehearse, Soltani advises. The less planned, and the more spontaneous the video, the more connected the viewers will feel to you as a person and to your store.
  • Let’s say your number one selling wine is Pinot Noir. You could devote a video to introducing customers to a favorite producer; use Skype to record a video interview with the producer that you edit. You can then introduce the viewer to another wine outside Pinot Noir that they might also like.
  • Make your wine store into a mini video studio, and keep it interactive. Interview top customers, for example, or people who gave you the best ideas about video in the Facebook poll.


Your consumers, and your next generation of consumers, are on video. That’s where you need to be, too. Use the medium as a way to pull back the curtain on your business, and share information about what really happens in a wine retail or restaurant environment. That’s the authenticity that’s so compelling, and so winning, when it comes to video content around wine.


1. Soltani suggests “tricking out your phone” with certain accessories, including iRig for microphones, a tripod, and the Skype Cam Recorder, which records straight from your desktop.

2. Rochna encourages using tools unique to Instagram with Hyperlapse, Boomerang and Stories, including using filters, stickers and drawing tools.

3. The number one mistake that new video producers make is not using a microphone, Soltani said. Your audience is forgiving but bad sound quality isn’t what you want to be known for.

4. Set up your Instagram handle as a business profile. “If you haven’t converted your business’s page, you absolutely should,” Rochna said. “It allows people to understand more of what your business stands for and provides more ways to engage with your business.”

5. Regarding SEO for video, Rochna said that search is an important aspect to ensure your content can easily be found. “I encourage retailers to think through other accounts they may tag (like wineries), hashtags that help your content get noticed, and keywords that will connect.”

6. Don’t talk at viewers, Rochna advises. Instead invite them to feel like they are experiencing something with you. Ultimately, that encourages your audience to go buy a bottle from you.

7. For content, reach out to your distributor and their suppliers. “A lot of times they have content they can provide, but you can shape!” Rochna said.

8. For video on Instagram, think vertical first. Vertical video is just now getting some noteworthy attention, Rochna said. “As the world has gone mobile, the device is used vertically more times than not. While you can certainly provide your video in landscape or square formats on Instagram, consider shooting vertically. It takes up more of the screen and can provide a more immersive experience both with video in feed and Instagram Stories.”

9. Know your limits. Instagram allows videos up to 60 seconds in feed and up to 15 seconds for Instagram Stories. “With attention spans decreasing, people like shorter, snackable content,” Rochna said. “They don’t always want to stick around for longer content, just because you developed it.”

10. Experiment with a mix of organic and paid content. “While you should have a mix of organic content, exploring a paid strategy is benficial as it allows call-to-action buttons that encourage people to learn more about your store, encourage store visits, install your mobile app, engage with your business page, etc.,” Rochna said.

Key Resources that are Helpful for Businesses of Any Size, via Kelley Rochna:

  • Instagram for Business website & blog: Follow

  • Ads guide for Instagram videos: Learn More

  • Creative inspirations for businesses on Instagram and Facebook: Watch

  • Getting started on Instagram: Learn More

  • The Creative Hub: Show your creative in a mockup of the Instagram or Facebook interface before posting.

  1. Image Source: Wine Oh TV YouTube, “Traveling in Tuscany: Uncorking Chianti Classico WINE TV,” June 2013.

  2. Image Source: Vine Connections, About Us, April 2018.


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