What you say in your video matters

I suppose that the title is about as obvious as saying water is wet but sometimes pointing out the obvious can get you to think a little differently to make some profitable changes.  For many products, descriptions can be pretty straight forward but for others such as wine, descriptions become a bit more subjective.

Here was a description I found for a Tenuta Biserno Insoglio Del Cinghiale:

Medium crimson hue. Intensely brambly aromas of raspberry and pencil shavings. Lovely mouth-feel frames juicy flavors of strawberry and earth; perfect balance. Clean, tart finish.

I love wine and despite growing up in the wine country, I still have a hard time understanding what a wine is going to taste like when I see words like “pencil shavings” and “earth”. Moreover, with this lack of understanding of what I’m going to taste, I find it more difficult to swallow the $40 price tag.  Shopping around online I found myself looking at buyer ratings and price rather than the descriptions and even some of the videos.  Regardless of the site, I continued to see the same vague description trend: “exciting finish”, “friendly personality” and “Forest floor.”

I decided to spend a day wine tasting and talk to some professional wine-tenders in hopes that they might be able to use some better adjectives for me. Most places did an average job helping me wrap my mind around the vague descriptions but one place in particular already took it to the next level. California Wine Merchant in San Francisco’s Marina district takes a very different approach.

Here is a description for a Charles and Charles 2009 Rosé:

Imagine a pool full of wild strawberries and raspberries with some sage, rose petals and a bucket full of watermelon Jolly Ranchers thrown in. Then imagine diving in. That’s pretty much what it’s like as you stick your nose in a glass of the 2009 Charles and Charles Rose.”

I hung out with Nate Welch, a wine-tender with 15 years in the industry and he explained that the specific use of candy terms and alike has helped them increase sales and decrease the amount of wine he drops down the drain due to poor descriptions. They use words like “Raspberry Skittles”, “Branch’s Butterscotch Candy” and “Watermelon Jolly Rancher.” Welch went on to explain that the use of these descriptors is much more objective for his customers because they know what they’re getting.

What does this mean for an online wine retailer?  Don’t be afraid to think outside the manufacturer’s product description.  While implementing a video strategy into your site plan is a necessary step to better engage your customers, it’s important to make sure that what you’re saying on camera properly reaches your demographic.  A slightly different approach can greatly increase your sales and decrease returns.

Here are three quick tips that can help you put what your saying on camera into perspective.

1. Pay attention to the price point of the product relative to the demographic.

Here is a 5 ½ minute video on an $11.30 bottle of wine.  I would make the case that where the wine is made and how it’s made probably isn’t the largest concern of the buyer.  At a price point between $30 and $100 a bottle, people will likely be more interested in those details.  Beyond $100, I’m sure the customer already has existing knowledge of what their buying or only care about the price to derive quality.

2. Venture into other more tangible, relatable adjectives.

Instead of words like “richness” try “soft red satin sheet on your tongue”.  Instead of “aromas of pencil shavings” try “smell of fresh cut firewood” I haven’t used a #2 pencil since college and even then it was mechanical.  The point is to use distinctive and memorable descriptions, “the smell after the first rain” “strawberry Popsicle on a hot summer day” etc.

3. Test your process

If you’re concerned about making big changes to your scripts, do a few and test them against your original style.  Measure your drop off rates and conversion changes to see if these suggestions work for you and your customers.