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Your Winery Photo is Beautiful and Boring

Your Winery Photo is Beautiful and Boring…. But, it can be a whole lot more interesting.

I’ve been helping American Winery Guide; as you may know, if you read my blog. Although my job is complete as it was initially set out, I’m still keeping up with their growth, which is quite fascinating, and independently sharing for your learning pleasure.

Jim Finley, one of the two owners, continues to amaze me. Anyone who’s technologically savvy intrigues me… I think that’s why Jose and I get along so well together. He keeps me up on as much as I want and need to know, but he continues to amaze me any time I need someone to dig deeper… Like when I’ve been hacked. This happens more frequently than anyone without a Website can imagine… Getting up to write a blog, and finding out I can’t even get into it (because some low life has been messing around, trying to dump their invasive crap on my site) really aggravates me… It’s all done to just get info from you, to give you a virus and get into your computer to steal your credit card info. #SneakyThieves

So… anyway, that rant out of the way… Jim Finley is also very tech intuitive. The headline above is his… As are his words below. If you’re into social media, heads up. It’s becoming more integrated with programs than ever, and American Winery Guide should be at the top of your list for searching about wineries and wines…

As images have become increasingly important, especially on social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, marketers have been looking for new methods to leverage their visual content. One of the newer, image-related technologies involves embedding links, audio, maps, and video within images; marketers and content producers are hoping that these data-enhanced images will result in increased interest, engagement, click-throughs, and sales.

To illustrate how wineries might make use of this technology, we used a tool called ThingLink to tag two photos, one of a wine bottle and one of a winery tasting room. ThingLink was chosen because it’s easy to use and it’s free for almost all users (Taggstar appears to provide a very similar service). The first example provides information, in the form of text and links, associated with a particular wine. Typical types of wine-related embedded content include recipes, ratings and awards, vineyard and region information, technical details, a video of the winemaker describing the wine, and purchasing information.

PLEASE GO TO THIS LINK to see how this image is all integrated with all the doodads and phufferettes.

The second example is a winery tasting room. The options for winery or tasting room-related embedded content are almost limitless: historical information, amenities, construction materials, people, products, humorous anecdotes, trivia, location, reviews, hours, videos, etc.

Images with embedded content are particularly effective when shared via social media. With ThingLink, photos shared via Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are interactive, but other platforms currently require the user to click a link to return to the original webpage to experience the interactive features.

Excessive tagging of photos on a website may cause hunt-and-click fatigue, but the judicious use of tagging on a winery’s website, and especially on social media platforms such Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, has the potential to significantly increase user interest in, and engagement with, a winery’s digital content. Instead of just showing potential customers a beautiful winery or label photo, consider using your eye-catching images as a gateway to additional, interesting information about your winery and its products.

While this may seem like overload to some, it’s going to really tantalize the most tech savvy among us… the early adopters. The rest will ultimately follow, or be the dying breed. In marketing, they’re called laggards, and that’s okay… I’ve got a few with my siblings… I dare to write this, because they’ll never read it, and I love them regardless.

8 Responses to “Your Winery Photo is Beautiful and Boring”

  1. Hi,

    My response is pretty late, but nevertheless I wanted to share my thoughts.

    As a person with quite big (sorry for lack of demurely) digital advertising and design background, I read Alder piece: http://www.vinography.com/archives/2013/10/delectable_the_only_wine_app_w.html
    I’m not very big fan of Delectable because of many reasons, but it’s not the moment here to write about it. IMHO the biggest factor that Delectable might be real game changer in wine industry (digital part) is design. Comparing to other apps it’s almost brilliant. Design, user experience, usability are the areas which mark the biggest challenges to the wine industry players.

    Here is my opinion. I need to disagree with you that early adopters will pick it and rest will follow. One of the very first rules of marketing is “eves buy first”. Hard to disagree. AWG is a really great idea, but it’s definitely missing focus on design, “how-to-make-people-love-us-and-become-our-evangelists” approach is missing in my point of view. I didn’t have pleasure to meet Jim Finley, but if I’d have so, I’d tell him extactly this.

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Maciek, I agree with you.

    Anything that is new and different for the wine industry (because it comes from small farming, with not very much computerized) presents many challenges and will take time to mature. The adoption curve for innovative thoughts, and the time frame for the adoption of new ideas, explains the process. Growing pains are also incidental to any new innovative offering. (Yeah, it all takes time.)

  3. Jo, you’re absolutely right. Wine industry is somehow tardy in adopting new technologies into everyday life. But…
    When we speak about online platform, using Google Maps API integration, creating non-existing solution for wine lovers, blah, blah, blah… than there is almost no excuse for having really poor design and no UX background at all (at least from my perspective).

    As we talk about insiders, maybe you should advice them to find someone and put him to the team, who has some growth hacking background (http://www.quicksprout.com/2013/08/26/the-definitive-guide-to-growth-hacking/)



  4. Jo Diaz says:


    Interesting link. Thanks for the lead to something that’s a totally new concept for me. I’ve got some reading to do…

  5. although it’s a geeky topic, digging deeper it’s priceless!

  6. Jo Diaz says:

    My husband is a Webmaster. We HAVE to keep up with all of this, for our clients’ sake.

    I’m betting that if I ask him about growth hacking, he’ll be up on it… but, you’ll make me look good for asking. Years ago, I had him take an html class with me. At the time, he said, “I don’t need to take html 101, but I’ll go with you.” I told him I wanted him with me, because I was sick of walking across campus at night as a lone woman.

    As I learned how to construct two new websites (the first one in code and the next one in Dreamweaver), he was learning all the nuances I wasn’t getting. This really propelled him forward. Now he’s in it so deep that there are parts of what he’s doing that I’ll never fathom. But, I know that I know more than the average blogger and marketer, because I learned the language.

    I learned html so I could talk with Jose, telling him things I needed for our clients. I got into the wine business before he did, doing sales, marketing, and PR. This was BEFORE Websites were a sales tool. After constructing so many physical press kits for wholesalers, I knew that we needed to create a “trade” page, once we got past having to have a stie… so they could print their own darn POS. (LOL) Yeah… I was that far ahead of the curve, so growth hacking seems like today’s natural innovation in Web development for more SEO generated traffic.

    Someone had to innovate this one. It’s a gift that you’ve brought it to my attention. Thanks for taking the time to communicate with me.

  7. Jo!

    You have both really great story to be shared! 🙂 Actually I envy you just a little bit.

    As it comes to Growth Hacking – your reference is absolutely at the point. Very similar approach, but different tools. But there are just a few who know how to use this knowledge and leverage potential.

    My pleasure to talk to you. Trying to follow, but as you see now, I can be really delayed sometimes 🙂

  8. Jo Diaz says:

    Living in the global Ethernet.

    You have no idea how things have changed since my “pen pal” days (writing and sending via the US Mail). LOL

    Take care and thanks for your sharing. It’s a good learning curve for me. It keeps me thinking and broadening…

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