How Do Your Customers Search for Wine Specifics When They Don’t Know the Terminology?

by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Jun 25, 2021

A young couple shopping for wine and reviewing the labels on the backs of bottles.
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How Do Your Customers Search for Wine Specifics When They Don’t Know the Terminology?

Last Updated on June 25, 2021 by

You know all about wine. You’ve lived the business, and have become an expert in the field to the point where terms like aeration and hybrid grapes roll off your tongue. But here’s the problem: your audience may not feel the same way about wine terminology.

Whether you sell your wine online or invite tasting room visits, chances are your customers don’t pull up a wine glossary before or during their shopping experience. They might search for dry red wines instead of Bordeaux or even Claret. If you don’t speak their language, your marketing efforts may never find their target.

Fortunately, you can build strategies around that. Targeting your wine customers who don’t know expert wine terminology means knowing the terms they’re searching for. As a result, you need to optimize your marketing presence accordingly. This guide can help you take those steps.

Which Customer Expertise Do You Attract With Your Wine Terminology?

First, it’s important to know exactly what type of wine customers actually frequent you. Depending on your winery and offerings, your clientele could differ significantly. It’s impossible to fully explain the countless nuances between all wine customers. But, it makes sense to sort them into three broad categories:

  • Wine Experts – they don’t just know their stuff but speak the language to a T. That glossary we linked above? They’d probably ace a test on it. Marketing to these customers means being unafraid of jargon to showcase your expertise and relevance.
  • Wine Aficionados – they might not know the wine dictionary. However, they’re comfortable enough with it to understand and accurately describe various taste nuances. Stay away from too much jargon, but be honest and comprehensive in describing your wines.
  • Casual Wine Lovers – they just love the taste of a good glass during their favorite show. Nothing wrong with that! But chances are they don’t have the expertise to learn all those complex words. They probably don’t have the time to learn them, either. Keep it simple.

Categorizing your audience as one of these groups allows you to be more targeted in your language and your entire marketing efforts. If you know where your customers fall, all of the below steps will become more natural and straightforward.   

A young woman shopping for wine and reading its label.
How Do Your Customers Search for Wine Specifics When They Don't Know the Terminology? 2

How Can You Find Your Wine Customer’s Target Keywords?

With a general category defined, it’s time to hone in more closely on the exact language your audience uses as it researches wines and comes across options to buy. The best approach to take here is a two-step process, moving from anecdotal findings into more comprehensive digital keyword research.

Step 1: Casual and Anecdotal Findings

Marketing is both an art and a science, and the same is true for this topic. Before digging into the data, build some understanding of the language your audience uses drawn solely from anecdotal evidence. 

This first step helps you focus your search beyond the general category determined above. It allows you to get a feel of your audience’s language and preferences. In addition, it helps you further define the group you’re marketing towards even if you’re still not sure whether you’re aiming to reach and convince wine aficionados or experts.

You can gather anecdotal evidence on the language and wine terminology of your target audience in two core ways:

  1. Listen to them closely when they talk to you. At your tasting room or in customer support emails, pay attention to how they describe wines and their preferences for those wines.
  2. Monitor comments on social media. On your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, your audience will have questions and leave their opinions in your comments and DM sections. Again, the wording they use can provide great hints.

Step 2: Comprehensive Keyword Research

Next, it’s time to get specific. Based on your general feel for the wording and language your audience prefers, leverage the power of keyword research to learn exactly how wine customers tend to talk about their passion and describe their taste preferences.

That means picking a keyword tool first. Google AdWords has a pretty comprehensive tool built into its platform. But, other opportunities like Moz and SEMRush could help as well. This post on keyword research tools can help you find one that works for your needs and budget.

Focus your research on keywords and phrases surrounding the word wine, and the various examples of language gathered in the first step. Two metrics are worth paying special attention to:

  • Search volume, which estimates how often a specific word or phrase is typed into a search field in a given month. Higher volume means more popular words, which are typically worth focusing on.
  • Competitiveness, which describes the number of websites trying to rank for that keyword on a search results page. Keywords with higher volume tend to be more competitive. But, with enough research, you will find niches with low competitiveness that are still worth targeting.

How Can You Build Your Marketing Strategies Around Your Audience’s Language?

Based on the above two steps, you can build a strategy around the exact wording your audience uses when they search for wine specifics on their own terms. That, in turn, can take a number of shapes:

  • Adjust your voice and tone to talk to your customers on their level, rather than making them learn new words just to ‘get’ your marketing.
  • Optimize your website for the specific keywords your audience uses to increase your chances of ranking highly on search engine results.
  • Better anticipate and answer customer questions in the form of anything from social media updates to blog posts.

Your audience’s language, in other words, becomes your guidepost on every piece of content you publish to attract new and retain existing customers. Building your strategy and execution with your audience front and center maximizes your chances of successfully reaching and convincing them to work with you.

Of course, you might still need a partner to get that done. That’s where we come in. Our experience in working with clients in the wine industry positions us ideally to help you build your marketing around your audience’s terminology and language. Contact us today to start the conversation.