Episode 11:

Three Ways to Easily Generate Content Ideas

One of the biggest complaints people have about marketing is not knowing what to post on social media or what content will perform well in emails, so I wanted to share three strategies I use to generate ideas for content on the regular.  And the best part is, the more you practice these strategies, the easier it will get for you!

This episode may be short but it is also chock-full of actionable info, be sure to take notes!

Look at what posts your audience has been tagging you in

Your audience knows that it wants to see more of, and if you listen carefully, they will TELL you. Scroll through the posts you’ve been tagged in on Instagram and pay attention to what photos they most often tag you in. I also recommend that you pay attention to the words they are using in their captions. This can help give you fodder for the kinds of posts and emails you can make to serve your audience really well

  1. Do you get a lot of tagged posts about your Cabernet Franc? Then give a brief history of the varietal or talk about general characteristics of wine made from cabernet franc.
  2. Are you noticing your audience is also tagging your neighbors in posts? Then, create a post about local attractions for their next visit.
  3. Did they tag you in a post with their dog? Talk about how you are dog friendly or show a video of you giving doggy visitors milk-bones!

Here is an example of how I’ve used this strategy: by looking at what posts one of my clients was most often tagged in, we found that their audience really loves posting photos of themselves sitting around the firepits in the courtyard. We also found that they REALLY love the rosé. So what we did was made a few posts with staged lifestyle images of people sitting around the fire pit in the courtyard and made some stories about their rosé, and those remain the best performing posts for them to this day!

Look at what is trending or topical and see if there is a way for you to spin the trend in your favor.

A few weeks ago, there was one of those stories challenges where people were sharing 8 random facts about themselves. I thought, “hmm how could I use that as a prompt to create content ideas?” I quickly jotted down 8 random facts about myself and then thought about how those 8 facts would be relevant or valuable to my audience.

For example, one of my random facts is that I originally wanted to be a photojournalist. I then thought more deeply about how that could be relevant to my audience and thought, “well really, I like stories and I know that stories are a great way to market." Which was how Episode 9: Using the Power of Storytelling to Sell Your Wine Online came to be!

Another way to use what’s topical or trending to generate content ideas is to look to TikTok or Reels for what types of videos are cropping up most frequently and seeing if you could spin that your way.

Most recently I noticed a trend on TikTok where part of the song “Bad” by Michael Jackson would play in the background of the video and right when the chorus comes to “I’m Bad!” the person in the video would go up in a toe stand and the video would freeze-frame on them. I thought, “okay, how can I make this relatable to my audience full of wine industry nerds?” The answer was to add text to the screen that said “When the wine you’ve been saving for years is corked” and when the chorus hit, I did a toe stand and tossed the wine over my shoulder!

Because that song and concept was trending and because my spin on it was relatable to my audience, that Reel remains one of my best performing posts to date!

Memes: One more way you can get inspiration for content from pop culture is to look at trending memes! 

A word of caution with these “trending/topical” strategy though. They can be VERY quickly overdone. We all remember the Bernie Sanders memes that cropped up before the presidential inauguration was even done. They were hilarious at first, and even funnier when brands started incorporating Bernie Sanders and his adorable mittens in their content but on the second day the jokes started getting old and by the third day people were already annoyed with them.  

The point being, if you’re going to jump on a trend, try to do it as early as possible.

Pay attention to the posts and emails you get from other companies that you find yourself gravitating towards (especially those outside of the wine industry). 

  • What emails were you compelled to open (and more importantly, which ones drove you to click and why)
  • What Instagram posts or stories have made you want to engage with them and why? 
  • And I really want you to analyze these things. If it was the image of an Instagram post that made you want to read the caption, what about it attracted you? The colors? Was someone doing something cool or interesting or weird or confusing?
  • Did the subject line of the email make you want to open it? How could you spin that to work for you and your brand?
  • I was recently very impressed with an email I received from Canva, an online design program that I use to create graphics for me and my clients. It was a notice that my annual subscription was about to renew. The email was so impressive that I didn’t even care that they were telling me it was time to pay them $120! I immediately thought of how my clients could derive inspiration from that email in their reminder emails to their wine club members!

Side note: With all of these things, I want to remind you to not COPY what others are doing but to simply see how you can put your own individual spin on these concepts.

BONUS: Repurpose or revisit content that's performed well for you in the past

If I or my clients had a post that did really well a few months ago, I like to think if there a way that we could revisit that concept or make the general theme a part of our regular content. To do this, I will go to Instagram Insights and take a wide view look at the top 12 performing posts (ie. the posts with the most comments, likes, saves, and shares)

For example, I found that for one of my clients, 9 out of the 12 posts with the most engagement featured photos of their building and 6 of those 9 posts used the hashtag #wineryarchitecture . This indicated to me that their audience wanted to see more photos of their beautiful new winery and that they are architecture nerds. We’ve since made Winery Architecture part of their regular content and those posts ALWAYS perform well for them.

For another client, we found that their audience engaged most frequently with posts with the winemaker prominently featured, so we decided to have the winemaker do a few videos where he is talking about new wine releases or talking about some of the vineyards they get fruit from, and those posts have performed extremely well for him!

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