Between the ag industry growing at such a rapid pace and technological advancements within the field, agri-marketing has never been as important as it is today. Yet, marketing seems too often overlooked or pushed to the back burner. In reality, implementing some simple marketing tips can boost sales and profits while expanding your clientele.
Here are three tips to excel at marketing in the ag industry:
1. Know Your Audience
In an ever-evolving industry, this tip is No. 1 in our books. Even with a plethora of personal experience, it’s easy to make the assumption that you know your audience. But, with an audience that wears many hats ranging from consumer to ag professional to community member to many, many others, it’s vital to understand who exactly you’re speaking to. Understanding your audiences’ wants, needs and challenges will give you a lead in your marketing efforts. How do you stay on top of these in this ever-evolving industry? Spend some time learning about your audience through various types of research. With a myriad of research tools and resources, you can find the best way to know your audience!
The most direct option to learn what’s going through their minds is just to ask them. Whether looking for objective data points or more subjective qualitative observations, observing and interacting with your audience can help you learn details specific to your brand. But when it’s not feasible to directly talk with audience members, there are many other avenues to derive insights about your audience. Look for studies and research published by other organizations.
Take a look at the demographics and behaviors of your social followers and website visitors. Social listening analyzes what your audience is saying about a particular subject. These insights, paired with your advantage, form the basis of your strategy.
On the flipside, it’s also important to encourage your audience to learn about who you are. For instance, a producer might invite consumers to his or her farm for a day, while an ag retailer can invite clients’ friends and families in to learn about the product or service provided. In doing so, you’re raising brand awareness while also creating an opportunity to better understand why consumers make the buying decisions they do.
2. Differentiate Yourself
The foundation of marketing is showing the world why you’re different or unique. Marketing in ag is no different! Pick something you want to be known for and put all of your efforts into that. For example, are you a producer who’s shooting for record-breaking yields? Show your consumers how you’re doing this! Create an Instagram account showing your followers how you are reaching this goal, utilizing the Instagram Story feature to post daily updates of your crop, and posting on your feed once a week.
Or are you a seed retailer that aims to support your customers through their harvest? Maybe you bring farmers dinner in the field. If so, show people your efforts! If you have a Facebook account, start a campaign titled “Harvest Dinners” where you tell the story of who you’re bringing dinner to, what dinner you’re bringing, and why.
If you can home in on one differentiating factor, you’ll stand out in people’s minds — and standing out in marketing is what it’s all about.
3. Try New Things
Are you a faithful user of Twitter? Do you send out a direct mailer once a month? Your competitors may be doing the same. It’s natural to continue utilizing the platforms you’re familiar with but changing up the channels you use in marketing can reach a completely different audience and show your current audience that you’re up to date with the latest and greatest!
However, this doesn’t mean that you stop using these familiar platforms. Continue setting aside a portion of your marketing budget to direct mail and sponsored Tweets but perhaps start allocating some of that budget toward Facebook Ads. If you see success on Facebook and not Twitter, then transfer more of your budget and invest in the business-generating channel.
Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or ridiculously expensive. Normally, the issue is that you don’t have time for it. Fortunately, that’s why marketing agencies exist — we implement your marketing plan from conception to execution while you continue on with your day-to-day work. To learn more about marketing for the ag industry, visit obpagency.com.
Osborn Barr Paramore is a full-service agency serving clients in the agriculture, tourism, food, and education industries. The team of more than 150 is composed of marketing professionals with broad experience developing and implementing strategic communications including digital, content, public relations, social, broadcast, creative and advertising. Learn more at obpagency.com.