If you ask farmers what type of businesses they want to work with, one of the first qualities they will mention is trustworthiness. So how can you make sure that farmers view your business as trustworthy?

In his article, Is Your Brand Trustworthy? Here’s How People Decide, Timothy Carter talks about how customers and prospects decide that a particular brand is worthy of their trust. More importantly, he talks about how businesses that are viewed as trustworthy are more profitable.

Trustworthiness isn’t the only consideration for a brand, but it is the most important to your bottom line, so don’t neglect it.

Carter believes that brand trust comes down to the following six factors:

  1. Even if you are a new player in the Ag world, you can talk about what in the past brought you to the point of opening your business. If your business has been around for a long time, make sure and play up that history.
  2. Hard selling comes off as false. State the advantages of your product or service and what it can do for the customer but avoid the hard sell.
  3. Make sure your marketing efforts reflect the fact that you sympathize with the issues your customers and prospects face.
  4. Accreditations and affiliations go a long way.
  5. Think guarantees, free shipping, trial offers, and price matching.
  6. Social proof. Encourage people to write online reviews of your products or service. Ask them to like you on Facebook. It is important that farmers, for example, know that other farmers trust you.

Carter says that if your brand can exhibit all of these qualities you’ll be able to establish trust with new customers—even if they’ve never heard of you before. After that, it is all up to you.

Once a lead has been converted into a customer, your trustworthiness all depends on the quality of your service — if you can over-deliver on your promises and produce a memorable experience, there’s nothing that should stop that customer for coming back for more (and maybe spreading the word about your brand).

If you are in the business of marketing to farmers and ranchers, you know you need to be on social media. In fact, you are probably spending a good deal of your marketing budget making sure you are visible on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

In your rush to get on social media and continue to remain active there, however, you may have forgotten why you are there in the first place. Is social media really that important? How is it helping your Ag business?

In case you are wondering what social media has done for you lately, here are some important reminders:

It has improved your SEO. Every tweet, post, and update leads to more traffic to you website. Many of those visitors are prospects that are interested in your product or service (aka sales leads)!

It has established you as an expert in your field. Through a blend of content and engagement, farmers and ranchers can tell that you know what you are talking about – and they look to you for the answers. And when it comes time to make a buying decision, they will look to you, as well!

It has improved your customer service. Comment or question? Problem or complaint? No matter what your Ag customers need, you can get it for them. Equally important, when you solve a customer’s dilemma quickly and completely, the whole world can witness it!

It has built your brand. Your brand is your most important asset. No matter what message you want your brand to convey, social media lets you do it. It also lets you tweak your message along the way if you feel that is necessary.

It has helped you get to know your target audience. Are the farmers and ranchers you are trying to reach bored with your message? Do they want to know more about you? Do they love what they are learning from you? Social media allows you to answer all of these questions so that you can literally “give the people what they want.”

If you are still utilizing old search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, or worse, your SEO vendor who you are paying continues to implement old SEO techniques, you may (and probably will) wake up one day and find your website is nowhere to be found within the search engines. That’s because the game of SEO and online visibility have changed dramatically. It’s not about the links. It’s about the content.

We talk to so many businesses in the agricultural space who still are not maximizing the web like they should or could. The worst part is that many think they are even though they are nowhere to be found inside the search engines. More and more farmers and ranchers are going to the web to search new products and new ways to run their operation. It’s a perfect time to reach these people who need your product. And maximizing the search engines is a perfect way to reach them in a very cost-efficient manner.

Everybody wants good, solid leads. Everyone wants more customers. And many times, the best place to start is to ensure your website is reaching your market online. So many businesses continue to spend money to create a website, but do nothing with it. It’s not Field of Dreams. Just because you build it, doesn’t mean anyone is coming. The good news, though, it doesn’t take a lot to be visible online – to get qualified prospects to your website. The new rules of online visibility is about content, blogging, social media, mobile friendliness, videos, etc. Don’t get left behind.

If you have positioning, don’t lose it. If you don’t have good visibility within the search engines, don’t fret. Believe it or not, it’s easier to get on Page 1 than you may think. That’s because so few companies are following the new SEO rules. Start looking at content more closely for your website, and you will be amazed at the increase of visibility you will see. And what does more visibility mean to you? More customers.

If you want to learn more about this, contact US Farm Data (www.usfarmdata.com), we’ll be happy to speak with you about this. We work with numerous companies, managing their website, social media platforms, and help them grow their business. We can do the same for you.

Many businesses, including Ag businesses, understandably fret over how they will respond to negative reviews or customer comments on their social media sites. The truth is, even responding to positive feedback or simple questions can be challenging. After all, you are basically engaging in a public conversation and that can be difficult.

You don’t have to be a social media guru to know that the absolute worst thing you can do on social media is to ignore someone who is reaching out to you. Remember, these are customers and prospects. When someone makes a concentrated effort to contact you, you must respond. This includes questions, compliments, or complaints. So how do you best respond in these three instances? Here are some tips:


We all know how to answer a question. It gets a little dicey, however, when there is no clear cut answer available. Maybe a farmer is waiting for a much needed item that is backordered and they are wondering why it is taking so long. Since this may take some time to research you can’t be expected to provide an answer immediately. What you are expected to do is to acknowledge the question immediately. Let the customer know that you are looking into it and then provide regular updates. Even if you don’t have an answer, people want to know that you received their message and if it takes some time to find an answer, they want updates to know that you haven’t forgotten about them.


Responding to compliments about your service or product or anything else having to do with your brand is imperative. If someone took the time to compliment you and you fail to acknowledge it, what does that say about your business? Be sure to thank that person for the compliment and let them know that you value their business. Such interactions will keep these customers engaged with your brand.


Even if you believe a complaint or negative comment by a farmer or rancher is unwarranted you still need to take the high road and acknowledge the problem. You then need to apologize that this person had a poor experience. It also is important that if a person complains publicly, you respond publicly so people who saw the initial complaint know that you handled it. By keeping it all out in the open, you are getting the message across that you take complaints seriously and always do your best to make things right.

Social media interactions can be difficult but they are essential to building brand equity and keeping customers engaged. And it is important that you don’t drag your feet when responding. Studies show that people who engage a business on social media expect at least an initial response in less than an hour.

In today’s digital environment, your website is the center of your business’s online world. Almost every aspect of your business revolves around it in some way.

Customers come to your website to learn about your business. In many ways, your website functions as a member of your staff in that it plays a huge part in your business’s brand awareness, lead generation and customer conversion. Therefore, it is not difficult to see why your website has a dramatic effect on every aspect of your business.

Despite the incredible difference a business’s website can make – both positively and negatively – on its success or failure, many of even the savviest business owners put its maintenance and upkeep at the bottom of his or her list of priorities. Why? It usually comes down to one (or more) of the following three reasons:

  1. Lack of time
  2. Lack of money
  3. Lack of know-how

Overcoming these three obstacles is essential to the health of your business. In many cases, it may pay to outsource your website upkeep to a company that specializes in website development and maintenance. The best part is, if you pick the right company, it will be surprisingly affordable. Further, since a well-maintained website is almost certain to help generate more sales leads, in most cases you will end up making money by outsourcing.

So what exactly does a high-quality, customer-friendly website look like, and more importantly, what can it do for your business?

It is well-designed. Pages are clean with the perfect mix of images, text and multimedia features.

It is easy to navigate. Visitors can find their way around the site with ease. Your contact information is front and center and links are descriptive and logically labeled.

It is mobile-friendly. Whether they are accessing your website from a smartphone, tablet or any other type of device or computer, it is easy to read and navigate.

It supports what your sales people are saying in the field. Your website should have the latest information and be perfectly in sync with every other aspect of your business.

It is full of quality, timely content. You should be posting new blogs and content on a regular basis. Nothing turns visitors off like returning to your site and never seeing anything new. Is your last blog post from six months ago? Not a good sign.

It allows for feedback. When it comes to SEO ranking, content is crucial. Feedback on your content is crucial, as well. Therefore, your website needs to encourage engagement and allow people to comment on your posts. That’s what will get you noticed by the search engines – and customers.

Your website needs to work as hard as you do for your business. If it’s doesn’t, you need to make some changes – fast!

Contact US Farm Data if you are interested in strengthening your website, and increasing your visibility on the web. 800-960-6267 Call us today!


Think marketing to farmers doesn’t need to involve social media, mobile apps, and other types of digital marketing? Think again!

Turns out, farmers are looking for more Ag-centric mobile apps and online tools. This desire is what helped to fuel the USDA-Microsoft Innovation Challenge. This challenge encouraged the creation of mobile apps and online tools for the Ag industry. And the results were amazing.

In his article, Contest Gives New Digital Tools to Farmers, Ben Potter provides a brief description of some of the winning entries, including grand prize winner George Lee. Lee’s Farm Plenty app shows farmers data about other crops grown near them so they can make better decisions about their own crop mix.

Lee said he has talked to farmers over the past year and learned how tough it can be to make a living.

The USDA has a wealth of data on crops and prices that can help farmers. The challenge is making it relevant for their own local circumstances.

Other winning apps include:

Green Pastures: This app’s dashboard helps visualize a variety of data from agencies like the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

What’s Local: A tool which uses census data to connect the needs of urban centers with area farmers.

Farm Profit Calculator: An app that gives farmers information to allow them to make informed decisions when choosing what to spend money on.

This type of innovation in the Ag industry just goes to prove that farmers are way ahead of the curve when it comes to mobile apps, online innovation, and social media. Therefore, digital marketers don’t need to worry they will be talking over farmers’ heads, they need to worry farmers’ will have to wait for them to catch up!