Marketing to Farmers | Generate Agriculture Leads – US Farm Data Blog. As an Ag marketing company, we help businesses find new customers in the ag and rural areas throughout the US. Contact US Farm Data today for more information.

If you have never heard of the term “nurture campaign,” it might be something you want to add to your marketing vocabulary. This is especially true if you are an Ag business marketing to farmers.

The business of farming goes through periods of frenzied activity followed by relative calm. To keep in touch with Ag leads through these times, it is important to provide consistent and quality content that allows you to connect, educate and inspire-no matter what is going on with a farming operation.

It also is important that you precisely segment your farming leads so you know what type of content will be most useful and valuable to a particular farmer. Further, you need to know when it will be most valuable. It is this type of contact that will help you to build relationships that allow you to be seen as a trusted resource.

If you are still unsure whether or not you need to invest in a nurture campaign, or don’t know what such a campaign involves, here is a brief overview of what one entails: First, you make contact with a new lead. Next, you establish consistent contact moving forward being mindful not to overwhelm your lead. Finally, you use the data you have gained over time to pinpoint the more specific needs of a lead so that you can better tailor your message as time progresses.

To further illustrate the basics of a nurture campaign, here is a step-by-step guide:

Step #1: Decide on the customer segment you are going to target. Remember, for it to be effective a nurture campaign must speak specifically to one type of customer. This is no time for blanket statements or generalized messages.

Step #2: Offer something of value such as quality content or a free webinar. It is critical at this point that you don’t try to sell.

Step #3: Set up a schedule and stick to that schedule. It is important to space out your touches so they are consistent but not annoying.

Step #4: Evaluate the success of each touch to figure out what strategies work best and which calls-to-action yield the best results. This will allow your nurture campaigns to get better and better over time.

Farmers respond well to nurture campaigns because of the cyclic nature of their business. Make sure to capitalize on this fact by always putting the necessary effort into such campaigns.

Many businesses see email as a way to connect with prospects and gain new customers. In other words, increase sales. This is true for those in the Ag industry, as well.

Unfortunately, that is as far as many businesses will take their email marketing efforts. While no one would argue that email marketing should not be used to generate leads and drive sales, many businesses fail to understand what an important role email marketing can take in increasing brand loyalty.

Farmers are extremely loyal. Once they find a business they know and trust, it takes a lot for them to leave that business. However, that doesn’t mean you should not always continue to work to earn the continued loyalty of the farmers who make up your customer base.
So what are some ways that you can use email marketing to make sure your customers aren’t lured away by a competitor? What follows are five relatively simple ways to do this:

  1. Create outstanding content. There is no end to the struggle farmers face when it comes to maintaining a profitable operation. By delivering content that helps them tackle these issues, they will come to understand that you care about them at all times—not just when you are trying to sell them something.
  2. Offer discounts. The key here is to offer promotions or coupons on things they already buy from you. This way you are thanking them for the business they have already given you.
  3. Provide the inside scoop. If you have a big sale coming up, consider inviting email subscribers to shop a day early or receive an extra percentage off sale prices.
  4. Give stuff away. No one can resist free stuff. Offering a free gift for initial email subscribers may result in some people unsubscribing after they have received their gift, but this will not happen in all cases. Those who do stick around should be rewarded periodically with other freebies and incentives.
  5. Provide some Q & A. When you allow email subscribers to ask you questions via email and provide the answers they are looking for, you will earn their respect and appreciation. You also will be able to use these exchanges to produce relevant content for future blogs.

Email marketing provides Ag businesses a terrific way to build brand loyalty. Combined with its many other benefits, it is easy to see why it must be an important element of your overall marketing strategy.

One of the most common mistakes Ag-based businesses make when marketing to farmers is to group all farmers into the same category. This is not just a common mistake, it is a costly one,
as well.
It is important for agricultural businesses to recognize that all farmers are not the same. For example, a young farmer just starting out on his or her own is going to be swayed by a different message than a much-older farmer who has weathered decades of life on the farm.
So who are today’s farmers and how can each group of these farmers best be approached? Read on to find out.

  1. Experienced farmers. This group of farmers still owns his or her farm but is no longer running its day-to-day operations. They are fiercely loyal to the Ag-based businesses that helped them get where they are today. They also respond to more traditional forms of marketing such as direct mail and sales calls.
  2. Take-charge farmers. Like their predecessors above, these farmers own their farms but remain in charge of the day-to-day operations. They are fiercely loyal to certain brands and businesses but are open to change, especially if they feel they are not getting the most bang for their buck. These farmers respond to old and new forms of marketing but prefer to close a deal with a handshake.
  3. Couples. There are several husband and wife teams who run their farm together. Decisions are usually made jointly and those decisions are revisited regularly. In other words, they are always looking for a better value or better product. Farm couples are extremely comfortable with digital marketing.
  4. Managers. These types of farmers may work on a family farm or run a division of a larger, corporate farm. They are loyal to a brand as long as that brand continues to add value to their operation. Managers want to make sure the companies they work with have corporate and social policies in line with their own way of thinking. Digital marketing is second nature to these individuals.
  5. The up-and-comers. These are the future of farming. They can be interns or entry-level workers on a corporate or family farm. They are loyal to companies that engage with them and help them do their job better. These up and comers want to see more than just digital marketing, they want innovative ideas on how to make their mark in the agricultural community.

For years, farmers have been viewed as one large target audience. But the most effective Ag marketers understand that this is not the best approach. Instead, this traditionally large target audience must be broken down into much small segments so that you can best speak to your target market of farmers.

What marketing technique should you use to promote your Ag-based business? Sounds like a pretty straightforward question. After all, it basically comes down to two choices: inbound or outbound.

There is no shortage of marketing gurus who will tell you that they know the answer to this question. No matter how much marketing experience these experts possess, however, if they don’t know your target audience, they can’t possible know the answer.

Take a look at the most successful businesses in any industry and you will find that they all have one thing in common. A laser-like focus on marketing to their target audience. This focus remains constant regardless of all the new and innovative marketing tactics available. For example, maybe a particular social media channel is all the rage but none of its customers use it. How likely is this business to gain customers through this social media channel? Not very!

Once you understand the audience you are marketing to it is essential that you remain focused on your marketing plan. Without focus, your marketing plan will be all over the map. In other words, it may be doing a lot but it certainly will not be accomplishing much.

If you are trying to build relationships with your Ag customers and you want them to see you as a thought leader in the industry, it is your best interest to focus on inbound marketing. Trying to get in front of a large number of farmers and ranchers and get your brand recognized? Outbound is the way to go.

Inbound marketing incorporates things like social media, content creation and SEO, all of which offer an opportunity for more targeted marketing. Not only does inbound marketing reach the right people, it allows a business to build relationships. This type of marketing will require a little more patience because it takes longer to see results.

Outbound marketing is a more tradition form of marketing which relies on things like cold calling, broadcast ads and direct mail. This form of marketing allows you to get out in front of larger number of people and build brand awareness much faster than inbound marketing. Outbound marketing is known for its speedy results but it is important to remember that those results usually only last as long as a campaign runs.

The way to achieve marketing success—no matter what the so-called experts tell you—is to know your audience and understand what you are trying to achieve. Only then can you focus on implementing the best marketing strategy possible.