How to optimize your social media profiles to generate qualified leads for your agribusiness? Learn the tips and social media strategies by reading our blog posts.

Everyone loves to eat and everyone loves food. What does that mean for farmers and agricultural-based businesses? It means that they need to get creative with their marketing techniques.

While everyone can tell you the food they grow or sell is healthy, delicious and a great value, today it’s all about how you say these things. Want to get heard in the crowded food-based marketplace? Here are some fun and different ways farmers, grocers, restaurants and any other foodies can get noticed (heck, you might even become a viral sensation).

  1. Inject a little humor. Food doesn’t have to be a serious issue. Sure, you can scare Americans into believing they won’t survive without the vitamins and minerals in your food but they’ll respond better to a little humor.
  2. Do some good deeds (and make sure people know about it). Does your farm, dairy or restaurant donate leftovers to the local food bank? Post about it on social media. You’ll still be doing a (very) good deed but you’ll get credit for it, as well. Consumers want to know they are supporting organizations that are making a difference in their community.
  3. Let your customers get to know you. Are you a restaurant that gets its food from local farms? Make sure that information is printed on the menu. Do you hire veterans? Anything unique about your food-based business should be celebrated.
  4. Pay attention to packaging. Earth-friendly packaging is huge trend and so is vintage wrapping. Today’s consumers are environmentally conscious and frown upon waste. Vintage wrapping and packaging gives consumers the feeling that their food is made in small batches and is more personalized.
  5. Know your target market. How you market your food will depend a great deal on your target audience. Mothers of young children want to know that everything that goes on their children’s plate is pure and natural. Millennials want to know they are purchasing food from environmentally-conscious companies. Families on the go want quick, healthy options that don’t break the bank. Make sure your marketing messages tell your target audience what they want to hear.

When you are selling food you are selling a feeling or idea, as well. Make sure your food product doesn’t get passed over by a particular market segment because it wasn’t marketed to attract those unique consumers!

Social media is an outstanding tool for engaging prospects in the agricultural industry. Not only is it an affordable way to showcase your brand, it helps to build relationships with customers and prospects and drives new sales.

If you have been using social media to connect with farmers and ranchers but aren’t seeing the level of success you had hoped to, it’s time to reevaluate your social media strategy. Sometimes only a few tweaks here and there can have a tremendous impact.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that no social media strategy will work if you aren’t totally committed to its success. In other words, you can’t just go through the motions. This happens when a marketer is only active on social media because they feel like they have to do it, not because they believe it is important.

If you are looking for ways to jumpstart your social media strategy, read on for some tips to help you do just that.

Tip #1: Set a schedule. Decide on a schedule for posting and engaging with followers and stick to it. Sporadic posting and haphazard responses to followers guarantee your efforts will go nowhere.

Tip #2: Focus on your target audience. You can have thousands of followers but if a majority of these followers are not part of your target audience then it won’t do you much good. The content you post on social media needs to be specific to your audience-for example, farmers and ranchers.

Tip #3: Don’t spread yourself too thin. Do your research to find out where your target audience hangs out online and then choose a few of those platforms to be active on. If you try to be active on too many platforms you won’t be effective on any of them.

Tip #4: Be yourself. This is how you really gain traction on social media. The things you post and share on social media need to connect, educate and inspire but they also need to showcase the personality of your brand so people really feel like they know you.

Tip #5: Sell smartly. Approximately 80 percent of your social media posts should educate and inspire your target audience but there is nothing wrong with promoting your products or services, either. You are a business after all. Just be sure you only sell in about 20 percent of your posts so your followers don’t tune you out.

Social media is an outstanding marketing tool. If you have been disappointed with your results so far, never fear, a few small changes may be all you need to turn things around.

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.