For any agribusiness generating marketing content, the end goal is engagement. That's why creating content that attracts your ideal customer, solves a problem they have and leaves them longing for more is key to your marketing success.
Whether you’re starting a blog to attract new customers, creating downloadable content offers to convert leads or finding new ways to engage and educate your current customer base, content creation is a vital part of business and marketing in the 21st century.
As an agri-marketer, the challenge you’re probably facing on a regular basis is deciding the best ways to create content that’s engaging and that entices farmers to engage with your brand.
Regardless of the business you’re in or how robust your content marketing strategy is, here are some ways to engage farmers with your brand's content.
1. Pick a topic you know they’ll be interested in.
The best way to get someone’s attention is to write about something they’re already interested in. That way, you don’t have to fight to convince them to read your content. This is a great advantage if you’re promoting your content through display ads, paid search, social media or in print.
But there’s an added advantage as well. If your content is substantive and helpful enough in solving farmers’ problems, then it’s going to rank on search engines when farmers are looking up a particular topic.
For example, if you want to give farmers some advice on selecting a particular type of irrigation system, then consider writing an article on How to Pick the Best Irrigation System for Your Farm. Then, anytime a farmer is searching for how to pick the best irrigation system for his farm, he’ll come to your article. You’ll have the chance to convert him and, hopefully, nurture him into a lifelong customer.
2. Write a relevant title – don’t try to be too catchy.
It’s fun to try and find catchy, witty titles. Here are a few examples (warning: they might be a bit cliché):
Seeding Mistakes: You Reap What You Sow
The Merry-Go-Round of Crop Rotation
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…a Crop Spraying Drone
While those titles are definitely fun, they do absolutely nothing to tell the reader what to expect when reading the article. And most importantly, they do nothing to explain why the reader should move beyond the title to the content itself.
Your title is your gatekeeper: your farmers are going to decide whether they’re actually going to read the content based entirely on that title.
Instead of being catchy, just be honest. And help them understand why the article is relevant and will be helpful to them.
3. Find subtopics that follow a logical progression.
Once your readers make it past the blog title, over 43 percent of them end up just skimming the blog post, rather than reading it in-depth. And for many of these people, “skimming” means reading the headers and maybe glancing at the copy.
Don’t take offense to that. Most people are busy, and have little time on their hands to intently read every single thing that pops up on their RSS or social media feed.
Instead, tailor your content to take advantage of this fact. Focus most of your attention on engaging, helpful headers, and then flesh out your copy to tell the rest of the story, including details, stats and other necessary information.
Ask a simple question: can my readers get the gist of this article by only reading the headers? If not, then you need to rework how your article is structured.
4. Use data to back up your arguments.
Not only do you want your content to be attention-grabbing, but you also want it to provide substantive information to farmers. An easy way to do that is to cite data that backs up your position.
Data can come from your own internal studies or from a third-party source. And there’s a lot of data out there on a wide variety of issues.
Here are just a couple of data points that are relevant to agribusiness:
- The average age of the farmer has grown from 51 to 58 over the past thirty years, and is continuing to grow. If that trend continues, it’ll reach a tipping point, and we’ll soon see a wave of Millennial farmers taking over. (Source)
- It’s projected that farmers will need to feed 9 billion people by 2050, meaning that farmers need to become more sophisticated and scale in ways we’ve never seen before. (Source)
- Crop rotation, tillage and other conservation practices are becoming more and more diverse and varied, meaning that each farmer is soon going to have their own unique techniques and, thus, needs. (Source)
Do you see how each of those points could impact that way your business markets and sells to farmers? Now go find the data relevant to your audience, and use it to get their attention and engage them with your brand and, hopefully, your products.
5. Ask the question: has this been done before?
Everyone has a blog. One of the benefits of the Internet age is that we have unprecedented access to information, and everyone has the ability to add to that pool.
That means that, for the most part, most topics have been written about already. Originality is becoming less and less common.
If you’re writing about something that’s been widely covered – like crop rotation, for example – then chances are, someone’s written something better than you.
But here’s where you can jump in – you can write something focused and specific, and target a narrower audience of farmers but providing them something that no one else is providing. In the end, it’s better to have ten highly-engaged customers than 1,000 who couldn’t care less about what you’re writing.
So ask yourself: how can I tackle this particular issue from a unique angle? How can I write something in a way that hasn’t been done before?
The saying goes that good writing is nothing more than good editing. In many ways that’s true. People aren’t going to take you seriously if your posts are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.
However, good editing goes beyond good grammar. It involves looking at the piece with a critical eye, and making sure that the content provides value, that it’s factually accurate and that it accomplishes something for your agribusiness.
Editing is the final step in the writing process, but arguable the most important. So take the time to comb through your content and make sure that it’s perfect and ready to share with the world.