Emails and calls have been used to reach out to farmers for a long time. But they aren't the only channels available to you.
Sometimes you’ll find that your emails and calls just aren’t working like they used to. Maybe farmers are taken aback when you cold call them and, therefore, unresponsive. Maybe ISP filters are keeping your messages from landing in the inbox, so they’re going to Junk or Spam instead.
Whatever the case, a decline in email or call effectiveness doesn’t mean the end of the world for your agri-marketing and sales initiatives.
Here are some tips for ways to market to farmers when emails & calls aren’t working anymore.
1. Programmatic Display Ads
A now widely accepted axiom of modern marketing is to meet the customer where they are. This rings true for the agriculture industry just as much as any other.
Farmers read the news, check the weather, and watch YouTube videos: places where you can place your programmatic ads. If you have an ad that’s creative, engaging and offers the farmer something of value at low or no cost – say a free guide to selecting seed for the coming planting season – you can entice them to click and sign up to receive more updates from your company.
What makes this great is that the relationship is initiated by the farmer, not you. That means that in later communications, they’ll be more likely to respond.
2. Social Media Ads
Not only do farmers surf the web, but they’re active on social media. Facebook alone has an audience of 2 billion monthly users, and other networks reach hundreds of millions.
If you have an email file – either one you’ve acquired or built yourself – you can upload it to Facebook and serve ads to those people. Facebook also has a Lookalike Audience feature that’ll find people similar to those in your file so you can find new potential customers too.
One great way to make the most out of Facebook is to use videos. They generate more engagement than photo or text posts.
If your emails and calls aren't working like they used to, try social media ads as an alternative for directly connecting with farmers.
3. Direct Mail Campaigns
While digital marketing is the dominant force in modern marketing, direct mail isn’t dead, especially among farmers and agribusiness. Sending creative, engaging mailers to farmers, while expensive, can generate a good ROI for you.
Here are some tips on direct mail that'll help you get the most out of it.
4. SEO & Content Marketing
Running ads and direct mail campaigns can be effective, but they’re still costly. If you’re looking to generate organic conversions, then look to search engines, like Google, and write content that’s going to increase your ranking on search engine results pages (SERP) – also called search engine optimization (SEO).
Here some quick tips for writing SEO content:
- Start a blog and post regularly, at least once a week (if not more)
- Write content that provides value – that answers the questions your potential customers (determined by your buyer personas) are going to ask
- Focus each piece on a particular long-tail keyword, including that keyword in the title, subheadings, and several times in the copy
- Include alt-text for all images
- Make your copy readable, using short sentences, paragraph breaks and bullets to break up the text
- Always include a CTA at the bottom to incentivize conversions
5. Nurture Email Campaigns
Once you have a stream of inbound leads, you can then follow up with them through nurture emails. You’ll find that once you’re sending emails to inbound leads, and not cold contacts, that your emails are going to get more opens, clicks and conversions.
That’s because you’re emailing people who’ve already expressed interest, rather than people whose interest is undecided.
But you can go a step further. Instead of just blasting emails out to the list, run a customized nurture campaign with the help of marketing automation.
Marketing automation software will help you create customized email sends that respond to actions your audience takes, so they receive a customized and tailored experience.
6. Sales Calls to Qualified Leads
Now that you’ve built a list of highly engaged leads, and nurtured them with email, then take the people who are the most engaged and give them a call.
Here’s why these calls are going to be more effective than previously:
- These leads already know about your business because they’ve interacted with you
- Your content has probably already got them thinking about their needs, and they may be open to considering your product as a solution
Once you start making calls to qualified leads, you may find that the response is more positive and results in more sales.