In 1895 John Deere printed the first edition of The Furrow. It was full of helpful information for the American farmer and its popularity quickly snowballed with circulation growing to reach more than 4 million at its peak in 1912.
Welcome to content marketing.
But hang on, isn’t content marketing new? Well, no. Content as a marketing tool has existed for over 100 years in various markets around the world – even before technology took over.
Remember the general store? How did it manage to survive without the internet or even TV advertising? And how did people know what they provided? They told them. The owner knew his stock and could speak about it knowledgeably and passionately. The customer would then go out and tell their friends that the store was a great place to buy and that the owner really knew his stuff. Sounds strangely like content marketing, don’t you think? Yep, way before we bandied about the phrase, businesses were using information to, as HubSpot puts it, “plan, create and share content to attract and delight” their customers.
None of which is to minimise the impact and effectiveness of content marketing in its current digital guise to build consumer trust in your business, so they’re more likely to invest in your products or services.
And yes, it works. But not because it’s called “content marketing”. People have always respected a business that is able to give them information, and isn’t just interested in the hard sell.
Content marketing is especially important for agribusinesses for a number of reasons:
- farmers are savvy and rational customers. They’re arguably one of the toughest customers out there as they don’t make buying decisions lightly and purchases are usually heavily researched – either online, through published materials or their personal network
- agricultural sales have a complex buying journey, for complex products that usually have high costs. As such, farmers require a lot of information and support, not only about the product ahead of a sale, but also information and tips about how to use it, what the benefits are and how they can overcome any issues
- farmers also rely heavily on relationships and recommendations from their peers and network of advisors. By using content marketing to build trusted relationships with people in that network, you can ensure farmers will not only start to build a loyalty to your brand, but will also see it among their peers
- the farming community is a relatively small pool of customers and they’re close-knit. You must treat them well.
By building up a bank of quality content that helps farmers overcome the daily challenges they face, you can grow and cement the relationship with them. Get it right and you will become a trusted ‘friend’ and develop a buying relationship that can last for generations.
At Tracta, we can help you create content that answers their questions, establishes educational thought leadership and can easily be found when people are seeking help or expertise.
If you’d like to discuss how content marketing can help your agribusiness, get in touch.