Updated: December 14, 2022
As the main source of food for the planet, the agriculture industry is one of the world’s most crucial. In that sense, agribusiness pretty much sells itself. There will always be a market need, but with growing competition and changes in consumer tastes and habits, digital marketing in agriculture is particularly important.
For farmers and growers, online marketing can offer an approach that provides a better return on investment (ROI), including when it’s targeted to business-to-business (B2B) customers, e.g., B2B agriculture companies that don’t sell directly to consumers and consumer food markets.
Use agriculture digital marketing to reach B2B ag companies where they are – online
Digital marketing tactics are an integral part of an integrated, multichannel marketing campaign that combines online marketing with traditional marketing. In recent years, people have actually spent more time online than they have watching broadcast TV. And the trend accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic, including for B2B buyers.
If you’re looking to create a winning digital marketing strategy for your agriculture business, here are some ways you can find success.
Multiple digital marketing strategies for agriculture companies
According to McKinney’s recent survey of row and specialty crop growers, field managers, farmers and owners are interacting with agricultural suppliers online more than ever before. In fact, approximately 50% report they’re comfortable purchasing agricultural products online. And, that number doubles when farmers go to buy products they’ve bought before.
However, the same survey reveals that while digital engagement and willingness to buy online increased during the pandemic, farmers and growers dislike the process. Why?
Just like other types of B2B buyers, farmers are people first. They want the same convenience that they experience as consumers when they visit B2C businesses online. However, their user experience purchasing online from agricultural organizations doesn’t match their eCommerce experience as consumers searching for non-farming business-related items. Their biggest beef with the agricultural digital experience is that it’s difficult to search for and compare agricultural equipment online.
The good news is that savvy agricultural marketers can reach and sell to more customers by employing online marketing tactics that educate and entice B2B buyers, including inbound marketing tactics and content marketing. To stand out, effective online marketing needs to incorporate multiple digital strategies targeted to B2B agricultural audiences:
By creating and utilizing a multichannel strategy, ag marketers can deploy digital campaigns that drive increased web traffic, generate more leads, reach more B2B agricultural product and machinery buyers and make more sales.
The following examples provide highly effective tactics to improve your agriculture digital marketing strategy and increase sales.
Invest in targeted PPC ad campaigns for agriculture companies
The agriculture industry is facing a generational divide. While younger decision-makers at agriculture companies are moving up the ranks, established decision-makers are still holding onto their leadership roles. These demographics – whether they’re farmers, suppliers or producers—don’t look at marketing the same way. A message that resonates with a tech-savvy Millennial buyer at a farm equipment company may not have the same effect on an industry veteran used to the traditional bottom line. Instead, you need to find a delicate balance, and that’s how targeted ads can help.
Whether it’s a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign that’s marketing agricultural products or a simple social media ad for farming equipment, targeted B2B digital campaigns for agricultural businesses increase ROI by only showing your advertisements to the highest quality leads. For example, if you place an ad in a trade publication in an attempt to sell a combine harvester to wheat farmers, that ad will also reach livestock farmers who have no use for your product. Instead, digital ads can be targeted specifically to farm equipment buyers who have already shown an interest in growing wheat crops. In the same way, you can target older audiences with traditional ad campaigns and younger audiences with modern campaigns.
Venture into video
Flatly put, video marketing is effective for every industry, 88% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and image content combined. In the agriculture industry, videos can also help build a level of trust that wouldn’t otherwise be attainable without an in-person sales visit.
Video is one of the simplest ways to build widespread emotional connections, whether you’re showcasing your staff or your expertise. For example, a livestream Q&A can act as a conversation between your brand and buyers. Beyond that, a virtual tour of your facilities or a product demo can give wary buyers a sense of confidence, which is absolutely necessary for the B2B sales cycle. B2C (business to consumer) brands can at least marginally rely on impulse purchases, but B2B buyers are spending more, with more decision-makers impacting their purchase, and it all happens over a longer period of time.
So, what does winning agriculture video content look like? Let’s take a look at Stronga, which builds renewable energy and agricultural equipment. This brand is known for its value and modern engineering expertise. They have a YouTube channel that serves as a virtual catalog and shows (not tells) growers how their equipment can truly make a difference. For example, the video for their FlowSteama shows how to transform low-grade soil into high-value sterilized soil. It’s an obvious value-add.
The flexibility of digital marketing helps the agriculture industry
Agriculture is one of the most diverse industries in the United States. The industry includes many branches including:
- Food manufacturing
- Crop and livestock farming
- Agribusiness services and software development
- Aquaculture equipment
Though rapid technological advancements have transformed the core functions of many businesses in this field, most still find themselves falling behind in their marketing strategies.
The truth is that old-school advertising may show some results on its own. However, it fails to reach younger buyers who are increasingly rising into decision-making roles. Rather, digital marketing to agricultural buyers is cost-effective and has the flexibility needed to target specific sectors. With a sound digital strategy, you can position your ag business in front of more customers whether you’re selling farm equipment, crop inputs or feed and feed additives that improve livestock health. More importantly, you can engage with more prospects, sell more products and equipment and win more customers and revenue than your competitors.
If you need help with your digital marketing efforts, work with an established B2B agency that specializes in agricultural marketing. With over 20 years of marketing experience in the ag industry, Elevation can target your unique audiences and implement a digital marketing strategy that drives the results you expect. Contact us to learn more about how our agribusiness marketing services can benefit your company.