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Agriculture
Marketing

No shows – what can we do?

By Liz Mortimer
19th February 2021

No shows, so what can we do?

For many farmers, one of the key highlights of their year has been attending agricultural shows. Whether it’s their local county show or national events like LAMMA, Dairy-Tech and Croptec.

These shows provide so much – education, research, livestock showing, tyre kicking, buying, and selling, and most importantly, simply the chance to catch up with others. Of course, being able to see what’s available, or what’s new, all in one place is a great use of time and for many, good fun. But farming can often be lonely, so the chance to mix and have a good chat shouldn’t be overlooked!

The Challenge

Agricultural shows are not just important to farmers, they have been an integral part of the supply chain for years and are often the central part of marketing plans. But the Covid pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works. For those businesses heavily reliant on the show season, they have been presented with a big challenge – after all, business needs to continue for everyone’s sake to safeguard jobs, keep cash flowing, and to pay taxes.

In response to this challenge, some events have attempted to go online, and the question remains as to how successful these have been. Farmers have become used to meeting online thanks to “Zoom” and we’ve seen significant growth in online engagement across the industry. Twelve months ago, the notion of getting a bunch of farmers on to a Zoom call would have been nigh on impossible, but things have changed. Reaching farmers online via Zoom or through an online event won’t fill the marketing void by themselves, and they need marketing in their own right in any case. So, that begs the question, how can we now best market to farmers?

Changing Tact

With 96% of farmers using the internet for business purposes, digital marketing really is key, and it isn’t going anywhere. Without shows, we need to make it work even harder. Online marketing presents many opportunities to build relationships with prospects and customers. At the heart of all your activity online lies your website – it’s your shop window and you need to make sure it’s working as it should. In its simplest form we mean it looks nice, is easy to use and it works!

When you’re confident that your website is going to convert, its how you get visitors to your website. How do they find it in the first place? They could be a returning visitor, or perhaps they’ve had a nudge from an email campaign. But you do need to give them a reason to click, something of value to them. Why should they go to your website? What is there for them?

This is the same thought process that needs to go behind any of your online activity, what is your call to action, is it clear, and what is in it for your customer.

With the likelihood of there being very few shows this year, consider what online marketing activities you could be utilising and how you can make them work harder for you. Where do you start? The data! Look into your data, what is working and what isn’t. The combination of analysing the data and adjusting your activities, accordingly, will help your marketing spend result in actual sales.

To talk about how you can improve your marketing to farmers, drop me an email to daniel@hillsgreen.co.uk

P.S. you can get a free copy of our 2021 Marketing to Farmers Report here: https://www.hillsgreen.co.uk/agriculture-sector/

*Image: LAMMA Show 2019

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