5 tips for marketing your farm diversification project
Jonathan Birch is Creative Director at the digital marketing agency Glass Digital. Here, he shares his top tips for marketing your new farm diversification venture.
If you've decided to diversify so you can make money from your farm in a number of different ways, you might be struggling to work out how you should be marketing each area of your business. Of course, you'll have contacts you can rely on when it comes to the more traditional elements of your work. But, if you've decided to offer glamping holidays, provide farming experiences for kids, or even set up your own artisan food business, you might need to try some new tricks.
If you're quite new to this, the world of digital marketing can seem overwhelming, and you might be unsure of where to start. So, to help you out, I've put together five of my top tips for marketing your farm diversification project. Take these on board to give your new endeavour the best possible chance of being a success.
Make sure you have a website
If you're starting from scratch with your farm diversification venture, the first step in your digital marketing strategy should be to create a website for your new brand. While some smaller businesses will only start out with a Facebook or Instagram account, there's only so much information you can share on these platforms and relying on them alone can come across as quite unprofessional. So, to get off on the right foot and start building trust with potential customers from the get-go, it's a good idea to set up your own space on the internet.
If your business idea requires people to actually visit your farm, your website could be a place where you simply give everyone all the information they'll need about your work and location. But, if you want to sell products or convince people that they should rent out your barn conversion, you could also add an ecommerce element or booking form to your site so it's even easier for you to make sales.
Keep your Google My Business listing updated
Whenever you Google the likes of restaurants or hotels in a particular area, you'll often see Google My Business listings pop up on the right-hand side of the search engine results page (SERP). This will give you information such as the opening times of local establishments, their addresses, and even what kinds of reviews they've been given. Any company with a brick and mortar location can claim their listing, and it's well worth doing. Not only will it give people who are specifically looking for your company the information they'll need to visit or buy from you, but it can also help new people to find you.
On the Glass Digital blog, we have a post all about how to get the most out of your Google My Business listing, which outlines all of the steps you need to take to get set up and start reaping the rewards.
Make SEO a priority
When you decide to embark on a new business venture, it's likely you'll only succeed by trying out new forms of marketing. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an area of digital marketing that a lot of small business owners neglect to begin with, but it can be a very powerful tool. It is a long-term investment and it can take some time before you see the effects, though, so the sooner you start implementing some SEO tactics, the better.
The aim of SEO is to help your business' website rank better on Google's SERPs for keywords that are relevant to your business. So, for example, if you've started making and selling special cheeses, you'll ideally want to rank highly on the SERPs for queries such as 'artisanal cheese' or 'farmstead cheese'.
There are a lot of different elements to SEO and the landscape is changing all the time, which is why a lot of businesses enlist the help of an agency to manage this for them. But, the main components of any SEO strategy should include:
- Content: Content marketing pieces and optimised category copy can go a long way toward helping your site rank for relevant keywords.
- Link-building: If Google sees that a range of different publications and complementary businesses have linked to your website, these links will be seen as votes of confidence. Just make sure you follow Google's guidelines if you do decide to give outreach a go.
- Technical SEO: There may be some tweaks that need to be made to your site to ensure it offers the best possible user experience, and that Google properly understands its structure.
Don't spread yourself too thin on social media
When you're first setting up a new business, it's easy to think that you need to be on every social media platform in order to reach as many people as possible. But this isn't always the best approach to take — instead, I'd say you should prioritise quality over quantity. Instead of setting up accounts on 10 different platforms at once, think about where you're most likely to find your specific target audience.
If you think an older demographic would be more interested in your products, Facebook is likely to be your best option. On the other hand, if you're looking to reach out to the younger generations, Instagram or Snapchat are likely to be better options. By focusing on the most relevant social media platforms, you'll be able to put more time and effort into creating the best possible content for them. As a result, you should see a lot more engagement and conversions than you would if you spread yourself too thin.
Create relevant and high-quality content
If you've spent any time looking into the best digital marketing strategies, you'll have probably come across the phrase "content is king" at least a handful of times. That's because most digital marketing professionals agree that creating relevant and high-quality content is one of the most effective ways businesses can attract shoppers to their website, gain their trust, and ultimately make more sales.
One of the best ways of harnessing the power of content is by creating high-quality and comprehensive content marketing pieces that are relevant to your business. The aim of these should be to answer any questions your prospective customers are likely to have about your products or industry. They should also be informative and serve to solve your target audience's pain points.
There are a variety of benefits you should see from adding an element of content marketing to your digital strategy. As I've previously touched upon, it can really help you to rank for relevant keywords on Google's SERPs, which should help more people to discover your business. In addition to this, it will show that you really know what you're talking about, which can help to build trust and may even lead to your becoming an authority in your field. Not only will Google like this, which means you'll have a better chance of ranking highly, but it could also give potential customers a nudge in the right direction if they're thinking about paying for your products or services.
While you might have a lot of experience in the traditional farming space, diversifying can mean you need to get to grips with a lot of new marketing tricks and techniques. Take these tips on board and you should be able to create a sturdy foundation that will help you to succeed at turning your new venture into a reliable revenue stream.