Native advertising goes beyond digital when marketing to farmers

by Jeff Walter
February 22, 2017

native advertising to marketing to farmers

Strengthen your brand’s relationship with farmers through the strategic use of native advertising in your overall plan.

I recently went to Google for a definition of “native advertising.”  This is what I was given:

Definition of Native Advertising

As it turns out, this isn’t what I was expecting at all. Packaging material to match the design of the editorial environment is a given, I suppose. But while display banners signal that a farmer can choose to click on and go from an edit environment to a product’s sales pitch, a good native ad should promise a specific type of relevant information or experience that the farmer will find valuable. Not just promote the advertiser’s product.

Don’t get me wrong. Native is marketing. There’s no need to dance around that; native ads should be part of a good sales strategy. Ag clients have the expertise that their customers seek to help make better operational decisions. They also always look for the best channels to share this directly with their customers. In native, this expertise takes the form of valuable information useful to the farmer that can build appreciation and trust for a brand.

Put another way: with native, farmers should feel they’ll benefit from the click despite knowing the brand is paying for the ad.

Stop and contrast that with display advertising: almost any web user alive feels that clicking on a display ad will put them in the cross-hairs of an advertising sales machine. We click on display ads when we’re interested, and we’re pretty confident the downside of clicking will be manageable.  (When I say “downside,” even web users without marketing savvy know about retargeting, spam, internet scams and inescapable landing pages.)

Display ads aspire to create sales. Native aspires to create value. With this in mind, how does native go beyond digital when marketing to farmers?

Farmers don’t make a living sitting in front of a computer screen. Anything on a screen that will have value to farmers will find its way into their fields, their crops and their livestock. When we produce a native ad, we do so with the intent of sharing knowledge the farmers can take to the farm. Why would the they read it otherwise? Yes, ag products want to play a role in their business, but our clients want farmers to know they can trust them. Native provides a direct line from your ag company’s expertise, to the correct editorial environment, to farmers seeking information, to their business.

Jeff Walter
About the Author – Jeff Walter

President/Chief Integration Officer. Jeff combines 20 years of client service experience with his deep knowledge and passion for agriculture, which stems from growing up on a corn and soybean farm in northern Illinois. He is a quick study of the brand, the customers and competitors, knows the right questions to ask, and with his oversight on planning and analytics, pushes the team to category-defining strategies and results-driven plans.

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