Leading the ag industry with content marketing
The fine folks at Microsoft have reported that the average human attention span is eight seconds, shorter than that of a goldfish. That means we have to really up our game to keep you reading this, whether it hits you with emotion or hooks you with humor.
You see, the power of persuasion is no easy task. In the context of sales, it requires two things: a spectacular product or service and powerful content. Whether the purchases are in person or online, good content that supports that purchasing decision is the difference between dollars earned and owed. Therefore, that content needs to stand out and stand up, in order to outrun the competition and win over the customer, in this case, a farmer, a veterinarian, an equipment dealer or any of the many suppliers in our industry.
The traditional sales funnel model is a foundation for designing content marketing and filtering in sales. In this funnel, Attention has the widest margin. This is to capture the awareness of the largest audience possible, followed by a slightly minimized population that takes a further Interest in the potential sale. Within that scaled down group, there are those who truly have a Desire to invest and will make a Decision, and then those who take Action.
As it pertains to ag, it’s also necessary to understand farmers and ag suppliers and their buying decisions. That will undoubtedly influence the buying process, because there may be influencers involved, reviews may factor in, and timing and seasonality will ultimately play a role.
However, as you continue to evolve your content, the goal is to review the actions you can take with farmers and ag suppliers, beyond the decisions make externally, that echo this funnel model.
- Bring attention to yourselves. By attention, we mean carefully construct a well-developed, content-heavy promotional plan on traditional and social media. This will supplement any organic searches, sales and inquiries that come your way.
- Capture interest through your customer base. This will enable you to preserve the new audience you have just secured and cultivate the customer base that is loyal to you. You do this by keeping their interest with updated and innovative content in emails and newsletters, on your website and social media channels, and through continuous engagement. This includes relationship-building with incoming leads, email collection, and responses to all social media comments. Every engagement opportunity is a potential sales opportunity.
- Create desire and a decision. Build desire through a product or service that is so attractive, cost-effective and/or necessary that your target needs to consume it. This is the decision-making segment of the funnel. Therefore, the content needs to evoke that appetite and tip the proverbial scale, to move the consumer forward and take action. This is where product knowledge, assertion and charm come in to play.
- Ignite action with a sense of value. Establishing a sense of worth is perhaps the greatest reason for one to invest. The significance placed on a product or service will translate into how much they are willing to invest in it, and if they will take action to do so. As well, consider offering value-added benefits as an incentive to take action. In addition to giving yourself the competitive edge, you gain the customer’s loyalty, which is worth it in the end.
The sales funnel functions as a guide to enable businesses to lead their customers through the purchasing process. Use it as a tool to direct your content development, and it will reap rewards.
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.