Developing a Content Marketing Strategy For Your Small Farm Business

content marketing 3Content marketing is the key to consistent sales for small farms

I've written a number of articles about marketing for small farms - see here and here for example. In fact I've got about 200 pages of free content on my website about a bunch of topics related to farming and gardening. Why do I take the time to do this? Because these articles attract attention and increase exposure for my farm and ultimately generate sales. Developing a content marketing strategy should be the keystone of your farm business marketing as well.

What is Content Marketing?

Here's a definition from the Content Marketing Institute:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

There are a few keywords in that definition we'll focus on in the rest of this article: creating, distributing, relevant, and consistent.

Creating Content

'Creating content' means writing key-word-focused, search engine optimized articles that will be of interest to your target audience. Keyword search tools can help here.

'Relevant' means tailored to  your target audience.  In other words the people you think will be attracted by your products. You will need to do market research to find that pool of potential customers.

You need to identify the geographics, demographics and psycho-graphics of your target market - i.e. where do they live, how do they live, and what do they like?

For my CSA, the ideal customer was a young family, living within 30km of my farm, with a preference for local, organic sustainably-produced food.

For articles like this one, the market is the small grower, either current or soon-to-be, with an interest in building a sustainable and profitable farm business.

Distributing Content

Key point here: you need a website. Your website is the destination for your customers and also for the search engines. Of the 200 pages of content on my farm website, 30 pages rank #1 on Google for the associated keyword; that is, my little farm is the first result you see.

Another couple dozen rank in the top 3 results, which is generally as far as most people actually read when surfing for information, or looking for something to buy.

I get about 30,000 unique visitors monthly to my website. I capture emails for some of these visitors by offering additional free but valuable content in the form of special reports (see example below). My email list can then be regularly contacted with MORE information and my offers.

You can distribute your information over social media, or paid advertising, or news releases. But the destination of all these distribution channels needs to be your website, to give you a chance to add them to your customer base.

market garden guideOne way I capture visitor emails

The consumer demand for fresh local organic food has never been higher. Bad news on the supply chain is good news for local growers.

Get my free Organic Market Gardener Start-up Guide and see if this is the right time to launch your CSA market garden business. 

Free Market Gardening Start-up Guide

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Consistent Content Marketing

'Consistent' means you need a schedule for distributing your content. Consistency is more important than frequency, but I would suggest you plan major postings once a week as a minimum.

By 'major' I mean a search engine optimized (SEO)  article, 800-1200 words in length, focused on customer interests, and incorporating your own unique experience and application of the topic.

You can of course post more frequently, including 'snippets' on social media to maintain engagement with your audience.

Summary: Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

To summarize, here's how you build your content marketing strategy:

  • Search out high demand/low supply keywords relevant to your topic and your audience
  • Review some other websites to see what’s already being written about that keyword
  • Write an SEO optimized article, 800-1200 words, incorporating your own unique experience and application of the topic. Post on a weekly (minimum) basis.
  • Lead the reader to your ‘Free Report’, capture contact info.
  • Use an autoresponder to deliver the report; follow-up emails provide other relevant content (in abbreviated form) and promote the ‘not-free’ products in your funnel.

Developing a content marketing strategy might seem like a lot of work. It is work, and it is definitely a long-term effort.  But the rewards in terms of building a solid customer base and a 'captive audience are definitely worth it. More of my sales are generated from my website than any other avenue.

More like Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

Got a Question about Growing Your Own Site?

If you are thinking about creating a web presence for your small farm or market garden, and have questions or concerns, maybe I can help (and maybe your question will help others!)

You can also comment on anything you see here.

Speaking About Content Marketing

I'm also a speaker about topics related to small farm marketing and management. If you would like me to speak at your organization, contact me through my Speaker's Page.

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