Whether your agritourism destination includes livestock, food, seasonal activities, or farm stays, a successful marketing plan will expand your customer base and ultimately lead to additional revenue. Listed below are 5 steps to help improve your farm marketing:
1. Identify your farm’s market
“Who are you marketing your business and products to?” Initially you might think, “anyone who is willing to buy,” however the answer should be more complex. Do you keep records of your sales? Do women or men buy more frequently? Are your customers young, middle-aged or retired? Do they live relatively close to your business or are they more dispersed? By knowing who your customers and prospects are, you can increase the likelihood of them buying from you by tailoring your marketing strategy towards their desires and needs.
2. Increase your internet marketing
Internet marketing is the easiest way to reach customers, so effective marketing plans should include a website and social media platforms. Although you don’t have to sell your physical products online, the internet will sell your business for you. Social Media continues to expand and using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is a low-cost way to advertise your products/business. The key to an internet marketing plan is to ensure all platforms are interlinked. Make sure customers can access your social media platforms from your website and vice versa. This will increase your search optimization and reach.
3. Join farm associations
Association memberships can also be a cost-effective way to market your agritourism operation. Membership fees are generally modest, and benefits include newsletters, subscriptions, advertisements, and listings as an association member. There are many different farm associations and becoming a member gives you the opportunity to meet other agritourism operators and market your products through them.
4. Attend farm-related events
Whether it be farmers markets, seminars, workshops, or demonstrations, events provide you with an excellent opportunity to market your products and business in a hands-on environment. Attending events such as these get you in front of new people who in return, will visit your business and become your customers.
Workshops and seminars provide a great networking opportunity for your employees and staff. Most include a certification of completion, which improves your business’ creditability and keeps you up to date with rules, regulations and trends.
5. Expand advertisement
Although an advertisement in a glossy magazine might not be within your budget, print ads are still effective and can improve your marketing, especially if you can tailor advertisements towards your target audience. Small classified ads or local newspaper ads are very beneficial
if your agritourism destination is seasonal. As mentioned in step 3, joining a farm association allows for advertisement to be published through their publications which can be a very cost-effective method.
There will always be a continuing stream of marketing possibilities to consider. Sprucing up your current marking plan can improve your customer base and increasing sales. For more ideas visit hobbyfarms.com.
- Kelsey Pretz, FFED Communications Intern