So, what is a blog?
It is an online journal using text, photos or videos which can be used by opening a conversation with the reader which leads to a more informal way of engaging your customers.
There are farmers who have now recognised the importance of blogging who are sharing their stories, photos and knowledge about agriculture with a growing audience following their news. This gives a fascinating insight into farming and an online open door to the public who may not appreciate or understand how tough the agriculture industry can be. By writing through the good times and the bad gives a personal touch to your business gaining loyal followers who can get to know you. It also gives you access to your clients and new customers too by showing the personality behind your farming business.
If this is an area of marketing that you would like to start promoting your farming business but are a little reluctant about where to start, here are some tips to get you started:
If you already have a website for your farming business, then starting a blog is easy. Contact your web designer who will incorporate a blog page within your site and show you how to utilise it. If you do not have a website then you can use free blogging platforms such as Blogger or WordPress. They are easy to set up and user friendly.
- Keep your blog interesting by posting regularly and be honest and let your personality shine through. If life on the farm is being testing, talk about it! Give the reader an insight showing the animals on the farm together with their stories. Showcase the machinery you use and the work involved using them. Write about who works on the farm and the characters who keep your agriculture business running.
- The largest cost when blogging about your farming business is your time. As every farmer knows adding in time to write is hard, so make your posts short but to the point. Writing long laborious text can be off putting to the reader. By making the post three to four paragraphs long is enough and will keep the reader entertained.
- Use photos as much as you can. Newly born animals, sunsets over the fields, tractors wading through mud or seasonal images showing the sun to the snow are all well received with the public. Again, post these often to build your following.
- Share your posts on your social media pages. The more you post for your audience to follow, the more your page will come up on the News Feed for new followers to come and like. Hashtags like #farming #farmers #farmlife #farm365 #buybritish are some of most popular used on social media and depending on which area of farming you are involved in, #teamdairy #sheep365 are particularly popular on twitter and Instagram too. Make it a habit to use these and others that relate to your blog.
If the thought of writing fills you with dread, then pass this marketing job to the younger generations of the family. With the internet being a main stay of our children and grandchildren’s life, they will be the ones to turn to for social media help. It also involves them within the farming business and gives them an insight into this working lifestyle, hopefully engaging them to carry on farming for generations to come.
Remember, every farm has a story to tell…
Samantha Hobden www.hay-net.co.uk