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Bethany Funkhouser: Advertise your agribusiness products

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Advertising your agribusiness or agricultural products can take time and effort. It is more challenging than “build it and they will come.” You must do some degree of advertising.

When people hear the word “advertise,” they think about outrageous advertisements such as car salesman or personal injury lawyer commercials. However, there are many other forms of advertising. Advertising is the art of crafting messages to attract customers to purchase your products. Advertising doesn’t have to be big and expensive to reach people; it’s about choosing the right location and method of advertising and creating a unique message that your agribusiness can stand behind and make you stand out to customers.

When thinking of how you want to advertise your agribusiness, think of your brand and ask yourself a some questions:

What message have you conveyed or would like to convey to your customers?

What message do you want to convey to potential customers?

Once you’ve done this, you must reflect on your target audience. Even if your target audience is not age specific, it’s essential to tailor your advertising to different age groups. If your target audience is middle-aged men and women, you won’t want to advertise your business and products on social media that are geared to young people such as Snapchat. Whereas if your target audience is teenagers and young adults, the radio or penny saver might not be the best use of your marketing budget. Your target audience will have a significant effect on how and where you advertise.

Once you know your target audience, where can you advertise? The options are endless for advertising. Whether your agribusiness is big or small, there are plenty of ways to promote your agribusiness or products. The most inexpensive, and arguably most effective form of advertising is word of mouth. If you have an established agribusiness that has satisfied customers’ needs in the past, there’s a chance people have talked well about it, and this is an excellent form of advertising. This ties back into your brand because it is a reflection of your reputation. A good reputation is key to word-of-mouth advertising.

You can also advertise your agribusiness products on social media. For example, reaching already established customers through your social media pages. If you have a new product, advertising it on your social media accounts is an excellent, and free, form of advertising and can be shared and “liked” by your established customer base. However, you can also pay for advertising on social media. Your post has the potential to reach your typical audience, but Facebook, and other social media platforms, will also target new individuals with your paid ads. Additionally, posting your agribusiness and products in Facebook groups that allow advertising. Even though some Facebook groups do not allow you to sell or advertise products, you may be able to promote your business to draw-in new customers.

These suggestions are simply the tip of the iceberg when advertising your agribusiness and products. You can advertise through commercials, radio ads, in the newspaper, the list goes on and on. No matter how you decide to advertise your agribusiness, always keep your brand in mind, and always state facts only. Only make a promise in an advertisement that your business can live up to. Also, make sure you provide potential customers a way to contact you in any ad. Lastly, advertising is trial and error. There will be forms of advertising that will do great for your agribusiness and others that will not be as beneficial, and that’s OK. You must try different avenues to discover what works best for you. It’s important to remember to stay within your marketing budget, but your budget also needs to be realistic. As we discussed, there are many ways to promote your agribusiness and you have to find what work best for you.

If you would like to learn more about advertising your new or current agribusiness, consider attending AgriBAM, a Clemson Extension program focusing on agricultural branding, advertising, and marketing. The dates are as follows:

February 4th: Branding

February 18th: Advertising

March 4th: Marketing

Each is a day-long program that will be held in person at Pee Dee Research Center. If you would like more information, contact Bethany Funkhouser at 843-944-8584 or bnf@clemson.edu or visit bit.ly/AgriBAM.

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