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3 Ways to Reach Beyond the Ag Audience
Farmers have responded to the call to agvocate by sharing insights about farming and their daily lives on blogs, social media, podcasts, and more. While this is a great start into helping consumers learn more about how their food, fuel, and fiber are grown, to be truly effective, farmers need to ensure their message reaches beyond those working in agriculture.
This is one message that Brooke Clay drives home with her clients. Clay is a digital strategist and the owner of Rural Gone Urban. She specializes in teaching ag-centered businesses and farmers how to engage with diverse online audiences. Here are the three ways she helps ensure her clients’ messages reach their target audiences.
1. Find the common denominator. Decide on your target audience and find the common ground, advises Clay. This could be the fact that you’re a parent or even as simple as connecting what you do to a TV show you like to watch. Using pop culture references is one of Clay’s favorite techniques.
“It’s hard for people to understand something they don’t see every day. I use pop culture as the way to explain heavy-hitting farm and ranching topics,” she says.
2. Break out of the filter bubble in real life and online. “Read an article you wouldn’t normally read, but one your target audience would. Watch a different TV show,” says Clay. “That allows you to get out of the farming bubble to see what the rest of the world is listening to and consuming. This helps you make a connection and be more relatable.”
3. Don’t believe the hype that you’re entitled to someone listening to your story just because you share it. You have to do the work to ensure your story is resonating with your audience.
“After you share your story, you should also go learn someone else’s,” says Clay.
As far as the content itself, make sure it is unique and specific to your farm, advises Clay. “This will make it more relatable.”
If you’re just getting started as an agvocate, Clay recommends starting with Instagram. “Farmers are surrounded by so much beauty – from sunrises to your messy dashboard. There are lots of moments that can be photographed throughout the day,” she says.
While she admits there is no special sauce to creating a large social media community, she does recommend posting consistently and frequently.
“You can’t expect to create a website and wash your hands of it. It takes time and investment,” says Clay. “It’s a relationship, and if your audience doesn’t hear from you, then you aren’t top of mind.”