Creating good content is important, but making that content discoverable will increase credibility and effectiveness.
Nielsen has a few interesting nuggets in their Trust in Advertising Survey that we as marketers (even ag marketers) need to consider. Turns out that people don’t trust marketers, but they do trust each other.
- 92 percent of people completely/somewhat trust recommendations from other people they know.
- 70 percent of people completely/somewhat trust consumer opinions posted online.
- 58 percent completely/somewhat trust editorial content.
In a nutshell, today’s consumers are very savvy and somewhat cynical about the content they consume, especially the source of the content itself.
So, the good news is that our customers do want to hear about our brands, just not directly from us. This is as true among farmers as it is with general consumers. There is still a need to create good content around our brands, but farmers want to “discover” this information through more credible sources – their friends, family and respected influencers, including other farmers. This discovery process increases the perceived authenticity of our content and makes it more credible and, therefore, influential in the purchase decision.
Let’s look at a more specific and relevant example. If farmer Joe is looking to buy a new utility tractor, he will likely spend many hours seeking out content and information from a variety of sources online. This represents tremendous opportunity to us as marketers, but we need to be strategic about the content we create and the way we serve it.
Option 1: After visiting manufacturer A website for specs and options, Joe checks his Facebook page and has a promotional post in his feed from manufacturer A. The sponsored post features an image of the tractor he just looked at and provides a link to a page featuring real farmer testimonials.
Option 2: After visiting manufacturer A website for specs and options, Joe checks his Facebook page and sees a friend has posted that he’s currently in the market for a new tractor and shared a link to a page featuring real farmer testimonials talking about manufacturer A’s tractor.
Both of these scenarios drive Joe to the same page to view the same content. The value of the content and the amount of influence it has should remain constant. But option B delivers the content through natural discovery and carries an implied endorsement from someone Joe knows, thus increasing the credibility and effectiveness of the content drastically. It’s human nature.
So, what does this mean to us as ag marketers?
It means we need to consistently work to ensure that we build our content in a way that allows and encourages sharing, and/or feels at home in a more editorial setting (think native advertising). Ensuring the content is valuable enough to want to share, having it live in formats that are easy to share across as many digital and social platforms as possible.
Creating good content is only the first half of an effective content marketing plan. Finding ways to activate the content in ways that enable discovery is the final key to success.