Online Ag Business can be won even by beginners.
That’s a great sentiment, but where do you start? The Ag Industry is slowly but surely taking over the digital landscape. What about you? How does the independent dealer or farmer carve out their space in the digital world?
How Your ag business Starts Winning Online
(If you’re new to Ag Business)
To begin your journey into the online world of the Ag industry, select a proper website name. A proper website name helps with everything from SEO to branding. Some might want to make a direct translation of their business name to the web.
While that is well and good, efforts should be made to ensure online clarity. No one wants to type in a 42 letter URL on a mobile or tablet platform. What about your business name can be optimized to play well for the end user?
Then, we must think about presentation. What do you want a potential customer to focus on? Is your purpose to get them to browse your physical store wares on a website? Do you want to sell extra products on a site? The possibilities are limitless.
Finally, a discussion on ROI is always essential. Return on Investment drives all business. No one succeeds by spending their way to the poorhouse. How do you keep from preventing that online?
Staying fiscally responsible online means working with a marketing agency built on integrity. Many agencies will have you spend money hand over fist to find potential customers. That’s not good for you or the potential clientele.
Any new Ag business needs to know two basic things before starting in earnest. Who will buy from you as a primary audience and who you want to buy. If the audience is there, then the early planning will satisfy your initial goals. If the business structure is solid, then you’re ready to take your next steps into online Ag.
(If you have an established business)
If you’re an established business looking for a change of pace, then examine what you have on-hand. Many digital marketing agencies will ask you about previous marketing efforts. You might still have catalogs, graphics and related marketing peripherals left over.
What might seem like trinkets from less successful campaigns can be retooled into facets of a winning effort. Everything created about your business can be extended into a meaningful action. As an online Ag business, your efforts to exist online are driven by two actions.
Financial goals and brand awareness will determine your continued actions online. Partner with a marketing agency that gets your identity while understanding what you need to improve your next steps. But, what will be your next steps?
Testing Your Business Wins
Congratulations! If things have gone to plan, you will have already begun experiencing many early wins. But, what is a win if it can’t be replicated in other facets of your online business. Given the relative new nature of the Ag industry being online, this is uncharted territory.
So, how does an independent business test out their wins against a Tractor Supply or John Deere size OEM? Well, you have something on your side that doesn’t work for the behemoths and juggernauts of the industry. Your independent dealership and business can satisfy immediate need.
Here’s an example:
A potential consumer just needs a replacement part for an older mower that was bought from a specialty source. Going to the OEM places them in-line with thousands of other people searching against a dedicated supply to find a solution.
As an independent business, your online goal would be to facilitate the need for specialty parts alongside personally selected manufacturer parts. In a word, you can’t everything to everyone. But, the small business can be that life saver in an electronic sea of options.
Stacking up easy wins like this, create provable scenarios where a business owner can trace keyword strategies that lead to wins over corporate behemoths.
Google has gone on record saying that all online business should be relevant and cater to user intent. User Intent often leads to bigger chains since they have deep pockets for rich PPC accounts. However, your independent business will begin to have success by appearing in the gaps.
Know your nice niche and play to the creative holes in their e-commerce platform. Sound interesting? Reach out to a qualified marketing agency to begin your strategic planning.
Planning Your Next Phase of Online Ag Business
One of the many lateral moves related to winning online will be future planning. Some experts will argue that you might be putting the horse before the cart. At i3, we disagree. Solidified future planning is a bit too early. However, you should always have your mind on future term goals.
After your first waves of online success, it’s important to address what has been accomplished. Did it fit your needs? Has there been a direct correlation to online sales and related efforts? Out of the new changes, what surprised you?
Prepare for the unexpected
That last part is important. Not everything in positive online business growth will happen according to plan. Sometimes, the great swath of online customers will highlight needs and growth areas that never occurred to you in the physical world.
What you do with this information is up to you. But, it’s the typical expected results from any well-minded online traffic campaign. Growth and unexpected results are part and parcel with online marketing. After all, you don’t invest in your online business and expect nothing to happen.
It’s best to meet with your top department heads and executives to discuss what is needed. If the financials are there, then the sky is the limit. But, a plan is essential for what comes next.
Proving ROI to All Ag Stakeholders
After you have successfully begun winning online, you will have questions to answer. While your immediate team will have experienced these changes firsthand, how do you share the good news with investors, outlying salespeople and industry well-wishers?
The first step is testimonials.
Testimonials are the first salvo in the battle for your e-commerce. By now, you have a handful of customers that love your product/services. If you ask nicely, they might even be willing to offer a statement. Grab a picture of them, reference their business website and plaster that quote on your website.
Google loves testimonials. Why? Well, because it is dedicated customers talking about how your business met their needs. The ultimate point of Google is to serve as a platform that connects customers to what they want. Testimonials are proof that happened and they are so sociable.
The second step is thought leading blog content.
Blogs are more than diaries for computer kids. They are a great source for constantly updating information and insight about your business. Google loves constantly refreshing pages and nothing updates more than a blog.
Think of it less as a journal and more of a promotional piece for your work. No one knows your business better than you. Now, it’s time to share that knowledge with the great, big world.
The third step is social outreach.
Social outreach is essential, yet out of reach for many. The out of reach part isn’t due to it being hard. It relates to the level of commitment required to build a rapport with networked customers.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are part of the new social town squares. They’re essential to reaching the most people in the fastest amount of time. However, the purpose of this social media outreach is to stay connected.
Begin a newsletter, reach out to those have questions and generally be the ever-present face of your Ag business.
Where does your Ag Business go from here?
It might sound crazy to have an Ag marketing agency break down the first steps to becoming a better online business. Well, that’s because online business success is about more than how you start. If you’d like to learn where you can take these starting points, then reach out to i3 Digital Agency.
The i3 Digital Agency would love to help you.