Digital Farming a Strategy for Local Businesses


With all the advancements being made in technology today, it can be tough for up-and-coming businesses and entrepreneurs to know where best to invest their efforts.

It seems like every guru is screaming from the rooftops to choose one growth strategy or another. Instead of investing in the newest forms of marketing and advertising, many business owners get scared and stuck due to paralysis by analysis.

In this blog we’ll discuss some of the ways that you can increase your results by ditching outdated style of marketing, and adapting newer technologically focused means for making the most out of your marketing dollars.

As a high-performance entrepreneur coach, one of the things that I get asked a lot are questions about guerilla marketing.

High-achieving real estate agents (for example) who I work with, still want to plaster their faces all over buses, billboards, and park benches. However, they don’t realize that this isn’t a good way to make the most of their lead generation.

In order to make this easier to dissect, let’s think of marketing like farming for the rest of this post.

Everyone is familiar with the concept of planting seeds, watering them, and nurturing them until harvest time comes along. Well, harvest time refers to closing the deal and getting your leads to turn into clients or customers.

However, what’s more important are the seeds that you plant. If you put yourself into the market using old-fashioned marketing tactics such as the example above, you won’t be attracting the people you really want to work with.

Instead, you’ll be attracting the lowest common denominator and you’ll be banging your head against the wall looking for better quality leads.

So what do you do instead to plant better seeds?

You have to use the power of the Internet and that means two things which we will examine throughout the rest of this post:

  1. Content marketing
  2. Social media advertising

These two tools have more power (even when done in a mediocre fashion) than all of the old forms of marketing combined.

Why Content Marketing Works Better

Back in the day, companies would hire what they would call direct mail copywriters. They would send out costly mailers and flyers, and retire on the profits.

Ah, it must have been nice!

But the problem is only a small number of people read long-form sales copy in the mail these days, because scammers and junk mailers have ruined it for the rest of us.

While a well crafted mailer can still work really well, you have to do it very intentionally, and be ready to take the hit financially. In order to make that old school approach work, you have to have a huge budget, and it just isn’t as effective as it used to be.

So what do the masses demand, nowadays?

They want CONTENT! And they will consume it however they can consume it: video, blogs, emails, social media, and books.

Planting The Seeds

Creating content is how you begin planting seeds in your geographic farm that will mature into actual leads for your business.

The more you plant, the more potential you will have when it comes to harvest time. But just like planting seeds, your content creation must be consistent.

Just like a farmer who wants to get the most out of his crop, you wouldn’t want patchy seeds planted in an inconsistent fashion. Otherwise they will die and decay due to too much sun exposure and a lack of healthy nutrients.

That’s why it is so important that you take consistent action to create multiple forms of content on a monthly basis. By filling in all the gaps, you will have a full farm that is growing and providing you with a larger pool of new leads, for the harvest.

However, creating content isn’t the only way to plant seeds in your local farm.

In addition to putting out great material, you will also need to plant the seeds in people’s minds using the age old approach of advertising.

Advertising is one of the fastest ways to get people thinking about your product.

Whereas blogging, videos, or any other form of content will need to be found by your target audience, ads go to them.

In fact, you can combine the two by running ads to your blogs and videos, and even make specialized ads to target products that you want to specifically market to your geographic farm.

Nurturing The Seeds

The interesting thing about this is that using the power of social media, you can actually target who you want to see your ads. Rather than a billboard, or a radio spot, you can actually get results by choosing the exact demographic that you want to see your ad–all the way down to their interests and hobbies.

This makes it easy to assess whether or not they are going to want to see your ads, or not, so that you can make every dollar count.

And speaking of dollars, social media advertising isn’t something that needs to cost thousands of dollars a month. A carefully targeted ad can help you to gain new followers, new prospects week after week for the price of a Starbucks coffee a day.

Just five or ten dollars a day is enough for you to gain momentum and make the most of your online ad spend.

So what are some ways that you can use ads to get more clients, customers, and followers to your online brand?

Lead Capture is the Key

One of the biggest reasons to create ads is so that you can get traffic who is interested in learning more about your products or services. When someone clicks on your ad, ideally it should lead them to a lead capture that will ask for their email in exchange for a discount or some type of free information product giveaway called a lead magnet.

The ad takes them from Facebook or Instagram to your website, where they will be enticed to give you their personal information in exchange for a lead magnet makes that attracts them.

By offering the lead magnet, the goal is to get their email information. This allows you to send follow-ups about courses, products, special events and sales. This is one of the first steps in building a relationship with your clients and customers.

This is how you nurture your leads.

The more engaging content you send them to their email inbox each week, the more that you will develop a rapport with them. Sometimes, you can make them laugh in a candid email, and other times you will need to guide them on how to purchase the products and services that they most want through well-planned email campaigns. However, entertainment and sales aren’t the only reason to nurture your leads. The most important aspect of nurturing is that people don’t necessarily buy right away.

Since your ad traffic is coming from social media, its highly probable that the customers aren’t ready to buy. They may have just posted a pic of their friends and family, and now have landed on your website. By offering a lead capture on your site, you ensure that you don’t lose them forever.

Each time you send your email list an email it builds the relationship and gets them closer to buying more products or services.

How do you think top bloggers get their readers to open their blogs?

They sample them through their email lists.

How to Harvest

As I mentioned earlier, not everyone will buy right away. In fact, that’s better. The more that your customers trust you the more that they will be willing to spend over time.

The secret to making this work is the strength of your content.

If your content isn’t good, you won’t be able to make this work, because you will get a lot of unsubscribes from your list, which can hurt your reputation.

However, if you really invest in good content and give it some thought, you’ll be able to make the most of your online presence.

The way to harvest that potential is through being everywhere, and create a concrete and solid digital presence.

The easiest way to do that is to switch your value from mailers which (without factoring in the costs of the material, envelope, and employee expenses such as direct mail copywriters and design expenses) cost a minimum of $0.49 to mail.

By contrast, it can be much cheaper think (20 cents per click) to get someone to go to your website where they have the opportunity to buy right away and join your email list so that you can stay in contact with them over time.

But that’s not all.

Place value in blogs and content pieces that are evergreen

Mailers get thrown away, but blogs are read by new people every single day.

Content is expensive if you hire someone else to do it for you, and it can be very time-consuming to do it all yourself.

However, that’s not the right way of thinking about it. The more you realize that content is an investment, the easier it will be to begin to prioritize it.

Unlike websites, products, and courses which can age and become outdated. Content can be easily updated to always stay relevant. That means that someone writing a blog today, could be read ten years from now and still get them huge traction towards making sales.

What works best for your business?

One of the most crucial concepts to remember as you are making the leap to online marketing and advertising is that you can start small and work your way up. There’s no one size fits all approach that will work for every single business.

Instead you have to switch your mindset from a “what must I do” to “what can I do” approach.

It’s important to remember that in the age of social media and advanced technologies, we are all our own media company.

We all produce content, have a brand, and have an incredible opportunity to showcase our businesses all through the power of the Internet.

The more that you produce content, the more you increase your chances that a post or video will go viral, or build up a readership over time.  It is an investment, rather than an operating cost. And it is one that will help the longevity of your brand by creating a brandable strategy.

It’s no longer about getting foot traffic, it’s about being brandable and getting that message out to the world.

Social media will take you anywhere you want to go.

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