The agribusiness sector is undergoing something of a seismic shift. To wit, in 2017, global management consulting firm L.E.K. published a report listing nine trends transforming the agribusiness industry. The findings define how food is grown, produced, and sold now and into the foreseeable future. Of these nine trends, which include factors such as government uncertainty and water and labor shortages, two were related to the environment. They are:

  • Rising consumer focus on clean-label foods
  • Increasing focus on sustainability

These trends cut right to the heart of the 21st-century reality in which we all live: green issues are part of our existence now. Therefore more and more industries and individuals are trying find ways to reduce their carbon footprint. These are exciting times, even for big business. Agribusinesses, for example, needn’t be hamstrung by environmental concerns but can actively embrace them and leverage those initiatives in their marketing campaigns.

Below we look at some effective marketing strategies agribusiness companies can utilize to deliver maximum ROI for each campaign. Many of these tactics marketers can use to address the aforementioned trends in this sector in order to meet client/consumer brand expectations.

Define your campaign goal

Before developing specific ad strategies you’ll first want to define the goals you wish to achieve with your campaigns. Is your aim to increase brand awareness and authority? Perhaps you’d like to educate the marketplace on your new products, services, and/or expertise.

Another goal might be to grow your online presence in order to boost engagement and thus increase your chances of conversion. In that case, you’ll want to to focus on the primary metrics that social media sites use to measure such engagement:

  • Likes
  • Shares/retweets
  • Comments

Then again, maybe you’re focused solely on generating conversions. If this is the case you’ll need to target your ideal audience and segment them according to specific demographics. If you’re a B2B agribusiness company, consider the geographic territory in which your target customer resides, the age and gender demographics of that customer, the type of operation they run (commodity, specialty, organic farming, etc.).

The bottom line is that marketing best practices dictate you tailor your strategies to meet your primary goal. To do the opposite and invest time and money in marketing without a clear goal in sight becomes a case of the tail wagging the dog.

Craft a campaign relevant to these green times

Now that you have the overall goal of your campaign in mind, it’s time to think about tactics. Know that the most effective ad campaigns showcase a brand’s ability to stay relevant even as trends shift and times change. That brings us to green issues.

We’ve arrived at something of an inflection point in the agribusiness sector in that global demand for animal proteins has risen since the 1960s, yet have showcased the negative environmental effects of wide-scale animal farming. This is just part of the reason consumer preferences are shifting to plant-based proteins, and it isn’t some fleeting new-age trend, either; according to that same L.E.K. report, meat alternatives could have a 33% share of the overall protein market by 2054.

You need only to look at the advertising initiatives of major food and beverage brands to realize that this is a strategy worth investing in now. Subway, Denny’s, TGI Fridays, White Castle—they’re now all offering plant-based protein meals. The point of such a strategy is to brand your company as one that takes sustainability seriously. Which brings us to our next topic…

Demonstrate a pro-sustainability/clean-label approach

Speaking of creating campaign goals, branding your agribusiness company as an environmentally friendly one is a must these days. If you’re serious about crafting messages that resonate with today’s customers, tout that your brand produces food products with as few inputs as possible, thus optimizing the yield of your crops/animals while lowering the environmental impact.

This is a winning strategy in various ways. Agribusiness companies partnering with consumer-facing food and beverage brands can effectively meet consumer expectations. For growers, this also preserves the long-term health of their soil.

The arrival of new agriculture technologies can greatly help with this. Precision software technologies now help growers better and more efficiently analyze crop data; indoor growing tech like vertical farming and hydroponics maximizes efficiency while helping to reduce the grower’s carbon footprint, and of course, the development of new biological compounds allows farmers to replace environmentally harmful crop chemicals and pesticides.

By embracing these trends, your agribusiness company can start branding itself as a “clean label.” That means your marketing campaigns can include the terminology that drives consumer food preferences in this day and age. These include:

  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free
  • Antibiotic-free
  • Cage-free

And many others.

Measure the results of your marketing initiatives

It’s easier than ever to track the results of digital marketing tactics and use this data to improve future campaigns. You can determine brand authority by your ad reach as well as unique views and impressions. If you’re trying to educate your audience, you can measure your ads’ effectiveness by the number of qualified leads your sales team is receiving based on those ads. And to determine if your campaigns are generating sufficient conversions, look at the total number of leads compared to the total number of conversions based on those leads.

Conclusion

By adhering to the above strategies you’ll be able to craft a relevant campaign perfectly positioned to increase brand awareness and generate more leads. Just as crucially, embracing green initiatives and touting your success on this front will allow you to brand your operation as being not just good for customers but for the world as well.