By Aileen Barron
We may be enjoying all that comes with summer but now is the ideal time to plan for your autumn/winter marketing campaigns. By taking the time now to give some real thought to what your objectives are, it will give you a more proactive approach.
In our business, we see a lot of companies who come to us when we are right on top of the season and in some cases they are trying to get marketing initiatives off the ground within impossible deadlines. By planning well in advance you can work more effectively towards what you are trying to achieve. Once the season starts, sales teams, technical experts, and other departments who contribute to your marketing efforts will be telling you ‘I’m just too busy’. If you are trying to compose good editorial, technical pieces or content for marketing materials that’s when things become difficult. If you haven’t discussed your objectives for the season well in advance or communicated them in your marketing materials before your sales team hits the road selling, it can lead to a lack of consistency or simply an under prepared effort. By preparing in good time it also lets everyone on the team know what is happening and when – this will also contribute to an improved internal communication culture.
The aim of your marketing efforts is to consider what your customers need and be ready to remind them of the benefits of your products and services when it is timely to do so. That age old saying, ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ irritatingly comes to mind! With show season upon us it is also a great time to get out and meet customers in a casual relaxed environment and get a sense of what way they are thinking and what you could do to improve or tailor your offering from last year. You also have some time to review past performance and monitor the yearly trends.
If you need any support, have any queries or would like to get assistance with developing or carrying out your marketing plan this year, contact us at Green Acre Marketing…we love a challenge!
By Lisa Dunphy
As we approach the summer season, preparation for many agricultural trade shows is well under way. Fundamental to the success of any trade show, be it agricultural or otherwise is event management. Event management is one such profession where failure has no hiding place. Preparation is key! A lack of preparation, confidence about your stand position, design and concept, and visitor expectations will land you in an embarrassing situation. To avoid uncertainties, below are some of the most important event management tips to consider in advance, during and after your event.
“Location, location, location” is the case here just like at any other trade event. Most trade shows will offer prime location booths for an extra charge. If you are willing to pay extra, look into this early, as prime locations sell out fast. You may need to think even further in advance. If you plan on attending a trade show long term, year after year, prime location is something you can try to leverage and negotiate into your contract.
Get the look
Visitors are attracted to good looking stands. Use crisp clean lines and colors in keeping with your brand standards. It is imperative to put effort into the concept and design of your stand at an early stage to ensure you portray your brand and message in the best possible light. It will make all the difference between visitors stopping or walking by. Ensure your brand is clear and able to be seen from every direction. Use clear signage, flags, lighting and shrubbery to enhance the stand.
Make your stand approachable
In addition to having that ‘right look’ and appealing design, your stand should be approachable. Professional staff, smartly dressed with branded clothing and name tags are extremely important to the company image. Have a variety of different display options to appeal to different people. Some people like flyers, brochures and reading materials. Other visitors favour visual effects such as a video demo on a screen or tablet. Many will want to engage with staff and ask questions. Ensure you have a good balance of staff available at all times throughout the event with up to date business cards.
Attending trade shows for visitors can be physically tiring as there is lots of walking around. Offering refreshment will be much appreciated. Your offering should be in line with your company culture or stand theme. Water bottles, coffee cups, sweet treats and any packaging should come with your branding or business card attached to help remind visitors where they received it from.
Network! Network! Network!
There are thousands of exhibitors at trade shows looking to connect with like-minded individuals and are willing to talk for free. Many of the distributors and manufacturers are eager to share their experiences about what it took to get to where they are. Make friends with your neighbours, let them know about what you do and find out what their business is. You will want other non-competing exhibitors to refer visitors to your stand when appropriate, just as you will want to refer others to theirs. At trade events you will meet amazing people with incredible ideas, who are more than happy to provide feedback about how to make your product better and share their tricks of the trade.
Reach out on Social Media
It is recommended to prepare a social media marketing plan in advance of your trade show, including a content calendar with nuggets of information about your brand, products on display, exciting items of interest during the lead up and on the day of the event. Another way to engage with people on the day of the event is when visitors have checked in at the venue or mentioned the trade show on social media. Invite them to your stand and offer a special incentive through social channels.
After all the hard work of attending your trade show or exhibition, it is so tempting to pack up and go home. For most exhibitors, this is when the ‘real work’ starts, converting all those precious qualified leads and contacts into sales. Ideally prepare your follow-up plan and literature in advance, set yourself a deadline to get these out within a week of the event. You should collect meaningful information from the participants. Send feedback forms, gather feedback, understand participants’ reactions, gauge expectations and measure the impact of your event. This will help you get valuable insights for future events based on the information received. Make time to connect on social media platforms with all your trade show neighbours and contacts you met at the event. This is invaluable to expanding your professional network and hopefully you will soon see referrals coming your way.
Agricultural trade shows are a fundamental part of the Agri business networking calendar. Green Acre Marketing will do all the work to ensure that your brand delivers the appropriate message and leave your existing or potential customers with a lasting impression.
Contact us at Green Acre Marketing for more information.
Your brand is more than a logo or a name. It is the story that communicates all that is good about your business and this story should be told in a real and human way. There may be one or many people behind a business but it all starts with a passion for something and the more you portray this passion the more you can connect with your customers. And you can demonstrate that you understand your customers’ requirements.
What is a brand?
Your brand is the perception that people have about your business when you are not in the room. A logo is little more than a nice image unless it has substance behind it. And how do you build this substance? Customers make a connection with you through a number of mediums, some of which include interaction with your staff, but mostly through your product or service and how it serves them. Therefore it is essential that, in everything a business does, it questions how those interactions impact on the brand and if they fit with the message that the business wants to portray. Companies need to remember that every time someone sees their brand or logo a message is being portrayed, and you want it to be positive. You also want to ensure it reflects who you really are.
Modern brand management
Brand management has changed in recent times and I believe this is because we have so many more opportunities to engage with a brand, especially when we consider Social Media. It is no longer a case of just having a store or a website, your business needs to be interacting and engaging with your customers and this can be achieved quite effectively online.
Social Media encompasses all the places your customers might want to interact with you on the Internet; through Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, a Blog, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest etc. You are building a relationship with your customers and, in turn, can find out how your customer feels about your products, your people, and your services. It is important to remember that traditional marketing methods also have a strong role to play here, as the desire to interact with your business can also have come from your traditional marketing efforts. As I always say, there needs to be a mix of marketing streams that touches both on and off-line.
Telling the story
In telling your brand story, make sure it reflects what your business is about and what you want for your customers. Above all, ensure that it shows passion for what you do. To give an example, this is the brand story behind Green Acre Marketing. I grew up on a dairy farm and went on to study Agribusiness. I worked in various commercial and marketing roles in the Agri sector for many years. I’m totally passionate about this industry and recognised that there were some amazing agribusinesses that were not marketing themselves in a way that would allow them reach their full potential. This was something I wanted to become part of and Green Acre Marketing was born from this passion to support agribusinesses from a marketing perspective.
Work in progress
Finally, businesses need to remember that your brand story is an evolving one and as a business grows it will work through new experiences that make it stronger. Don’t be afraid to share these experiences as, after all, the old saying still rings true ‘people buy people’.
If your agribusiness needs any marketing support, have a query, or would like to get assistance with developing or implementing your marketing plan this year, contact us at Green Acre Marketing.
Green Acre Marketing are delighted to welcome Lisa Dunphy to the team. She will head up our Communications and PR section. This announcement also comes as we celebrate two years in business. The company was set up by Aileen Barron with a sole purpose: To provide marketing services to Agri businesses operating in Ireland. And we do that, currently supporting well-known international and Irish agri brands.
Originally from Dungarvan, Co Kilkenny, Lisa is well known in the agri industry in Ireland. She worked for the Arvum Group over the past six years as Marketing and PR Manager across the group, which incorporated such companies as Seed Technology, DLF, Advanced Fertilizers, and Specialist Nutrition.
Lisa, who holds a Masters in Marketing, will bring a wealth of knowledge in Communications, PR and Event Management to complement all services being provided at Green Acre Marketing. She told us, “I’m very excited about moving to a company that offers the opportunity to work with so many great agribusinesses and joining a company that is still at an early growth stage gives me the opportunity to make a unique contribution to the success and development of the business”.
Speaking about the recent appointment, Aileen said, “As a company we are so proud to be working uniquely in the agri sector and had the opportunity to be involved in some great marketing challenges for our customers over the past two years. Having worked with Lisa in the past and now having her involved in Green Acre Marketing reinforces what we offer to our customers and I am delighted to have her on board”.
If you need any Marketing, Communications, PR or Event Management support, have a query or would like to get assistance with developing your marketing plan this year, contact us at Green Acre Marketing.
When your everyday is consumed by the world of marketing it is easy to forget that not everyone is aware of how marketing products or services has evolved over recent years, and that we, in AgriBusiness, need to embrace these developments.
I recently posted some blogs around the use of social media, including a basic guide to Twitter, and to follow on from them I want to address the topic of Content Marketing. This has come up a number of times from people asking me ‘What is it?’, ‘Why is it different to traditional marketing or PR?’, ‘Does it really help me sell more?’, and ‘How do I go about it?’ – You get the picture.
So, to start from the start, what is Content Marketing? The official line direct from the Content Marketing Institute is that content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Put in other words, by us at Green Acre Marketing,
it is the content you create that tells the story of your product, service or brand in a way that is useful to existing or potential customers and further embeds your brand and image in their mind.
Types of Content
There are many types of content that would be relevant to your AgriBusiness customers. For example – How-to guides, Product/Service reviews, Case studies, FAQ’s, Interviews, Templates, Resources, Advice, Technical articles, Product guidelines, Company news, Opinion pieces, Videos, Infographics, Research and original data. Sometimes content may not always relate directly to your product or service but can be viewed as parallel content i.e. content that would also be of interest to your audience.
Remember that content needs to be relevant and worthwhile for the audience you are trying to engage with to keep them interested. Great content also lets you showcase your company’s personality and brand story. The saying ‘people buy people’ is never more true, so let your true self shine through!
Publishing your content
When you have all this great content created, how do you get it published? All companies go through the struggle of getting traditional media to pick up on stories that they would love to tell others about their product or service, but very often those stories are not juicy enough to sell newspapers. This is where digital marketing and social media come into their own. Once you have the platforms set up (e.g Facebook, Twitter, Website, Youtube, Blog) you can publish your content there. For example, write a new blog post on your website and do a Facebook post and Tweet to promote it.
The best part about content marketing and using your social media platforms to publish it, is that you can measure what people like and don’t like, simply by the rate of engagement. Use the Analytics tools available with each platform to find out how many people liked your content, engaged with your content, bounced straight off it, etc.
What to watch out for
Be realistic in how often you can create content. It sounds easy to write a 400 word piece twice a week but, from my experience, unless that is your sole purpose in life, it won’t happen. Set realistic expectations of perhaps two articles a month and once you can keep up the routine then think about doing one per week. Whatever you can manage, be regimental as your audience does not want to be bombarded with material one week and then not hear from you for another 6 months. If you are having a good week creating content, store your drafts and schedule for another week. For example, WordPress allows you to schedule draft posts for publication.
The power of Content Marketing
I am a real believer in the power of content marketing and have experienced it first-hand. I have had phone calls from new customers who said they saw particular pieces I had written. They had formed an opinion that I knew a thing or two about the areas of marketing they needed and, as a result, they picked up the phone to do business with me. So, to the sceptics who ask ‘Can content marketing really drive sales?’ I would say, absolutely.
For assistance with your content marketing strategy or for help with putting a plan together for your AgriBusiness, please contact us at Green Acre Marketing.
Twitter has become a popular social media platform for Agribusinesses to interact with customers and boost their Brand online. However, I still get asked, what’s that Twitter thing all about?! Here are a few pointers on the fundamentals of Twitter for small business owners broken into three simple categories; Tweets, Following, and Followers.
Social media platforms allow people to draw conclusions about a brand or company based on the type of content they share so keep this in mind before tweeting. Always consider how your tweet will be perceived by the world and what it will say about you and your business.
Think about the language you use, about how you ‘speak’ in tweets. Images and links you use with a tweet need to carry the message, reflect your brand and add to the text in the tweet and in general be appealing. Furthermore, engagement of tweets that contain images far outweigh tweets that contain no images.
When composing your tweet use #Hashtags sparingly making sure they match the topic of the tweet. I often get asked about the purpose of #Hashtags and if they are of value. Consider them as a search ninja – they operate like a word search in Google. If I want to find what people are saying about the National Ploughing Championships or any content relevant to the Ploughing Championships I would type #Ploughing or #PloughingChampionships. This also means that if I use these #Hashtags, my tweets will show up for other people searching for them.
Twitter is a form of social media so remember the word social. Use it to engage with people, have conversations and get involved with things that are central to your brand. You don’t always have to feel the pressure to come up with content, as on many occasions a Retweet and a Like of other tweets that are relevant to your brand and business demonstrates what you are about.
Tip: Thank and engage with followers or people that retweet or favourite your content.
Following (Who to Follow)
I think it is important to engage and connect with people where there is a mutual benefit, where you will learn something from what they are doing and they might require your product/services in the future. While direct selling is secondary on social media, at the end of the day you are a business and getting your brand out there is part of the sales process.
To find people to Follow, look at the influencers in your field to see who they follow and interact with. You can also use Search Twitter with keywords or #hashtags or use a tool like Twellow to identify Twitter users by category.
Tip: Put the people you are following into Lists as you follow them i.e. Agri Services, Farmers Ireland, Farmers UK, Organisations etc. It makes it easier to follow tweets of people in similar fields and helps you build a nice little database.
Followers (Who’s following you)
The old axiom of ‘quality over quantity’ needs to be the focus here so it is important not to get hung up on the number of followers you have. Instead, consider the quality of followers you have and having the right people following your brand. Consider the relevance of the follower to your business
Are they in your business sector?
Are they potential clients/customers?
For a business like mine, I might choose to follow big brands outside of the industry I operate in (Agribusiness), if they follow me, to observe how they use social media, to retweet anything relevant to the Agri sector.
Tip: Always check your notifications to see who has followed you. Block any unsavoury ones that can be damaging to your brand. You don’t need to follow everyone who follows you.
While I did say at the beginning that I would just focus on the three simple categories as above, I just want to finish with one final but important add on. Once you are comfortable with how Twitter works, start to think about analysing what you are doing with a Twitter Analytics account. (With Twitter open in one tab of your browser, go to another tab and type in analytics.twitter.com to go straight to your Twitter analytics site which will automatically be created for you.) This will let you see which items are getting most engagement and the type of content that your followers are most interested in.
If you need any support, have any queries or would like to get assistance with developing your marketing plan this year, contact us at Green Acre Marketing.
There are many aspects to marketing, from building brand and business awareness to making sales of your Agri product and service. And there are many points of contact that your customers will have with you e.g. a storefront but you have to keep coming up with ways to keep your business the first thing customers think of and the first place they want to go to, online or physically.
We’ve come up with the big 5 that we think are the very minimum you should be working on this year. Whatever you’ve planned in 2016 for your Agri business’s marketing and sales, make sure the big 5 are on your list.
1. Traditional Ad Campaigns
Agri Business is traditional so why ignore traditional mediums. Strategic placing of ads in key media will get your business and product seen, building brand awareness. If you’re running a special offer with an identifiable reference number that your customers can quote, you will be able to track the effectiveness of your ad campaign through to sales. Well designed and placed ads can make a small business stand out from the competition.
2. Social Media and Campaigns
It’s 2016 and businesses must be on Social Media to present a professional, competent and personal face of the business online. With the rise of the smartphone, farmers and businesses are online whether they want to be or not and with that, businesses must have a strong and active social media platform, ready for customers to find them. Your social media platform is as important as traditional advertising, it should reflect your brand, your website, and your traditional ads.
At a minimum, get a Facebook page and Twitter account and make sure they are well branded and used.
With 77% of the population in Ireland using the internet, many of your customers will be too. You want search engines to lead them to your website or, if brand awareness is high, know your web address and go straight to it. A website should reflect your brand, be well-designed and updated regularly, especially the home page.
4. Email Marketing
If you’re been building up a customer database through your sales team, or a newsletter via website, consider using email to give customers the best offers for your products and services before an ad campaign.
5. PR and Events
Every event, big or small, seminar, exhibition, launch or announcement, is an opportunity to publicise your business. You want to shout it from your website and social media platform. But most importantly, you want to tell everyone in your local area. Ireland is lucky in that we rarely have six degrees of separation and local newspapers are your business’s best support for a local story. And your business will have stories to tell every step of the way.
Branding and measuring
Finally, your brand, get it professionally designed from logo, stationery, to a document on your businesses brand guidelines to make sure that everyone in your company is marketing your business consistently, even with something as simple as a well-designed email signature.
After the big 5, all that remains is to monitor and measure success, be it building awareness of your business, feedback from customers, feedback from your sales team, customer enquiries, increased website traffic, increased engagement on social media, and, most importantly, sales growth in addition to normal seasonal patterns.
If you need any support, have any queries or would like to get assistance with developing your marketing plan this year, contact us at Green Acre Marketing.
A considerable amount of work undertaken at Green Acre Marketing involves developing advertising campaigns and schedules for our clients. We believe that there is still a lot of marketing value in traditional advertising methods but very often there is more to consider to running an effective advertising campaign.
A frequent question asked of us is, what kind of impact will I get if I run an ad in next week’s Irish Farmers Journal? Very often one ad is not enough.
For the advertising element of your marketing campaign to be effective it needs to be part of a larger effort that has considered longer term consistent placement. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to book a long term advertising campaign either, but it does need to match up with other marketing activity being practised. This means your ad campaign’s objective must fit into your overall marketing strategy, which could include; a targeted email campaign, event, digital marketing placements, PR placements or a broader spectrum of publications etc.
Also, be mindful of where you place your ads within recommended publications. It will depend on your target market e.g. dairy, beef, tillage, etc. Consider key features in the agri press that focus on and are relevant to different seasons and topical farm activity.
The next step is to develop an ad that reflects your brand and is consistent with other marketing efforts. Most companies are tied to specific brand guidelines which is a great tool for achieving consistency. I mention consistency in ad campaigns a lot because an important function of an ad is that it is associated with a strong brand becoming instantly recognisable. It forms an important part of developing or reiterating a brand. Always keep in mind how you would like to have your brand/product/service perceived in the market place and stay true to this avoiding gimmicky messages.
Developing ad content
Cut, cut and cut. Get straight to the point – what does your product or service do? Too often an ad brief will contain most of what is already in a brochure or website and expect that all this is going to fit in the corner of a newspaper. Customers will be familiar with me saying ‘if you are trying to make everything stand out, nothing will stand out – everything is the same’.
It is also important to remember that ad content should not be too technical as it may not communicate your message effectively.
The press sell advertising space based on column widths and every publication has different column sizes. For example, 3 column widths could vary from 87mm up to 135mm. Make sure that the content in the advert will work in all publications or consider buying more space in narrow column publications.
Finally, use a professional graphic designer to get your ad right as they will help make your message more visually appealing and ensure that final ad copy is produced in good quality that will convert onto paper.
If you have any queries or would like to get assistance with developing your ad campaign, contact us at Green Acre Marketing.
Two weeks ago, we were delighted to have Aoife McGrath, a transition year student at Ardscoil na Mara, join us for work experience. It was an opportunity for her to get a sample of working life in a local Agri Marketing business. While with us, she assisted us a current Ad Campaign for one of our clients and at the end of the week, we asked her to write about why marketing was important for business.
This is what Aoife told us.
‘As a sixteen year old Transition Year student, I have learnt a lot about marketing over the past week here at Green Acre Marketing. I think that marketing is essential to a company. Marketing gives a company a face which is the first impression the customer gets and it also helps to build the brand name. Having a recognisable image is vital for customers to remember the product or service.
‘It’s crucial for a business to have a good reputation so the company is more appealing to customers. To achieve and to help maintain a good reputation, marketing is key. Though the business may have a good reputation, it needs to be maintained by keeping the product seen in papers or on other advertisement platforms. Marketing educates customers on the latest trends and will boost sales developing the company’s reputation.
‘For business to succeed, it is important to be known to potential customers. Without marketing no one may ever be aware of your business and being known in the market will raise your sales. The more known your company becomes, there’s a higher liability for customers to buy from you because the customer will find the known product more trustworthy.
‘In summary, marketing does give your business the best opportunity for increased sales and for the word to be spread and it gives the company a variety of advertisements such as the newspaper, digitally or through an event.’
A fitting reminder to use marketing to build business. We were happy to share time with Aoife and wish her every success for the rest of her transition year.
For some that attended the recent Agricultural Science Association Social Media training session, the topics discussed around the use of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are an everyday reality but the fact of the matter is, for most in our sector, it is not an everyday reality. There is a definite sense that Agribusinesses need to embrace Digital Marketing and Social Media but may be nervous about how to approach it.
So you already know that marketing online is crucial for your business, but before you embark on the journey, have you really thought about why this is the case. Is it just to do what everyone else is doing, or is it to deliver on a specific objective?
Online presence has opened onto a motorway of fast traffic, and lots of it. Don’t get pulled along and lost among all the other traffic. Be strategic in your approach.
Have a clear objective and don’t let it overwhelm you
The most important word I have mentioned so far is ‘OBJECTIVE’. Without a clear objective of what you want to achieve, you cannot know what the right thing to do is. It reminds me a bit of driving out the gate, but with no destination in mind; how will I know to turn right or left, what road to take, how will I know if I am on the right road and how will I even know when I have arrived!
Digital marketing can be somewhat overwhelming and I have been there right at the top of the queue wondering what platforms I should be using, how many I should be using, and how do I use them. The best exercise you can do is sit with your team (or just you and a cup of coffee!) and figure out what you are trying to achieve. If it is about getting a particular message about your product or brand to your customer, well then you need to think about where your customer is hanging out. It also helps to ‘follow’ the people/companies you admire, and see what they do. Facebook and Twitter are particularly useful for that.
Online marketing is about interaction and on some platforms the hard sell is frowned upon by many users. It is about the story and personality behind your business or product. It is about giving the customer something extra. The great thing is, unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing can be measured and you can quickly identify what you are doing right and wrong by using the right tools.
Getting assistance when you need it
For marketing departments who want to clarify their objectives or want to know the best online mediums, don’t be afraid to ask for external help. Use digital marketing professionals who have tried and tested the many platforms and tools available, who know what google likes, who can help you uncover what are the best platforms for you, and who understand SEO and how it works. It will certainly make the journey far easier and more productive.
Let me put all this into perspective. You wouldn’t go out to sell animal feed, fertiliser or such products without knowing the products inside out or you will be soon found out. Treat your Digital Marketing plans like this; hire or use the right resources to deliver what you have identified as the overall objectives of your plan.
Green Acre Marketing provide a broad range of services to assist companies with their Digital Marketing Strategy and we continue to pop in along the way to ensure you stay on track.
Regularly reminding sales staff to build a bank of photos when they are out and about visiting farms, walking crops, etc., is a great way of capturing content, particularly when company products or services are evident and there is opportunity to demonstrate how they have benefitted their customers. The images can be used immediately on Social Media such as Twitter and Facebook to give a snapshot of events as they happen on that day, promoting your customer, their business and, in turn, your business.
Taking photos also generates images for your Marketing staff to use in promotions, brochures, and on social media.
An easy way to ask your sales team for images is to use WhatsApp. WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app. You send the message, for example, ‘I need a pic of winter barley’ and if anyone has a photo or can snap one, they send it on.
Taking the photo
You don’t need the latest high tech camera to take good photos. Camera phones today can take high resolution photos (usually in the file format .jpg) and produce good results however there are a few simple techniques on how to take and edit photos that can make a difference.
Humans look at the world in a few predictable ways. Our eyes follow lines and are drawn to, apart from the centre, four areas of a photo.
Use of lines – A path or fence in the shot draws the eye across the photo or cubicle shots leading into the barn. Think of lines leading the viewer into the photo.
Rule of thirds – Think of your photo divided into three lines horizontally and three lines vertically. The four intersection points where these lines meet are areas of an image that our eyes are drawn to, darting between them. (Picture shows silage rake placed at one of the intersection points.)
Also check what you want photographed is what the camera has focussed on. Try the zoom function, if needed, to get close-ups if you can’t move closer for farm safety reasons.
The sun is great for shots of fields and crops but avoid shooting straight into the sun. Let the sun come in from the side. But you don’t need a sunny day to get good photos. Cloudy days give less dark shadows and have a pleasant feel to them.
Taking photos at the start and end of a day gives a warmer tone to a photo. Middle of the day photos have a bluer tone.
When to take your photos
All the time, throughout the year. In agriculture everything is constantly changing and growing. If you work with crops, photograph a field of winter barley at the early stages and then later in the season. In the dairy and beef sector, all stages of the cattle life cycle and best practice outcomes from the use of your products and services should be captured.
Tidying up your image
You took the shot, had to run and now looking at it during a quiet time of the day have realised something has gone wrong. If you got the shot and it is pretty much in focus, don’t panic.
The most commonly used tricks by photographers are to check the Brightness, Contrast and then Crop a photo. If you need to work the image more, use a picture editor software like Adobe Photoshop Elements or Photos, an app available with MS Windows 10.
For example with Photos, you can do basic fixes: Rotate the image, Crop it, Straighten it up, and correct Red eye. It has Brightness to make the photo lighter or darker and Contrast which makes darks darker and lights brighter.
You can use Temperature (to make the photo cooler or warmer i.e. more blue or orange) or change the Saturation (A little extra saturation may be needed for a photo taken on a dull day. No saturation makes a photo black and white).
Get the shot
Finally, like family photography, it’s better to capture an image, any image, than worry if it has been taken correctly. Get the moment recorded and then decide how best to use the photo to promote your customers achievements and your business.
Getting an event organiser to run your workshop, launch, business opening, and exhibition frees up your sales staff to achieve the best in their roles and do what they do best: network with clients, find new customers and make sales.
Here are some tips to help you run a successful Agri seminar or workshop.
Why run an event?
There are many things you need to think about when planning an event, however a very good starting point is give a great deal of thought to the following two items as these will give you the seminar topic and help you build an engaging programme.
Start by asking your team what your business will achieve from it and what is the overall objective in running the event. Reasons include: to build awareness of your business and products/services, to reach new customers/clients, to keep in touch with your current customers, to boost your brand’s reputation, and to showcase your products and the technology associated with them.
Secondly, who do you want to invite and what are the benefits of attending this event for the invitees? This will determine what will be included on the electronic and print media before, during and after the event.
Picking a date – Time of year is crucial for Agri events. Think of your attendees and what suits them and the timing of the message you want to give.
Venue – Location is key. Your customers may be travelling from all over the country. Consider having more than one event if trying to appeal to a larger region. Also, consider the room size, too big and it looks empty, too small and it is crowded.
Speakers – Consider your overall message that you want to resonate with attendees. This will help you determine internal or external speakers that will spark interest in your event.
Start and finish times – Consider how long attendees have to travel to and from the event and pick start/finish times to assist this. If it is a full day, plan for refreshments; snacks or lunch.
Attendee list – How you target the right people for the event depends on the aim of the seminar. Your sales staff will have built up lists of customers and these can be a very good starting point. Then start to think about influencers that would be of value.
Advertising the event – You’ve got the date, venue, start/finish times, a topic and possibly a programme and you’re ready to start promoting the event. Promote an event too early and people forget it, too late and people are busy. A nice balance is to start with a ‘Save the Date’ email to your attendee list. Then send the official Invitation about three weeks before the event and follow up with a phone call a week before the seminar. I cannot stress the importance of this follow up phone call. Unfortunately with the busy lives people lead they may have forgotten to reply or assumed someone else did it and before you know it you have 10 extra people planning to attend that you were unaware of! It is worth noting, making these calls is more time consuming than you think, so don’t leave it last minute. This call also gives sales staff a reason to call/catch-up with their customers, to promote themselves by selling the event and use the opportunity to book time to meet the customer in the near future if they are unable to attend.
Programme of the event – Ask your speakers to send their presentation summary and bio in advance to help plan the programme timings and bring balance to the day. This also gives you material for a seminar brochure.
Promotions – Check the branding in the room on company banners and stands, and put together promotional items to give to customers i.e. brochures, pens, notepads etc.
Photographer – Book a photographer to document the event or take key group shots for press releases after the event. Invite the media as well.
Why use Green Acre Marketing to run your Agri event?
Running a large industry event like a seminar, from launch to final press release, takes time away from your sales staff. Using an event organiser frees up sales staff to network during the event, make contacts and sales.
Green Acre Marketing will take care of everything. We will develop a customised checklist for your event with deadlines for all activities to help everything run smoothly and make the most of the event, leaving time for you to be with your customers.