The agriculture industry makes up a large percentage of the world’s food, fuel, fiber and raw materials production. Most people use daily products that were cultivated by farmers and ranchers without even thinking about it.
Agriculture finance institutions provide the monetary assistance that makes production become a reality. From small family farms to large agricultural corporations, lenders across the globe help producers receive the capital to complete the job. In essence, they are the backbone of much of our economy.
In order for their brand to attract producers, agricultural cooperatives need to have strong websites. There are hundreds of thousands of lending agencies but the most successful ones stand out with quality content.
It’s vital that agricultural cooperatives tailor their web content to speak directly to the producer. Most agricultural enterprises aren’t run by someone in a suit sitting in a large office. They are owner-operators who work the land and manage the livestock, even as CEOs. Learn some of the ways the Americaneagle.com content writing team has helped agricultural cooperatives connect with their clientele.
1. Create content that is local and relatable
Earn more business from producers by showing them you are a part of their community. Building location-specific pages is an easy way to get started and it is also a good opportunity to enhance your website and site rank with Search Engine Optimization (SEO.) Legacy Ag Credit, for instance, used keyword research and other SEO best practices to make their brand more relatable.
To help customers from Gilmer, Texas discover them faster, the company mentions on their site that they are only a short distance from a historic museum in the city.
Storytelling and sharing localized success-driven content are great ways to make connections. “Rags to riches” storytelling is commonly used in business storytelling, but successful companies take it a step further. Showcase a farmer or rancher who grew their operation but also created new ideas that benefited the agricultural industry as a whole.
Providing a community service can also be impactful. Plains Land Bank awards four $2,000 scholarships every year to high school seniors pursuing a degree in agriculture. The business believes in encouraging the next generation of agriculture producers and they offer incentives for students in several local counties. With content, Plains Land ensures the community not only knows they offer scholarships, but also that they do it because of their belief in the youth of local communities.
Several ag co-op’s already have the tools in place to share these stories, through network magazines and other resources. However, most companies don’t do enough to incorporate their brand messaging. Americaneagle.com content writers take those pieces and create content to show clients and prospective clients why they should read on.
2. Talk about the benefits of a cooperative
Your existence as an agriculture cooperative presents a huge marketing advantage for obtaining new customers. As an organization owned by borrowers, co-ops allow their members to have more control than privately owned financial institutions. Use your content to upsell this fact.
While production co-ops aren’t the same as financial co-ops, they follow the same general model and implement similar content marketing tactics. For example, Meatco dedicated an entire page to talk about the advantages of a cooperative and how it improved socio-economic conditions in their community. Other organizations use news articles and blogs to promote the benefits of becoming a member. Euralis used this technique when it shared that almost ¾ of French farmers belong to at least one co-op, making it the country’s predominant agricultural model.
Highlighting co-op programming like cash patronage shows you have something different to offer. Prove to producers that you can provide incentives that other financial institutions can’t. Cooperative organizations can create content surrounding cash patronage by explaining how a borrower buys stock in the cooperative and receives the initial investment back when a loan is paid. Any banking or lending firm can advertise low interest rates, but specialty programming is what makes you unique.
3. Provide "non-corporate" corporate messaging
Make sure your members hear from leaders at the top. A quarterly letter from the CEO is useful, but even more impactful is a message that includes commentary from your elected board of directors, who are farmers and ranchers, just like other members.
When you need to share important information, create messaging that eases your members’ friction points. Many prospective borrowers are coming to you to buy something (a farm, livestock, piece of equipment, etc.). What better way to earn their business than to educate them with expert insight?
Let your producers take the messaging reigns with personal videos, social media posts and feature blogs. After all, your members govern the organization, so why not give them an easy way to contribute to your messaging? You can use social media platforms to share images, videos and other borrower organizations or create a featured page on your website.
- Texas Farm Credit had a great idea when it created a virtual agriculture showcase. This allowed youth ag presenters to display their projects and passions through a video, as COVID-19 has cancelled many in-person competitions.
- Farm Credit East took a unique angle and produced a Facebook video featuring one of their loan officers financing her family operation.
- Blog posts created by nine expert women in agriculture were listed by CHS Inc. The article even mentioned that one of the blogs has created trending social media hashtags: #FarmHer #GrowHer #RanchHer.
Americaneagle.com has built thriving agricultural cooperative websites using the best practices described above and we can help you too. If you’re in need of expert content creation that earns new clients and develops lasting connections, our copywriting team will work with you to meet your content needs.
Explore our digital marketing services and get started on developing a better web presence today.