Agricultural and horticultural marketers were slow to embrace digital marketing, but that changed years ago as farmers’ Internet connectivity improved and their use of enewsletters and websites for work began climbing so dramatically. Now we’re delivering millions of digital ad impressions for clients every month, and that number will only continue climbing.
As marketers grapple with the best digital strategy to achieve their goals and meet their budgets, we have identified three primary trends:
Trend #1: Marketers embracing multiple digital platforms.
This is not necessarily a new trend, but it’s at the core of marketing today and should top every trend list. This shift toward multi-media marketing programs began years ago and continues today. Fortunately, it has been occurring long enough that data exists to verify what we all assumed – marketing campaigns using more than one platform (ie., magazine ads, enewsletter ads, website ad, direct marketing, etc.), produce greater results than do single-platform marketing campaigns.
Trend #2: Marketers increased interest in hypertargeting.
Digital marketing offers a host of benefits, one of which is the ability to target a very specific audience in a cost-effective manner. We’ve certainly seen our clients embrace this opportunity are many of them look to use audience data to speak to a smaller audience. In the ag retail market served by our CropLife brand, that means marketers are particularly interested in retailers in select states or in those offering very particular services. Clients buying from American Fruit Grower increasingly want to talk about growers producing a specific crop, rather than buying ads to reach all fruit growers.
What does this mean for you? Additional targeting capabilities are good to know about but don’t necessarily fit for every client or every campaign. As a marketer, you want to approach a buy with a clearly defined audience and, if applicable, look for a partner that has the technological capabilities and relevant audience data to help you target a particular segment of the market. (Also, keep in mind that more specific targeting often increases the price you pay for each ad impression, although it can still result in you spending less money, depending on how small your target market ends up being.)
Trend #3: The rising popularity of native advertising.
Meister Media developed its native advertising offering in 2016. The number of native ads we ran for clients doubled from 2016 to 2017, doubled again from 2017 to 2018, and will grow considerably again in 2019. Why? Quite simply, native ads work for clients.
Native advertising tremendously popular outside of agriculture because marketers in those industries started using it earlier. Now, eMarketer estimates that native advertising accounts for more than 60% of all digital advertising, and there’s no sign of them losing their popularity.
(This video offers more details about Meister Media’s native ad offering.)
What does this mean for you? At the very least, all marketers need to be familiar with what native advertising is, how it works, and give thought to whether or not it should be included in their plans. Native advertising doesn’t need to be part of every campaign or of every company’s marketing plan, but the fact that so many companies are incorporating native ads into their marketing should lead you to want to learn more.
Trend #3A: Increased use of content in marketing
I’m labelling this trend 3A because it’s so closely related to No. 3 in that companies use native advertising in order to drive traffic to the content they produce, but the two ideas stand independent of each other, too. Content creates engagement. Your customers and prospects alike are looking for information that helps them in their business, and companies that populate their website and / or social media account with educational content get more traffic as a result. Some of our clients have figured this out and adjusted their marketing according.
Bob West is Meister Media’s Commercial Digital Director. He can be reached at 440-602-9129 or firstname.lastname@example.org to answer any questions you may have about your digital marketing.