Some principles never change. This is true for affordable Internet marketing, too. Whether you call them 'marketing principles' or 'marketing truths', they are always there and must always be applied for online marketing success.
[This post has been updated and expanded from the original posted in May 2017]
In the United States it would be safe to say that most of our ancestors were farmers. In fact, if you go back far enough, almost every one of them was a farmer. Hundreds of thousands of farmers.
Okay, so there were also a few carpenters, merchants and career politicians thrown in there, but farming was statistically the prevalent occupation of our forebears. You know, tillers of the land. And the reality of farming is that regardless of what crops you wanted to harvest, there are certain principles that apply for all of them.
Marketing is Like Farming
It is also probably safe to say that most marketers, or business owners doing their own marketing, do not typically think of themselves as "farmers." (Unless you're a commercial farmer, that is.) Yet, marketing and farming share some common principles that never change. They are evergreen.
Try thinking about farming, and planting in particular, as you work on your marketing strategy. It may occur to you that the similarities are, in fact, quite numerous. Unless you are a hard-core, life-long urbanite who's never seen a farm.
If that's you, no worries! In fact, we've identified seven farming principles and practices that can be applied to marketing and lead generation.
Seven Farming Principles for Marketing
Farmers do not decide one day to grow some crops and walk out and start throwing seed around in their fields. That would be wasteful and ineffective. And the chickens would eat up a lot of it, not to mention the other birds and critters. No, good farmers have a plan and a strategy in place before they even touch the soil or plant the seed.
Ever walked on a fallow field? One that is hard, crusted over, rough and clotted with weeds? Not going to grow much with that. Preparation is essential for ensuring any chance of success when planting seed. Marketing requires preparation of your "fields", as well, and content marketing is a great way to "break up the soil."
Yep! That comes next. You need to plant seed. Lots of seed. More seed than will ever take hold and actually produce. And it has to be good seed. Good content, effectively crafted and targeted ads, compelling and relevant calls-to-action. Because the thing about planting is that poor seed, if it even takes hold, only produces poor crops. You have to have good seed and plenty of it.
This is where many farmers (well, marketers) tend to slow down or simply hide out in the farmhouse. But it is this nurturing work that will ensure the success of the seedlings. The weeds have to be pulled, the birds kept away, the other critters kept out, and plenty of water at the right times and in the right places. Nurturing is a soft, pretty word for ‘work’!
5. Being Patient
This is where too many farmer/marketers drop the ball. (Or the how, as it were.) Once you have done everything you can do with your crop you have to wait for results. This does not mean simply being inactive or sleeping till noon. There is always plenty to do on the farm. Because different seed gets planted at different times, and some fields have to be furrowed while others are being harvested. But the one thing you cannot do is make the darn seeds sprout and grow any faster! You gotta be patient.
6. Reaping the Harvest
Harvest day! And everyone's favorite part. Because, eventually, if all goes well and you don’t have drought or pestilence or evil bankers foreclosing on the farm, you will reap what you have sown. And the cool thing about the harvest is that each mature plant holds more seed. (That is, referrals, repeat business, subscription sales, etc.)
7. Repeat (Until you sell the farm!)
No one succeeds in farming with just one harvest. Farmers keep farming until they can’t farm no more. (Or until some giant agricultural conglomerate buys the farm and the farmer retires and spends his winters in St. Croix!)
Ingredients for Your Marketing Harvest
Successful farmers are not successful only because they have good seed, good weather, and good soil. These are necessary, but the most important ingredient is work.
This can be a humbling and not-so-glamorous realization for many. But without it the harvest will not come. On the other hand, with enough labor and grit and determination, even the meanest of seeds in the thinnest of soils will produce a harvest.
Take content marketing, for example. While many of the components are free to acquire and use,in order to be truly successful it requires a great deal of planning and work.
You may be a small business owner functioning as your own marketing manager, or possibly a staffer who has been tasked with publishing the company blog every week or so. Either way, you've probably discovered that, while a company blog is a good idea and it can generate traffic for your website, feeding the insatiable beast with blog post articles can be challenging.
If you are engaged in creating and publishing your own blog for your company, the challenge can be frustrating at best. You are probably busy doing everything else your job calls for and now you have this blog task to keep up with on top of all that.
Getting Help With Your Affordable Internet Marketing
There area a number of terms are used to describe Internet marketing such as "online marketing", "digital marketing", "social media marketing", and so on. All of them more or less mean using your website to market your business.
We prefer to focus on an approach known as Inbound Marketing.
"Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time." - HubSpot
This content typically takes the form of blog posts aligned with periodic ebooks and even email campaigns. The end result is a cost-effective, multi-faceted marketing strategy that not only attracts ideal leads, but deepens the relationships with customers and clients, while positioning a company as a thought leader in its industry.
Regardless of which term you prefer to use, the approach of inbound marketing holds great promise for your business.
But achieving these objectives with your content marketing strategy takes time. It won't happen with a few blog posts or great ebook. People will need to consume your content for a while before they contact you. Yet, without your content compelling them to contact you, your goals may never be met.
Content and inbound marketing work day in and day out. Once you post a blog article or upload a Slideshare piece, it is always there, working to educate and compel people to become leads. And when they do come to you, they are educated, informed, and much more likely to make the decision to buy.
Get your free Complimentary Inbound Marketing Session to help you make an informed decision or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238.
And take a moment to download this informative resource entitled"10 Powerful Inbound Marketing Charts" to support your own marketing efforts!