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As Americans’ schedules become ever more packed and their lives become ever more fast-paced, they’re going to increasingly rely on take-out, pre-made meals, and meal replacements—snacks, protein bars, smoothies—to get them through the day.
If you’re a small-scale produce farmer, this trend toward the convenient is a little unnerving. Of course, some consumers will always purchase fruits and vegetables, and the U.S. government will always provide security. Nonetheless, for the sake of your business, you want American consumers to eat as many genuine meals as possible.
That’s why we’re here to provide sound advice to help you improve your advertising efforts. If there’s one thing we want you to get out of this, it’s a repertoire of tactics to minimize wasted ad spend. At the core of this goal is excluding irrelevant audiences from seeing your pay-per-click (PPC) ads in the Google search results.
A great way to accomplish this is by understanding keyword intent. Let’s say you primarily sell root vegetables: carrots, beets, radishes, and so on. You don’t necessarily want to show your ad to someone who searches “root vegetables” because there’s a good chance he’s simply looking to learn more about them. If he sees an ad for your farm, it’s unlikely that he’ll click. As a result, your click-through rate (CTR) drops and your Quality Score suffers—effectively hurting your ad rank and pushing up your cost per click (CPC). Wariness of broad keywords like “root vegetables” will save you a lot of money and improve your ad performance.
So, which keywords should you bid on? Answer: the longer, more specific ones known as long-tail keywords. “Fresh root vegetables near me” and “root vegetable farm Boston MA” are two great examples of long-tail keywords that you can attach to your ads. These demonstrate much more readiness to buy—otherwise known as commercial intent—and, therefore, will drive higher CTR. In turn, you’ll see your ad rank rise while your CPC falls!
Geotargeting, also known as local PPC, is a feature you can activate in your Google Ads account to limit your ads to only show to prospects in particular areas. For small-scale farmers, this probably means limiting your ads to show only in your town and the surrounding ones. Again, the endgame here is the elimination of wasted spend—if you don’t use geotargeting and someone across the country clicks on your ad, you have to cough up money to Google and see nothing in return. Use geotargeting to draw a more relevant audience and drive more conversions.
Using some kind of special offer to acquire consumers’ email addresses is a tried and true marketing method. Here’s how it works. The first thing you need to do is create a landing page—the page where someone ends up after clicking on your PPC ad. On this page, tell the prospect that she will receive a free produce voucher in exchange for her email address. Then, going forward, you use promotional emails to make sure she becomes a paying customer. Plus, as your email list grows, you will create a community of local consumers who love your farm. They’ll tell their friends and family about the promotional deals you send via email, and your customer base grows from there.
Speaking of a local community, we recommend that you maintain an active social media presence. With an Instagram account, you can publish super aesthetically-pleasing photos of your produce and flag them with custom hashtags. On Facebook, use your own produce as ingredients in a quick, fun recipe video—people love these. You can also use Facebook to create a business page where you interact with customers and your customers interact with each other. This contributes further to the feeling of community and allows you to directly receive insightful customer feedback.
For more online advertising advice, read the WordStream blog.