by Claire Livia Lassam
The most important thing to consider when you’re marketing your company is how to encourage engagement. In the days before social media that meant primarily chatting with people at the farmers markets to increase your chances of return customers. That allowed you to take feedback from your customers and use it to grow your business, and of course, making friends along the way with people who want to see your farm do well.
The trouble with our modern phone-addicted society is that while that is all still important, we also need to do all of that on social media. Every bloody day.
Social media can be exhausting, there’s a reason that people do it for a living, it takes time and energy, and often that’s time and energy you’d rather spend in your fields, or with your family, or doing literally anything besides staring at your phone or computer.
Which is one of the many reasons affiliate marketing can be such a great way to grow your base without spending two years of your life posting 4 photos a day on Instagram.
Affiliate marketing is when you give a product or a service to someone else, someone who usually has a large following, and ask him or her to write or post about what you do. It’s the fastest growing form of marketing, and it’s effective because it get’s people who have a large and loyal following to promote your business. Finding food bloggers, photographers, stylists, yoga instructors, healthy living promoters, and asking them to feature you is a great way to introduce your produce, meat, or flowers to an audience at the recommendation of someone they already trust.
Sourcing out local bloggers is easy and lots will do this for free if your product is great, and you accompany your free product with a charming note. Just like in the days before social media, it’s important to build relationships, and this is no different.
The downside to affiliate marketing is that lots of bloggers make a living off of sponsored posts on Instagram or blogs, they inevitably need to charge for their service. And sometimes that charge can get steep. That said, most of us without green thumbs think of farming as something of a social enterprise, worth supporting and promoting. Which is why lots of them, when asked, will give a discounted rate or do it for free if they believe in what you do. It’s also why the talented and respected food stylist Juno Kim, who has over 15K Instagram followers and normally charges a pretty penny for sponsored posts, has agreed to partner with The Vancouver Urban Farming Society! He’s kindly volunteered to turn your produce into Instagram worthy shots, and promote them on his Instagram account. So if you’re interested in seeing your social media presence increase, and have your hard work turned into gorgeous picture with you tagged in it, please contact me at Claire (at) liviasweets (dot) com and I’ll put you in touch with Juno and we’ll set you up!
Claire Livia Lassam is a Vancouver based writer, baker, and lover of farm fresh food. When she isn’t sitting in front of her computer you can find her trying to beat her record for how many berries can fit in a pie. Find her online at liviasweets.com.
Photo credit: David Arias, arias.ca