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Fieldays fever – top tips to create online content for a rural audience

By HGB , May 18 2016
With Fieldays approaching, it’s timely to think about your approach to marketing to a rural audience. HGB’s brand journalist, Ann Graham, offers some top tips on creating content that gets results (hint: brand persona).

When my mother-in-law headed off on a cruise around the Mediterranean one year, my husband kindly offered to house sit. Having grown up breathing country air in the shadows of Mt Pirongia, six weeks on a farm didn’t faze him. I on the other hand, had not.

While I’m more than happy to throw on a Swanndri and I’ve always owned a pair of gumboots – I’m a city girl through and through.

But this experience taught me the importance of understanding the audience you’re marketing to. To get a real understanding of what your audience needs and wants, it’s important to step into their shoes… or gumboots as the case may be.

Here in the HGB office, we’re working with several clients in preparation for the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek. While exhibitors are priming tractors and practicing equipment demos, we’re designing banners, creating brochures, placing adverts and writing content for a rural audience.

Having taken the time to get to know our clients’ audiences, we thought it was an opportune time to share our give top tips on marketing for a rural audience:

  1. Understand your buyer personas

To create meaningful marketing and communications solutions for our clients, we need to know the buyers they’re marketing to. And we mean really know. That’s where we use our buyer persona template. This template helps us understand the goals and challenges of each buyer, where they go for information and how we can solve their problems. It means we can make sure our marketing and communications material and tone of voice is totally tailored to them, making it more engaging and effective.’

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2. Develop your brand voice

While it’s important to know who you are writing for, you also want to stay true to your values and brand voice while doing so. This is where developing your brand persona comes into play. At HGB our brand persona is Harriet, a fictional person with an interesting story and attributes that personify our brand. Developing your own brand voice will help you better connect with your rural audience in a way that is meaningful to them and true to your brand.

3. Choose the right publication

Research the publications your rural audience reads and take the time to read a few copies as well. This will help you to get an idea of the style and tone of voice of the language that is most effective. Adopt this language for adverts, editorials and advertorials and adjust your message. Make your content relevant. One size doesn’t fit all.

4. Time it right

Rural lifestyle and sleep ins don’t tend to go hand in hand. Rather, you can expect your rural audience to be up with the sunrise, if not before. Think about this when writing and distributing content via social media. If it’s your rural audience you want to attract with your current Facebook campaign, make sure you do your research and find out when they’re online. It may not be when you think!

5. Getting results

To ensure you’re marketing to your audience in the most successful way possible, you need to take the time to get to know them first. Spending time reading what they read, researching their interests and activities will help you to write, create and produce marketing material that gets results.

While I’ve yet to learn to drive a tractor, I’m a dab hand at opening and closing gates and not a bad shot when it comes to shooting turkeys, but that’s another story.

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in September 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

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