The agribusiness sector is heavily dependent on external factors: climate change affects crop rotation, and the cost of energy resources necessitates the implementation of new technologies. Furthermore, finding a market for product distribution, organizing efficient logistics and storage can be challenging, not to mention changes in legislation, tax policy, quality standards, and environmental regulations. That’s precisely why developing a marketing strategy can help find partners, automate the processes of analysis, and construct a marketing budget.

This is a comprehensive article on online marketing for agribusiness.

Marketing case study for agribusiness
Marketing case for the farming sector
Marketing case study for agro grain trader

Description

Николай Лукашук

About the Author

Niсk Lukashuk has been in marketing since 2013. He’s been the director of Marketing Link agency since 2017. Before that, he held leadership positions. He’s a certified specialist in Google, Microsoft, and Meta, and teaches marketing with programs approved by the Ministry of Education. He has case studies from projects in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Ukraine.

Agribusiness Features

The agribusiness market is mostly stable and has a high entry threshold. New players, even with innovative solutions, find it hard to get attention from big corporate clients. Experienced market players are cautious about new things because they have long-term partners.

Because of the high entry threshold, expanding sales geography and entering new markets is slower than in other sectors. It requires separate studies on:

  • seasonality (which affects demand);
  • competition and local unique selling propositions (USPs).

Seasonality, Expanding Geo, New Markets

Let’s look at the “Herbicides” product category as an example. According to Google Trends, the demand peak is:

  • in Italy — from mid-March to mid-June;
  • in the USA — April and May.
Seasonality, geographic expansion, new markets for the agricultural sector
Marketing for farmers

In some product categories or locations, the season happens several times a year.

So, people start looking for a product months before they buy it. To predict demand, you need to always have active ads and plan a bigger marketing budget for times when demand is high.

Similarly, in some regions, people are more closed to new imports or considering new suppliers. Use the Pareto principle where 20% of efforts give 80% of the result. Count separately: ad channels, regions. First, focus on what already increases sales.

USP, Product, Price

Building these three key components is strengthened by a strategy supported by constant updates: best practices and marketing steps.

Best Practice

  • Have a strong USP that makes your agribusiness stand out;
  • Ensure the quality of your product or service meets market demands;
  • Formulate a pricing strategy with competitive and profitable prices, considering production costs and market demand.

Marketing Steps:

  • Collect questions from customers and address them not only in sales scripts but also on your website in relevant sections, in FAQ answers, on social media, thereby building a knowledge base.
  • Form user journeys by systematically putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, thinking about how they would search for information, who else they saw in the search results or on specialized resources, what information is missing, and include this in your marketing strategy.

For example, the objection “too expensive” regarding grain cleaner can be addressed by posting an article with calculations on your blog and launching retargeting.

For instance, grade 4 wheat costs $130 per ton. On average, grades 2 and 3 cost $205. If you clean grade 4 wheat, you can get up to 90% of grades 2 and 3 wheat.

400 tons of grade 4 wheat without cleaning can be sold for $130 * 400 = $52,000, but if cleaned with a separator costing $3,000 (a machine with a capacity of 15 tons/hour will clean this volume in a few days), then 400 tons of grade 4 will become 360 tons (400*90%) of grades 2-3, which can be sold for $205 * 360 = $73,800.

The grain cleaner will pay for itself in the first season.

How to find promotion ideas for agribusiness

Analyze your competitors and find interesting ideas.

  • Analyze traffic in SimilarWeb: volume and channels.
  • Check post boosts, creatives, and competitor ads in Meta Ad Library.
  • Identify competitors’ keywords in organic and paid search in SerpStat (Ahrefs, Semrush).

Peek at competitors’ keywords in ads in Google Ads Planner.

How to find promotional ideas for agribusinesses for agribusinesses for agribusinesses

What works best in a marketing strategy for promoting agribusiness

A comprehensive strategy in 2024 includes:

  • Search Ads
  • Targeted advertising on social media
  • SEO promotion

At first glance, all the tools are classic, but they have undergone important changes.

Search Ads

Search advertising fits all agribusinesses and related fields (logistics, storage). Our team has gathered tips on how to advertise new products and those with existing demand.

Keyword Segmentation

Segment keywords and ad strategy. Let’s look at how buyers search for herbicides, for example.

By type:

  • pre-emergence herbicides;
  • post-emergence herbicides.

By purpose:

  • herbicides for corn;
  • herbicides for potatoes;
  • herbicides for onions;
  • herbicides for beets;
  • and so on.

By brand:

  • specific manufacturers;
  • specific names.

Combined:

  • post-emergence herbicide for potatoes;
  • post-emergence herbicide for pumpkins;
  • post-emergence herbicides for corn.

For comparison, “post-emergence herbicide for pumpkins” is searched 2.5 times more than “herbicide for pumpkins”. Also, post-emergence is searched later than pre-emergence due to seasonality.

Set up separate campaigns for separate types of categories—this makes it easier to scale ad campaigns and fewer problems due to budget distribution through different demand.

Implement separate filter pages on the website, according to demand and priorities—this will save on advertising costs and improve conversion.

Perfect content for a landing page

Check and improve the content of the landing pages you advertise.

Page check criteria:

  • Check the H1 meta tag on the page: it should have the keyword and only be one.
  • Check if there are Title and Description meta tags on the page, and if they have the keyword. We have an exhaustive article about meta tags in our blog.
  • Check the content in Google’s index, or in Google Search Console — does Google see the entire page with content.
  • Check if there are keywords on the page. Add them if they are missing.

Reasons to allocate resources to content work:

  • If the page has relevant keywords, it will have a high quality score. A high quality score reduces the cost per click. A lower cost per click with the same budget will give more clicks, and more clicks mean more sales.
  • If the page has relevant keywords, it will improve ranking, not only useful for PPC but also for SEO.
  • If the page has relevant keywords, a user who comes to it from other channels (social media, email, etc.) will convert better into a buyer.

Non-commercial Requests in Advertising

Don’t ignore informational requests. Yes, they are less relevant than commercial ones, but they work.

Let’s see how ad campaigns on informational keywords increased inquiries through Google Ads by 200% a month.

For example, in the USA, the search “grain cleaners” gets only 720 people a month, but there are variations:

  • “grain sorters”
  • “grain cleaners for sale”
  • “grain cleaning equipment”
  • “grain cleaners” with types of grains, etc.

Demand in Google for ads on these commercial keywords (with all low-frequency variations) is low — 5000 requests a month. Even with an optimistic estimate of a 10% CTR, that’s only about 10 qualified leads a month, which is very few. What to do?

Pay attention to farmers’ problems:

  • “wheat with ergot,” solution searched by 6600 people a month;
  • “corn with vomitoxin”: searched by 880 people a month;
  • “powdery mildew” — 14,800 people a month;
  • “septoria leaf spot” — 2400 people a month.

You can add these solution keywords to media ads, in articles describing solutions, advertise these articles, and then insert ad blocks in the articles, set up remarketing, and ask for emails.

Use ads for related directions.

For example, if the main direction is selling grain dryers. “Grain dryer buy” is hardly searched; there are a few hundred users looking for mini, mobile ones. Instead, users are searching for separators, elevators, silos, and other related things, and these keywords are much better for targeting.

If you have related directions, advertise them all. This will expand the list for remarketing, and in remarketing, you can show specifically grain dryers.

If there are no related directions, use a non-direct keyword, for example, “silos for grain” to show an ad for “grain dryers.” The ad will have a lower quality score and a slight overpay per click, but if you get a visitor, they will be interested, and then they will go into the remarketing audience.

Paid Social

Regularly update content on social networks. Even 1-2 ads a month are much better than the last post a year ago. This shows users you are active.

Meta Ads for B2B

For B2B in Meta Ads, launch:

  • ads for Instant Form leads (with automatic forwarding to email/CRM manager);
  • ads for conversions to website traffic.

Test several audience segments at once. If the cost difference for target inquiries through Instant Forms differs from conversions through the website by 30+% at the same cost of inquiry — keep the best type of campaign.

Test ads only during working hours, and test mobile and stationary devices separately.

Meta for B2C

In B2C, Meta Ads are not profitable in all areas: on average, the price per click is higher than in search networks, and the conversion is lower. However, we still recommend clients to keep active remarketing.

For e-commerce, where purchases are immediate and there are more marginal product groups, launch:

  • Catalog Sales
  • Advantage Catalog Sales

For services, first assess the acceptable cost of attracting a customer, launch test campaigns, check the quality of inquiries and conversion to sales, and then scale.

LinkedIn Ads

Launch LinkedIn Ads in markets of Europe, the USA, Canada, and for specific user positions related to export.

What you can launch in LinkedIn:

  • target ads at employees of specific companies,
  • at employees holding specific positions,
  • combine companies with positions,
  • click prices range from $2 to $5-10 depending on the position and region.

Quora Ads, Reddit Ads 

Quora Ads and Reddit Ads are suitable for advertising in the US and Canadian markets.

Launch remarketing for branding. Think about which topics or subreddits your target audience reads, and test ads in them.

Set enough burn rate to evaluate the sample, at least for 500 clicks.

SEO

SEO in 2024 still has its pros and cons, but they have changed a bit.

Yes: Some users still trust organic results more. But: Google has updated EEAT factors, and now, besides useful information, it must be trustworthy, so you need to indicate authorship, certifications, and set up the technical part: micro-markups, interlinking, etc.
Yes: SEO works long-term, and over 2+ years, the cost of attracting a customer becomes cheaper than in search ads. But: New sites in competitive areas need 1-2 years to see significant traffic growth.
Yes: Linkbuilding works, specifically regular posting of PR articles, increases brand recognition overall.But: Google has set clear distinctions for placement platforms, considering geo, audience, and the weight of the donor domain, making platform selection harder.
Yes: Technical SEO work, especially speed, positively impacts user conversion from all channels.But: There may be additional costs: hiring developers, paid services like CloudFlare, better hosting.
Yes: SEO content work positively impacts the quality score of the target page, and search ads work more effectively.But: ROI takes significantly longer compared to ads.

SEO Tips

  • Plan your SEO work as soon as your ads start working and bring in customers. Ads alone won’t bring organic traffic, although they can add bonuses in the form of behavioral factors.
  • Hire SEO specialists in advance when developing a new site. Additional tasks for developers at the development stage are completed faster and cheaper, plus you reduce the risk of site blocking.

Exhibitions, trade fairs

Exhibitions and trade fairs are an important part of an online marketing strategy.

Preparing for an Exhibition in a Digital Strategy

Notify your target audience about the event in advance: on social media, in the News section on your website, in remarketing. This will allow visitors planning or wanting to interact with you in a less formal setting to discuss necessary details or terms.

Update information after the exhibition in the same channels: how the exhibition went, who participated, especially if you had a booth – that’s a double success, what news you learned and what you will implement, congratulate new partners.

Organize interaction between online marketing specialists and the sales department.

Interaction of Marketing with the Sales Department

Organize interaction between online marketing specialists and the sales department.

For example, after a successful exhibition, you have 1000 contacts in the form of business cards or forms with phone numbers and emails.

You can use this contact base beyond email newsletters and calls:

  • as an audience in Google Ads;
  • as an audience in Meta Ads.

This also applies to existing contact bases.

Apply the rule of more than seven touches, and before the sales department calls the target contact, show them more ads, so the contact:

  1. Remembers you from the exhibition or just from the website.
  2. Saw the booklet, stand, and other promo material.
  3. Received an email.
  4. Received a text message.
  5. Saw media ads through Google (e.g., reading Forbes, Agro news—all sites with Google AdSense code showing media Google ads, practically every site ad is a new touch).
  6. Saw ads on Facebook.
  7. Saw ads on Instagram.
  8. Saw ads on Meta Audience Network (includes more than 55,000 sites or networks, including TikTok).
  9. The sales department will be calling an already warmed-up contact, and the conversion to a successful sale increases.

Ads based on the database work effectively when there are more than 1000+ contacts in the audience. If there are fewer than 50 contacts after the exhibition, that’s okay too; you can have a general audience for exhibitions with the message—”met at the exhibition,” without specifying a particular event.

Keep in the audience and update:

  • the list of all contacts obtained through the website;
  • separate lists for separate contact bases, which you accessed through partners, etc.;
  • a separate list of leads from CRM, who have gone through the first stages of the funnel, are clearly target, but have not yet purchased a product or service;
  • a separate list of current clients, to whom you can both upsell and remind of the need for a repeat purchase, for example, fertilizers or expanding an elevator, etc.

Innovative Marketing

Let’s look at some examples of marketing trends in the agro sector. You might find some inspiration.

Product Subscription Boxes—not just delivery, but actual subscriptions to baskets of fruits and vegetables have become a very popular trend.

Organic Products—the rising demand for organic products has led to success for companies like Organic Valley and Whole Foods Market chains. The demand for organic is expected to continue growing, so launching separate organic brands in addition to the main production can be a good idea.

Alternative Products—Beyond Meat introduced alternatives to plant-based meat. Essentially, this is repackaging a plant product that now costs as much as an animal product. Think about how you can package your main product so it can be sold at a higher price.

Modern Technologies—California Olive Ranch distinguished itself with modern olive oil production technologies: 99% of waste is recycled.

New Trendy Products—such products are unlikely to become the main driver but can significantly help the marketing strategy. Innovative business methods will be written about in the media, they can be presented on TV, attract investors, catch customers’ attention, and introduce them to your main product, and much more. From recent trends, these are miniature pets, vegetables unusual for the region like multicolored potatoes, types of sweet potatoes, Chinese pears, Sumo Citrus mandarins, aprium, sharafuga, etc. Think about what can be an innovative product for your company and use it to stand out in the market and sell your main product.

Cases

Marketing Link specializes in advertising and promoting agribusinesses, with successful experience in online marketing:

  • From equipment, feed for farms—to fish, chicken, and ostrich farming.
  • From service centers and spare parts for agricultural equipment—to innovative technical solutions, launching new products in the US and Canadian markets.
  • From plant protection products, seeds, and mineral fertilizers—to launching individual brands in the market.
  • From local transportation—to international, storage, and drying of grain.
  • From local thematic events—to advertising international agro associations.

#1 Manufacturer of Grain Cleaners

Our client has been manufacturing grain cleaners and color sorters for grain cleaning in the USA for over 7 years. The main specialization is grain cleaners.

  • Service: Google ads, Meta: targeting in Facebook and Instagram Ads, retargeting in Quora, Reddit Ads.
  • Region: USA, Canada, Brazil.

Number of inquiries from Google Ads


increased by 250% monthly

Number of sales from SEO


increased by 1500% over 5 years

Marketing Case for a Manufacturer of Grain Cleaning Separators
Marketing case for the agricultural sector

We started working in 2017 with the main task of scaling results while maintaining a specific maximum CPL. We began with Google Ads, but when we reached peak performance, we incorporated Microsoft (Bing) Ads.

In Meta, we tested Instant Forms with three additional questions and conversions through the site, which we kept as main strategies. Interestingly, farmers’ wives would leave inquiries from their husbands’ profiles and contact info, so have all articles in your ads and don’t dismiss an audience that makes indirect inquiries.

В Meta тестировали Instant Forms с тремя дополнительными вопросами, конверсии через сайт, которые оставили как основные. Из интересного — жены фермеров оставляли обращения из профиля мужчин и на контакты мужчин, поэтому имейте в рекламе все статьи и не отбрасывайте аудиторию, которая делает заявки опосредованно.

For SEO, we started from scratch. Although the site had been operating for a few years, traffic and sales weren’t growing, but with us, it started growing by +50% YoY (Year-over-Year), and by the 5th year of cooperation, it grew by 1500% compared to the first year.

In Reddit and Quora, we set up remarketing because this was a launch of a new product in the market, and the new type of air separators was less popular than gravitational ones at the time.

Results from working with us:

  • Increased monthly inquiries from Google Ads by 250%.
  • Annual organic traffic growth YoY +50%, grew by +1500% over 5 years.

#2 Catfish Farm

The client is involved in cultivating environmentally clean fish. The main specialization is catfish.

  • Service: Google search ads, targeting in Facebook and Instagram Ads.
  • Region: Ukraine.

Cost per lead


reduced by 500% in B2C

Number of leads


increased by 900% in B2B

Marketing case for a clarium catfish farm

The in-house marketer was handling search ads and targeting: there was only one broad campaign for general keywords (buy fish, fish, etc.) in Google Ads and boosting posts on social media. We left the boosting to the marketer and implemented the lead generation process on Facebook ourselves. We restructured the campaigns in Google Ads, added all types of products, remarketing, separate media, and video for HoReCa interests.

Results from working with us:

  • Increased profitability from Google Ads B2C sales by ROAS from 125% to 625%.
  • Increased the number of B2B leads in the sector by 900%.

#3 Grain Trader

The client’s business area: buying and selling grain abroad turnkey (buyout, transportation, storage, drying of grain).

  • Service: Google search ads, targeting in Facebook and Instagram Ads.
  • Region: Ukraine, Europe.

Cost per lead


reduced by 67%

Number of leads


increased by 733% in Ukraine

Маркетинговый кейс для Зернотрейдера

Another agency previously handled search ads for this direction, and then it was delegated to one of the purchasing managers, so efficiency without support was declining when we were brought in for continuous optimization.

The ad campaign was only for trading activities, although the company group was expanding its fleet of grain trucks, the capacity and power of elevators, and assisting in adjacent industries.

The Marketing Link team revamped the trading campaign in Google Ads. We added campaigns for grain trucks, elevators, logistical directions, grain buyout. Inquiries that came for the grain truck service also sought other services from the company group. Concurrently, we launched Google Ads campaigns in Europe.

Results from working with us:

  • Reduced the cost per inquiry by 67%.
  • Increased the number of leads monthly by 733% (advertising budget increased by 200%).

We will conduct a free audit and suggest growth points for your business. Leave a contacts.

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