It is imperative to understand how to secure a sustainable future for Africa. Particularly, agribusinesses play a critical role in Africa’s economic development. An article by The Conversation explains that this is because agribusinesses already have ready markets for their output. After all, the country has diverse local markets for food. This enables local farming operations to pursue growth in a less competitive environment before they can expand to international markets. In addition, today’s African youth are equipped with valuable traits for the field of agribusiness. With their self-awareness in business, they can enhance existing manufacturing and retail processes to ultimately improve Africa’s agricultural sector.
Of course, to pursue growth, agribusinesses should not only address environmental challenges—like drastic changes in rainfall and weather patterns— that threaten the agriculture sector, they should likewise prioritise digital marketing initiatives. Digital marketing provides such companies with the means to increase visibility and widen their customer base. So on that note, this article has listed four important strategies that agribusinesses should adopt.
1. Be active on social media platforms
Having a strong social media presence is essential as it can help agribusinesses reach their target audience. In a 2022 study titled ‘Advancing Smallholder Agribusiness in Botswana Through Smart Digital Innovation’ by the University of Applied Sciences Konstanz, it’s shown that various agribusinesses use Facebook and Instagram to connect with customers, provide significant product information, and share training and experiences with other farmers. Through these platforms, agribusinesses are able to improve the marketing of their farm products.
Now, one way you can maximise social media platforms is by running a cross-platform campaign. For instance, you can post short-form educational content on Instagram via Reels and then upload a longer video on YouTube on how you harvest your produce. By meeting your audience across different social media sites, you can increase the awareness and conversations surrounding your goods.
2. Conduct a PPC audit to improve your website’s SEO
Aside from leveraging social media, the referenced University of Applied Sciences Konstanz study states the importance for agribusinesses to have a website that functions as a digital marketplace. This way, consumers can access, choose, and purchase agricultural products that they wish to receive. All that considered, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising entails presenting paid adverts on search engine results pages. Meanwhile, SEO (search engine optimisation) focuses on boosting organic traffic to your site. When combined, SEO and PPC can refine your agribusiness’ organic keyword strategy, and, subsequently, lead to greater visibility for your products.
This is why a PPC audit, where you evaluate the performance of your paid advertising strategy by looking at the cost and returns, is necessary for your digital marketing plan. SEO agency Ayima outlines how a PPC audit enables you to comb through and review keywords that are used in your website. Here, you can ensure that there aren’t any keyword duplicates and that all keywords are contained within the most relevant ad groups. Likewise, the audit also allows you to check that the ad copy on both your website’s landing page and search ads are geared towards your specific ad groups. By conducting a PPC audit, you can strengthen your website's SEO and make sure you can reach your target audience effectively.
3. Promote your products on eCommerce platforms
Currently, enterprises in Africa have developed platforms that enable agribusinesses and farmers to sell and trade food and other agricultural products. As shared by a report on smart farming solutions, Selina Wamucii is one such company whose app allows agribusinesses or farmer groups to offer their goods to customers around the world. The digital platform guarantees that agribusinesses can focus on their production since Selina Wamucii ensures the safety of sales and payment processes.
That said, promoting your products can be done in a number of ways to increase your visibility in eCommerce platforms. For one, you can offer to deliver samples that the consumer can enjoy at home. This way, you can create a rapport with potential customers and may even trigger future purchases. Now, if the platform has a rewards programme, then you can participate and provide exclusive promos of your top products to consumers. This can create value for your goods and build consumer trust in your agribusiness.
4. Utilise artificial intelligence (AI)
Today, East Africa’s agricultural sector is utilising AI to drive agricultural output and impede the effects of climate change. Specifically, AI applications are helping identify crop diseases and connect farmers to marketplaces. Take for example UjuziKilimo, which is an AI platform that can give smallholder farmers and agribusinesses access to key market insights.
Interestingly, AI has likewise transformed the market structure for agricultural products. According to a 2022 Mathematical Problems in Engineering report on the marketing strategy for agricultural products, customers can participate in product design and development and learn more about the agricultural product lifecycle through AI tech. By using virtual reality headsets, for instance, you can present the entire product growth process to your customers, transport them to specific scenarios (such as the harvesting experience), and ultimately catch their attention.
By incorporating the above digital marketing strategies into your agribusiness’ marketing plan, you can increase your reach and cultivate better customer relationships.
Exclusively written for THEAGRIPRENEUR.org
By: Rhoslyn Josie