Ag Retail In The YouTube Age

With all due respect to the British New Wave band and one-hit wonder, The Buggles, video did NOT kill the radio star. Wounded, maybe, but not dead. And while I have my CSI detective hat on, I have real evidence that video also didn’t kill the print star. Proof of that can be found inside the pages of CropLife Magazine, which remains the heart and soul of the CropLife Media Group (CLMG). Ag retail’s most important topics and issues continue to be covered each month in the printed issues of this publication, including in-depth analysis by our experienced editors and leading industry experts.

But online video HAS carved a place in today’s mainstream media. With online video consumption growing at an astonishing rate, one should look no further than YouTube, the second-most-popular search engine. I’m convinced. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to YouTube to watch a video I’ve heard about, then eight videos later I wonder where the time has gone? Or 15 videos later…or 30? Video is being used in so many ways and can be delivered anywhere your target audience is. To better understand the state of online video, consider the following statistics released from comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world:

  • In the month of December (2009), 178 million people watched 33.2 billion videos.
  • The average viewer watches 187 videos per month in the U.S.
  • Viewers tuned into 2 billion more videos in Dec. ’09 vs. Nov ’09.
  • The number of people viewing online video jumped nearly 20% in 2009.

CLMG has joined this video frenzy. CropLifeTV, video central on CropLife.com, shows coverage of industry events, interviews with top ag retailers, product demonstrations, and more. But regardless of whether you’re an ag retailer or a media company, it’s important to think holistically about how to incorporate video into your communications strategy. Here are 10 ways you can boost your business by using online videos:

  1. Welcome video. Consider putting a “welcome” video on your Web site. What better way to engage your Web visitors the moment they arrive on your home page than with a brief welcome message. This can establish an immediate connection and quickly build trust and rapport.
  2. “Quick tips” series. By posting video tips, you’re enhancing your expert status within ag retail, and establishing yourself as the “go-to” person for your grower-customers.
  3. Training videos. Using video as a training tool engages the participants, enables new techniques and practices to be shown in a short period, and standardizes the technical information disseminated to your employees and grower-customers.
  4. New employee orientation. Either professionally produced or employee generated – video is a great way to get new employees to listen and to understand. Using a video also means that every new employee will receive the same information. The employee can be shown the video upon being hired, leaving the managers free to work.
  5. Product demonstrations. You could create a video showing your grower-customers exactly how to apply crop inputs you sell, helping them maximize their yields. This would likely make them more inclined to renew orders the following season. Provide product-related information to aid use, including how-to for complex products that require training or further help.
  6. Events. Don’t leave the ag dealership without your Flip cam – or any portable camera that you can take to events and conferences. They are a great opportunity to capture what is going on in the industry and to communicate this knowledge with your employees and grower-customers.
  7. Testimonials. Of course, customer testimonials and video case studies have huge value as external marketing tools but don’t forget to communicate these valuable stories to your employees. Use networking opportunities to tape brief customer or colleague testimonials. Video testimonials are far more powerful than text alone.
  8. Virtual tour. A virtual tour is an easy, economical way to demonstrate to your grower-customers what your ag retail facility is all about. Showcase some of your key equipment, services, and products, while at the same time giving visual evidence that you respect the environment.
  9. Take advantage of YouTube. If hosting videos on your own server is not an option, consider YouTube. Essentially one big social network, YouTube is the most searched site after Google and just as easy to use. View one of the many tutorials on YouTube to learn how to create a channel for your business, subscribe to ag-related channels, upload videos, and even embed them on your own site.
  10. CropLife Video and PrecisionAg Video. View industry interviews, product reviews, and event coverage.

Leave a Reply

Matt Hopkins Stories
Matt Hopkins5 Misguided Reasons Why Ag Retailers Are Not Using Social Media
June 2, 2014
These most commonly cited reasons for not embracing social media need to be re-examined. Read More
Matt HopkinsHow iPads Are Transforming Customer Service At Dow AgroSciences
March 12, 2014
Dow AgroSciences' Tiffany Galloway discusses how iPads and mobile apps have completely changed the way the company's sales force interacts with customers. Read More
Matt HopkinsPrecision Agriculture: 6 Mobile Use Trends To Watch
March 3, 2014
The convergence of precision agriculture and mobile technology is highlighted by several key trends. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
ManagementMissouri Experts: Spring Planting Slow Start Won’…
April 20, 2015
In the first of the agronomy teleconferences with Extension specialists, University of Missouri Extension climatologist Pat Guinan said the slow Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
Industry NewsCooperative CHS Reports Net Income Of $471.5 Million Fo…
April 20, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has announced company net income Read More
Industry NewsCHS Insurance Names New Director Of Sales
April 17, 2015
Bryan Lewis has been named director of sales for CHS Insurance, the nation’s largest agribusiness insurance broker and full-service insurance Read More
Mature Waterhemp in Corn
HerbicidesGenetic Literacy Project: There’s No Such Thing A…
April 17, 2015
Read the latest “analysis” on GMOs from Consumer Reports and you’ll “learn” that glyphosate, the chemical developed by Monsanto (its Read More
HerbicidesNew Resistance To 2,4-D Discovered In Australia
April 17, 2015
In a world-first case of herbicide resistance, researchers have confirmed that sowthistle weed in the south east of South Australia Read More
ManagementNews From RTP Company Visits and Growers Buying Older S…
April 16, 2015
Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss recent trips to the Research Triangle Park area and market seed sales trends. Read More
soybean field
StewardshipNew ASABE Standard Establishes Framework For Sustainabl…
April 16, 2015
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has initiated a project to develop a new standard to establish Read More
MicronutrientsSouthern States: An Inside Look At Our Tissue Sampling …
April 15, 2015
Remember learning about the food pyramid in school? The nutritional diagram recommends the proper amount of nutrients you need on Read More
Industry NewsArysta Adds New U.S. Fungicides Marketing Manager
April 15, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently hired Deneen Sebastian as its Marketing Manager for U.S. Row Crops, Fungicides. Most recently, Sebastian Read More
FungicidesVerdesian Launches Phosphite-Based Cereal Fungicide
April 14, 2015
A new, phosphite-based fungicide designed for improved suppression of deoxynivalenol (DON) in wheat and barley infected by Fusarium head blight Read More
Mature Waterhemp in Corn
HerbicidesSURVEY: Close To 90% Of Growers Battle Weed Resistance
April 14, 2015
Herbicide resistance management continues to be a priority for corn and soybean growers, and they’re working together more effectively to Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
StewardshipFMC Corp. Joins Sustainable Agriculture Alliance
April 14, 2015
FMC Corp. has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a multi-stakeholder initiative working to define, measure and Read More
Industry NewsArysta Adds Two To Goëmar Sales Team
April 14, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced two new additions to the Goëmar sales team: Steve Kelly, Technical Service Manager – Read More
Valley Variable Rate Irrigation
Precision AgVariable Rate Irrigation Gains Followers
April 14, 2015
Irrigation systems have had the ability to apply different amounts of water throughout a field for decades, using timers that Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Gr…
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
Soybean field
Industry NewsThree Ag Co-ops Poised For Possible Merger
April 13, 2015
Following months of study and preparations, the Board of Directors for United Farmers Coop (UFC), Farmers Elevator Cooperative (FEC) and Read More
Eric SfiligojAgriculture Braces For More Belt-Tightening
April 13, 2015
Spring is in full bloom across the U.S. and ag retailers and their grower-customers are busily getting into high gear. Read More