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Advertising $$s

Posted by myfamilysfarm 5b (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 27, 12 at 15:59

If you lived 15-20 miles away from nearest large farmers market, how would YOU spend your advertising dollars? We have a farm within that distance and I'm considering how to get people to the farm.

Image this farm to be a brand-new farm with no history. This may help others just getting started, and possibly some older farms that need a boost.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Advertising $$s

is this on a busy road? i would start with a roadside sign. then advertise a bit on cl.


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RE: Advertising $$s

Back long lane (1/3 mile)on busy county blacktop road. I have inherited an 'arrow' sign that needs work on one side. We have it at the road now, too heavy to move often and not on wheels.

Does anyone advertise on radio or TV? If so, how much does it cost to get started?


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RE: Advertising $$s

animals, chickens, bunnies, a sheep a goat etc kids love it maybe ice cream treats , eat a treat watch the chickens maybe look at a gardening display buy some produce


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But how do you get the information out to people?


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facebook. It's free. That helps get in the younger ones.
Also lots of janky looking home made signs. I don't know why, but when I buy "slick" printed professional signs, no one stops. But slap some paint on a board and nail it up to a tree and people read it and come. Maybe it's the "quaint" factor?


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RE: Advertising $$s

I have a little experience with radio ads in an unrelated business. Over the past ten years, ad prices have gone up, but at the same time the radio listeners have been diluted by satellite radio, so you reach fewer people. It does not work as well as it used to.

If you look at the pricing for TV ads on cable, the production is what's expensive. You can get a 30-second cable tv ad spot for ridiculously cheap, but it's cheap because so few people will see it.

And this isn't ad advise, but if you are going to try to get a flow of people to your farm, make sure you have adequate liability insurance. People these days love to slip, fall, and sue. I'd say one million dollars minimum coverage. Review your coverage with your agent and make sure they don't prohibit using your property as a business open to the public.


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RE: Advertising $$s

My insurance policy was for either $1m or $2m, so I should be covered, thanks for reminding us.

I'm considering what type of advertising would get the most people for the least money.

coleRobbie, I'm sure your experience is helpful, even if it's not for a farm stand. I have absolutely NO experience.
I noticed that McD run a 30sec 2x, either in a row or with another advertiser between. Very annoying to me, but I do notice.

Sandy, I was given one of those arrow signs, doesn't look good and it needs some repair. I know the neighbors have been watching to see what we might put on the sign. Maybe I should put up some quips and change them every so often.


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RE: Advertising $$s

The only "cheap" advertising is word of mouth. If you do decide to advertise on radio, tv, or print, It is always going to be cheaper the longer you do it for. Radio spots depend on what kind of station you are going to be on. A top ranked radio station in a Major market is going to cost major dollars. A low watt AM station in your small town may be just a few bucks, but also just a few people will hear the ad. Classified ads in the local newspaper can be a rather inexpensiveway to advertise. whatever you do decide, it should probably be done for a long period of time to be the most effective. You could also try direct mail postcards with some type of freebie or major discount to get the people to your place of business.


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RE: Advertising $$s

  • Posted by magz88 5a - Central Ontario (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 23:07

Donate produce or eggs/meat to some churches or the army/navy, legion for those dinners that they have now and then and have them mention that you donated the goods. Then people have tasted and can spread the word on top of coming out.


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RE: Advertising $$s

News releases that you write and send to all the local papers. Newspapers are always looking for printed material and many will print these for free. These often lead to additional stories about your farm written by reporters

Running a classified ad for several weeks or months will bring down the price by about 70% over a one tome ad in the classifieds. This hold true for regular ads as well.

Email news letter works well as long as you have at least 100 people on your email list and Facebook advertising (do not pay to promote posts, not worth it, I have tried several times and did not get any new business)

As far as radio you might try under writing for your local National Public Radio station. NPR Listeners tend to be well educated and really into locally raised foods and you can usually get several weeks of ads for under $500.

A long time ago I looked into advertising on a local non cable station and the cheapest package they had ran around $7500 but did include videoing at least one ad spot for us which would run several times a day for 4 weeks. Considering we were netting around $12K at the time that was a bit out of our budget.

I have done well with premade banners and I bought a couple of mobile, changeable signs that seem to pull in some people and are excellent for communication what we have at any given time.

Remember all advertising is a tax write off


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I understand about the tax write off, I would like to make more than I spend. Sounds like I could definitely spend more than I would expect to make.

I'll have to check with our local papers. Our local TV station has a classified section on their web page, I'd forget ten about it. Maybe the radio stations have the same thing, I'll have to check that out.


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Word of mouth is always the best form of advertising - and it is something you cannot buy. Look at the calendar for next year and plot out when you will have the best of the best for sale. Make sure you have your advertising in place to direct people to you when you are at your peak. Their experience with you will lay the foundation for good word of mouth. After things get established then you want to advertise during your low season to expand your customer base and stretch your season. You need to really look at your budget and set aside a certain amount for advertising - either break it down each season, each month or just each year. To get the most out of advertising you have to really do the math and plan ahead (a lot like growing).

Easy advertising is to make yourself available for local media - be the expert they can interview for a story (doesn't have to be about you). Get your name in the news once each season. Its all about reminding people who you are and what you do. It doesn't have to be something elaborate or time consuming.

Years ago, in a bigger city I worked for a zoo. The PR department used to do these silly stories every other month about one of the animals. The story always made it out like that animal was special and new when in fact it had been in the collection for years. When I mentioned once to one of the marketing folks how silly this all looked they told me those simple stories increased attendance by 10 to 20 percent.


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Who are your customers? Younger 20-30's, Families 30-45's, Empty Nesters 50-65's or Older 65 plus?

Each one gets information from a different source. If you customer are younger, a website, facebook page, twitter are probably going to be helpful. If you are seeking out the older generation, then the Newspaper, radio and flyers might be better. This would be a huge generality, but quite true. When i get older people to sign up for my Online market, most always request a flyer. The younger ones want a website.

Consider a live remote from a radio station. We do one every year at our big event at our farmers market. It costs about $400 and we get 20-30 15 to 30 second spots through out the previous 5 days and then live check-ins every 30 minutes for 4 hours during the event. It really gets people there and we can see the results of the radio event for 3 to 4 weeks.

Good, easy to read signs are important. Articles to the paper, maybe focusing on what is in season are also important. We do those too for our Farmers Market.

Word of mouth is the best and the hardest one to get.

Jay


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These are all great ideas, I need to sit down and figure out how much of an advertising budget I can afford. This will be our last year marketing, unless we can get the customers out to the farm. After taking last year off, due to weather and building the house, we really are discussing what to do.

Our options, at this time, are:

Go to smaller market, no fees or restrictions, but market is in an area that lots of people have their own garden. We would need to have super early or late produce. Plus this market only goes from Memorial Day til mid-Sept. Other vendors are hobby farmers and just want some extra money, not caring how much money that they make.

Go to larger market, fee of $300 or more per parking space, several restrictions. Good side is LOTS of people each Saturday, thousands attend. Market goes from May 1st to Oct 31st, with a few out of season markets.

Third option, is the farm stand on the farm. Benefits, no fee and we can still be working between customers. Downside, not many customers yet, and needing to get word out about farm.

I really appreciate all the helpful suggestions.


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have you considered doing a CSA/selling subscriptions?I do this and it brings in $15K annually with very little marketing work. If I want it to bring in more revenue than I have to market but do almost all of it via the web. And you may have 10 people who are willing to pay $1000 a year for fresh produce (do a payment plan if needed)


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