Internet Marketing for Farmers.
Digital marketing is a method used by online vendors to promote the sale of a product or service they provide to a potential market. There are so many ways of practicing digital marketing which fully depend on the owner of the product and his or her select market.
Different vendors also have different types of products which will relatively affect the method of digital marketing that they may use. Digital marketing for farmers, however, is relatively new for farmers in my country. And most people who practice farming are middle-aged and have not quite familiarized themselves with the different tips and tricks of promoting their products and services on the internet yet.
How farmers were selling their produce before digital marketing?
For farmers in my country, the norm has always been to depend on government agencies to buy their produce. Produce such as milk, maize, and even meat are some of the most common products that are acquired directly from farmers by the government.
There are so many government agencies that have been put in place to provide the services of receiving produce from farmers. And usually, farmers get their profits at the end of the month. This is a common way that farmers have been able to make a living.
The use of brokers is just a simple way for farmers to get their produce to the market without having to worry about other factors of production which may eat into their profit at the end of the day. The common practice of using brokers has however been disadvantageous to farmers who are afraid of going into the market themselves. This is what they are afraid of;
- Lack of experience in the market.
- Fluctuating prices.
- Inability to foot the costs involved with storage and transport to and from the market.
Brokers have been seen to widely take advantage of farmers because of these three reasons to the point that farmers start giving their watermelons to their chickens and cows and counting heavy losses.
Another way in which farmers have gotten to sell their products is through contracting agencies that work with export markets. Products that are suitable for export markets include the common French beans, the Hass avocado variety, and even chili.
Horticultural produce is the most common product that is sold to the export markets today. This is because Kenya has one of the most favorable climates in the world for farming.
Tea and coffee are the pride of our country in the export market and I cannot say how much benefit that they have brought to the reputation of my country Kenya abroad. These two have also been on the list of famous export products that have even been documented to provide a high quantity of jobs to the people of my country.
Can I say that there is no more room for a beginner to sell using this method?
Absolutely not! Starting out with agribusiness can be intimidating and the best way one can get ahead is to learn from mistakes. Having a well-thought-out agribusiness plan is the key to success in every agribusiness venture… Be it poultry, dairy, or even crop farming.
But how can you take advantage of the internet?
DISCLAIMER: This post was generated to provide a little insight into how the internet has helped me promote my services and products on the internet. It is in no way an endorsement of the methods that I use. Please use the methods aligned in this article at your own peril. This is because many have been misled by vendors on the internet which has painted a wrong picture about the use of the internet to promote produce by farmers.
The internet is a resource that was invented to benefit the general public. There is unbelievable potential in the power of the internet and how it connects people even in different sectors of the economy. And for farmers, it is a great way to make an extra income and make a living. So how would you sell your product or service on the internet?
- Have a product you would like to sell on the internet.
- Have a marketing budget. (free methods also work)
- Create an internet presence, be it a social media profile, a Facebook page, or even a website.
- Be professional
Ways of selling your products on the internet.
The agricultural sector has seen the advantages of connecting farmers to either service that they require or directly to customers through the internet.
- Selling on online marketplaces.
This is not a promotional segment for any of the company websites listed. I have just had previous experiences with them that I would like to share with you.
Online marketplaces are some of the main sources of income for many farmers in my country. Examples of online marketplaces include Jiji Online Marketplace which I have personally used to sell my products for a period of two years.
I started using this marketplace back when it was still called OLX. Then changed its name to Jiji. The marketplace basically connects product vendors to customers and or clients. You can sell literally anything on the platform; from cars to cleaning services for a select price that you set as the vendor.
Safety regulations are always aligned for vendors and buyers while on the platform no one should send any payments for goods not seen or received.
So, marketplaces are a great place for a farmer to get started selling their farm produce on the internet.
- Social Media.
Social media is where almost 80 percent of the population of the world spends a greater part of their day. So why not use the platform to sell something? Getting your product in front of potential buyers takes time and dedication.
And for those using social media as a means of promotion on the internet, they need to understand that it will most certainly take time to make dew.
There are two ways of advertising on social media which are the most common.
-Using paid or targeted advertisements.
-Gaining organic reach by consistently posting on social media platforms.
Ways of finding good products from online vendors.
A good product is one that best suits one’s needs effectively. Be it chicken, goats, a cow, or even a sack of maize. The quality of a product however cannot be determined physically through the internet but there are other ways of packaging a product to come out as a quality product for Vendors. So, how do you find good products from online vendors?
- Type what you want into Google search.
- Go through online marketplaces.
- Finding products by searching on social media groups and platforms.
- Finding Referrals on WhatsApp groups and telegram channels.