When this happens, a laundry list of every contract available is presented in a newsletter article or online update. While this is important information, it’s overwhelming. It’s often confusing. It’s like making your clients wander aimlessly through a big-box store, with no assistance in sight, when all they want is to find a package of AA batteries.
It happened to me recently when a VistaComm client wanted to share a complete list of every grain marketing contact available from this ag cooperative. I was concerned all this data would be hard for readers to wade through. The biggest risk? Readers might skip the article entirely.
I thanked the client for compiling all this information and suggested we try a slightly different approach. Instead of detailing every contract available, I encouraged the client to let me tell a story and showcase a different grain marketing contract in each quarterly newsletter.
Storytelling is one of the most powerful content marketing tools available. It’s an inviting way to inform customers and prospects about your products and services. A story is fun to read when it’s written right. An effective story positions you as the expert. Best of all, a story doesn’t sound like a sales pitch, yet it can help grow your business.
Your story told in your customers’ words
The most compelling stories are often best told through your customers’ own words. When my client decided to focus on decision rules contracts (DRCs) in its summer 2017 print newsletter, I asked the grain merchandisers which one of their clients might be willing to put in the good word about DRCs.
They loved the idea and connected me with a helpful corn and soybean grower. While I’ve changed the names for this example, here’s how I started the story:
Producer X knows how daunting grain marketing can be. “You’ve never heard any farmer say they’ve done the best possible job with their marketing, right?” said the northwest Iowa corn and soybean grower.
Producer X and his father had traditionally made cash sales at fall delivery and used a little forward selling. “You question your decisions, though,” Farmer X said. “You don’t know when to pull the trigger.”
That’s why Farmer X decided to attend a grain marketing seminar that the co-op offered this winter. He was intrigued by the co-op’s grain marketing tools and made an appointment with one of the co-op’s grain merchandisers to learn more. Merchandiser X helped him tailor a marketing plan for his needs, including Decision Rules Contracts (DRCs)
“He explained that DRCs aren’t a once-and-done, where you’re trying to hit a home run,” Farmer X said. “It’s like hitting a series of doubles and triples, which made a lot of sense to me.”
Instead of talking about the technicalities of bushel enrollments, floor prices, priced bushels and more, this article goes on to explain the basics of how DRCs work and how they solve farmers’ real-world marketing challenges.
The goal? Show what DRCs mean to real farmers in terms of more effective grain marketing, less stress and greater peace of mind.
More fun, less worry, better results
To me, this is the unique value the VistaComm team can offer you. Know that we’re not just order takers. We’re professional marketing consultants who offer proven solutions to help you reach your marketing goals.
We may take an approach you hadn’t thought of, like skipping the data dump and opting for a powerful, well-told story. Rest assured we’re drawing on years of experience working with ag clients just like you.
First, we listen to understand your unique marketing goals. Then we’ll work together to determine the best route to help you reach these goals. Prepare for more fun, less worry and better results as we help you uncover your stories and work with you every step of the way to share them in a way that resonates with your target audience.
Ready to unleash your most powerful marketing tool? Our storytellers are here to help. Contact VistaComm today at 800-657-8070 to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.