I know you are wondering if influencer marketing is really necessary for agribusiness. Some will argue that farmers are not on social media to be influenced by influencers sharing on farm products. Covid19 pandemic gave every business person a reason to be on the digital spaces to create their communities, relationships and be able to share about their products for the purpose of marketing, selling and branding. This also includes on finding ways to partner with influencers to market their agribusinesses.
What is influencer marketing?
Before we dive into influencer marketing, you need to understand who an influencer is. An influencer is someone who:
- has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.
- has a following in a distinct niche, with whom he or she actively engages. The size of the following depends on the size of his/her topic of the niche.
- Examples of influencer in the agribusiness industry are: Rodgers Kirwa, Caleb Karuga, Farmer on Fire just to mention a few.
Having known the definition of an influencer, influencer marketing on social media is a partnership between influencers and brands for the purpose of endorsement of their products and services, which places them into a modern-day content-driven marketing campaign.
Choosing and Working with Influencers in Agribusiness
1. Niche market
Agribusiness is a wide industry. You need to narrow your choice of influencers to the specific audience you want to target. For instance, at Illuminum Greenhouses we offer greenhouse farming services. For us to have a successful partnership with an influencer, he or she needs to have interest in greenhouse farming or has experienced working with a brand dealing with greenhouse farming.
Sometimes it might be difficult to get specific influencers in your niche. In such cases, brands can choose celebrities who can influence people in a particular region especially when they can communicate in a language understood by the community.
Above all, knowing the specific goal you want to achieve as a brand can help you choose the right influencers to attain them. Some influencers are good when it comes to brand awareness, some building engagements and some generating leads and sales.
It is essential to identify the platforms you would like to reach your audiences. Some people say Facebook creates more leads for farmers than Twitter and vice versa. But this can vary from brand to brand.
When choosing an influencer, make it clear what you want to achieve from the particular audience. For instance, Twitter can really drive brand reputation through customer services. Having influencers who can constantly talk about your brand and help in responding to some queries in instances where your company page is overwhelmed is a plus.
3. Type of Campaign
What is your brand trying to achieve? Is it awareness for your harvested produce, a new app or discounted prices for your services?
We have 4 main types of influencers whose purpose can be to meet different goals, that is:
- Nano-Influencers (500–10K followers): They have a very close relationship with their followers and take the time to engage with their followers to cultivate those relationships
- Micro-Influencers(10K -100K followers): They specialize in a particular niche. They also typically have high engagement rates and a targeted audience. This makes it easier for brands to create specialized sponsorships with these influencers.
- Macro-Influencers (100k – 1M followers): They are great for bringing awareness to your brand, products, and services. You can use this relationship to increase your own engagement rates and boost your brand’s reach.
- Mega-influencers (1M and more followers): If you’re working on a brand awareness campaign and have a large budget, mega influencers can get your products in front of as many eyes as possible which is great if your brand has appeal across segments.
4. Social Media Collaborations
Influencer marketing was born with the growth in social media marketing. Farming experts are now making great use of the platforms to constantly share their knowledge with their audiences, create relationships with them and market themselves.
Through this, they have been able to create influential spaces for farmers to gather and exchange ideas and information. Partnering with founders of such communities can boost your agribusiness greatly. These spaces can be:
- Live Shows on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube
- Features on YouTube Channels
- Community Chats such as Tweet Chats, #ChatAboutFarming, #AgribusinessTalk254
- Twitter Spaces Conversations
5. Farm, Product or Service Partnerships
Here are some ways you can partner with influencers as a agriprenuer:
- Offer them commissions for any referral they create or a sale they make through their platforms. You can introduce a referral code if it is an ecommerce site.
- Since the best influencers to work with are those in the agribusiness, offer them discounts of your products or services as they share about your brands on their platforms.
- You can pay them in full and share some of the products you provide. In your partnership, the influencer should be able to share the experience they have with your product or service. A good example for this Yara Kenya working with Rodgers Kirwa on their manure.
How do you run an influencer marketing campaign?
- Define your goals. Understand WHY you are carrying out an influencer campaign.
- Define the target audience for your campaign, keeping your goal in mind. For influencer marketing to be successful, you need to work with influencers who influence your target audience.
- Define the best type of influencer for your brand. Search for these influencers, either manually, with a platform, or with an agency. Make contact with these influencers and then contract them.
To read more on Influencer marketing, these reads will be helpful: