5 Online Marketing Lessons Fresh From The Farm

October 30, 2014 Hannah Eisenberg 0 Comments

5 Online Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From This Farm’s Website

Meet Thaddeus, Freeman, and Noah.

The three brothers are the owners of Farm Fresh To You, a second-generation organic farm in California. It was founded in 1976 by their parents.

But they don't run an ordinary farm. This farm produces more than 60 types of fruits and vegetables. Their CSA members can choose from 14 different (as of now) customizable produce boxes. Then they deliver these boxes to the front doors of thousands of Californian homes and businesses.

They have a 26,000 square foot office and warehouse facility with 12 loading decks.

Surrounding smaller farms that have partnered with Farm Fresh To You have a more stable revenue stream now. They can use the distribution channels and online presence that Farm Fresh To You has built over the years. They even receive free food safety training from the mega farm to ensure proper handling of the produce.

What is the secret to their success?

They saw a customer problem and solved it. Lots of people in California are working hard, have busy schedules but want to eat very healthy. The brothers embraced this food movement and leveraged Inbound Marketing to deliver.

They did not wait for consumers to drive by after they saw a roadside sign: they're bringing the fresh produce to the consumers.

We spoke to Farm Fresh To You about their success and here are 5 lessons every marketer can learn from them about online marketing:

#1) Knowing Their Customers Pain Point

Farm Fresh To You knows exactly that full-time working parents with their three kids and hectic after school schedules do not have time to drive to the farm or pick up location every single week to pick up their produce. While most CSA farms offer various pick-up locations where their members pick up from, Farm Fresh To You delivers fresh veggies and fruits directly to the front door of your home or office.

Or that the facility manager is likely to order a snack box for the office break room if it provides snackable items such as bananas, oranges, and apples. Or that vegans can order a no-cook box without being stuck with raw potatoes from a traditional CSA basket.

The magic word for this farm is convenience.

Tip: In order to find your customer's pain point, define your buyer personas. You do not have to run expensive focus groups. Just sit down and think about your customer base: is there a certain kind of customer that you would love to sell to most. What do they have in common? What are their demographics? Why do they want to buy a CSA share? What challenges do they face in daily live that you could help with? (To learn more, read out blog post about the importance of defining target persona, our definition of buyer personas or you can download our buyer persona definition sheet).

#2) You Have 15 Seconds. Tell Me Why I Should Care!

55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website. - Tony Haile

Now that you have identified your customer's pain point, tell them how you're will make their lives better. And you have less than 15 seconds to do that.

In a world of infobesity, your website has less than 15 seconds to explain your unique selling position: What is the unique value that your company brings to the table? Why should the visitor buy from you? How are you different from your competition?

Look at the image below for 5 seconds, then close your eyes and think about what this business is about. What do you remember about it? How does it make you feel?

 

Farm Fresh Home Page

This 5 second test is called a blink test.

Farm Fresh To You's homepage features a large, beautiful image of fresh produce and a clear call to action to customize your box. And it is not by chance that this is the farm's unique selling position: Many people are hesitant to sign up for a CSA program because they cannot control what is in the box. They eat more fruits than veggies, or they would like to get a snack option for their office or simply do not eat leafy greens. At Farm Fresh To You, you can pick and choose and customize your box to your preferences.

Tip: Ask a couple of friends or family members to do a blink test on your website. What do they remember? What is the message that you want to convey? Do they match up? How can you make sure your website's homepage passes the blink test?

#3) Make It Personal

They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel. —Carl W. Buehner

Your website is one of millions and you have less than 15 seconds to make a good first impression. But once you get over that hurdle, a great "About Us" or "Our Story" page is a fantastic way to connect with people on an emotional level.

However, my clients often find that the About page is the hardest to write!

Have a look at the picture below: How does it make you feel seeing the picture of Thaddeus, Noah, and Freeman walking with their kids in the middle of their orchard?

Do you want to be there too... soaking in the peace and tranquility? Is the simplicity of the image translating into a slowed down lifestyle many of us crave? Does it make you want to get to know them better, support them and be part of their story?

 

FarmFreshAboutUs

The internet makes us all to a point anonymous entities and it is hard to differentiate a business or brand.

By telling the story of your business in a personal manner and supporting them with the right visuals, you can create an emotional connection with your visitors that will have a much longer lasting impression that product descriptions.

Posting family photos of now and then will not work for everyone, but here, they serve a clear purpose. This farm is a family-owned and operated farm. You can instantly connect with them and their story.

Tip: Does your company have a story worth telling? How was it founded? How is it making the world a better place? If you get stuck, Copyblogger has compiled a helpful blog post on how to write an about page.

#4) Make It So Easy, A 5 Year Old Could Do It

25% of shoppers abandon their shopping cart because navigation is too complicated. - Evergage

Many websites are cluttered, too complicated and impossible to navigate. This will leave many visitors frustrated - remember your website is a large portion of your prospects and customers interacting with your brand!

To order from Farm Fresh To You, you just click on any of the "Sample Boxes and Sizes" (helpful copy instead of pushy "Buy Now" button) and you find an intuitively laid out pop-up that allows you to choose between a box type (e.g., Mixed fruits and veggies, organic snack box or no cooking) and box sizes (e.g., small, regular, more and monster).

The window also shows example contents of one box, which establishes trust and excitement!

 

FarmFreshChooseYourBox

While the orange boxes are still within the color scheme of the website, they do stand out and attract the eye - it is clear what your next step is if you would like to order.

Tip: No matter if you have 1,000 products or 5, make it easy to navigate. The user should not even have to think about where to click. If you have a substantial e-commerce site, you might want to look into hiring a usability testing consultant or read the book by Steve Krug Rocket Surgery Made Easy.

#5) Be Incredibly Helpful

As a savvy marketer, you know Inbound Marketing is all about being helpful. We write content to overcome prospects hesitations, to solve their problems, to create trust and to increase customer loyalty.

For Farm Fresh To You, possible hesitations are: What will I do with all those fresh fruits and veggies? The kale will wilt if I don't make it right away. But what can I make with it?

The website provides helpful advice on how to revive wilted greens and how to store it properly. It gives delicious recipes for all different kinds of vegetables and much more.

 

FarmFreshHowToStore
Tip: After you defined your buyer persona and identified their pain points and objections to buying your product, you can now brainstorm for content ideas how to solve the pain points or overcome the obstacles. For example, if you are selling a high-priced good, focus on value. Do you use higher quality materials than your competitors? Why and what is the benefit for the consumer?

What was your biggest online marketing lesson you have learned?

I would love to continue the conversation in the comment section. What was your biggest online marketing challenge? Did you manage to overcome it? Or maybe you want to share a success story with us? No matter what, we would love to hear from you!
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