It may have taken a while, but 2018 marked Indiana Farm Bureau’s entrance into the digital advertising space. So far, the results are impressive.
In early spring, INFB supplemented its customary radio advertising with a digital advertising campaign targeting farmers and agribusiness professionals. The campaign is using a combination of website display ads, Facebook messages and Google Search.
The most recent data shows that while searching the web, one in 10 readers who see Farm Bureau’s ads click on them to learn more. This activity is significantly above industry standards. Since the campaign began in April, more than 21,000 potential members have clicked on the ads to learn more about Farm Bureau membership. To date, nearly 100 who clicked through have joined.
“Our digital campaign is designed to reach farmers and ag professionals as they move through their day,” said Debra DeCourcy, INFB’s chief marketing director. “Our digital messages are appearing on their desktops, their tablets and on their smartphones. When folks click on our ads, they’re taken to our website where they can learn more about membership, and hopefully sign up.”
In planning for the campaign, INFB hired HIRONS, an Indianapolis-based marketing and communications firm with a deep specialization in digital ad campaigns. The agency is one of the largest purchasers of digital media in Indiana and is a Google Premier Partner, a designation it received largely due to the digital results it earns for its clients. HIRONS worked closely with the Farm Bureau marketing team to determine the campaign’s target audience and overall campaign messages.
“The value of digital advertising is that we can precisely target Indiana farmers and ag professionals and measure their response to our membership message,” said Rose Durbin, HIRONS vice president and media director. “As we study the results each week we can adjust the advertising to increase response.
“For example after reviewing activity in late April, we made adjustments to ads in May and immediately saw a noticeable increase in response.”
Unlike print or radio advertising, digital provides a greater ability to target specific audiences and the means to ensure the message is resonating.
“From a marketing perspective, digital advertising provides us with the ability to understand who our ads are reaching, who is clicking on them and who is joining as a result,” said DeCourcy. “No other medium provides that much accountability, and we are pleased with the results.”