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Agrimarketing : January February 2013
28 Agri Marketing January/February 2013 DIGITAL UPDATE MARKETERS UPDATE ON ELECTRONIC MEDIA Editor's note: We invited leaders of ag-oriented electronic services to provide updates on their media and services. AGWEB.COM by Boyce Thompson, AgWeb Editor Marketers trying to reach farmers through the internet pay heed: Farmers who troll the web looking for ag-related information aren't as young as you might think. They are also pretty heavy internet users, increasingly use mobile technology to consume digital information and are (perhaps grudgingly) adopting social media. That's the myth-defying portrait of farmer 's internet use habits that emerges from surveys and internal metrics done by AgWeb. Owned by Farm Journal Media, AgWeb served nearly 500,000 unique visitors last month, maintaining the website's position as the largest agricultural information provider on the Web, Annual surveys of more than 3,000 users show that AgWeb's audience is growing steadily grayer, as older farmers grow more and more comfortable with digital technologies. Last year's survey found that 66% of the website's users were 55 years or older, up decidedly since 2006, when only 45% were 55 or older. And they use online media a lot. In fact, 77% use the internet more than 5 hours a week. And 37% of the total audience are super-heavy users; they surf the web for 10 or more hours per week. For most farmers, searching the web for ag-related information is a daily activity, just like milking the cows. Two out of three of AgWeb users go to the web at least once a day for ag-specific content, whether it's to get updates on commodity prices, participate in discussions, check the weather, or view the latest USDA reports. And one out of three go online two or more times a day for ag-related information. While some rural areas may still suffer from lack of access to broadband, but the vast majority of AgWeb's users have it. Nearly all of them access the web through a high-speed connection, whether its DSL/Cable (59%), satellite (17%), or cellular broadband (12%). Only 4% use a dial-up modem. And while farmers may have been laggards in adopting the internet, they are pacing the broader U.S. population in their take-up of smart phone technology. AgWeb's August 2012 survey showed that 47% of our audience had a smart phone --- a number that is surely even higher today. Most of those smart phone owners believe it's important or very important to receive ag information over their devices. More than half respondents have downloaded an app with the phone. Within the last year, the percentage of page views the site gets from mobile devices has doubled to roughly one quarter of all visits. AgWeb offers both app- and mobile-optimized website versions of its content expressly for mobile phones and tablets. Last year 's record drought brought a record number of farmers to AgWeb, where they searched for the latest crop conditions, watched corn prices reach record highs, and looked for indications that cooler temperatures might prevail. The website enjoyed record engagement from users. By the end of the year, visitors were spending an average of seven minutes on the site per visit. AGRICULTURE.COM by Curt Blades, Business Development Manager From its beginning, Agriculture.com has been designed around community. From the industry's original discussion groups to robust interactive elements and engaging mobile content, our audience truly connects with the content. The result is a highly engaged audience. With industry shattering audience engagement stats like over 6:00 minutes per user session, 70% direct type in or book marked traffic, and 7+ pages per visit, Agriculture.com's audience has a proven track record of also engaging with advertisers' marketing messages. This translates to not just high advertising responses, but remarkably high post-impression customer conversions. Successful Farming recognizes that being a leader on the web requires continual reinvestment. For example, the (A) LIST provides users a comprehensive look at what's happening in agriculture, at a glance. Our editors find the most important news on the web and bring it front and center. Over the past couple years we have redefined the online user experience at Agriculture.com and have retooled our mobile product with enhancements including MCM and (A) Deals. MCM or Mobile Commerce Messaging, an industry- first mobile phone marketing feature, gives marketers a way to sell products and services to farmers. MCM offers customized mobile marketing pages, app promotion, video advertising, and sponsorships. The centerpiece of MCM is a feature called (A) Deals, which enables dealer locator services, couponing, QR code creation and social networking. Our communications with our audience are instantaneous. We get immediate feedback via comments on our online articles, forums on our website, clicks, downloads and video plays. Agriculture.com is committed to providing innovative, evolved Thompson (more on page 30)
Marketing Services Guide 2013