Reach More for Less with Social Media

Social media is a great tool to reach a lot of people with minimal investment. Today, nearly 70% of the entire U.S. population has at least one account on a social media platform, and 42% of farmers use Facebook or Twitter daily.

Caitlin Tye, Content and Social Media Manager for BioZyme®, says there are two primary purposes to reach customers with social media, as a marketing tool and as a customer care tool.

“Everything you put on social media is strategic communication. It is not unplanned conversation,” Tye said.

When using social media as a marketing tool, you should see tangible results with an increase in sales. Be sure to know your audience, and what motivates them. And understand what content is important to your audience: talk about the products and their uses; highlight producers who have had positive results; keep customers updated on news from your dealership – new products, events or upcoming promotions. And, remember, sometimes social media as a marketing tool will cross over to customer care.

Tye offers four best practices when using social media as a marketing tool.

1 – Less is more. Capture the audience’s attention with short, effective post copy. People don’t have time to read a lot of text, so keep the copy precise and catchy.

2 – Imagery. Never post content without a visually appealing image to accompany it. Nothing should be posted without an image. Ever.

3 – Engagement.  Be clear how you want your audience to react to your message. Will they comment on it? Will they “like” the post? Will your customers “share” the post, and engage with others who are potential customers?

4 – User Generated Content (UGC). “Never underestimate the power of a brand-loyal fan,” Tye said. UGC is an unsolicited post submitted by a customer who is passionate about the product, who has seen a positive result. UGC is accompanied by a strong image, a powerful testimonial, and is more effective than you telling your customers how wonderful your products are.

If you have questions about social media or developing a social media strategy, contact Caitlin Tye at 309-582-6454 or ctye@biozymeinc.com

Here are a few examples of strong posts that will work as marketing tools. If you need help with Facebook posts about our products, contact Kristi Stevens, Marketing Project Manager, at 816-596-8795.

Product Highlights:
Show a picture of the product in use or product that you have in stock and ready for purchase.

Dealership Information:
Share services offered, exciting news or upcoming specials with your customers.

Customer Testimonials:
Testimonials are one of the most powerful tools you can use to sell products. Coupling a customer’s words with their photo (preferably using the product) makes great content for your social channels.

Get Social with Marketing and Promotion

Facebook. YouTube. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. These are just a few of the social media platforms that your customers or your customers’ kids engage with on a daily basis. And they are becoming some of the most widely used marketing tools out there.

If you are looking for a timely way to reach and interact with your customer base, social media is the tool to use, and unlike some predictions of less than a decade ago, social media is here to stay. The reach and engagement is so widespread when using social media, it is hard to deny that it is an effective way to reach a large following very quickly and at a very low cost.

According to an April 2017 report on ebizmba.com, 1.5 billion unique users visit Facebook each month. Granted those users span the globe, that is an amazing number of people to reach with your message.

BioZyme® wants you to succeed in your online presence and posts regularly to its multiple Facebook pages, making content readily available for you to share from your dealer or personal pages. Many BioZyme brands have a Facebook page with content posted regularly. With just a click of the ‘share’ button, you can add that content onto your company Facebook page as well.

Here are just a few examples of ways you can use social media to engage with your customers.

Promote your products. Did you just get a shipment of a new product in? Take a photo and post it to your social media accounts. A picture is truly worth a thousand words on social media.

Create a hashtag and use it properly. Hashtags, the little pound symbol before a group of words, can be a powerful way to reach a group of like-minded people. For example, “#surechamp is great product to keep your show animals on feed this summer,” might be a tweet you post, with a link to Facebook page and a promotion on Sure Champ. Young people familiar with the brand name, but not exactly what it does might click on that post, and learn more and become your next customer. 

Host a contest. Sure Champ® already posts judging classes to its Facebook page. Perhaps you can share this, and you can reward a local winner with a cap or a tube of Vita Charge® Paste. Or make up your own contest. May is beef month, so host a photography contest where your customers can submit their favorite photo of cattle, and then entries are voted on by others on social media.

Recognize your customers. You just hosted a customer appreciation event. Post photos of those who attended, and especially any big door prize winners.

Educate your customers. Share articles of interest with them from other news sites or groups. Chances are if you post these items of interest, your social page will become a one-stop source for your customers. Adding a quick thought about the information you’re sharing is always a great way to continue the conversation with your followers.

It’s time to get social. Promote your business and reach out to your customers.

Customer Testimonials Reflect Passion for Products

I know what I heard is true. John Doe told Jim Smith who told Bob Black all about his latest news, and I heard it from Bob at the local coffee shop. Yes, word of mouth does spread like a wild fire, but if used properly, word of mouth and customer testimonials can be great marketing tools that share not only good information, but passion for our products.

Chris Kyle, ASM in Arkansas, Louisiana and northeast Texas, says the value in customer testimonials is that the person reviewing or talking about the specific product or experience has nothing to gain by doing so. He or she is merely bragging about something positive that has happened on the farm or ranch and wants everyone else to know about it.

“The people who are talking about our products have nothing to gain; they have achieved some sort of success in their area first, and want others to know they have that feather in their cap,” Kyle said.

Most customers are glad to give a review or testimonial. You can ask for it written, take notes as it is given orally or even use the technology that you have on hand to record a video.

“The customers don’t hold back. I ask them how a particular product is doing and they will start talking and telling me about all the good things they have happen with their animals’ health,” Kyle said.

Kyle said that customer testimonials are a great way to reach potential customers, and even though the days of chatting at the coffee shop still exist, more and more dealers and producers have started using social media as a marketing tool; a very quick way to spread customer testimonials and praises.

Another thing Kyle does is shoot a short video – typically 30-seconds – on his iPad or phone of the customer talking about the products. The visuals of their facial expressions and tones of their voices help exude the passion they have for the products they are talking about. He then shares those videos with the marketing team to post to a social media site.

One of the greatest things about social media is the reach that it has. Once a post is made, any individual or dealer can like, comment or share that message, which can be shared again. An example is a blog post that is posted to Facebook on Monday morning and by Friday, has 350 likes and 50 shares. Fifty other companies or individuals have shared that link to their own pages, making the information spread much more quickly than the hearsay at the local coffee shop!

Early marketer and promoter P.T. Barnum said, “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”

Customers who have achieved success will be passionate about the products they are talking about. It is important to remember those success stories when you have a producer meeting or customer appreciation event. If you know of customers who have had great success with the products ask for them to share their experiences with the crowd you have gathered. Their real-world stories and experiences that their neighbors might also encounter will definitely help make a sale.

Finally, when sharing testimonials with customers, Kyle says he drops names of big-time, successful producers in the area. If he knows someone who runs 500 cows has had good results with a product, he might mention their name to someone down the road with fewer cows that is undecided about trying a BioZyme® product. He knows the first call that will be made when he leaves is to that neighbor, whose name Kyle mentioned.

Producers are passionate about the products that work for them. Use that passion through customer testimonials as one more resource in your marketing tool kit.

Proper Employee Training Leads to Increased Sales

There are a lot of animal nutrition products out there, and in some parts of the country, more feed and supplement dealers than there are grocery stores. This means it is vital for your sales staff to keep current on all the products you offer.

“People buy from people, and our company owners have done a great job hiring quality people that care about the products and our customers all the way from the sales staff to the delivery drivers,” said Scott Hardman, Marketing Specialist with Earlybird Feed & Fertilizer, Goodfield, Illinois.

Hardman says the literature that BioZyme® sends out when a new product is introduced is distributed to all sales people, both externally and in the store. He said that they usually can’t get the literature fast enough since customers see information about new products on social media, and start contacting the dealer often before they have the new products on hand.

Another great resource is their ASM, Shandy Bertolino. Hardman said that their sales staff typically meets with Shandy twice a year to learn about new products and brush up on their knowledge of existing products. In addition to offering kudos to the ASM in their area, Hardman also praised the entire BioZyme® staff.

“One of the strengths of the company is there are not a lot of layers if we need answers. Shandy will make the link, but the accessibility of the technical and marketing staff is great,” Hardman said.

And finally, he said the sales staff who attend the dealer retreat each summer come back with a wealth of information to share with others who didn’t attend.

Adele Halsall, a researcher and writer for Customer Service Guru, addressed some key training tips in a recent blog post. Here are three of her tips.

  1. Keep Training Consistent. Be sure to give each employee the same message and resources so the information shared with customers is reliable. Halsall said, “Product knowledge training must also be consistent, engaging and customized. There is no point in re-using the same material twice or giving unnecessary information to those who do not need it.”
  2. Allow Hands-on Experience. While it isn’t realistic that your entire sales force will have a need for a particular product, chances are someone on staff feeds one or more of the products. Get their feedback about the pros and cons of that particular product so you can offer more information to prospective customers.

    Hardman said their sales staff isn’t expected to know absolutely everything about every product; however, they have specific people that are experts about particular species. Earlybird relies on those experts to provide information about particular products to the rest of its sales force.

  3. Take Training out of the Office. Hardman mentioned the bi-annual meetings with Shandy and the dealer retreat were two of their valuable training tools. Halsall agrees that it is always good to give employees a fresh perspective and allow them the opportunity to network with others to learn helpful sales insight.

Making the sale is imperative to your bottom line. Keep your staff knowledgeable and excited about your products, and the sales will come readily.

An Investment in Nutrition Prevents Common Animal Disease

In a region of the United States where Anaplasmosis is a cause for concern in the cow herd, Bob Black doesn’t worry about his herd catching the infective blood disease that can decrease performance, cause weight loss, abortion and ultimately death loss. The fifth-generation cattle producer focuses on managing his herd’s immune system function and investing in a sound nutrition program. And in addition to ranching with his brother, he owns Elk County Veterinary Services at Howard, Kan., and has been a BioZyme® dealer for nearly 18 years.

The Blacks run a cow-calf operation in southeast Kansas where they concentrate on raising cattle with a high carcass quality to provide the consumer a safe and favorable eating experience. The brothers wean nearly 300 calves each year, and Dr. Black says he can’t remember treating any animals for Anaplasmosis since they have been feeding VitaFerm® products.

“We’ve been feeding VitaFerm for at least 25 years, and whatever we invest in pays off in the end,” says Dr. Black. “Amaferm does a great job of breaking down the forages, and the organic minerals keep the cattle’s immunity up.”

The cow herd on the Black’s operation eats a forage-based diet with minimal supplementation. However, the VitaFerm products they do feed offer maximum nutrition in key trace minerals of copper, zinc, selenium and magnesium.
In addition, Amaferm is a great resource to help break down the forages and convert them to energy.

Dr. Black has used LONGRANGE® to control parasites such as ticks that spread Anaplasmosis for the past three years. In addition, he manages their body condition score to keep cows between 5-6 BCS, with a goal of 90% conception rate. He says if the cows get too much condition, they lie around and don’t graze, and therefore are not as healthy.

“It all comes down to proper management and animal husbandry” Dr. Black said.

Although he has chosen to ward off Anaplasmosis by proactive management techniques, he does sell CTC to some customers. Dr. Black’s goal is to use his personal successes to demonstrate the Amaferm advantage to sell more BioZyme products.

“The uptick in the market the last few years has helped, but getting our foot in the door is the big challenge,” he said. “Once a client switches over, and they see the Amaferm advantage in their cows, they are usually hooked. We are seeing good conversion.”

Marketing the New Cow-Calf Mineral

It’s no secret that times are tough. Producers are constantly looking for ways to stretch their dollars. And luckily for them, BioZyme® is always developing new products with its producers’ best interests in mind while still utilizing its key ingredient, Amaferm®, in all products.

As BioZyme rolls out its new VitaFerm® Cow-Calf Mineral, producers will now have a lower-cost mineral option available to them during “belt- tightening” times or during times of the year when they choose to maximize savings.

“This mineral package was designed for the price conscious producer looking to lower their input costs,” said Alan Lee, Director of Sales – South. “But it is still a better option than other economy mineral lines because it contains Amaferm.”

According to Lee, many producers will sacrifice quality to buy the cheapest product at a local farm or box store. And in the end, those producers discover they get what they pay for. While the new VitaFerm Cow-Calf Mineral does not contain the same level of vitamin and minerals as all other VitaFerm mineral products, it does still exceed NRC requirements. The big ticket to marketing the VitaFerm Cow-Calf Mineral is to remind customers they will still see the Amaferm advantage when using this product.

“Producers can keep their cows on Amaferm at a lower price point,” Lee said. Lee encourages producers to continue feeding VitaFerm Concept•Aid® during the critical times of production like breeding and prior to calving to get the most return on their investment. However, he says due to the Amaferm being included in the lower cost mineral package, producers should still see increased appetites, initial gain and increased feed conversion from VitaFerm Cow-Cow Mineral in the down time.

The introduction of the VitaFerm Cow-Calf Mineral to the BioZyme line of products is a good way to capture new customers, according to Lee. He encourages dealers to find those producers who have been buying the $18-20 bags of mineral from competing brands and introduce them to this mineral and the Amaferm advantage. He says once they try this mineral, and see some small results, they are likely to try some other products, see big results and be hooked on the BioZyme products. He also recommends marketing this to less-progressive producers who don’t demand great results immediately. Lee adds that the price point of this new mineral option makes it a great product to have on hand, so fill the truck with it to take advantage of better freight rates.

“All dealers have those price conscious customers. This is a good product to put before them, but remind them, they do get what they pay for,” Lee said.

10 Ways to Thank Your Customer

While simply saying, “Thank you” is an essential part of good customer service, words don’t always carry the same significance as actions. It is important to continually strive to show your gratitude to your customers in fun and memorable ways.

We decided to feature these 10 ways to show appreciation to your customer. Each idea for giving thanks must be relevant, noticeable and sincere. If you focus on these simple gestures, your show of gratitude will be a huge hit with your customers.

  1. Write a Note
    There is still nothing more powerful than a handwritten note. It’s surprising how rarely this proven way of showing gratitude is actually used. Your note should be specific and personal and will be sure to brighten your customer’s day.
  2. Start a Loyalty Program
    Invite your most loyal customers into a VIP rewards program. Customers love the red carpet treatment, which is why prime and VIP membership programs have become so popular. Your rewards program doesn’t have to be complex; it can be as simple as offering customers an annual discount on their anniversary.
  3. Send a Treat
    Cookies are a winning idea – liked by all and easy to share. But consider your audience: if your customer is more health conscious, a fruit bouquet might be a better fit.
  4. Show You Value Feedback
    Reach out to customers to tell them how you have implemented their suggestions. There is no better way to communicate with a customer than to show you were listening. Let the conversation also be an opportunity to gather more feedback. You want customers to feel they have an open line of communication to you at all times.
  5. Offer a Surprise Upgrade
    The element of surprise is a powerful thing. Thank customers with a free spontaneous upgrade. You can pick customers at random to receive a free tube of Vita Charge® Paste or Vitalize® Recovery Paste if they buy more than $XX. Not anything that is advertised, just a nice surprise to say thank you and a great way for customers to try new products.
  6. Honor an Achievement
    Make your customers feel like they are a part of a big family. Recognize special events in their lives by sending small gifts or handwritten notes. The event could be a major birthday, conclusion of a production sale, etc. The thoughtful timing of your gift communicates volumes and is a gesture that won’t soon be forgotten.
  7. Hold In-Store Events After Hours
    Give frequent customers that VIP feeling with an invitation-only after-hours event in your store. Provide drinks and snacks, and use that time to introduce new products or answer questions about products you already carry. For an extra special treat, consider including your favorite local singing talent to setup in the corner of the store and entertain your guests. Note: this event could be considered an Open House or Producer Meeting. Talk to your ASM about scheduling and help with preparations.
  8. Give Some Swag
    Customers love promo items, especially those that can be reused like coffee mugs, t-shirts and caps. If you don’t already have promo items with your store logo, BioZyme® apparel makes great customer gifts and can easily be order by visiting the Online Dealer Center at www.biozymedealer.com
  9. Spend Quality Time Together
    There is no need to break the bank with a lavish gift to thank a customer. Schedule a lunch at your customer’s office/farm/ranch or invite them out as a time for you to just sit and listen. Going out of your way to meet people and hear about what they do every day could be a critical learning experience for your business.
  10. Excel at Customer Service Daily
    Nothing says thank you for your business better than a friendly, informed service representative. Make sure your sales staff is informed on the products and as ready to help as you are personally when answering the phone or working on the floor.

Show customers your thankfulness today by acting on one (or more) of these ideas or by incorporating your own.

Article Curated from HelpScout.Net

Make the Ask: Planning Producer Meetings

The crisp fall air is upon us; harvest in most parts of the country is in full swing, fall calving is under control, and there is a short break in stock shows. It is a great time for BioZyme® dealers to start planning and preparing for producer meetings.

Ask – Invite producers

First, as a dealer, you need to set a date, time and location for your meeting. Make sure it is on a day that doesn’t conflict with something else in the area that would diminish attendance, such as a sale or the state football playoffs that your local team is in for the first time in decades. Send out invitations so the producers get them a week or two in advance. And if possible, follow up that invitation with a phone call the day before the meeting.

“It is super important to call everybody you invited, even if you sent them a postcard,” says Dorothy Orts, North Dakota Area Sales Manager. “You won’t have a successful turnout if you don’t call and ask them to the meeting.”

Once you have a date set, be creative in picking a location away from your store. It makes them feel appreciated to see you meeting with them outside of the normal place they do business with you. Orts, and her counterpart in Oklahoma, John Jeffrey, agree that the meeting should be held at a restaurant or a small community building and in conjunction with a meal. Jeffrey says if the food is good, people will show up. And Orts has learned by experience to keep the room small for a more comfortable setting where everyone can hear. She says if the room is too big, the acoustics might suffer, and if producers can’t hear, they are not going to pay attention.

Ask – Encourage interaction

Orts likes to make the meetings interactive and asks questions of the producers to get them involved and relaxed. She then asks for any current customers to provide a testimonial about the BioZyme products, saying that most producers will share their passion at the spontaneous response. And she also makes sure everyone knows about the Amaferm® advantage.

Allow sufficient time for discussion after the meeting, as most speakers will stay to visit with producers. Both Orts and Jeffrey say what happens after the meeting is often just as important as what happens during. Jeffrey described a recent noon-meal meeting where just a handful of producers showed up. Jeffrey and the dealer sat down with them in a more conversational manner

and people stayed for nearly three hours to learn about the products and share ideas.

Ask – Collaborate with others

It is a great idea to plan a meeting with other groups or businesses with similar goals. Jeffrey says he has piggy-backed with local cattlemen groups or pharmaceutical companies to share costs. When working with a drug company, he says they showed research that mineral usage increases the effectiveness of vaccinations – sharing both messages at once. And with the new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), it is timely to coordinate meetings with pharmaceutical companies.

Ask – Follow up

“You just have to ask,” Jeffery says. “You can’t sell something to people if you don’t ask them to buy it.” Jeffrey says when coordinating meetings with dealers, he likes to run a short special for those in attendance, which also encourages the producers to visit the store or place an order within the first week after the meeting.

Orts likes to send each meeting attendee home with a sample of Vita Charge® Liquid Boost® because it will likely save one life and help gain customers. Both area sales managers say to follow up and call those who attended.

“No two meetings are ever the same,” Jeffrey says. “Just be sure to ask for the sale. You never know if you will get a new customer that day or two weeks from now.”

Other Ways to Offset “It’s Too Expensive”

Learning is a complicated concept as everyone is unique in their own way, and learns in their own way as well. It is easy to give up when customers don’t react positively to the way you’ve positioned a product. You understand it… why shouldn’t they?

Unfortunately, we have to understand that all customers are different and different positioning tactics appeal to some more than others. Here are a few quick tips on conquering the “It’s too expensive” objection we often hear:

Divide into Daily Prices
For just 15 cents per head, per day, you can feed your cow the mineral program that will result in performance that pays.

Compare the Price to Something Tangible
Vita Charge® Paste gets livestock back on feed for less than the price of a Starbucks® coffee.

Increase the Perception of Value within the Product
Dyson has claimed 27% market share in the US vacuum cleaner space. They detail everything behind their products:

  • 5 years of prototyping
  • 5,127 prototypes
  • 1,000 Dyson engineers and scientists in Britain, Singapore and Malaysia
  • Engineers in disciplines like Fluid Dynamics, Aerodynamics, Turbo Machinery and Acoustics

Let’s do the same with BioZyme® mineral…

  • 60+ years of developing products
  • 160 published university research studies to prove how the products work
  • 350 PhD’s study the impact of Amaferm®
  • 12,000 cows each year participating in field trials for real-world proof

Introduce a Calculator

BioZyme has developed several calculators to help pencil out the value of the VitaFerm® mineral products. Take the time to go through these calculators with your customers. These calculators can be found at:
http://vitaferm.com/cost-calculators/.

Offers Stats that Prove Others Believe in the Value

In 2011, 216,714 beef cattle consumed VitaFerm every day -or- 5,418 producers believed in its value

In 2015, 538,379 beef cattle consumed VitaFerm every day, so today the brand is trusted by over 13,459 producers and counting!

Consistency is Key to Great Branding

Your favorite country band is coming to town and you have tickets. After months of waiting, the night of the show is finally here and you get to hear all of your favorite songs. However, that morning the band decided they didn’t like playing the same songs every night so they played two hours of pop covers instead. You leave feeling dejected and can’t understand why they wouldn’t play the music that made them great.

Though this would probably never happen with a band in real life, it does happen with brands quite often. Consistency is repetitive, and because we are the ones delivering that message day after day we sometimes feel like our message has become boring. What is actually the case is that consistency paves the way for creativity with an impact and is what moves your brand from a good one to a great one.

So, what is your brand? A brand is what sets you apart from everyone else. It can be anything – a symbol, design, name, sound, reputation, slogan, emotion, employees and more – that separates one thing from another. A brand gives your business an identity. Do you want to be just a feed salesperson, or someone everyone knows because of your consistent message and identification? The sales person who listens to your customers’ goals and offers suggestions to help achieve those goals? According to North Star Marketing, here are four advantages to being consistent with your branding message:

Consistency helps manage perceptions. By thinking carefully and deliberately about your brand, you can shape how people perceive your organization. Consistency connotes professionalism, purpose and stability.

Consistency conveys outlook and attitude. A focused effort to establish and maintain consistent branding will deliver a very specific set of impressions: Are you serious? Are you intentional? Do you follow through? Are you focused?

Consistency eliminates issues surrounding brand confusion. For many companies, their branding is actually more of a hindrance than a help. A consistent brand should instill confidence rather than confusion.

Consistency protects your investment. Without established brand standards, many organizations spend thousands of dollars crafting a logo and building a message, only to have it degraded by inconsistent, sloppy application. Build equity in your brand by being consistent.

As you position your product before customers, be sure to brand yourself or your business. Keep the message consistent in your producer meetings, brochures, Facebook posts and media interviews. If you use a tag line on the bottom of a direct mail piece, make sure that same tag line is on your web site. If you have a logo, keep it consistent on your marketing pieces – don’t change the font or color. Remember, when you need help with marketing pieces, you can contact Katie Vaz at kvaz@biozymeinc.com. She can help you work toward consistency in your positioning by adding your logo or brand slogan to any of the current marketing pieces.

Source: http://www.northstarmarketing.com/2015/05/07/the-difference-between-a-good-brand-and-a-great-brand-consistency/