Agriculture and farming has been the lifeblood of communities for millennia. However, in the western world it has become increasingly difficult for small local farmers who produce a variety of goods to compete with the large conglomerates who supply the big multinational supermarket chains. With many countries, especially in the EU and America, also struggling with obesity issues, now is a great time for the small independent farmers to connect with their local communities.
Farmers may ask themselves “how can creating short online videos help my business?” Well, through videos and social media sharing sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc., farmers can now communicate directly with customers and begin to develop and build their own marketing brand. By visually demonstrating how they produce their crops and rear their animals, farmers can inspire, educate and build confidence with their customers who can connect with their food, see transparency in the production and promote a healthier lifestyle all at the same time.
Creating online videos does not have to be an expensive and time consuming process. Most of the videos displayed below are short and to the point. The key is not to be intimated by the prospect of video creation and just go out and grab the bull by the horns (if you know what I mean!).
1. Behind the scenes.
A great way to connect with the viewer and potential customers is to show them exactly what you do and the processes that go into making your product. I really liked watching this video as you get the feeling the Nolan Family really enjoy what they do. They take great pride in looking after their livestock and producing quality cheeses for their customers. One of the major camera techniques they use in this video is J and L cuts. It is used over and over again and really adds to the flow of the video. The videographer has also taken the time to capture a lot of “Fill Shots“. For example, there’s lots of footage from around the farm and shots taken within the house. Having plenty of fill shots will certainly help in the final editing process and can help fill gaps in the dialogue.
2. Highlight your challenges.
One of the biggest challenges fancy our society, as well as farmers, is the effect of CO2 emissions on our climate. Kyle Niedfeldt Zenz, a fourth generation farmer is manager at Old Oak Family Farm. She describes the diverse crops and animals raised on the farm and the challenges they face from climate change, including pests and disease. In this video, I really enjoy the use of photos and video being used side by side and the way the film moves between the two. They also planned each shot around the script and narration and works together in harmony. Through this video, potential clients can see the benefits of joining the CSA and how they help the local community as well as receiving quality produce throughout the year.
3. Educate members and prospects.
Video is a great way to communicate with members and customers and educate them on how you can help them. “Pie Ranch is an educational farm whose mission it is to inspire and connect people to know the source of their food, and to work together to bring greater health to the food system from seed to table.” Again, J and L cuts are used multiple times in this video. Also when there is an interviewee shown, the “rule of thirds” is being implemented. This gives depth to the shot and will make it more interesting than standing directly in front of the camera. At 7 mins in length, this may seem like a long video, but a docu-style video like this gives you some leeway on time and allows you to expand on the topics you wish to cover.
4. Give Tips and Tutorials.
If you are in the machinery business or sell agri-products to other farmers, creating useful tips and tutorial videos can be a great way to drive new business and promote your products. In this video, Steve Shirtliffe explains how a rotary hoe can effectively kill weeds when you can’t use herbicides or when herbicides don’t work. These types of videos are perfect for quick blog posts and demonstrating to clients how your product works and how they can be of benefit to them.
5. Working together.
In smaller communities, building support for local or family owned farms can be a tough prospect. However, if local farmers and their community come together and work in a setting like a Farmers Market, it can be a great way to build new relationships with customers and introduce your produce to them. One of the main features of this video that really stands out for me is the colour and vibrancy of the produce on show. The videographer has taken the time to make sure that the fruits and vegetables on show are the focal point of the video. There’s a simple narration running over the video as well as a soundtrack with a modern folk music vibe which really adds to the ambience of the video. We also see shots of some of the vendors and is a great way to promote the market to the community.