By Stephanie Metzinger
There used to be a time when you would have to set your alarm so you would not miss a minute of your favorite television show. When you would be left in shock as an episode ended with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger and you would have to wait a full seven days to learn what happened next.
Those days are long gone.
Video streaming services that offer on-demand television—such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon—have drastically changed how the public consumes entertainment, news and information. According to Deloitte’s 2018 Digital Media Trends Survey, 63 percent of U.S. households subscribe to a traditional cable service—a 10 percent drop from 2016. The survey also indicated that 55 percent of Americans now subscribe to at least one video-streaming service. A large reason for this is because binge watching continues to grow. Eighty-six percent of millennials admit to binge viewing, taking in an average of seven episodes per sitting.
On-demand has even infiltrated social media. Last year, Facebook introduced a feature called Watch, where users can subscribe to a “show” and follow the series through the Facebook platform. Instagram did something similar with its recently created IGTV. What sets Facebook Watch and IGTV apart from Netflix or Hulu is that anyone can be a creator or publisher. As audiences continue to embrace on-demand and streaming, food and ag-related companies have the prime opportunity to leverage video as a resource to deliver key messages and further bridge the gap between food producers and consumers. This can be a series of short videos demonstrating how different commodities are harvested or a sequence of quick videos that dispel myths about agriculture.
In addition to creating videos that are binge-watch worthy, here are some alternatives that can be easily implemented.
With a click of two buttons on your smart phone, you can create a live video in an instant. Live videos and stories continue to triumph on Facebook and Instagram. In fact, a recent survey indicated that 82 percent of customers would rather watch live videos from a brand than read blogs or view social media posts.
Western Growers recently went “live” on Facebook, filming a live demonstration of how growers are utilizing drones on the farm. With just an iPhone, WG live streamed Danny Royer of Bowles Farming Co. speaking about the different ways drones are deployed on the farm; the type of data drones provide; and what types of management decisions have been influenced by the use of drones and the information they collect. Nearly 4,000 viewers had the opportunity to get an up close and personal look at the Bowles-branded drones, and in those six minutes, they learned how farmers are not only producers of food, but leaders in innovation and technology.
Company Story Videos
In many cases, the video feature on your phone is more sophisticated than recording video on a regular camera. Western Growers members can harness this easy-to-use technology to create videos that showcase a company’s story, resulting in deeper relationships with consumers.
Examples of company story videos include managers speaking about organizational values and culture, C-level executives sharing programs unique to the brand, or employees providing a brief explanation about their role in the company.
These types of videos are an effective way to show viewers that your company is comprised of real people who are dedicated to delivering healthy, nutritious fresh produce to the world each and every day.
More than 1.8 billion users log onto YouTube every month searching for content where they can learn something new. Now, more than ever, consumers are interested in where their food comes from, and the agricultural industry can take advantage of this opportunity by creating educational and how-to videos.
For example, Western Growers recently produced and shared a video in which Charlie Montgomery of Rousseau Farming Company explained how baby carrots are created. Many consumers that commented on the video were unaware of the fact that baby carrots come from real carrots; most assumed that these bite-sized carrots were grown and harvested smaller. Due to the educational value of the video, these consumers shared the video on their social networks with their friends and the video ended up reaching more than 12,000 people.
Building off the momentum of Montgomery’s videos, Western Growers later released a simple video with text (and no audio), outlining the steps on how baby carrots are made. To date, “The Secret Behind How Baby Carrots Are Made” is Western Growers’ most watched video on Facebook, having reached nearly 655,000 people.
In an era of binge watching and on-demand services, videos are an easy way to connect with consumers, tell your story and further build a cadre of brand ambassadors and agvocates. WG is dedicated to helping our members understand and utilize these cutting-edge resources. If you are interested in creating your own videos to share on social media, please feel free to reach out to us.
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Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live.