Woodhaven Group: Marriage of the Old and the New
At Woodhaven Group, we wake up every morning excited about what we are doing. We combine growing food for others, one of the oldest businesses on earth, with the Internet, which is one of the fastest growing industries to date. Every living person in the world needs good food to survive. Our prehistoric ancestors knew this, and raised, grew, and hunted for their food. However, today’s world is different. Consumers depend on someone else to provide the daily nutrients for themselves and their families, but what food should they buy and who can they trust to provide high quality, affordable food? Here at Woodhaven, we help bridge this divide between farmer and consumer.
We believe that working with local farmers is one of the best ways to provide consumers with current and important information. They are some of the most astute business people in America. Today’s farmer is the research, production, marketing, and finance departments all rolled into one person. At the Woodhaven Group, we have always found them to be some of the most optimistic and realistic people we encounter. Combine this with a genuine desire to protect the environment and care for their customers, and you may have the model for the perfect American business owner.
Local farmers are the types of individuals that consumers should be associated with. They are who consumers want to buy their food from, get to know personally, and be educated by when it comes to deciding which type of food to purchase for the family table.
However, what is the best way for people to connect to local farmers? Farmers markets are a traditional option, but many families do not have time on Saturday mornings to visit their local market since activities like soccer and little league games tend to take priority. Smart farmers have found a solution by using the latest “farm technology” available: the Internet. More and more farmers are using this important marketing tool to connect to their customers.
Here are some of the ways farmers are connecting to consumers:
At the core of any online strategy there must be a website. Local farmers have found this is the best way to define who they are and how they differ from other farmers and food providers. The best part of a website is that it is controlled by the farmer and is not at the mercy of constantly changing “terms and conditions” that are often seen in current social media platforms. A website lends credibility to a farmer, because today’s consumer expects any business they buy from to have a website that contains the latest news and offerings.
Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are the current versions of word of mouth marketing. They are places where the consumer can give feedback as well as a place where farmers can listen to the wants and needs of their customers. They are also the vehicles that consumers can use to share the best “finds” with each other. Due to the easy accessibility and availability of these platforms, farmers and consumers can talk to each other on a 24 hour cycle. When used right, many of the most astute farmers have local consumers visiting their Facebook or Twitter page multiple times during the week.
Consumers are always seeking more information about the type of food to buy, how it is produced, and who is growing it. A blog is the perfect opportunity for a farmer to educate and develop a deeper connection with their customers. For example, they can provide in-depth explanations about the differences between varieties of apples or tomatoes, how organic food differs from non-organic food, and the steps required by the USDA to be able to use the organic label. One popular topic amongst farmers’ blogs is recipes. We have a client who raises lamb, and in her blog she provides some of the best lamp recipes on the web. Overall, the possibilities are endless, and the beauty of a blog is that the information is coming directly from the farmer to the consumer.
At the Woodhaven Group, we notice that our best clients are constantly sharing new photos on their website and social media pages. Nothing connects a farmer with a customer more than showing photos of the farmer working in the field, the sweet corn just picked, or fall pumpkins ready to be purchased. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Yes, it is! Expectations of new photos being added keeps customers returning to farmers’ websites and Facebook pages.
Overall, the Woodhaven Group does much more than provide websites and social media to our customers. We also connect local farmers to local consumers everyday by using the latest and best technology available.
It is a wonderful job to have.