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Marketing and Advertising a Farmers Market Business: A Guide for Youth

Publication Number: P3885
View as PDF: P3885.pdf

Effective Marketing Messages

The first step to promoting your products and services online is to have a strong online presence, which could consist of a website, multiple social media pages, email marketing, and a blog. The opportunities are endless with digital media, and it is the best way to reach your target audience.

Once you have a firm grasp on who you are targeting, you will cater your brand and marketing messages to suit the needs of your customers. It’s important to answer the following questions with your online presence:

  • Why does the consumer want to see this?
  • What problem does your product or service solve?
  • What makes your brand unique?

Digital Outreach Etiquette

The internet is a public forum that is accessed by millions of people every day. Anything you say online can and will be held against you and your business. Consider this if you have more than one person representing your business online. It’s important to set some basic principles for your business regarding what should and should not be said online. While you may own the rights and the content itself, you cannot “own” your social media pages. Remember that all social media posts should be considered extremely carefully.

Traditional Advertising Methods

Digital outreach has surpassed print media and traditional marketing with its capability to bring information directly to the consumer. Digital marketing is present on online forums where the target audience is already present. Newspapers, billboards, and even television advertisements cannot compete with online marketing because of its accessibility and affordability.

Using the Internet to Promote your Business

The opportunities are endless with digital marketing. A Facebook page and other social media platforms can now include all the major functions of a website, including online sales. The internet is a place to house a digital storefront that will draw clients in and allow them to interact with you from the comfort of their own homes. Search engines like Google use location-based services, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM) to bring your ads to interested viewers.

Points to Remember

  • SEO is the practice of driving organic traffic to your page without using paid advertisements.
  • To reach maximum optimization, you need to have a strong online presence on multiple platforms.
  • More clicks equal more traffic.
  • Make sure you are mobile friendly.
  • Stay active online.
  • Use Google’s SEO Starter Guide.

Social Media Platforms and Online Directories

Social Media Features

Social media features and platforms change continuously. You can stay up to date on trends by using the internet to search social media features. Forbes has a helpful 2021 article on social media trends.

Activity

Ask your local MSU Extension agent to connect you with an Extension social media instructor to teach you how to choose the best social media platforms for your business.

Watch this video to learn how to use social media for your food business.

Use Growing Your Brand: Developing a Marketing Plan Workbook and Growing Your Brand: Starting a Farmers Market Business Youth Workbook to develop your business and marketing plans. You can find them online or request copies from your local MSU Extension office.


This publication is part of the Growing Your Brand Youth Farmers Market curriculum.

The information given here is for educational purposes only. References to commercial products, trade names, or suppliers are made with the understanding that no endorsement is implied and that no discrimination against other products or suppliers is intended.

Publication 3885 (POD-04-23)

By Lauren-Colby Nickels, Extension Instructor, Extension Center for Technology Outreach; Rachael Carter, PhD, Extension Specialist, Government and Community Development; Courtney Crist, PhD, Associate Extension Professor, Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion; Terence Norwood, Extension Instructor, Extension Center for Technology Outreach; Elizabeth Canales, PhD, Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics; and Martin Hegwood, Assistant Extension Professor, Government and Community Development.

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Authors

Portrait of Dr. Lauren Colby Nickels
Extension Specialist I
Leadership & Communication, Digital Outreach & Tax Collector Education Program
Portrait of Dr. Rachael Carter
Extension Specialist II
Community Development, Tourism, Economics and Natural Resource Policy
Portrait of Dr. Courtney Crist
Associate Extension Professor
Food Safety, Food Science, Food Processing, Home Food Preservation, ServSafe
Portrait of Mr. Thomas Martin Hegwood
Assistant Extension Professor

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. James Newton Barnes
Associate Extension Professor