The popular image of the cattle industry harkens back to the cowboys of the wild American west, with rodeos and large herds roaming the plains. However, do not make the mistake of thinking of it as an antiquated industry with little innovation or forward progress. Sure, cattle farming looks very different today after a period of scientific advancements in how cattle are raised and cared for, but did you know that the cattle industry was actually among the forerunners in video marketing?

Cattle farming and online hosted video

Back in April of 1993, the University of Wisconsin published an article detailing the advantages of video marketing for beef and dairy farmers. Any astute reader will notice that date precedes the launch of YouTube by more than a decade, making cattle farmers some of the earliest adopters of video technology to market their products. In fact, one company called Northern Livestock Video claims to have been the first in the world, launching video marketing for cattle back in the 1970’s. Northern Livestock and other early adopters used satellites to transmit the video feeds to auction centers in different parts of the country. So, what can we learn about online video from these savvy marketers?

Reach New Markets

Texas, Nebraska, and Kansas are huge states, and very far apart. They are also the biggest cattle markets in the USA. If you are a farmer interested in selling animals to buyers located in these areas, video marketing facilitates the entire process – saving time, money and stress. When the video is done properly, buyers can feel like they are actually in the room with the animals when making purchase decisions.

To reach new markets with video in other industries, consider your target viewers. What are they interested in? What social networks do they use, and how do they discover media? Start from an understanding of your desired viewer personas, design content around their interests, and send targeted messaging to reach them. You can also publish the content on sites they use for discovery, linking back to your site.

Propensity to Buy

Travel can be very stressful on animals, especially for long distances, and cows are no exception. Cows usually lose weight during transport, which is not good for them or the farmers who raised them since a skinnier cow will fetch a lower price at auction. Video marketing obviates the need to physically move the animals, while still allowing potential buyers to see that they are healthy and active. This saves the farmer and the cows the hassle, stress, and time involved with actually traveling to an auction, while cattle buyers can be more confident in their purchase.

Think of ways you could use video to improve conversions in your industry. For instance, the human mind comprehends visual and auditory information far faster than text, making video ideal for lead generation and new customer acquisition. In retail, video increases the likelihood someone will buy, as well as their confidence in their purchase.

Are you surprised by the role video marketing plays in cattle trading? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!

Written by Courtney Purchon

Courtney is the Head of Marketing at SproutVideo. Follow her on Twitter.

Posted April 16, 2014

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