Farmers on YouTube reconnect with consumers
Did you know that almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day? I’m not here to talk about marketing or statistics. I use YouTube myself for entertainment, but also to find agricultural/farming news, to discover new farming products or to simply follow the stories of my favourite YouTubers – a lot of them are livestock farmers!
Most people today are completely disconnected from agriculture, but there is a growing number of people who are interested in learning about where their food comes from, and who the people are that grow that food. YouTube is a fantastic platform to talk to consumers, and for farmers to show why they do certain things, what their challenges are, and to share their day-to-day victories and struggles. If somebody is authentic, you can tell and you’re more likely to trust them. It’s also a great venue for dispelling clichés about farming.
Keith Good manages the social media of the Farmdoc project at the University of Illinois, an initiative created to provide online data and analysis to help at-risk farms through some of the toughest decision-making processes. Since 2017, Keith Good has seen a considerable increase in farmers posting videos on social media platforms. “Farm organizations and commodity groups have encouraged producers to be part of the conversation on social media,” Good said.
My top 3 favourite farming YouTube channels
Josh Draper has more than 400k subscribers who follow his journey of building a first-generation cattle farm from a dilapidated tobacco plantation. As an U.S. Air Force veteran, he advocates for more vets to start farming themselves. He also wants to show that he raises his animals “humanely and with respect.”
A funny young farmer from Norfolk, England, Olli has over 70k subscribers and shares videos about life on an English farm. He’s particularly interested in tractors and other agricultural machinery. Olli talks about new models in detail, and explains how to drive some of them.
I was born and raised in France, so I have to put a French channel in this too! Antoine Thibault is a French Dairy Farmer in Normandy with 25k subscribers. He loves talking about his job and he started his YouTube channel to show “the reality of farming” to consumers. At first, he didn’t know anything about YouTube or making videos, but he’s obviously come a long way since!
My tips for making great farming videos
If you are a farmer and you’re thinking about starting a YouTube channel, here are a few tips to get you started!
- Show action and processes – The most popular videos tend to show activity or to walk through the steps of a process. Tutorial videos are also great. As a farmer, these shouldn’t be a problem for you!
- Cross-post content – Upload videos to both YouTube and Facebook, to reach larger audiences.
- Live video – Streaming content live on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram Live garners priority viewership in each respective platform.
- Consistency is key – Even if you have a busy life on the farm, aim for a consistent schedule for content. Try to be consistent, and on a schedule so your audience knows when to expect your latest video.
- Call-to-action – Don’t forget to include a call-to-action for your audience at the end of your video, asking them to subscribe, visit your website or leave feedback in the comment section. Your fan’s advice can also really help you improve your work over time.
- Most importantly: be patient – Building an audience around your videos is not an overnight process, but it’s a great reward to see more and more people following your content!
Don’t leave without checking out Hustler Equipment’s YouTube channel, every week we share new stories from farmers and ranchers all around the world!
Lola Aubert, Hustler Business Development – France