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Welcome to our Video Tips lesson where we will outline some basic video techniques and present a few shining examples of farmers successfully using the moving image to further their marketing efforts. 

It’s common to feel some intimidation around the idea of using film to market yourself. It’s one of those mediums that has long been shrouded in mystery. Until relatively recently, film has required special equipment and editing knowledge, making it an unlikely addition to the basic marketing toolkit without a substantial investment. Luckily, technology has brought this tool to your fingertips, and you should be taking advantage! Most phones have a video recording function now, and apps to make posting your creation to social media sites incredibly easy. Of course, there are definitely great videographers out there too that can bring a higher level of craft to a short film about your farm.

It’s worth noting that you can incorporate video into your marketing strategy even if you aren’t interested in creating a specific marketing video. Video content should be treated the same as photo content; it all helps to build your farm’s story. Whether you’re planning on going at it alone or working with a professional, below are some ideas to help get you started telling your story with video!

Innovations, Tips & Tricks 

Tripp_Eldridge_Packing_Shed.jpgDo you have a work-flow or tool on your farm that might want to hear about? A video is a way to show off your ingenuity and help out your fellow farmers! 

This video produced by Georgia Organics features Tripp Eldridge of White Oak Pastures (CNG certified for produce since 2011) showing off his packing shed design and has tons of tips about how design your own Packing Shed to maximize utility! (Visit farm website)

Georgia Organics is making lots of instructional videos like this one with the help of Anthony-Masterson. Their whole channel on Vimeo is worth checking out. 

 


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(PDF includes more examples, equipment recommendations and questions to get your story started!)


 

Tell What You Know

RJ-Hoop-House.pngYou know that farm task that you did wrong the first few times, but now you have it nailed? RJ Kessler of Planted Rock Farm (CNG member since 2010) shows us how to pull plastic over a hoop house. It’s clear he’s done this before and his experience can help others! It’s also fun for customers to see how farmers keep the plants warm during the cold months, and how much work it takes to get that big piece of plastic to fit. (Visit farm website)

 

Flowers.pngIs there something about harvesting or growing your crop that takes special knowledge? Paula Guilbeau of Heirloom Gardens (CNG members since 2010) does a great job showing how she harvests her flowers for market so as to prolong their vase life. Her presence is authoritative and we certainly couldn’t ask more from the setting.
(Visit farm on Facebook)

 

  

LoveIsLoveMushrooms.pngJoe Reynolds from Love Is Love Farm shares his technique for growing shiitake Mushrooms - this is such a unique method of farming that it’s likely that many viewers will be absorbing completely new information, which is so fun! (Visit farm website)

 

 

 

Native-Planting-Mounds.pngEugene Cook of Good Shepherd Agro-Ecology Center (CNG member since 2015) shares the value of creating native planting mounds in this video. His contagious enthusiasm and the useful technique is bound to keep viewers watching till the end, and likely sharing the video with others! We’re so impressed by Eugene’s authenticity - he doesn’t allow the camera to intimidate him, and as a result, the viewer gets to see a really likable guy sharing his valuable knowledge. (Visit farm on Facebook)

 


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(PDF includes more examples, equipment recommendations and questions to get your story started!)


 

Share Your Struggles

StemsandRoots.pngPests got you down? Stems n Roots (CNG member since 2013) has a great little clip of caterpillars demolishing her fennel - it generated a lot of comments on Facebook and shares the struggles or farming without pesticides. (Visit farm on Facebook)

 

 

 

Show Your Love 

Hartwood-Chicken-Pants.pngYour customers know that you have a relationship with the animals on your farm, but they LOVE it when you show them. Check out this adorable 6 second video from Hartwood Farm with the caption “The hens take a break from scratching in the mud for a vigorous boot attack session.” (Visit farm website)

 

 

Hartwood-Chicken-Fetch.pngHere’s another cute (and popular!) video from Hartwood Farm captioned “After accidentally throwing the dog’s ball in the hens’ pasture, we learned they like the chase part of fetch but haven’t mastered returning the ball.” Bonus: Hartwood Farm uses the hashtag #chickensofinstagram to add their videos to the vast collection of chicken videos on the internet.  (Visit farm website)

 

 

MoondogChickenTrailer.pngMoon Dog Farms has a few videos of their chicken house on Instagram, which happens to be a camper trailer! Clearly, these chickens are well-loved, and comments show that the customers love this ingenious chicken house design. (Visit farm website)

 

 


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(PDF includes more examples, equipment recommendations and questions to get your story started!)


 

The Winter Video

Filming in the winter may seem like a strange prospect as the greenery is certainly lacking, but it’s actually a great time to make use of some down time, show off how lovely the farm looks under a blanket of snow, and talk about what your customers can look forward to come spring! 

Beach-View-Winter-Video.pngBeachview Farms in NJ (CNG member since 2013) had Tony Coon of Darn Swell Media create a  winter video full of snowy winter scenes that uses voice over and contrasting footage of the farmer in a warm high tunnel to describe what it takes to grow food in winter. This is a great way to stay connected with your customers when they aren’t visiting the farm regularly or seeing you at the market. (Visit farm website)

 

ShovingLeopardMaple.pngShoving Leopard Farm (CNG member since 2015) has a cute Instagram video sharing their first maple sap check of the season. Not only is it really fun to see their anticipation and excitement for the sap to start flowing, but it tells customers that maple syrup is coming soon! (Visit farm website)

 

 

 

Cooking With Farmers

WhiteOakButterMarinade.pngGuess what; your customers want to know your opinion on how to best cook that turkey you raised for their Thanksgiving table! White Oak Pastures has a two-part video on how to prepare a pasture raised turkey with an Herb Butter Marinade that is very popular on Youtube. Do you have a favorite recipe that you can pass on to your customers?  (Visit farm website)

 

 


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(PDF includes more examples, equipment recommendations and questions to get your story started!)


 

How To Share Your Videos

So where do you PUT all this video content? Social media accounts are the easiest way to share your content with your followers. 

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Instagram only allows up to 15 seconds of video at a time - it’s great for capturing moments and an easy entry point because of the recording restrictions. Instagram has a ton of fun filters that you can apply as well, which can enhance the aesthetic of your video clip or give it a different feel. 

Instagram doesn’t have a way to separate your videos and your photos yet, so your Instagram videos will just show up like your photos do, in chronological order of when you post them. You can share videos to Facebook through Instagram if you connect your two accounts.  

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Similar to Instagram, you can upload videos that you’ve shot on your smart phone straight to your Facebook account. Facebook doesn’t offer any additional filters, but it will create a collection out of your videos so your Facebook fans can access them all at once. 

 

Tips for Social Media Video Sharing

#

 

Hashtags are one of the ways that the internet organizes your content among all the other content out there and is integral to helping your video reach as far as it can. #localfood #knowyourfarmer #farmlife #sustainablefarming #freerange #happychicken are just a few examples of the millions of hashtags that you could use.  

@

 

Tag people! You can tag your teammates, customers or even yourself when you upload videos to social media. All you need to do is use the @ symbol in front of their social media name. Instagram and Facebook really like it when you help connect your media to other accounts and your video will get more traction.

 

DIY vs Pro Video

You definitely don’t need to hire someone in make a film about your farm to start including video in your marketing efforts. You can just pick up your smart phone or a low-budget camera (see the recommendations in the Equipment & Editing section) and just start shooting short clips around the farm. As a collection, these visual elements help define your farm’s story for your customers. What you decide to share, whether it be your caterpillar battle or playing fetch with your chickens, tells your customers something about your farming practices and your relationship with your land and your animals. These short clips are best shared on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. 

If you think you would like to dive deeper into a short film that more thoroughly tells your story as a farmer, you might benefit from working with an outside videographer who can not only help you refine what it is you want to tell, but also make sure that the finished product is of the highest quality so it can be used as marketing collateral. 

 


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(PDF includes more examples, equipment recommendations and questions to get your story started!)


 

Storytelling Basics

Stories Are About People

Perhaps the first and most important thing you can learn about storytelling is that people like stories about people. That is to say, when you embark on telling the story of your farm, you really need to focus on telling YOUR story instead. The farm is part of it, but ultimately your customers want to know about YOU and the people working on your farm. If you keep this important storytelling mantra in mind, there’s no doubt that you’ll create a more compelling story that people are more likely to remember and share.

 

Audiences Bore Easily

You probably are aware that the average consumer is hit by a barrage of media ever waking moment. This means their attention is harder to capture, they bore quickly, and you’re going to have to work hard to create a story that grabs their attention. The easiest way to make them sit up and take notice is telling a story that has some raw honesty in it. Steer away from talking about how you farm and really dig deep into your emotional relationship with the occupation you’ve chosen. Don’t dwell for long on the logistics of your CSA production schedule and instead talk about some surprising relationships that you’ve built with your community as a farmer. 

 

Stories Need to Be Fixed in Time and Space

Treat your farm as its own universe. Show (don’t tell) us where we are. Let us hear the sounds that make this home for you. Viewers want to know where they are when they start to listen to a story so they can stop wondering and allow themselves to get caught up in the story itself.

 

Stories Stir Up Emotions

The most effective stories, the ones that we remember and share, are those that strike an emotional chord in us. As viewers, we want to be touched by what we’re watching. We want to feel connected to our own humanity through someone else. This is not to suggest that your story needs to be overly dramatic; it just needs to have an honest emotional core that your viewers can relate to. 

These tips were adapted from Andy Goodman’s  "The 10 Immutable Laws of Storytelling”


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(PDF includes more examples, equipment recommendations and questions to get your story started!)