How a farm credit provider connected with a new generation

Connecting with a changing generation of consumers can be challenging. When your core constituents are farmers, the tactics and strategies you use to engage an audience spread across remote parts of the country adds a new layer of complexity to getting your message out and heard. This was the challenge Lake One helped AgStar Financial Services tackle.

AgStar Financial Services is an $8 Billion Farm Credit provider serving 67 counties in Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. As Farms across their service area began transitioning to a younger generation of owners and operators, AgStar needed a new way to connect, engage and communicate with a younger, farm demographic.

The Plan

AgStar’s executive team wanted to take a learn, plan and execute approach. So Lake One was first commissioned to provide a custom, onsite workshop for AgStar’s 12 Member Executive Board.

The workshop was tailored to AgStars questions: how has technology changed the way consumers interact with brands, what are other financial firms doing, what are other farm credit providers doing, what can we learn from other industries and what should our immediate next steps be.

Following the workshop, Lake One continued as a strategic partner as we moved forward an “AgStar as Publisher” strategy. Our goal was to position AgStar as a publish of rich content relevant to AgStar’s core constituent, farmers, on multiple levels. The financing, operation and daily life of farming in America. We wanted AgStar to be seen as an advocate, the storyteller behind what’s taking place on Midwest Farms.

“Not only did Lake One help us achieve our goals during our digital planning, they made our team look good in the process!”

      Terry Fast Sr. Communications Specialist AgStar Financial Services

Lake One provided research and insight into the audience, content ideas, blog structure, guidance on blog development, internal content production workflows and provided support as AgStar launched the initial version of AgStar Edge.

One of the core features of the blog was thematic elements focusing on industry topics like commodities or issues including ongoing features like the Hog Blog or chronicling the role of Women in Agriculture.

In the first month after launching, AgStar saw a 240% increase in traffic to their original content, a 350% jump in organic search and continues to advance a thoughtleader position as an advocate for Rural America and Farming culture.

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