Online dating sites cater to every age and income bracket. For many years, niche online dating sites specially catered only to ethnic and religious groups. But today there are sites for every kind of single person. Online dating sites use many integrated marketing tools and techniques to get visitors to the critical point where they feel it’s worthwhile to join. The tools they use and the messaging that drives their marketing depend heavily on the audience they hope to reach.
When Jerry Miller launched the FarmersOnly.com dating website in 2005, he filled a niche for people to connect to others in similar circumstances. Farmers, ranchers, and people who live in the relative isolation of small towns can browse hundreds of profiles of people just like themselves. FarmersOnly.com has quickly carved out a unique place in an overpopulated online dating market.
Miller was working in agricultural marketing and heard the same story from many farmers: Dating was tough. Nobody else understood the relentless hours and how everybody knows everybody in their small rural communities. If they didn’t marry their high school sweethearts, they had a serious problem. So he started FarmersOnly, where over 4 million people have created profiles in the hopes of harvesting a relationship.
Miller found that people who work in the dirt, raise livestock and spend lots of time outdoors want to meet others of the same ilk. “Farmers live miles and miles away from their nearest neighbors and that hurts their chances of finding a compatible partner through traditional methods,” says Miller. “Farmers have a less materialistic view than their urban counterparts. There is definitely a divide between people in the corporate rat race and those in rural areas.”
He paid careful attention to content marketing. Copy is written short and to the point. The website offers dating tips, advice, trends and success stories of happy couples facilitated by the site. The writing quality and story topics keep these blog posts fascinating and shareable.
From a catchy motto to clever ad campaigns like “Find Your Prince Farming” to more than 15 amusing commercials featuring “The Riding Date,” “The Fishing Date” and more, humor is a big part of FarmersOnly’s brand. Being single is hard enough as it is, so Jerry thought it was important to keep things light and remind people that online dating can be fun. Their memorable ads are housed for posterity on their YouTube channel where they’ve generated many thousands of views.
In addition to traditional advertising, FarmersOnly created a social media campaign to support the messaging being spread by on TVs, display ads and more. On Twitter they launched the hashtag #farmersonly and branded their own profile with the tongue-in-cheek #cityfolksjustdontgetit – and expanded the “City Folks Just Don’t Get It” tag line across other properties as well. Their social media presence isn’t large, but they’ve generated a fair amount of buzz with clever tactics like offering discounted memberships to disappointed football fans in Iowa after a big loss.
Additionally FarmersOnly recognized the importance of mobile access to their service, given the ever-increasing consumer reliance on mobile, especially when it comes to social pursuits. They released a companion app for their website.
Returning to the cornerstone of IMC, truly knowing your buyer, FarmersOnly has branded itself from top to bottom with what are perhaps fairly obvious choices to appeal to country dwellers – from vibrant green colors to a pair of branches growing hearts in their logo. Their properties all echo these choices and key messaging, creating a coherent and unified front across the internet and mobile platforms.
All of this effort has served to firmly root (pun intended) FarmersOnly.com as the go-to dating place for not just farmers and ranchers, but anyone living in an isolated area where country values and pursuits are treasured, or anyone who enjoys recreational of country living like hunting, fishing and mudding. In essence, it’s a place to find your kindred spirit, someone who understands your life from the get-go. Bigger, broader dating sites make it tough to narrow down interests so specifically, but at niche sites like FarmersOnly, you know you’re starting your search in precisely the right place.
And their ability to get that message out to consumers, convince and convert with effective IMC tactics is what has earned FarmersOnly.com our nomination as IMC Campaign of the Month.