LIMA — Much like any other industry trying to stay relevant in an ever-changing media landscape, the Ohio Beef Council has adapted the way it markets to consumers.
The days of TV ads proclaiming “Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner” are long gone. In fact, the beef council has forgone television advertising altogether in favor of social media campaigns, online marketing and blogs.
“You won’t see us on TV anymore because it’s too expensive,” said Cambell Parrish, director of consumer marketing and public relations for the Ohio Beef Council. “But if you’re on social media, I guarantee you will see us there. If you’re digital, you’ll see us there because that’s where people are shopping.”
Speaking to a group of Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce members Friday, Parrish described how the beef council is shifting its focus to platforms where the most people shop and obtain information: the internet.
The council, which educates consumers about the industry and promotes beef products in Ohio, has its own website and is active on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Using these platforms, the council promotes its message and tries to combat other organizations that try to undermine the beef industry.
“If we can get ahead of those different groups out there like PETA, the Humane Society of the United States and those other misinformation organizations, then we’re gonna be successful,” Parrish said.
To do this, the council works with “influencers” to help people get acquainted with the beef industry. The collaborative effort among influencers and the council promote beef recipes online, show how farmers raise their animals and educate the public on how the beef industry is trying to make its products lean, healthy and sustainable.
“With bloggers in the state of Ohio, we work with about eight of them,” Parrish said. “Collectively, they have a following of one million people. Just this past week we did a back-to-school blog series and they did recipes for things you can put in your kids’ lunch pail.
“Every time they hit send on one of these series, they hit one million consumers right away. And that number continues to grow.”
The council produces its own content as well, posting beef recipes and information about the industry. It also works with farmers to tell their stories.
“We’re just equipping them to go out and share that story with consumers because people love hearing from farmers,” Parrish said. “They’re one of the most trusted resources for information about farming. Beef farmers here in Ohio are vital. They’re the backbone to society.”
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.