2015 Beef Checkoff Annual Report - Page 16

Producer Communications 3.6% Producer communications represents a small percentage of the checkoff budget, but is a response to the requirement in the Beef Promotion and Research Act that we keep those who invest their hard-earned dollars into the checkoff program informed about the results of their investments. MyBeefCheckoff.com The flagship producer communications website, MyBeefCheckoff.com, is the hub of results directed at beef producers and importers who pay the beef checkoff assessment. In fiscal 2015, the site turned in a compelling performance, sharing checkoff results and engaging record numbers of checkoff investors nationwide. The total number of visits to the site came in at 104,259 for the year, up 28 percent from fiscal 2014. That included 73,022 unique users, also up 28 percent. This audience viewed a total of 245,187 “pages” on the site, up 10 percent from 2014, with the biggest growth coming in the number of users who accessed the site via mobile devices — accounting for 16.9 percent of site visits, up 545 percent in one year! Driving Producers to Information Of course, websites don’t get effective traffic like this without driving investors and other interested stakeholders to the information. One of the ways the checkoff accomplishes this is through paid media, which delivers a cohesive, consistent, unfiltered message through more than 60 traditional and digital venues where investors tell us they go for information about their industry. That includes print advertising of producer testimonials; online and other digital ads; e-blasts from key agricultural publications; ads or articles in influencer newsletters and the like — all of which link to or share the website address. In fiscal 2015, a total paid-media budget of $498,002 was responsible for about 20.2 million impressions! Facebooking with Checkoff Investors In fiscal 2015, the number of followers on the My Beef Checkoff Facebook page increased 55 percent to 11,845, while post engagement (likes, comments and shares) grew 315 percent to 274,297 and total reach of posts jumped 219 percent to 828,498! If you haven’t joined the conversation yet, we encourage you to do so right away. We need YOUR voice! Tweeting at a Record Pace Activity on the My Beef Checkoff Twitter feed is expanding rapidly, as well. In fiscal 2015, the number of followers grew by 34 percent to 7,915. Producer Communications reach on Twitter skyrocketed in 2015, leaping 559 percent to 3.1 million! Distributing Checkoff Messages In addition to paid media traffic to www.MyBeefCheckoff.com, the checkoff delivered newsletters and other communiques through: Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), including Beef Board members, Federation directors, and state beef council staff, 450 ag-media representatives, a monthly producer-newsletter list of 10,194 and a quarterly newsletter to about 250 importers, for a combined distribution of more than 310,000 during the year. “Open” and “click-thru” rates for all categories of releases, updates and newsletters were exponentially ahead of industry averages (more than 40 times the average, in some cases). Collaborating with State Beef Councils The national Beef Checkoff Program coordinates closely with state beef councils nationwide to provide consistent checkoff messages and materials, as well as designing, producing or customizing advertisements, banners, brochures, placemats, auction-market cards and posters for state beef councils at no cost to them. In FY15, the national program also created and distributed state-customized monthly newsletters to more than a dozen states, with a combined total of about 5,000 subscribers; managed a news-feeder “widget” on the websites of 14 states; and designed about 75 custom materials for 28 state beef councils that requested them. Bill McDonald Blacksburg VIRGINIA 16 David Pietsch McLean VIRGINIA Importer Terry Meikle Washington, DC WASHINGTON, DC Importer Larry Echols Gap Mills WEST VIRGINIA Marty Andersen New Glarus WISCONSIN Lloyd DeRuyter Cedar Grove WISCONSIN Randy Geiger Reedsville WISCONSIN Spencer Ellis Lovell WYOMING 17