42 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM CONTENT MARKETING Focus on Knowledge Sharing, Not Sales SHAWNA SCHIMNOWSKI Client Services Manager • CREATE by Issues Ink One of the biggest mistakes commonly made in content marketing is that the content turns into a sales pitch, either intentionally or unintentionally. When this happens, you lose the attention of the reader and damage the relationship you’ve been working so hard to build. Right now, you might be asking, “why am I doing this?” Or “how is it going to help my business if I can’t pitch my products or services?” According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is: “The art of communicating with your custom- ers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent.” Success in content marketing starts with your company defining its business goals. These can vary, but some of the most fundamental goals are: 1. Building Brand Awareness. This is one of the most common goals of a con- tent marketing strategy. How does this help? By providing high-quality content and positioning your company as a niche expert you build a following. 2. Building Brand Loyalty. When read- ers find themselves consistently reading a brand’s content, their perception of the brand shifts, not only in terms of credi- bility but also likability. 3. Lead Nurturing and Customer Education. An educated client is a more satisfied client. Coincidently, educating potential customers is also one of the most efficient ways to put content mar- keting to work. Make a list of the ques- tions your team hears from clients. These questions can be the start of your content offering and are sure to please new and existing customers. 4. Relationship Building. Be ready to respond and monitor your content inter- actions on social media or on your blog. Responding to comments or questions with current or potential customers is an opportunity to connect and build rela- tionships. This also helps humanize your company — giving it an opinion, exper- tise and personality. Customers want to buy from people, not a brand. 5. Recruitment. Don’t miss an opportunity to showcase your company’s vision and cul- ture. Great content can show prospective employees why working at your organiza- tion would be meaningful and interesting. You don’t have to pick just one goal, but it’s likely best to focus on three or four key goals. Once you’ve identified your content marketing goals, generate a couple sentences to flush out how each goal aligns with your company’s larger objectives. This essentially becomes your touchstone and helps you explain why you are engaged in content marketing. It’s also a fundamental component when it comes time to measure the return on investment. SEED TREATMENT & STEWARDSHIP Complexity Of Recipe Development For Seed Treatment DENNIS D'OSTILIO Global Lead Recipe Development • Syngenta Active ingredients in products are what dominate much of the discussion in the world of crop protection, and for good reason. These are the molecules that effectively control target pests and dis- eases but they are never applied to crops independently. Farmers and growers are able to achieve maximum yield because scientists deliver active ingredients within carefully designed formulations. These formulations are either used as seed treatment products on seeds prior to planting or as foliar applied products on plants. Seed treatment technologies has become increasingly complex in recent years. As certain insects, weeds and path- ogens have adapted to molecules once used to control them, delivering additional modes of action in combining different seed treatment products or a single prod- uct – via multiple active ingredients – has become imperative. For example in some seed treatments, up to seven active ingre- dients can be applied. From case to case in addition to seed treatment products other products like herbicide safeners, nematicides, plant grow regulators, micro- nutrients, and polymers for seed coatings can be applied in seed treatments. Apart of the technical challenges in seed treat- ment recipe development, the challenges in regulatory are getting more and more a complex as different seed treatment products from different suppliers are reg- istered at different application rates in different countries on different crops. In addition to that, our customers are asking increasingly “customized seed treatment offers”. Our company excels at overcoming these challenges. Seed treatment polymers are playing increasing an important role. Polymers for seed treatment serve a number of functions in seed treatment as providing the customers visual appearance, reduce dust-off from treated seed so there is less residue in seed bags and from planters, improving the seed coverage on the seed surface, aid in the application of biological seed protectants to the seed, improve the cosmetic appearance of seed, establish a barrier between seed treatment chemi- cals and the seed to improve the safety of the seed treatment, reduce friction and abrasion of seeds during storage and planting, and improve planter drop of seeds while sowing. In some cases the right selection of seed treatment polymer in a specific seed treatment recipe in the combination with the appropriate process and equipment is a fundamental tool for a good performing seed treatment recipe. The recipe development work doesn’t end after the introduction into commercial scale. We continuously look for ways to improve existing seed treat- ment recipes, as is evident in our growing product pipeline. While the development of a new seed treatment is nothing short of a scientific triumph, the premise of the Seedcare Institute team’s work remains simple. Our goal has always been to develop products and new solutions that meet customer needs.