The Clinton Foundation is currently working with nearly 115,000 smallholder farmers in places like El Salvador, Colombia, Haiti, Rwanda, Malawi, and Tanzania to improve agricultural practices, increase yields, and enhance market access, so that these farmers can better support their families and communities. The challenges and opportunities related to smallholder farming can be complex, however. The goal of "Seeding Opportunity" was to simplify this message by giving supporters a chance to experience for themselves what it's like to be a smallholder farmer in the regions where we work. Through a custom-built, interactive farming experience, users had the opportunity to choose which crop to farm – peanuts, papaya, coffee, or maize – and get an inside look at some of the challenges a typical smallholder in that region faces. A multi-part blog series supplemented the digital experience by leveraging voices of our expert thought-leaders. Also featured across our social media and email platforms were video stories of smallholder farmers we work with, infographics that further illuminated smallholder challenges, and photo albums from the field.
"Seeding Opportunity" sought to demonstrate why the lives and challenges of smallholder farmers around the world matter to our audience, which is largely U.S.-based. Our strategy focused on identifying commonalities in the challenges that smallholder farmers face across countries and our programs in order to bring awareness to these challenges in an engaging, relatable way – in turn, galvanizing additional support for the Foundation's smallholder farmer programs.
Through a robust implementation strategy on several digital channels, our audience learned about and engaged with these challenges in a personalized manner. A custom-coded website featuring four unique farming stories based on beneficiaries we work with around the world transported users into the stories of our smallholders – aided by richly illustrated graphics (created in-house) based on real-world photography of our field programs. A detailed, targeted email follow-up series shared even further insight into the farmers' stories and the regions where we work. An in-depth blog series showcased expert voices in agriculture as well as dynamic representations of the four crops in the farming experience through a compelling video blog; an infographic; a real-world beneficiary story; and a question & answer blog with a field staffer. On social media, the campaign was supplemented by paid advertising and promotion of four vignette videos of smallholder farmers in the field.
"Seeding Opportunity" offered users a unique, one-of-a-kind experience. Visitors to the farming site had the ability to personalize their experience by providing their name and choosing which of four crops to farm. All illustrations were developed in house, giving the experience a unique personality and voice and providing a strong sense of place – while also helping unfamiliar regions feel more familiar and relatable for our audience. The copy told a simple and compelling story, from the perspective of a smallholder farmer, that still managed to capture the nuances and complexities of the challenges these farmers face.
This campaign successfully spread the message about the challenges and opportunities related to smallholder farming, as evidenced by the following metrics:
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