Top 4 Marketing Strategies For Your Equine Business
By: Carol Aldridge
As an equine business owner, you wear many hats. But no matter how organized and hard-working you are, your approach to marketing can ultimately make or break your business. Consider these top four marketing strategies to help you gain an advantage in the equine industry’s competitive business environment:
A PROFESSIONAL QUALITY WEBSITE
Your website is your business’s face to the world. These features will help assure that you are continually presented to your target audience in a positive and inviting manner.
Design – A clean layout and easy navigation invite your readers in and encourages them to explore your site while learning more about all your business has to offer.
Branding – Consistent branding throughout your website and all other marketing materials creates instant recognition.
Lead Qualifying – Include adequate information about your business/products/services to assure your visitors can easily determine that you have what they are looking for.
Blog Component – Integrated blogging capability is highly recommended as a key component of your website to assure successful content marketing and effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Capturing the email addresses of your target audience will allow you to stay in direct contact, providing future offers, and information.
Lead Capture – Include a dedicated landing page on your website that incorporates a subscriber opt-in form.
Subscriber Incentive – Offer a free report or e-book containing valuable information for your prospective customers.
Email Marketing – Integrating your lead capture system with an email marketing system such as Constant Contact or Mailchimp will help automate the entire process. Just set it all up once and let the system do the work for you!
The content you publish and share with your audience and subscribers are what keeps this whole system in motion. It draws in new customers and keeps your audience interested.
Blogging – Draw traffic to your site and enhance your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by consistently publishing content rich blog posts.
Email Marketing – Email your subscribers regularly with links to your blog posts, and include inviting offers and other valuable content.
LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform – In my opinion, this amazing promotional tool has not received nearly the recognition it deserves. Each post published there is categorized and made available to ALL LinkedIn members.
Content Curation – Other reputable sites such as Reddit or EzineArticles will publish your content for free, producing valuable backlinks to your website.
News Releases – Publishing professional news releases on a regular basis can be the single most effective way to get your name out to your potential market. It’s best to determine several key media outlets and develop a working relationship with each, so they recognize and take note of your news when it is received.
Networking is the #1 marketing strategy for any successful business. It is a daily activity whether we choose to recognize it or not. Approach every business contact as an exercise in relationship building to ultimately grow your business beyond any other standard marketing tactic. Determine where your target market is and then become a visible participant there.
Groups – Join online networking groups dedicated to your niche market, and join in the conversations with supportive replies and helpful, informative posts.
Influencers – Watch and learn to determine who the most influential professionals are in your field and then introduce yourself.
Events – Meeting other professionals in person is the most powerful way to grow your business relationships. Look for local equine seminars, Horse Council events, shows and other equine events on your area. Then, attend with a professional, friendly attitude (never with the intention to “sell”) and be sure to bring lots of business cards!
CRM – A comprehensive CRM (contact relationship management) system will take your networking from average to supercharged! The most valuable aspect of a quality CRM system is its ability to streamline and strengthen your follow-up efforts. Because without follow-up, networking and relationship-building efforts are practically meaningless. Enter each new person that you wish to stay in touch with. Then, assign one or more “tags” for sorting and filtering purposes. Most systems will also automatically integrate with your email creating an ongoing record of your correspondence with each contact. You can also schedule email or text reminders to help keep you on track.
Incorporating these key systems and strategies in your basic marketing plan will allow you to grow and maintain an increasingly successful equine business.
Reprinted with permission from author Carol Aldridge, an administrative consultant and marketing support specialist serving the equine industry for over 20 years. For more business marketing tips and resources, visit:www.EquineOfficeSolutions.com