Do you know you need to up your horse marketing game?
Do you raise great horses, stand an amazing stud, or train horses really well? Are you frustrated when you see lesser horses or lesser trainers getting better prices or being sold out or booked up sooner?
Are you able to use a computer but don’t have the time nor interest to teach yourself how to build and maintain websites, figure out a social media campaign, and find out the best way to collect email addresses and send bulk emails?
There are exceptions, but very few people can successfully sell horses today without digital marketing. Digital marketing includes websites, social media, email marketing. Those methods of reaching customers help you build respect, reach new customers, stay in touch with your existing customers, and get your horses out there in front of people who want them.
We start with your goals
Put Kristin’s education and work background in strategy and planning to work for you. We start with what you need to accomplish. If you want to increase shipped semen breedings on a stallion, we need to take a different approach than if goal one is to sell foals at weaning for more money.
Then we build your website
Once we have established what your website needs to accomplish, we will collect the information we need to build it. You will gather up pedigrees, photos, other information on your horses. We’ll help with checklists and tips of course. The more complete your gathering is, the more efficient our day of website building will be. Just like gathering cows for branding, it’s best to have them all in one place. However, if you miss a couple of calves, you can get them later. Just less efficient.
While you are gathering information, we are building the framework of your site in the background. We’ll have the blank pages built, the menus created. The structure that fits your operation will be ready to go. It will be prepared to pop your content into the pages.
We’ll schedule a day and get your site ready to launch! Why? It’s efficient. We are both concentrated on just that one thing that day. You have my attention and I have yours. We’ll get it done!
We keep your site running after launch
Some website agencies build your site and then they are done. We have never seen that as productive. We believe in ongoing teamwork and you choose the level of our help. Most people will want to make their own website changes by following our directions and what they learned helping us build the site. That will include adding new horses as they are born or acquired, doing their own social media posts (again, following step by step instructions).
However, keeping the background software up and running, the hosting account running, site backups, all that boring mechanical stuff, we take care of that behind the scenes. Have an occasional question or change you want made? We are here for that. Seriously, we think your questions are interesting and we enjoy hearing from our customers. If you prefer to outsource all your content changes, we can quote you an add on for that.
Of course if you need a major change to your website, we can give you a quote for that too. It might be as simple as jumping up a level in our standard plans/pricing. And as a huge extra bonus, sometime after your second year with us, we’ll do an evaluation of your site and do a refresh of the appearance so it never gets old or stale looking. That site appearance refresh is included in your maintenance package!
Building websites is . . .
Interestingly, some people think it is too hard to have a website. To them we say, we can make it easy enough to be worth your time and investment. We ask about your goals, your available time, and your computer skills. If you have basic computer skills and will commit some time to learning and to keeping your website up to date, we can help you have an effective horse marketing website.
On the other hand, we hear people say, “it is so easy my 11 year old nephew can do it for me”. Well. Nope. He can’t build an effective horse business website. He doesn’t yet know how to start with goals and build a user experience around that. If he can figure out how to make a great looking, mobile responsive pedigree table have him contact us about joining the team. 🙂
Building effective business websites means you need expertise and experience in the horse industry and you need technical expertise, and you need strategic and marketing experience. You need resources to do this right – computers, hosting accounts, software and more software. There are many things you need to know and keep up to date on. The amount of time we spend keeping up with developments in the digital industry is insane.
We have those skills, we buy those products and we keep up, and you can benefit.
Maintaining a website is . . .
Here, we admit to some frustration. Keeping a site up and running is expensive and tedious. Websites involve a lot of moving parts. Those moving parts give us features that make our websites effective. However, like anything with moving parts, they can break. These aren’t like small square balers that break all the time, but it takes some experience and time to keep them running well.
Great hosting is a requirement. We only use great hosting. Been there, done that with less than great hosting. Yes, great hosting is expensive. You get what you pay for. Horses are usually like that too, but you know already know that.
Training and help is critical
Having a great looking website doesn’t do you any good if you can’t keep it updated. Ever seen a site that offers a mare who is bred for a 2017 foal? We prevent that from happening. Yes, you will need to do the updates (or at least provide the information if you subscribe to our content services) but we promise to make it as easy as possible for you!
How do we make it easy?
- First, we build the site together during your one day session
- You will learn that day how to add and edit content
- We understand your time is limited and valuable and design our process to make things easier and faster than DIY systems
- Your site will include written and/or video step by step instructions
- You’ll have access to our how-to written and video training
Kristin has over a decade of teaching and training experience in both community colleges and privately. You’ll understand and have the documentation you need to change the content on your site. Need a new tutorial? Just ask and we’ll get it done!
Other digital marketing “things”
There is a lot more to it than just building a website and having good content on it. Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing are important because they reach different audiences in different ways and they can, if used correctly, drive interested people to your website. They also give people alternative ways to reach you like private messages on Facebook.
When you use Facebook to sell horses, you have a balancing act to accomplish. You can’t just say “here’s my horse for sale” because that is against their rules. Also, you would prefer that the potential buyer leaves Facebook which is full of horses for sale and goes directly to your site. We’ll show you how with features in your site that will make this work.
If you already do or if you want to send out an email newsletter, we can help with that too. Email is still one of the most effective marketing tools there is. If someone tells you email is dead, just giggle at them. However, it’s another one of those things that must be as efficient as possible because otherwise, you’ll be too busy! We have an easy to use system we can build into your website so you don’t have to leave your admin area to send your newsletters. Your site can also collect interested people’s emails for you.
Who we serve best
The horse businesses who fit into DHM the best are indeed businesses. That doesn’t mean it is necessarily your only job, that’s a description of the owner’s attitude and seriousness. Like with most things these days, basic computer skills are really helpful. If you can manage your digital photos, organize them on your computer, write up website copy in a word processor, and similar computer tasks, you’ll be ready for the DHM website experience!
The Digital Horse Marketing system is straightforward, easy to use, efficient and effective for many horse people. However, it isn’t for everyone. If you are convinced Facebook is all you need, you won’t find DHM helpful. If you detest computers and don’t want to learn anything about using them, you won’t enjoy DHM and we want customers who enjoy having us on the team. If you have a huge operation including not just a lot of horses but many other enterprises, we’d love to help you, please contact us about a custom website for your business.
People who want to convey a solid, professional, stable (no pun intended) presence will benefit from their own website complimented by social media. A website that is professional looking and is at the heart of your digital marketing efforts gives the right first impression to your prospective customers.
If that sounds good to you, we’d love to help you get there.