You're in a business rich in tradition. Thousands of years of horsemanship have sculpted the way you handle horses, ride and teach today.
While good horsemanship practices don't change, marketing methods do.
You already know there is more to marketing now than the yellow pages and a quarter page ad in the local paper twice a year. To help with understanding more about online marketing, I recently spoke with Kammy Thurman, a strategic internet and social marketing consultant in Montana, about changes in the way professional horsemen market their businesses.
Kammy, a self described horse "nut" and outdoor enthusiast, says, "Everyone needs a website, it's a point of credibility." Her site is www.AnchorCreative.com . She went on to say, "The content on a website is a sales letter and the copy and the graphics on the site should be simple and clean. Pretty doesn't work."
Thurman offers these steps for success with websites:
- Get the site up and working for you.
- Get the site ranked using search engine optimization (SEO)
- Build authority with articles, tips and videos
- Follow Up! when you get inquiries or orders, ACT
Kammy recommends how to add power immediately to your online marketing program:
Facebook is a strong magnet for attracting and driving visitors to your site. She points out Facebook outranked Google for searches this past December. At the moment, Facebook business pages are cost efficient and effective marketing tools for staying in touch with customers and prospects.
Video creates authority and your personal video or narrated slide presentation leverages readers' preference to see and hear over just reading website copy.
Mobile Marketing will become more popular. Keep Smartphones in mind.
I did a little research about Smartphones. According to a report by the Financial Times, manufacturers shipped more Smartphones than personal computers in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Granted, smart phones are traded more frequently than personal computers, largely due to the active mobile lifestyle of the user, but evolution of mobile technology is progressing at a phenomenal rate.
The Smartphone may soon be replacing much of the need for personal computer
What this may mean to you and your business is a need for easy text message access to you or your website and your ability to text back information or coupons instantly to prospects.
Additionally, QR codes for more information may be part of your marketing program.
There's no denying electronic marketing is here to stay and should be a part of your marketing plan.
Take some time to learn more about improving your online marketing or find a professional to help you.