Developing a digital marketing strategy isn’t just important for national businesses or NFL athletes. Having a strong brand reputation, great visibility, and engagement with your audience is important for equine businesses and equestrian athletes as well.
By utilizing digital marketing tools you can provide valuable content for your audience, communicate with your fans (or customers), and raise awareness for your sport or your business.
If you’re an equestrian and competing in your sport, you should consider your brand as the human that you are, the activity that you compete within, and the integration and participation within the community you serve. Start first by defining key elements of your brand’s values. What do you stand for? What aspects of your background are you most proud to share? What goals or achievements do you aspire to have? What community or network do you exist within? Many athletes chose to support particular nonprofit organizations or are heavily active in their hometown community; these actions are all part of their personal brand.
By using social media, you can showcase photographs from your events, advertise upcoming events in your area, and be part of the greater community of equestrians. You can share personal attributes about yourself including special interests, charitable activities, and other facts. (We call this “humanizing your brand.) People are genuinely interested in getting to know you and will appreciate that you have let them into your personality and your sport.
Additional strategies to consider in building your personal brand include: tagging organizations with which you are affiliated; tagging other professionals in your sphere of influence including trainers, veterinarians, and other equine specialists that you work with; share your awards and memorable moments; post short videos of you competing; share advice or tips that can help other equestrians. All of these content pieces work together to support your overall brand personality and help your audience connect with you. The more visibility and engagement (likes, shares, comments) you can earn, the greater you’ll be able to grow your reputation, which can lead to future opportunities in the equestrian world.
The same is true for equine small businesses: growing your brand reputation and your company’s brand comes from organically sharing who you are and what you represent. These factors include: information about the business owners and their background, products or services offered, special offers or promotions, community events or participation, and resources/tips for your customers.
By developing a digital marketing strategy, you can increase your company’s viewing audience, build a solid reputation, and drive more sales to your business. Some key elements of developing an effective digital marketing strategy include:
- Create a professional website with high quality images and a clear narrative about what your company offers and why you stand out in your competitive market. Make sure to include contact information and directions to your physical location if you have one. A simple, but well-designed three or four page website can be really effective for small businesses of all types and can be budget-friendly depending on your needs.
- Develop helpful content for your audience that you can share on your website blog or resources pages. These articles can include tips and suggestions, resource links, helpful advice for your customers, Frequently Asked Questions, and related information.
- Create a business profile on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook as a starting point (this should not be a personal page). Then consider moving to TikTok and YouTube if you have ongoing video content to share. Make sure to complete all requested information (location, products/ services offered, contact information) and a profile picture and cover image (in banner format). Represent your company as professionally as possible because these profiles serve as a modern-day Yellow Pages for business directories.
- Develop a social media plan that includes 2-5 posts per week depending on your availability. The higher frequency, the better, but you’ll want to make sure you can maintain the rhythm each week so that you appear consistent to your audience. Include photos and videos of your products or services as much as possible. Humanize your brand by spotlighting your team members or special events you’re participating in. Share valuable content from your blog or resources page. Answer common questions from your buyers. Ask your audience for feedback or to answer polls.
- Consider advertising in industry-related publications that specifically target your audience. Bundle packages that offer print advertising (visibility-building) and digital advertising options (click through to a special offer or a website) that can be advantageous for brand recognition.
The goal of your digital marketing plan is to create as much value as possible for your customers and to build engagement by communicating authentically and frequently with them.
Consumers work with companies that they like, know, and trust. Discover ways to share content that builds your likability and connects with your audience. The more they feel they know you, the more effective you’ll be at building trust with your audience and maintaining a strong customer base. Implementing digital marketing strategies for your equine small business can not only communicate your offerings to your audience and build recognition but can be a valuable component of driving sales revenue.
Rachel Ledet is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Founder of 30|90 Marketing, a brand development and strategic marketing agency. Learn more or get in touch at 3090marketing.com