The marketing process is generally underestimated in the livery business world. The mantra of ‘if I build it, they will come’ rarely rings true in reality. The livery sector is a competitive marketplace and you need to go out there and find the customers you need to make your business a success.
Nowadays, thanks to the development of the internet, marketing your business online has become an effective way to get noticed. But with websites becoming cheaper and easier to put together, how do you make yourself standout when all your competitors have one too?
We’ve put together a list of actions you can take to target the right customers online and build your business into a profitable one.
Invest In Your Branding
You don’t need to have the world’s flashiest logo, but investing a bit of money in a good graphic designer who can create an identity for your brand will immediately make you stand out amongst the local competition. Good brand identities create positive feelings and associations for people that they latch onto and remember you by.
Identities can include anything from your logo and colour scheme to the font used on your official paperwork. They create a clear picture of your value proposition and message to the world.
Work On Your Website Presentation
Integrate your new brand identity into your website, with congruent colour schemes and fonts. Perhaps you have worked on ‘tone of voice’ within your brand, in which case amend your site content to match your new style of messaging.
Again, having a nice clean and easy to navigate website makes a huge impression on potential customers looking for information. Fill out your site with pictures of your stables, horses and existing clients looking happy and enjoying themselves. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your current customers for a testimonial about your service and upload it for all to see.
Add Regular Content To Your Site
Once you have sorted your branding and website, the work doesn’t stop there. To be viewed as the best source of information for livery yards within your area/region, you need to be adding regular content to a blog or news section on your website.
Provide regular updates on the goings on at your yard, with photos and other rich media like videos. This type of content really sticks in the minds of visitors and means you’ll be remembered. Alternatively you could post useful tips on how to train horses for shows or information on the best bridleways in your area.
In the eyes of Google, a website that posts regular and relevant content is more likely to provide the answer to a potential user search query. As a result these websites get preferential treatment in the search engine results pages, increasing the likelihood you’ll get spotted.
Sign Up For Google Places
For a business that is location dependant, it is important you list your address clearly across your website and then sign up for Google Places. Presenting your address like this easily lets people know where you are based (reducing their search/thinking time) but also lets Google know how to handle search queries originating in your area.
If you list your business with Google Places, you’ll appear in the list of businesses shown on a local map in the search results page. This helps users identify which businesses are located close to them and also helps them with their decision making.
Post On Relevant Forums
Many potential customers regularly hang out on internet forums about horses and ask others for recommendations on all manner of related subjects. Engage with people there, answering their questions and helping them out.
One word of warning, however. Avoid being salesy (i.e. just promoting your business). The idea is to build a profile for yourself/your business in the community as a useful contributor. Users who show up and just want to get customers with unashamed self promotion can turn people off. However, if you take a genuine approach of trying to be helpful, it can be a very valuable activity.
Swap Links With Other Local Businesses
Being part of a community means helping each other out. If you have friends in the area, or suppliers you do business with, list their company‚’s website on your own with a little description about them. Create a ‘links‚’ section on your website for these businesses to promote their product/service and ask for a reciprocal feature on their site in return.
If your businesses are all in the same geographical area this only helps your visibility for local search traffic and means you’ll stand a better chance of getting noticed by people interested in livery services.
Create A Facebook/Twitter Account
Free, easy and quick to do. Head over to Facebook and create a ‘page’ for your company. Post contact and address details for the yard along with photos and your company logo. Get your friend’s and current customers to ‘like’ the page and post regular updates about whats going on in the business.
Similarly, setting up a twitter profile means you can engage with other people in the area who have an interest in horses or are maybe thinking about changing their stables.
It Should Be Fun
These are just a few examples of things you can do to better stand out online. With a little thought, effort and creativity, you can make your livery yard the one everyone wants to board their horse at. And of course, remember to check out our range of stables to house your animals in.