Running any business is time consuming and demanding enough, but a business that involves live animals such as an equine one brings additional challenges of its own.
So how are you supposed to find time to promote your business and keep up with all your social media connections?
One of the options that businesses are looking at is to create an online presence which can then be given to someone else to manage, or it can be done in house with dedicated time management planning.
In this article I look at some of the options and shortcuts to managing your marketing and social media presence, and consider whether blogging could be something useful to your business.
What is a Blog?
A blog is simply a website that allows for easy updates and the publishing of articles on a regular basis.
For example this website equine blog ireland is just a blog, but other websites have static web pages built in and then a separate blog section.
Although it may look very complicated most blog sites are managed through blogging platforms, which perform all the technical bits. Once you know the basics it is easy to add content, images, videos and even interviews and testimonials.
Why Would I Want A Blog If I Already Have A Website?
There are a number of differences between a blog and a static website (pages are put up and cannot easily be changed). A blog makes it easy to add content and because of that it is regularly updated with new material.
This is important for search engines as they know more information is being added and this helps your website to a appear higher in the search ranking pages.
This means that clients will come across your website easier and quicker when they go to search in Google or Yahoo / Bing.
Do I Have To Be A Big Business To Have A Blog?
No is the short answer to this, you don’t even need a website already set up, as a blog can act as both.
You can easily learn about blogging and how to rank in Google, through marketing websites such as my own website (How To Write and Get Paid).
Does It Cost A Lot of Money To Blog?
No – you can blog for free, but if you are promoting a business you are better to have your own domain name with the business name included. It is a small cost of approximately $14 per year to register a domain name that can then be used to build your website on.
You can check out domain names in the box above to see if your business is available.
Once you have a domain name chosen then you will host and build your website through a service such as Bluehost.
Does it Take A Lot of Time to Blog?
This is probably a more difficult question to answer, it definitely takes some time but how much will depend on you and your business.
if you are riding or managing horses full time as a business it is probably easier to have someone else managing the blog. However you can easily collect content for articles as you go about your regular business.
- Video training sessions (or get students / helpers to video you) as you teach so that people can get a sense of how you perform and interact with customers.
- Video (on your phone) horses in action, being turned out etc. to add to the blog and give people a sense of your yard and facilities
- Students on placement or wanting work experience can do more than just mucking out – get them to video, photograph the yard at work and maybe do quick snappy interviews of customers.
- Take photos of posters promoting events.
- Film or get staff to film the farrier / equine dentist / other visitors to the yard
Using Social Media To Promote Your Business
You probably know at this stage that social media is one of the easiest and most effective ways to share information and market your business.
The advantage of a blog site is that you already have material collated that can be used by itself or as part of a blog post and shared on social media.
Facebook pages allow you to have a business site that can be used to promote your activities, but remember it is social media –
- engage with others,
- like other pages and
- keep up with what else is happening in your local area or within your field.
Instagram is another way to share photos and short videos and keep your current customers sharing and promoting your business amongst their own networks and friends.
After all peer to peer recommendations are the strongest form of marketing and don’t cost anything, other than the time to prepare content.
Is blogging for you? – perhaps not, but maybe there is someone in your business or a partner who is interested in this side of the business. The great news is you don’t need to be a top rider in order to write for an equine blog, in fact you don’t need to be a rider at all.
You do need to understand the equine business though and anyone involved at a business level will understand what works for customers and what services you are trying to sell.
A lot of the suggestions for content can also be used on social media, so even if you hold off on the blogging you can definitely be improving your marketing through Facebook and Instagram, simply by posting videos and photos.
If you have any further questions or comments please feel free to share them in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share this article on your own social media pages (after all it’s one less article or photo you have to find).