Years of data prove the digital presence method works, so why don't we see more horse businesses crush it online?
Our industry thrives on reputation and word of mouth. It's always been that way. But things change, and a new step in the referral method stops the well-oiled machine of reputation and word of mouth in its tracks.
Referrals are checking you out online to verify if you’re "legit".
If they search and find nothing or very little, that's the moment when a stable or riding center loses credibility in the potential customer's mind.
The extra step in the word-of-mouth process is where established businesses who choose to stay offline begin to struggle. Falling through the cracks of the internet is a real risk for the ones who don't funnel their marketing efforts into content creation, value proposition, or leverage heart-centered business models. Simply put, the ones who don't put their business, hearts & personality online don't get noticed.
That's precisely why all horse businesses need to jump on the content creation and consistency bandwagon; to be noticed.
And you can do it without feeling like you're selling a piece of your soul. Here’s how.
Less Bleeding Heart, More Humanizing.
If you're a heart-centered business owner, now is your time to shine. We're willing to bet you are because most small businesses start out of passion. You care about what you do, who you help, and the difference you're making in the world.
That's great news because there has never been a generation of buyers more interested in supporting compassionate and value-driven businesses than Generation X and the Millennials.
Did you cringe when we mentioned Millennials? Shake it off.
Millennial ages range between 23-38 and take up a big chunk of your audience. They love being part of something bigger and the fact that you have a heart makes them want to buy from you more.
The easiest way to show your heart is to keep your business human. Do not talk or act like a robot. You're a human; show it online by treating your audience like you would a friend. It's easy. We're all best friends already, right?
Keep the content you write light-hearted, conversational, and informative. If you're not sure how to start, think about the conversations you have with fellow horseback riders and use that as inspiration.
It's obvious why small businesses jumped on the digital bandwagon. It’s the fastest ride into the future of getting in front of ALL the people. That's a clear sign why small horse businesses need to hop on too and stop worrying about making instant monetary ROI.
Reach does not equal instant ROI results. We know, it can be a hard pill to swallow but only if you're not sure how your voice is helping you make money.
But it is, now more than ever. People buy from their "friends," and yes, that does include businesses.
That's why reach is a huge deal. Because of the internet, you can make friends locally and worldwide. You now have the ability to make connections with people you don’t literally cross paths with, and that’s why it matters for downtown storefronts too. Because with reach comes connection, then connection kickstarts relationships, which builds brand trust and loyalty, and ultimately buyers who keep coming back for more.
Instead of focusing on increasing revenue by acquiring new customers, focus on adopting a better retention strategy; hence content marketing.
Content marketing does more than boost your search ranking, increase web traffic, or get you new customers. It offers your customers better shopping experience through being available for questions, giving them what they want, and focusing on serving your VIP clients like royalty.
So if you haven't stepped up your digital game yet, are frustrated with content creation ROI, and don't have the time - keep going, hire a team to help you, outsource content creation, and trust the process.
Because if you look legit online, there's no doubt you're the real deal. We know you are. Let your customers know too.