How to Use Online Ads to Increase Sales for Your Equine Business
Updated: Aug 17
With most people spending hours a day on their phones and computers, one of the best places to reach potential customers today is online. Gone are the days when taking out an ad in the newspaper would land you a handful of new local customers. Today, online ads can reach customers all over the world with the exact interests and qualities that you know make up your ideal buyer.
If you own an equine business and aren’t running any online ads, odds are that you are missing out on a lot of potential business. Online ads can be created on Facebook, Google, Pinterest and more. Your ads can be shown all over the web, wherever your ideal customers may be.
How do you decide which ad platform is right for you? How much should you budget? How do you know that your ads are giving you a positive return on your investment? The following article can help you answer these questions for your business and get you started running your own profitable online ad campaigns.
Which businesses are they best for?
Most businesses can benefit from Facebook ads. Particularly businesses that are selling a product or service that is best explained visually. Facebook ads are also great for helping to expand your “social reach”, in other words, the number of people that learn about you and follow you on social media. By increasing the number of people who follow your Facebook page, you can increase the number of people who regularly see your posts. This keeps you top of mind for potential customers and helps encourage more people to buy or buy again.
What types of ads can you run on Facebook?
Facebook offers multiple ad types including video ads, picture ads, scrolling picture ads (carousel ads) and get likes ads (ads that encourage people to like your page). Most businesses choose to run multiple types of ads at any given time. They may want to increase their number of page likes while also having ads that promote their products. These types of ads can also be used for brand awareness to increase the number of people who know your business exists. The most important thing when setting up your ads, is to be sure you use the professional ad manager located in the business manager part of your business page. The business manager and ad manager have to be set up after your business page is created. Running ads from here gives you many more options and capabilities than running ads and boosted posts directly from your business page.
Which businesses are they best for?
Google ads are a great fit for most types of businesses. There is a huge variety in the types of ads that can be run on Google and they can be shown in so many places, that most businesses can benefit from them. Particularly businesses that know their ideal customers will likely be looking for a product or service like theirs by searching on Google should consider running Google ads.
What types of ads can be run on Google?
With Google you can create ads that show up in search results, in shopping search results, on YouTube and on websites all over the internet. The best way to determine which types of ads you should create is to decide how you are most likely to reach your ideal customer. Are your customers using YouTube and is a video demonstration a great way to sell your product? Will your product catch attention if lined up next to other similar products in the Google Shopping results? If you show up at the top of Google search results will your ideal customers see you there? Similar to Facebook, one of the most important things to do when setting up Google ads is to set them up in the professional ad manager. When you first create a Google Ads account it automatically creates an account with limited capabilities. You will want to utilize the professional tools that give you more options and customizations to help your ads really stand out.
Which businesses are they best for?
Businesses that sell products that are visually appealing typically work best on Pinterest. Pinterest is a very visual platform where users “pin” pictures that they love and want to save for later or remember. Many Pinterest users who are interested in horses may have a horse related Pinterest board. Here they might pin images that have good horse related ideas or good horse related products. Sometimes users do click on the images they pin which takes them to the related website. From there, some users will purchase.
What types of ads can be run on Pinterest?
The main type of Pinterest ad is paid promotion of a pin. So you might create a pin about your product and pay to have it shown to more people who you think will be interested. It is important to keep in mind that Pinterest is primarily used for planning and dreaming. Users don’t typically go to Pinterest when looking for a product to immediately purchase. That being said, once the planning phase is over, some of the users who pin your product will eventually purchase. Often the key to getting that purchase is setting up your pin in a way that entices users to click through to your website. Once they are on your website, encouraging them to purchase through your website content can be helpful. You can also use one of the other ad platforms mentioned above to “re-market” to them after they have been on your website. This is a way to keep your product top of mind for them as they make their final purchasing decision.
Which Platform is Right For You?
The best way to answer this question is to determine how your customers currently find you or how they should find you. Would most search on Google for a product or service like yours? Google Ads would be a good place to start. Is your product or service something that is best explained visually? Facebook may be the way to go. Are you selling a product that people would want to pin on Pinterest? Maybe start with ads there.
Many companies make use of multiple ad platforms at any given time to make sure they are finding customers in multiple places and following up with customers in multiple places. Eventually this is a good setup to have, but to start it is often best to create your first ads in the places where you feel you are most likely to find and attract your ideal customers.
How Much Should You Budget?
To make any impact with your ads, you should start with a budget of no less than $300 per month for a single platform. Any less than that and your ads won’t have enough cash behind them to reach many customers meaning you won’t be able to get a good feel for how effective the ads are.
Businesses often spend thousands of dollars a month on digital ads because they have seen the positive return ads can create. Once your ads start making you money, you will likely want to increase your budget to increase your success.
How much you should spend on ads often depends on the cost of your product and the size of your business. It also depends on your profit per product and how widely used it is. A $15 product that only a handful of people use may not be the best fit for online ads. Odds are that you’ll have to spend more than $15 to find a customer interested and make a sale. This would mean that you made no profit or even went into the red with your product. On the other hand, if you sell a $200 product that many people use and make $100 on every sale, you have a much better chance of finding buyers and continuing to make a profit with your ads.
How Can You Be Sure Your Ads Are Making a Return on Your Investment?
How can you be sure your ads are making you money? First, you’ll need to be sure that proper tracking is set up on your ads and your website. The tracking will tell you when someone who clicked on your ad bought a product. The tracking can get a bit complicated to set up so it is often good to enlist a professional to help with this step if you don’t feel confident.
It’s important to be able to calculate whether or not your ads are making you money. To figure out how much you’re making, you’ll need to calculate your conversion value. The conversion value is how much it costs for you to get one sale or “conversion”. So if it is costing you $50 to get one conversion/sale and each sale makes you a profit of $100, then the ads are a great value for you! Over time, your ads can be improved and optimized to perform better and better so that your profit margin continues to increase.
While ads can be incredibly profitable for your business and can help bring in customers who would otherwise never know about you, they can also be a money pit. Too often business owners strike out on their own with ads and, without the right knowledge and experience, spend money without making any back. It is usually best to get professional help with your ads. An ad professional is there to help you make money. Utilizing their services will mean that you are more likely to make a profit and increase your profits over time. If you’re thinking that online ads might be a good fit for your business, reach out to some digital marketing professionals to learn more about how they can help take your business to the next level.