Equestrian & Rural Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can sound scary and ‘big’, but I promise you two things. One, it is as big as you want it to be. And two, you need to get a handle on it and make it work for your equestrian or rural business.

This kind of marketing can take many forms. I think of it as anything that is digital – as in – online. There are lots and lots of ways you can promote your equestrian or rural business online and so this area contains quite a lot of information.

But please, please, don’t be afraid of it. This form of marketing is a real gift as the entry level in zero – you can start with no financial outlay and the effort you put in can really deliver amazing results if you just give it a go.

Do you blog? There are lots of reasons why you should blog, but also plenty of reasons why people don’t. But I’m here to help and explain five reasons people don’t blog. Well, I’m here to explain how to get around these issues, to encourage you to start blogging. It’s a game changer. Honestly. I even made an infographic to prove the point!

So – five reasons people don’t blog… (there are more, but I decided to start with five!)

‘I don’t like writing’. OK, this might seem like a big deal as blogs are written pieces of work, but actually, it isn’t. You could utilise dictation software (here’s blog about Apple’s inbuilt dictation software and how to use it), and if that doesn’t float your boat, you can record you thoughts and use a transcription service.

‘I have nothing to blog about’. I’m going to stop you right there. Do you ever run out of things to say and talk about? If the answer is no, then you have plenty to blog about. A blog doesn’t have to be like a work of Shakespeare (which is lucky, because my blogs certainly aren’t!), it’s a way to document, to share, to engage, to educate. You might not think that the things you know, that you’re passionate about, are of interest to anyone but you. But they are. Honest. If you’re lacking inspiration, have a look at this blog – what should I blog about?

‘No one wants to hear what I have to say’. They do. Ever looked at a review online? Ever used Google? The people who wrote the copy for the reviews and the pages you view could have thought the same thing. It’s only their opinion, isn’t it? But you read it. I read it. It’s how we learn and research.

‘I don’t know what the point is’. This depends on why you’re blogging. If you’re blogging to document an experience, that’s the point. If you’re blogging for your business and to increase your profile, that’s the point. If you’re blogging to help improve your SEO and make your site more searchable, that’s the point. The reason you’re blogging could be completely different to you friend’s, but both are valid. Some people just love writing and that’s the point for them. Don’t overthink it.

‘I don’t have a following’. Who does when they start? Start sharing your blog on your social platforms and you’ll start to get readers and grow the following you want. No one started with a pre-made group of fans and followers, they built these up overtime. The key is to start!

Why don’t you blog? Or what’s your reason for blogging? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Five reasons people don't blog

This blog is all about how to make video content work hard for you. Because, let’s be honest, it needs to. Making a video takes time, and if you pay to have it edited, it costs your money too. And that’s what I’ve created a video and a blog post about how to make video content work hard for you.

The video is on Youtube, and if you click on the image, you can watch the video.

How to make video content work hard – eight steps

Actually, let’s use the video above as an example of how to make content work hard for you. So, the start of this is the video. I created the video on my iPhone (so, no extra cost to me), and I did pay my husband to edit it because, well, he does this as part of his job and I like to have my logo on it in the right places. That didn’t cost me a huge amount, but it’s still a cost. So, step one… the video is on Youtube. Great. The video will stay on here forever (well, until I take it down) and it’ll be getting views until that point. Great. People can find it by searching for it.

Step two, in this case, is this blog. This blog, with the video embedded in it, will sit on my blog, on my website. It’ll help my SEO (due to the blog around the video), it’ll provide useful content for people viewing my website, it’s a solid step two.

Step three, sharing. I’ll share the blog with the video on my social media. By which I mean my business Facebook page, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. I might also share it in some of the business groups I’m involved with on Facebook.

Step four, native posting. I’ll then post the video natively to Facebook. Not the same week as I post the blog, but I will. And I’ll subtitle it so it works when people view Facebook on silent and autoplay kicks in.

Step five, I’ll share the Youtube link straight onto all my social media platforms. This won’t be in the near future, but I’ll post the link to Youtube on its own, without the blog content, so people can view it and visit my Youtube channel.

Step six, I’ll share it with my newsletter subscribers, so they get to see the blog and the video. Well, so they know it’s there. I’ll share a link to the blog for those who fancy a read, and I’ll embed the video too.

Step seven, if someone asks me a question about how to make content work hard, I’ll use this blog and my video as a resource that I can send them.

Step eight, in a few months, I could well do this all over again, when people have long forgotten about the blog. Or I might share it again when there’s a relevant news story about it.

And believe me when I say that depending on the social networks you use and the business you have, there are plenty more ways to make your content work really hard for you. Maybe you can use your video at shows you attend? Burnt onto a DVD for prospective customers? As a part of a resource pack for retailers selling your product? To help add another level of customer service, to help reduce the amount of time you spent troubleshooting or giving customers phone tutorials? Honestly, we’re just scratching the surface here.

If you’ve ever wondered how to make your video content work hard for you, but you’e still not sure how to make it work in your situation, why not drop me a line?

 

How to build a website

How to build a websiteIf you’ve ever wondered how to build a website for your business, I’ve put together a quick guide of points to consider. It’s not a complete list, but it’s one that’s been created from my own experiences, from building my own website and working on websites for clients. Websites are important to any business, and that includes any equestrian or country business. If you’re looking for something, whether it’s an equestrian PR and marketing professional, a riding instructor, fencing, machinery, the best supplement for your horse, or a bespoke bridle, the chances are that you’ll pop your question into Google. Google’s great, we love Google, but Google can only pull up websites and pages that exist on the web. If you business doesn’t have a website, how does Google and, by extension, the person looking for you, know that a) you exist or b) where to find you!

Top tips on how to build a website

Here are my top tips on how to build your own website…or, at least, how to find the right person to help you…

1. Do a little research, but don’t let the numbers scare you. Websites can cost a fortune…but they don’t have to. I don’t think you need to sell a limb to get a really impressive website. There are lots of options- you can use a platform like WordPress and buy a template for pounds and do all the work yourself, or you can speak to a friendly website designer and ask if they’ll customise a template for you. Or you can give the whole job to them and sit back and admire the view. There are lots of options.

2. Make sure you’re in control. Gone are the days when a web wizard would need to update your website! Not only was this expensive as each time you wanted a tweak, you needed to pay, but you’d also need to form an orderly queue along with all your web designer’s other customers. Let’s be honest. No one likes to queue.

3. Take inspiration from others. I’m not saying copy. That’s not what I mean at all. What I’m saying is observe what other people do…what do you like? What do you hate? Make notes and pass these onto your designer or keep them in mind when you start yourself. Listing things you hate can be as helpful as things you love!

4. Make a list. If you are approaching a designer, you’ll need a brief. The designer will base their price on your brief. Each time you change your mind and deviate from the brief, you could get an extra bill. Take your time putting your website brief together…and speak to people whose opinion you value too…it’s always good to have a sounding board!

5. Pictures. Pictures can really add an extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ to a website…but don’t worry if you don’t have your own extensive library! There are some great sites out there like iStock and Shutterstock that allow you to buy really good quality images for a few pounds, depending on what you want to use them for. Or why not create your own using a technique like flat lay?

6. Get writing! Providing clear, concise and informative copy is essential for any website. If this isn’t your area of expertise, you can either get in touch with a copywriter, or you can draft what you want and get someone to proof it for you.

7. Don’t be afraid! When you think your website is pretty close to perfection, don’t be afraid to press go and get it online. There will be bits you want to amend. There will be niggles that need straightening out…but you’re not going to know about these until you kick on and get people testing the site. You don’t have to announce your new site to the world to start with, but get some friends on it so they can have a look and iron out any problems.

 

I hope this list has really helped you if you’re thinking of embarking on a new website design. It might be seen as food for thought when it comes to considerations connected to how to build your website. It can be scary, but having a shiny website you’re really proud of is really worth the effort.