Marketing Mondays: Pinterest Updates

If your business is employing Pinterest as a marketing tool, you may already be savvy to the newest updates.

If not, here are several links which will bring you up to speed.

I like the new look they’ve introduced. A couple of the highlights include:

• Pins from the same board: You can explore the entire board without leaving the page you’re on.

• Pins from the same source: Here you’ll find other things pinned from the same website. This is a great option for quick searches.

• “People who pinned this also pinned” feature.

• Easier share options.

• The Rearrange Boards button has been moved, but you can now easily do this by drag and drop.

There’s also a few aesthetic changes such as bigger pins (was 600 pixels wide, now 735 wide), removal of the Comments button, and useful changes such as a back button. My saunters through Pinterest have, until now, been a bit of a free fall journey, landing me wherever in the Pinterest universe the click may take me. Now, when you scroll and click through pins, the back button lands you right back where you were no matter how far you’ve gone.

Read more about the new look and features here.

Deploying it to your Pinterest page is simple. You’ll need to have a business account or list a website on your profile. Then, hover over the profile menu and click Switch to the New Look.

Importantly for businesses, Pinterest also introduced Web Analytics. Now you can see what pinners are repinning most from your site and also track their activity. Learn more about it at this link, and find installation instructions and tips to optimize your Pinterest business page here.

Finally, a few more useful insights and tips at this post. 

Marketing Mondays: Horses and Taxes

Marketing Mondays: What's Left

Views From the Auction Block

Making A Ruckus in Your Industry

This is entirely borrowed from Seth Godin, a daily blog I’ve been following for a while now. I thought this older post was particularly adaptable to the horse industry.

P.S. – the photo is entirely mine, taken with my ultimate iphone camera app, the Hipstamatic and shot on a stormy evening at last year’s Calgary Stampede. The subject is the gorgeous new bronze on the grounds.

On Making a Ruckus in Your Industry

Bring forward a new idea or technology that disrupts and demands a response.

Change pricing dramatically.

Redefine a service as a product (or vice versa).

Organize the disorganized,

connect the disconnected.

Alter the speed to market radically.

Change

the infrastructure, the rules or the flow of information.

Give away what used to be expensive and charge for something else.

Cater to the weird, bypassing the masses.

Take the lead on ethics.

(Or, you could just wait for someone to tell you what they want you to do)

Marketing Mondays: 2013 Reorganization

Marketing Mondays – Pinterest 101

I’ve maintained a personal Pinterest page for about six months now, which I use to collect ideas – for renovation projects, farm shots, event ideas, favorite photographers, books, films, art, travel, barns, kitchens, gardens, decks, it’s an endless list. It’s like a great big picture book of favorite things, and a source book of ideas when I need it for a specific project, such as the barn we’re planning to build in the spring, for instance.

We launched Western Horse Review’s Pinterest a few weeks ago and it’s slowing gaining momentum.

We’ve developed the idea of three goals for our WHR Pinterest page. Primarily, we wish to invite viewers back to our site, and convert passer-bys into fans and regular viewers. Secondly, we use it to profile the work of our partners, such as advertisers, photographers, artists, contributors and so forth. Thirdly in our Pinterest mandate is simply an imagery of the western way of life – from horsemanship to culture to style – both in our modern times and history. With both a Canadian viewpoint and a global outlook. You’ll find all from Brazilian cowboy artwork to pins with links to local western heroes.

If you’re a real neophyte, and are wondering what this Pinterest is all about, it really is just another social media sharing site. It allows you to visually share, curate, and discover new interests by “pinning” Users can either upload images from their computer or pin things they find on the web using the pinterest bookmarklet, pin it button, or just a url.

I haven’t gotten to all of the business and marketing possibilities with Pinterest. But, I will in future Marketing Mondays posts. In the meantime, good luck with your own Pinterest ventures. Here’s an infograph you might enjoy, a bit dated, but still does a great quick job of explaining Pinterest, how it works, and from a marketing perspective, why it matters.

 

Marketing Mondays: Groupon & Such

It’s no secret the daily deal craze is in full swing across North America. Groupon, Offeron, Wagjag, Dealathons – these are just a few of the purveyors of the daily deal: a special one-time offer usually suggesting an offer of 50% off retail rates. Prospective buyers are able to see these deals by signing on to the e-list of the purveyor. They all work a little differently; some require a certain amount of buyers for the deal to be “on,” others contribute some of the dollars to charity, almost all are a time-limited offer. Commonly, the offers are for restaurants, hair stylists, auto detailers, dry cleaners and such.

Occasionally I’ve noticed someone in the western world test the waters of the daily deal, such as the California trainer above who offered nearly 60% off on western riding lessons and sold out of them. His “deal” ran in the Los Angeles Times LA Deals. 

It’s unlikely we’ll see the top trainers of the nation moving towards daily deal offers, their barns are likely full with waiting lists, but for those trainers just starting out, or perhaps, wanting to reach out to more of an urban demographic to encourage new involvement this could be a an interesting marketing venue to test.

Incidentally, Western Horse Review has a Groupon subscription effort running June 6-12. Our marketing circulation director thought it would be interesting to test it; so we are. Our test region will be Alberta – primarily the Edmonton and Calgary region. If that shows significant return, we’ll look at a national effort. Since we’ll be promoting our July/August issue with a special cover, it’s a good opportunity to invite new readers to see what Western Horse Review is all about.

The incentive for us is the low cost of entering the agreement. The client (WHR) needs to only agree to offer a product at 50% off. The downside is the payback. Each subscription is offered at $12.00, or 50% off the regular rate of a subscription. Groupon takes half of that, and the other half comes back to WHR. Which means we realize $6.00 out of every subscription sold. Certainly not a profit in this scenario, but we do it for two reasons: 1) to introduce new subscribers to the product and; 2) for the renewals on year two, assuming these new subscribers will be back for year two.

And, of course they will be!

I’ll let you know how it went in a future post.

Marketing Mondays: Strategies for Breeders

It’s sales closing week for the March issue of Western Horse Review, and because this issue is smack-dab in the middle of breeding season, many of us are either contemplating breeding strategies, or engrossed in the promotion of a stallion.

Photo by Jenn Webster

I had the opportunity to interview Katie Tims, editor of Quarter Horse News just prior to Christmas, and asked her about marketing strategies for breeders in this changing world. Here’s a snippet of that interview. You can catch the entire piece in the Jan/Feb issue of Western Horse Review. We’ve nearly sold out of print editions of that issue, but if you’re missing it, you can order a digital copy here.

Katie, what are a few of your key tips on marketing strategies for breeders/ranches in this changing world?

No. 1: Breed for beachfront property.

“By this I mean breed the best horse possible. It’s where marketing begins. In the real estate market, the average house in the average place is selling below average – at least compared to prices realized a few years ago. However, the special real estate – the beachfront property is just as much in demand now as it was in 2006. Buyers are willing to pay high prices for the best real estate, and the same goes for horses. Whether you’re a big breeder with several foals born per year, or a person with just one mare – breed the best that your budget can accommodate. Do your homework and be clear about what the market is demanding. Don’t breed for sake of creating the average horse that will bring a below average price. You’re better to breed one great horse than four mediocre ones. In this tough market, it’s all about quality, not quantity.”

No. 2: Market, market, market.

“In the horse business, marketing means much more than placing an ad or paying an entry fee. Stallion owners must promote their horse and get him paired with the best mares possible, even if that means giving away breedings. Likewise, mare owners need to book to the best stallions in the business – ones that are part of aggressively marketed programs. Once the foals arrive, stallion and mare owners must get them into solid programs and into the hands of trainers who will give those young horses the best possible chances. Black type means everything in this performance horse market, and the only thing to bold that ink is to start with pedigree and follow up with performance. Yes, there’s a surprise every now and then. But it’s far safer to stick with proven breeding and a sound training program.”

No. 3: Think worldwide.

“The cowboy and Western horse used to be a North American phenomenon. Not anymore. The Quarter Horse and Western way of riding has spread across the globe, and it’s gaining traction with larger purses, more opportunity and better breeding. For instance, Brazilians purchased a number of the highest sellers at last year’s reining and cutting sales, and you can bet they’re going to show and market those same horses inside the United States and Brazil. The Level 3 Open Reserve Champion at the 2011 NRHA Futurity was a horse born, raised and first shown in Brazil. Don’t limit yourself by thinking domestically – look to Europe, Australia, South America and beyond. Realize there’s a worldwide market for performance horses.”

No. 4: Take the multi-platform approach.

“Yes, advertising in print publications works and is still the best way to communicate your message to a target audience. But your marketing program must also reach out to potential customers through multiple sources. The Internet, social media and smart phones – they’re all important. As the next generation rotates into our horse market, they’re expecting information at the tip of a few keystrokes. Get a website for your ranch. List your horses. Make a fan page on Facebook. Sponsor online postings of stories/articles/updates published by magazines and newspapers within your industry. Make sure search engines, such as Google, know you’re online. If you are not comfortable with any or all of the above, see what you can do to learn. A mix of print and digital – that’s where the media business is going, and your program needs to be on board.”

Thanks to Katie Tims for these insightful and articulate ideas on the subject of marketing for those of us in the breeding business. A couple of other links to pieces we’ve done in the same genre include:

Stallion Promotional Ideas

Breeding Truths and Folklore

• Breeding Truths and Folklore, Part Two

4 Great Breeding Products

Breeding Older Mares, Part One

• Breeding Older Mares, Part Two

We also have this classic available in our bookstore:

Blessed are the Broodmares

and these other great books and videos on breeding and foal raising.

Finally, be sure to peruse the Stallion section of this site.

Best of luck with your breeding hopes for the season!