52 Fridays – #45 Why It’s Essential To Integrate Your Horsebiz Marketing Across Platforms


52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday throughout 2011.

Over the past 11 months, 52 Fridays has looked at various aspects of horsebiz marketing, PR, and social media. This week, the Potpourri section of 52 Fridays continues with information about why it makes sense today to integrate your marketing efforts across these various platforms.

When it comes to cross-platform integrated marketing and the horse world, we’re all learning what works best. There are many challenges, including the broad variety of interests, disciplines, breeds, and people involved in equine sports, AND their wide range of access to technology and devices. That said, it’s a good idea to think through your marketing strategy and look at ways to combine traditional methods you might already be using (such as printed materials, ad space, etc.) with other methods you might not have tried before, such as news releases or social media.

Here’s a timely example – this weekend’s Chicagoland Equestrian Lifestyle Expo, presented by the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois. Since I’m doing a presentation on social media there this Sunday for the Pro Track, I’ll use their direct mail flyer to illustrate the concepts of cross-platform integration.

The Expo flyer is great – multi-fold, colorful, uses photos from past Expos and shares info about speakers, workshop sessions, area hotels, hours and entry fees, and where to get more details. It even includes a QR code (that funny-looking black & white square), and Facebook and Twitter icons indicating they’re social media-friendly.

What’s good about this is that Expo details are being shared on Facebook, including photos from set-up yesterday, and details about speakers; posts are being made both at the Expo Facebook page and the page for the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois. The QR code on the mailer takes you to the Expo website.

However, here’s a few examples where the ‘integration’ part could have gone the extra mile:

  • Include the Expo URL in a prominent place on the mailer, and use the QR code for an ‘extra’ such as a high-energy, 60 or 90 second promo video that’s exciting, inspiring, and makes you WANT to go to the event.
  • Include an ‘official Twitter hashtag’ for the event on the mailer, so that any Twitter traffic is easily searched for and viewed. It would also help for organizing ‘live tweets’ during the event, by attendees and workshop participants. I found several folks ‘tweeting’ (posting on Twitter) about the Expo, but they were using the full Expo name, which limits what you can say since each tweet is only 140 characters.
  • Include the Facebook and Twitter account names on the mailer, to make them easier to find; while I did eventually locate both of the Facebook pages, I was unable to find a Twitter account for either the Expo or the Horsemen’s Council, despite several searches.
  • Ask sponsors, speakers, vendors, and others affiliated with the Expo to not only post/comment on the Expo Facebook and Twitter accounts, but also to share information with their own networks. That’s how things go viral.

I’ve been a presenter for all four years of the Expo, so I’ve seen the marketing develop as it goes through some early growing pains. Establishing a huge event like this and developing its following is an enormous undertaking, and each year they’ve made improvements. I’ve used this as only one example of why it makes sense to think through how the various puzzle pieces of traditional and social media marketing fit together and why it makes sense to do so.

When you combine today’s economic pressures, fragmented audiences, consumer mistrust, and reliance on social networks for news and information, spreading your marketing messages across multiple media is currently the best way to get the word out about your horsebiz.

My social media tips workshop titled Fifty (Yes, 50!) Social Media Tips For Horsebiz Success is at 2:30 PM Sunday November 20th, and is part of the Expo’s Pro Track, specifically for equine stable and farm managers. I’m also partnering with Martha Thompson-Hoyt of the Palos Hills Riding Stables and New Traditions Riding Academy for a 2nd Pro Track presentation. If you’re a No Biz Like Horsebiz reader and you’ll be at the Expo, please be sure to stop by and say hello!

Do you market cross-platform? Leave your thoughts via the Comments link below. If you liked this article, you can easily tell others about it via Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, and even by email with the Share button belo. Pssst, pass it along, and see you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #46!

Read other posts by clicking on the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu to the right and selecting a category, or you can select 52 Fridays to read posts #1 through #44.

________________________________________

This article and the site contents are copyright Lisa Kemp and Kemp Equine, all rights reserved. Brands and trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. Content may be linked to from your site or social media, but not copied, in whole or in part, without prior permission. It’s also good karma, and good ethics, to give source credit. Thanks.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under 52 Fridays, Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, horsebiz, New Media, Twitter

2 responses to “52 Fridays – #45 Why It’s Essential To Integrate Your Horsebiz Marketing Across Platforms

  1. Absolutely – specifying a hashtag for an event is a great idea. I imagine the trick is coming up with something that a) doesn’t eat up too many characters and b) makes sense to non-Twitters. That way, we know when our event is trending. Great idea!

    Sometimes, I think we’re all just feeling around when it comes to the QR codes. Your idea of the video is a good one, like a commercial. A lot are links to the website. At least, that’s what mine is. But we could use those, I bet, to get to access a macro on the phone to give people GPS directions to our events, too. I think the sky’s the limit with QR, but we’re still just figuring out how to best use it.

    So many great ideas, Lisa. Thank you.

    • Rhonda, I ADORE the idea of a GPS macro for directions via a QR code! Great thinking!

      I agree, we’re ALL just getting rolling, some are doing more/better than others. I know I could do better for my own stuff, too.

      The way for us horsefolk to succeed is by sharing ‘what works’ information and brainstorming new ideas. But what makes it even do-able is the relatively low cost of ‘new’ media when compared with more traditional marketing methods. Thanks for your comment, appreciate it! LK

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s