Tag Archives: Equine Chronicle

Equine Economics – It’s Not All Bad

Last night Lizzy McMillan from EquestrianProfessional.com hosted a webinar called Rethinking The Horse Business 2010 – Succeeding In A Changed World. I would say that I agree with everything she presented, and that it’s well worth your time to seek out this webinar for a listen.

What’s great about the information in the webinar is that McMillan can back up opinions with data; Equestrian Professional did a survey of about 400 equestrian pros, on various aspects of running equine businesses today, everything from profitability to how your services have changed and what’s bringing in the revenue today. Having that kind of information is crucial to developing a sound marketing program, and keeping your existing clients as well as reaching out to new ones; it’s also helpful to learn from the experiences of other equine businesses.

As for the equine economy, back in late 2008 I wrote an article titled Stock Horse Economics for The Equine Chronicle. While this was at the height of the recession, the news wasn’t all bad then, and it’s not all bad now.

A changing world and changing economy requires that we make adjustments, and at that time the leaders in all the major stock horse associations (AQHA, APHA, ApHC) shared how their groups were retooling to move into the future. Many things are in our favor today, such as the declining cost of marketing tools via the Internet, and the wider audiences gained through equestrian programming televised on the Internet, and both public and cable television; McMillan pointed out that many equine events today are actually exceeding their prior attendance and participation numbers. We can’t expect to operate as we did in the 1990s and early 2000s, but there are many, many opportunities today for the savvy horse business professional.

In terms of greater opportunities for expanded media coverage due to the declining costs of technology, McMillan mentioned how a TV show that once cost $100k could now be produced for $5k, and pointed out the expanded equine sport programming on HRTV.com (Horse Racing Television), which was launched earlier this year, as an example of more widespread media coverage of equestrian sport.

In May 2010, just prior to the HRTV launch of expanded equestrian programming, I spoke with Jim Bates, HRTV’s executive vice president and general manager; his answers show insights into how an established equine business like HRTV.com can identify new opportunities and new revenue streams.

I believe the Rethinking The Horse Business 2010 webinar will be archived at the Equestrian Professional site, possibly free access for a while and certainly accessible to members. I recommend that every horse professional serious about moving into the future successfully give it a listen.

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Filed under 2010 Articles, Articles, Equine Industry Marketing, New Media, Technology, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – Check Out The Competition, With Compete.com

There are a number of helpful tools for analyzing online traffic. I think Compete.com is intriguing since you can compare multiple sites against each other. This means you can also look at your own site to see how it stacks up against the competition.

First of all, many thanks to Angelea Walkup, founder and ‘chief equine officer’ of HorseGirlTV, for sharing this resource with me.

While Compete.com has a paid, ‘Pro’ version, they also have a free version you can try out, and even the freebie has some interesting features.

I’m still exploring the site and its capabilities and applications, but by entering a Web site URL, you can view any site’s unique visitors (a better judge of traffic than ‘hits’), and see how that traffic has either increased or decreased over the past month and the past year. Compete.com also gives you the top five search terms (what people enter into a search engine such as Google or Bing in order to find you), and what ‘referring’ sites they find you from, such as Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s a graph for one of my clients, The Equine Chronicle, showing the increase in their Web site traffic over the past year:

Compete.com graph for The Equine Chronicle on June 7, 2010

How might you use Compete.com for your horse business? With the free version, you can identify your own improvement in terms of traffic, identify the most-used search terms and incorporate those into your online content, or even analyze media outlets to find out what might be the best fit for your advertising dollars.

If you’re interested in checking out Compete Pro, here’s a very thorough review of the Compete Pro version by Melanie Nathan at Sugarrae.com.

Have comments, thoughts, or questions about Compete? Please Leave a Comment below – thanks!

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2010 Derby Week Coverage

It’s Kentucky Derby Week! At the moment, the official Kentucky Derby Web site countdown clock says 5 days, 6 hours, and 45 minutes til the race. Who do you like?

I’ll be doing Derby Week articles all week at The Equine Chronicle’s Web site – I hope you’ll check back to see what I think are some cool resources and info about the culture and community surrounding the world-famous Run for the Roses!

Here’s Kentucky Derby article #1, Your Passport To 2010 Derby Coverage – it’s got some great links, including the Kentucky Derby archive of race info all the way back to 1875, and even video clips for many of the races. Enjoy!

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Filed under 2010 Articles, Articles, Uncategorized

Using Online Media For Equine Event Promotion

I first saw the equine spectacular Cavalia in early 2005, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Talk about being floored! I’d seen a fair amount of equine theatrical performance, even ridden in some, but it was the best I’d ever seen. A trip that summer to Cavalia’s hometown of Montreal proved to be perfect timing, since we arrived on opening day, went to the show, AND snagged an invite to the afterparty!

Cavalia recently returned to the U.S. after an extended run in Europe (and, during my trip to Belgium & The Netherlands that year, I missed catching them in Brussels by about 2 weeks!); I was able to see the show again when it came to Chicago in summer 2009. There were some changes, but Cavalia still had many of the same catch-your-breath moments as the first time I saw it, as well as a few new ones.

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How can you maximize exposure & excitement for your equine event?

Use a little creativity and planning in your media outreach!

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I write for the Equine Chronicle (print and online), and for Cavalia’s Tampa run I wrote a series of articles for their Web site, plus organized some online contests. Lining up this kind of multi-faceted media promotion is typically a win-win for everyone, since it generates both exposure and excitement.

If you’ve got a special event coming up, how can you maximize your own exposure and excitement? Here are a few tips:

  • Get the right people onboard – publicists, editors, event promoters, interview sources, and photographers are all crucial to getting the story, and getting it out there
  • Write a series of articles for the ‘target audience’ media
  • Organize contests (with prizes) and promote the articles using social media like Facebook and Twitter (remember to consider local laws & regs regarding contests)
  • Include Internet-searchable keywords in your articles

With a little creativity and planning, you, too, can put together some good promotion for your upcoming event!

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Here are my Cavalia articles for their 2010 Tampa run, on EquineChronicle.com – enjoy!

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Filed under 2010 Articles, Articles, Equine Industry Marketing, New Media, Uncategorized