Marketing is different than advertising. Marketing is about building relationships with existing and potential clients. An effective marketing strategy for an equine business includes a wide variety of tactics, such as a user-friendly website, targeted advertising, proper social media usage and more. With creativity—and depending on your budget—there are countless ways to market a boarding stable and horseback riding lessons.
The trickiest part of marketing your equine business is deciding what to market. That depends on the goals you have for your business and the surrounding competitive market. You can’t be all things to all people, and you want to market to individuals who would make an “ideal” client.
Defining your target market narrows down who you want to reach and how to best reach those people. For example, if you specialize in dressage, that would be a target market. But you also might specialize in catering to a specific level of dressage rider. Identify what makes your barn unique and promote the features that serve that niche. At a training barn focused on competition, that might mean promoting specific credentials or showing experiences.
Similarly, if you’re a boarding facility in an area saturated with barns that provide similar services, highlight the amenities that make your stable different. For example, it could be a youth-oriented atmosphere or that your facility's clients have access to trails. Or your facility might have the flexibility of varying price points based on the level of care provided.
Clearly identifying a target market helps you focus on the customers you can best serve and who will most appreciate your services. Once you have done this, it will be much easier to decide where to promote your services and what methods are most effective.
Perhaps the most important marketing skill is following through. You can invest time and money conducting market research, strategizing and preparing, but if you don’t follow through and take action, your efforts will be fruitless. It’s like exercise or nutrition. To be successful requires a long-term commitment.