Marketing Your Stallion: A Helpful How-To
Try this approach for a marketing plan proven to reach mare owners.
September 12, 2016
The American Quarter Horse Association
For years, stallion owners depended on print advertising to reach mare owners. The American Quarter Horse Journal provided the place where mare owners would be introduced to their stallion candidates, beginning in November and running through the breeding season in the spring. (Scroll down to find out how to win a free full-page ad in the Journal.)
These days, though, a multi-faceted approach to marketing is the key to success.
The savvy stallion owner embraces the advancements in technology and uses it to his or her advantage. Combining electronic media with traditional print media gives your marketing plan extra reach and opportunity, helping you stay competitive in today’s market.
Build a Good Foundation:
Almost as good as seeing a stallion perform in person, video gives mare owners plenty of insight: They can glean info about a stallion’s conformation, athletic prowess, show-pen appeal and disposition. Try this tactic: Set a TV in front of your stalls at big events, with the video replaying, catching attention from passersby. Also be sure to upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo, or both, then embed it on your website and share it to social media.
Mare owners pay close attention to detail, and that’s why good images are essential. Professional photographers give you the most bang for your buck. A professional photographer will know how to set your stallion up and pose him suiting his conformation and structure.
Professional ad designers not only have a knack for enhancing photographs, but they can also help you establish a logo for your stallion and help you maintain a recognizable look – his “brand,” if you will. The talented designers at AQHA can help you create a winning ad to run in AQHA publications.
Gone are the days when your marketing plan was solely a full-page ad in the Journal. These days, you can book web ads, as well as advertisements in digital publications and email blasts. The benefit of going digital is that your ad rep can track impressions (views) and clicks, i.e. proof that your stallion is getting exposure.
Websites offer an extension of a print advertising campaign. Living in full color, websites give you virtually unlimited space to showcase several images and even video at a fraction of the expense of print. The key to successful websites is to keep them current to keep customers coming back to them.
From time to time, you’ll see stallions with Instagram and Twitter accounts, but Facebook still persists as the social network preferred by the equine community. The key to a successful Facebook presence for your stallion is to set the account up as a business page. You want fans to “like” his business page, as opposed to a personal account, where users send and accept friend requests. Once your page is set up, all you need to do is post frequently; followers look forward to seeing both old and new photos of your stallion, plus pics of babies and highlights of their achievements. For extra powerful posts that reach more people, tag AQHA’s Facebook page.
Kicking It Up a Notch:
Over the years, innovative stallion owners have developed programs designed to reward the success of foals by the stallion, and in turn, encourage breeding. (Think the Rodrock Ranches Ride to Riches program). Then there are nomination programs like AQHA Ranching Heritage, Breeders Halter Futurity, National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes, National Reined Cow Horse Association Stakes and National Reining Breeders Classic, not to mention the AQHA Incentive Fund, which has paid more than $75 million to its supporters. Programs like these not only entice mare owners but also leave prospective buyers chomping on the bit.
This is an especially effective way to get your stallion’s name in front of the public, while supporting the industry. Class sponsorships at the AQHA World Championship Show include a print ad in the show program, video commercial spot on the big-screen above the arena and on the online webcast, plus logos on the draw sheets and in the Journal’s Winning Run videos. Many stallion owners also take the opportunity to reach potential customers with promotional items, such as ball caps, lip balm and can koozies.
Enter to Win the Free Full-Page Ad
Nominate your stallion to the AQHA Incentive Fund by October 11 and be entered to win a free full-page ad in the Journal stallion issue of your choice: the Performance Horse Journal, Ranch Horse Journal or The American Quarter Horse Journal.