Posted on 23rd August 2021
Without a doubt, the pandemic has pulled businesses downwards across all sectors. As recreational places and nature parks—where horses and other animals are often the main attractions—were forced to close, the equine industry also came into a screeching halt like the others.
As the world braces for the impact of the resurgence of COVID-19 infections in some parts of the world, an increasing number of transactions are done online to limit transmissions.
Like most sectors then, owners of horse businesses will have to strengthen their digital presence and marketing strategies to thrive. Apart from running and updating a website, they can utilize other online tools such as equestrian marketplaces and directories for business growth.
By reading below, you’ll get a better understanding of the said tools and how they’re helping the sector amid these difficult times.
What Are Business Directories And Marketplaces?
Businesses often overlook the importance of marketplaces and business directories or listings in driving traffic to their websites. Take note that a buyer’s journey often starts online, with over 80% of consumers launching an online search before visiting a store, according to a 2019 survey done by tech giant Google.
In understanding how the result of the survey drives the use of directories and marketplaces for your campaign, you have to understand how each digital advertising tool works.
A business directory is any website or webpage that contains information on the names, addresses, contact details of businesses in a particular niche. When a user conducts an online search, results can be filtered to reflect specific locations, niches or categories, size, or the review ratings left by customers.
You may think of it as an upgraded version of the yellow pages or the printed copies of the phone book. Online directories, however, contain additional relevant information about each business entity.
Horse businesses can supplement their regular digital marketing methods by making sure that all the information contained online are updated and customer-friendly.
As its name implies, a marketplace is similar to a retail store, only that it’s in digital format. The products therefore can’t be physically held or inspected by a customer, but photos and videos are available to give them an accurate idea about the products.
There are several marketing platforms available online, and business owners can tap into these to sell their products and services.
Similarly, a business entity can post all these on its website. For instance, equestrians and horse enthusiasts can take a look at websites such as The Equestrian, which serves as a marketplace for all their needs. This marketing move can be complemented by marketplace listings, as these platforms have millions of users active at any time of the day. This means businesses will have more chances of getting noticed by listing their offers on these platforms.
Now that you’ve been informed about what these tools are and how they can help businesses, here are some reasons you should make your presence felt in directories and marketplaces:
Online exposure is primordial in all marketing strategies. And this is true for all ventures, horse businesses included. The more a business appears in online searches, the more users become aware of your business. As a result, clients will likely transact with you when they need any of your products or services.
On a global scale, 74% of in-store buyers indicated that they searched for business-related information such as the stores nearest their location, products available, operating hours, store directions, waiting times, and business contact information.
Search engines are fairly targeted in providing users with the information they want. This means that the users who tried to search for ‘equestrians or horse businesses’ are actually looking to purchase or need your services. They’re also likely to click your site in the hopes of fulfilling their needs.
Listing your website in an online business directory helps increase site traffic. When users are directed to your site, it helps influence their decision to avail of your offerings, especially if they’re assured that your horse business and the equestrians are instituting health measures to prevent infections amid the pandemic.
Authoritativeness is one of the key elements in ranking high in search engines. These online search tools rely on artificial intelligence to present the most relevant information for the keywords entered. In order to come up with the results, bots scan billions of web pages and analyze them.
If your business is highly present in directories and marketplaces, and you employ search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, you’ll likely rank higher. Similarly, by consistently updating your directory page listing, and ensuring the integrity of your products and services, you’ll achieve strong branding throughout.
To grow the customer base and retain existing clients, a horse business, just like any venture, must not forget to prioritize customer service and interaction. Integrating chatbots into your company website and social media accounts can help you achieve this.
Additionally, any review that’s left in your business directory or the marketplace, whether positive or negative, can influence a buyer’s decision. In fact, 90% of online buyers are swayed by positive online reviews. Inversely, 86% of millennials said they’re influenced by negative reviews when making their decisions to avail of a certain product or service, according to Nextiva.
This underlines the importance of handling any customer’s feedback posted on your website or business directory, as well as in marketplaces with spaces for customer reviews. In lieu of personal interactions, horse businesses can show how reliable and customer-friendly they are in dealing with both satisfied and disgruntled customers online.
A horse business or any venture that doesn’t prioritize online presence, or forgets to update their business information in directories and marketplaces, stand to suffer from missed opportunities.
Inaccuracies in online business listings can reduce credibility and potential earnings. According to searchenginewatch.com, 73% of consumers lose trust in a company that doesn’t post accurate information in local business listings. In addition, online directory service provider Yelp has found out that the average annual incremental revenue gained by a business page containing relevant and correct information amounted to USD$8,000.
Listing your business, alongside products and services online outside of your company website, can boost your online presence—boosting the marketing strategies for your equine-related venture.
With more potential customers being aware of your offerings and business information, you’ll likely be the first brand that crosses their minds when they’re ready to purchase. The only thing you need to do is to continuously update your business information in the directory. Don’t forget to employ SEO techniques in your website content and enhance customer service, to thrive and expand.
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