Four Steps to Selling Cattle Online
Remember the good ol’ days of the sale barn?
Selling stock at a livestock auction has historically been the tried and true way to sell and get paid for livestock. It can be fascinating to see the variety of breeds, shapes and sizes of cattle being sold at auction.
But, times have changed, and the livestock industry is changing, too. No need to travel to the sale barn to sell your stock — not anymore, anyway.
Today’s sale barn is digital.
Whether you’re a seller, buyer, or broker of cattle, you can make the most of today’s technology to participate in the digital sale barn. Here’s how.
1. Define Your Audience
The first crucial step in any digital marketing endeavor is to define your audience and buyer personas.
If you are a seller or broker with cattle to showcase, your target audience is, of course, cattle buyers. You know your audience best, so strategically answer some of the following questions:
- Where is our audience located?
- What’s their typical age range?
- What are their common interest and buying habits?
- How often do they buy?
- What are their common pain points?
Once you have defined your audience, you can use your knowledge about them to find them online. For example, with a Google Search campaign, you can target specific search keywords, demographics, locations and interests.
The benefit of defining your audience is that you won’t waste time and money marketing to folks who aren’t the right fit for your product.
2. Improve Your Digital Game with SEO and Digital Ads
This is a two-way street: help your audience find you more easily with improved search engine optimization (SEO), and find them with digital ads.
SEO for Livestock
SEO simply means making your website friendly to users so it shows up on Google. Farmers and ranchers have an edge, too, because there isn’t as much competition for livestock marketing keywords.
If your ranch or livestock website is in good shape, you’re more likely to show up at the top of the search results when potential sellers search for cattle.
That’s right — your audience is already searching for you. Help them find you by making sure your website is optimized.
Digital Ads for Livestock
You can find potential livestock buyers with digital advertising on sites like Facebook, Google or Bing.
Using your knowledge of your target audience, your digital ads can help attract knowledge of your livestock business from far and wide. This means you can reach new leads and buyers who perhaps wouldn’t travel all the way to the physical auction to see your stock in the first place, but would travel to you to buy if they had already seen your stock online.
With the advanced targeting options that are available these days, you can conquer entirely new markets with digital ads for livestock.
3. Showcase Your Cattle Well Online
It may seem obvious, but if you don’t do the work of showcasing your cattle well online — just as you would show them off at an in-person auction — your digital efforts likely won’t be successful.
When users visit your website, they’ll want to take a good look at your stock, just as they would in person. Your images and descriptions should include all of the common details:
- Number in lot
- Genetics and breed
- Shots and vaccinations
- Turn in date
- Location and contact information
Also, be sure to provide information about your brand and process. Why should ranchers choose and trust your business? What’s your reputation, and what will the transaction process be like?
Answering these questions upfront online will increase ranchers’ confidence about purchasing livestock from you, even when they haven’t seen your cattle at an actual auction.
4. Make the Connection
What happens after a rancher finds stock on your website that they would like to purchase? Make it easy for them to take the next steps.
Create a simple way to capture buyers’ information on your website. A simple contact form will allow you to gather their contact information, follow up with their inquiry and — hopefully — begin the process of finalizing the sale.
Include strong calls to action (CTAs) throughout the website guiding users to take the next step — be that “view more,” “request more information” or “call us.” When creating CTAs, keep your demographic in mind. For example, an older crowd is more apt to click a large “Call now” button vs. filling out an online form.
You’ve reached your target audience and impressed them with your stock. Now don’t forget to close the loop by making it easy for them to contact you!
Join the Digital Sale Barn
While the classic sale barn will never go away, livestock sellers and brokers can remain competitive between auctions by selling their cattle online year-round.
Just like at the auction, the internet still allows multiple sellers to showcase their cattle, keeping the prices fair. Plus, digital livestock opportunities are time-saving and efficient for the buyers; they can actually see more cattle because they don’t have to physically go to auctions to scope them out before the purchase.
While this all may seem new and different to traditional ranchers, livestock digital marketing is here to stay. Don’t fail to capitalize on these new opportunities. Learn how 9 Clouds can help you invest in digital marketing practices that attract, educate and convert your audience.EXPLORE OUR LIVESTOCK MARKETING SERVICES