Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Advertising

Not a topic one usually associated with owning a racehorse, but if you're trying to get a business off the ground, it's one of those things that is an absolute necessity. Using this medium, the Internet, to communicate is wonderful. I've been able to touch base with an average of 40 people a day through this blog and another 30 or so through my website (www.grevelisracing.com). You core group of people are great, but to build a stable I need to branch out and try and touch more people so again I turn to the Internet.

I have contracted with Google and Yahoo! to try and reach folks that are researching racing partnerships. The advertising is really quite simple: create an ad, create a budget, create the keywords and away you go! Once again, as in the case of blogging, Google seems to be much more user friendly than Yahoo! With Google I set up 5 sets of ads and let her rip. The reporting is very easily accessible and created with technical goofballs like me in mind. Yahoo!, in my opinion, requires a bit more in the way of technical know-how in order to get the information you're looking for. They are also slower with getting ads on-line than the Google folks.

As an example of what I find to be goofy with Yahoo!, you choose keywords and when someone searches for, say, 'thoroughbred racing partnership' and you're one of the high bids, your ad shows up as a 'sponsor' for the search. Yahoo! needs to approve the keywords. As of today, "thoroughbred racing partnership" was approved, while "thoroughbred racing partnerships" was still under review. Seriously. In the meantime in the single day on Google, my ad has been shown over 20,000 times. Now, the click rate is pretty low but I created another four ads to see what combination works best. With Yahoo! I'm still trying to find out where I created my ad so I can test run a few others! Just not as user friendly for non-technical set.

I still think that word of mouth works the best, but in order to pick up the pace a little bit and get a critical mass of individuals together to get the next two groups up and running it's time to spend some advertising dollars.

4 comments:

Winston...not really said...

You are way ahead of the NTRA as far that is concerned.

Advertising. Who knew?

Ted G said...

Winston - I would pay money for you a NTRA marketing guru to get locked in a room for twenty minutes. The poor person would come out a shivering wreck...

We'll see if advertising makes a difference. There is a lot I need to learn about playing with these tools to make them effective.

Steve Zorn said...

Ted:

I've been fooling around with Google and Yahoo advertising off and on. Get lots of hits, a few clicks, and even fewer real inquiries, but the cost is pretty low, so it may be worth it.

Some big-league partnerships spend a LOT of money on advertising. I'm not sure how effective TV and race track advertising is, but it's certainly expensive. Means you have to have seriously rich clientele.

Ted G said...

Thanks, Steve. The exposure is truly wide ranging already. Website traffic has doubled already in the last two days, though the click rate is pretty low. There has been a corresponding increase to the blog as well, which is nice. I agree that it's pretty inexpensive. We'll see how it goes longer term. For right now a specified a pretty low budget, but that could change a bit depending upon how it goes.

I have looked into print and horse media advertising and you're right, anything worth doing is outrageously expensive. Certainly not the type of money you want to spend going after a $25,000 claimer!

Funny sidebar, the first time I saw my ad was right next to yours! I didn't know you advertised, but I do now!

Thanks!