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  • Miranda Reiman, Angus Media

Make Your Marketing Dollars Count

How to develop an integrated marketing plan that works. 

Feed the cows. Turn in records. Get on the ultrasound schedule. Branding, processing, breeding, weaning and harvesting — the work never stops, and it all adds up. There are biological, environmental, governmental and countdown-to-sale day deadlines. 

Amid all the to-dos on the list, marketing tends to get only a fraction of the focus. 

“We know breeders are going dozens of different directions all the time, so we’re here to help fill in as marketing partners,” says Ryann Kats, advertising coordinator/graphic artist for Angus Media. “We’re here to serve the membership.”

The team shared strategies for every budget during the Angus Media Marketing Summit, hosted as part of the 2023 Angus Convention in Orlando, Fla., in November.

“Marketing isn’t just what you do on paper or what you do through your digital advertising,” said Rachel Witt, print services coordinator. “It’s what you do year-round, yourself — you showing up at meetings like this, being seen attending your local cattlemen’s meetings, maybe your state conventions, your state field days, just being out there letting people see you and see you represent your brand.”

They covered everything from consistency and branding to all the options to get your message in front of the most people. 

“We’re not necessarily saying that you need to be everywhere all at once and trying to hit every single cattleman out there,” said Grace Sanburg, print services coordinator/graphic artist. “But if you’re targeted in your approach, you can get the most for your dollar investment.” 

 Identify what makes you, you. 

“We all have the same message of wanting to sell cattle and promote the breed, but we really want to know what your operation’s message is,” Kats said. “What sets you apart from all the other customers or all of your other competitors?” 

For some, the cattle may tell the whole story. For others, it might be a generational legacy or a unique customer service angle. 

If you’re trying to own a specific place in the market, you need to define that, she said. 


Determine your budget.

 “When it comes to building your marketing budget, you want to consider how much experience you have,” said Hannah Frobose, senior digital marketing specialist for Angus Media. “For example, if you’ve been raising cattle for 20 years or hosting an annual sale for 20 years, there’s a pretty good likelihood that you have a stable customer base built up over your experience through word of mouth and likely a little bit of marketing you’ve done in the past.” 

Those more experienced producers can budget a smaller percentage of their overall sale revenue, near 5%, compared to those who are just getting started and may want to invest closer to 8%, she suggests.

“A lot of us in Angus Media grew up in the agriculture industry, and we understand that there’s a lot of input costs that are associated with selling and raising cattle,” Frobose adds. “We want to work with you to help you come up with either a budget or a marketing plan that fits you and your goals and your budget.”

After you have your budget, you can make a plan and execute it.

 Share the details.

“Make sure we answer these questions of who, what, where and why on all of your marketing materials,” Sanburg explains. 

That includes making a clear call to action (CTA). If you want people to request a sale book, put that in your advertisement. If you want them to share your website, make that the directive. Share your operation’s name and location and any sale details. 

“Know yourself. If you’re not good at answering email, maybe don’t list that in your ad,” Witt said. “Don’t say ‘visitors always welcome’ if you have an 8-to-5 job.” 

Select services across a variety of mediums. 

You don’t have to break the bank, but it is good to be in multiple marketing avenues, said Megan Silveira, associate editor for the Angus Journal

“We really push for this idea of an integrated marketing plan, and it’s kind of a fancy term that just means we want you to have a little bit of your name in all places,” she said, explaining survey work the team has done to help understand marketing preferences of cattlemen.  “They’re everywhere, and if you’re everywhere, you’re going to be able to reach as many potential customers as possible.”

The sale book, whether online only or printed and mailed, is often the starter piece that allows breeders to get their sale offerings in front of customers and potential customers. The print services team can create a book from scratch, or they can work with an existing “look” you’ve established.

“Maybe you have a designer you’re comfortable with or a full-service marketing team that you’ve worked with in the past — these options are extremely flexible,” Witt said. 

Any hybrid books done through Angus Media have the live expected progeny differences (EPDs) update every Friday. 

Whether it’s a sale book or a magazine, breeders still show a preference for having a printed piece in their hand. Around 40% of survey respondents visited a breeder’s website after seeing a print advertisement. 

“That really comes full circle when we talk about integrated marketing. Print publications and print advertisements are leading to online action from our breeders, which is why it’s so important to have advertisements on both platforms,” Silveira said. 

Around 96% of survey respondents say they still pick up print as their No. 1 source of information, Silveira said. That may guide the decision toward print advertisements, but then having an online presence becomes paramount. 

“That way customers can go online, understand more about your brand, your message and the type of genetics that you have to offer,” Frobose explained.  

Angus Media has options for a simple landing-page-style website or a full custom-built site.

Creative video adds another layer to a marketing plan, with a team that comes on-site to video cattle and do an in-depth interview on your offering and program. 

“We like to call it Super Bowl ads for cattle. A sale teaser is a great way to get people hyped up for the sale, make them more interested in coming, maybe bring a new look into how you’re marketing your cattle,” Frobose said, adding that it gives a human element to the business. 

To drive more people toward any of these marketing efforts, digital advertising in the form of e-blasts, banner ads or digital retargeting gives many options. Those can be targeted to specific locations or audience types, Frobose said, also suggesting they’re most effective within a couple weeks of the sale. 

“Digital is a fast-paced situation; people are scrolling quickly. If you’re not showing them that the sale’s coming up very soon, they’re probably going to forget about it in the two to three months that you wasted that advertising online,” she said. “So, a lot of times we’re strategic about doing that in the two weeks leading up to the sale.”

 Review analytics and plan.

Tracking data from online click-through rates to engagement on social can show in black and white what worked with your customers and what didn’t, Witt said.

“[When] sale day is over — did you know your target audience, and did you actively reach them?” she asked. 

Sale reports and sale attendance provide part of the data. But there is a host of additional information from traffic on specific digital ads to sale book page views in Pasture to Publish. 

The more years of data you have, the better you can hone your plan for next time, Witt said. 

That planning should be ongoing and revisited often. 

“We know that the success of your cattle didn’t happen in a day or a week, and we know that marketing shouldn’t either,” Kats said. 

See a comprehensive list of Angus Media services, or view the Breeder Media Kit at 


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