10/1/2020
Carolyn Fox
Dexter Marketplace listings are a hybrid being both a simple classified ad and a more detailed, engaging  marketing ad. Add a personalized, well written Breeder Profile and you have a combo that is sure to be effective.
 
So let's break it down...
 

Write to your target audience

Decide what market or type of buyer are you trying to reach?
Maybe it's the sustainable small farmer type searching for that all-in-one animal for beef and milk, or to the family farm who needs kid-friendly cattle. Maybe your target audience is the grass-fed beef producers, or perhaps Dexter breeders that are looking for improving their genetics. That's a pretty wide range of needs and what might entice one would make the other skip right past your ad.
 

Make Your Title Stand Out

The most important part of your Listing is the Title. This is what your audience will read first, so it is important to hook them with a short, direct yet highly targeted message. If your headline does not grab your audience’s attention, they will not read the rest of your ad. The title section will allow up to 100 characters, so no need to abbreviate excessively.

People do not buy cattle just to own cattle, they buy cattle for a purpose: provide income, to improve soil fertility, provide healthy food for the family, mow the grass, be an alternative to a cruel industrialized food system, be a fun family project, etc. so Title should speak to the problem your animal solves.


Carefully Craft Your Description

Your Title is intended to hook your reader, but the job of your Description is to compel the reader to take action (buy your Dexter).
 
A brief utilitarian bullet point list description could be effective depending on your target audience, but data shows that a more effective message involves: Storytelling. 
 

Storytelling using pictures and words

Marketing genius and founder of "Ad Zombies," Ken Moskowitz, strongly recommends storytelling, using carefully crafted words and photos to paint a picture in the mind of the reader. Any ad can be a storytelling ad, as long as it’s emotionally engaging and hits all the selling points for the intended audience.
 
A basic rule in Ken’s company is that you write the ad until the story feels complete, knowing that the right audience will take the time to read every word.
 
The Description section of your Listing has plenty of space so there is no reason not to have a creative, engaging and compelling message.

Writing Tips
 
  • Write down your livestock features and benefits and what they will do for a buyer before you start. What story do you want to convey? What is your end goal?

  • Vary your sentence lengths. Moderate 2-10 word sentences, move your story along rapidly. Too many short sentences in a row make your message sound choppy. Sentences that are too long can get confusing.

  • In your description try using a series of three adjectives, adverbs, or ideas have more balance and rhythm than two or four:
    Traditional, black, horned heifer.
    Solid, well muscled with excellent conformation.
    Adorable, sweet and kid friendly.
  • Use engaging transitions:
    What's more...Equally important...Better yet...In addition...Remember...Plus...You can also...

  • Include a call to action - that encourages the reader to take the next step:
    Call for more details
    Don't wait - this one will go fast

Include good, professional-quality photos

There are several Articles offered on The Dexter Marketplace with advice on taking better photos - check 'em out.
 
Some Photo Basics:
  • Clean 'em up. No mud (or worse - manure) caked to body or especially the face.
  • Dark cattle/livestock look better with lots of sunlight when photographing them.
  • Remove, minimize, or cover anything distracting in the background
  • A larger, oval paddock (at least 80'x80') is better that a small stall or pen. 
  • If they will be standing in grass - Mow to 3 to 5"
  • Have bait (some hay, their  treat bucket, or maybe their cow buddy or calf) that will be calming to the livestock being photographed and will give them somewhere to look or walk towards in a video.
  • Start early in the day with no more than 2 -3 helpers who know how to calmly maneuver your cattle.

 

Don't forget your Breeder Profile
All the above applies just as much if not more to your Breeder Profile which can market your farm for future sales by building familiarity and trust - For more go to  Let Your Breeder Profile Work for YOU
 

 
 
Caroline Fox is a freelance writer with over thirty-five years of experience perfecting a large variety of homesteading skills including raising much of her family's meat, fruit, vegetables, and dairy. Her beef cattle of choice were Dexters. Her milkers were Dexter, Jersey, and goats. She has over twenty-five years of experience in the Health industry as a Master Herbalist in both private practice and retail. She and her husband currently reside in Northern California.
 
References:
1. How to write Facebook ads that sell, by Michael Stelzner
https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-write-facebook-ads-that-sell-ken-moskowitz/
2. 9 Ways To Write Sure-Selling Ads, by Binnie Perper
https://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/9ways.htm
3. We asked 11 Sales Influencers about How to Build Trust in the Sales Process. Their Responses May Surprise You, by Sean Callahan
https://www.linkedin.com/business/sales/blog/management/we-asked-11-sales-influencers-about-how-to-build-trust-in-the-sales process