A good marketing plan is key to any business, and goat farming is no exception.
You can raise happy and healthy goats all day long, but if you don’t have a way to promote them then you will be stuck with more goats than you need and eventually fail. To avoid this problem, this article lays out a goat marketing guide to get you started on finding markets for your goats and selling them to happy buyers.
Marketing Goat Products
The diversity of products you can make with goats is amazing. These animals are truly a blessing to their farmers.
Some of the products you can produce with goats are kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, soap, and much more.
All of these products have their own set of benefits that you can use to market them. Young Park (2019) and the Agricultural Research Station, Fort Valley State University share these key ideas to marketing goat products:
“Two formidable barriers exist in marketing goat milk products:
1Negative public perception of goaty flavor, and
2Seasonal milk production, which prevents year-round uniform marketing.
Key factors for successful marketing of dairy goat products include:
1Consumer perception of safety and nutrition;
2Quality of flavor, body texture, and appearance;
3Availability of specialty types;
4Attractiveness of packaging;
5Relative price of products; and
6Establishment of proper distribution and marketing channels.”
When you take these factors into account while planning your goat product marketing strategy, you will be able to meet your market head on.
Marketing Goat Meat
There are many ways to market goat meat. The first question you want to ask yourself is, who is my target audience?
Once you have answered that question you can start answering more questions about what your audience is looking for in the goat meat they choose to buy.
Try to stand out from your competition by offering things that your competition does not offer, like:
Hobby Farms shares a great article on 7 Tips for Marketing Goat Meat that you can read to find even more ways to reach your audience.
Ethnic Marketing Goats
You may choose to gear your goat meat marketing towards one or more ethnic groups.
The ethnic group or groups that you choose to target may have times of the year or holidays where they traditionally eat goat meat. If you are sensitive to how these ethnic groups need their goat meat prepared, along with their holidays and times of the year, you may build relationships with them, creating a successful marketing strategy while you are at it.
Marketing Goat Meat from Your Farm
One of the most cost-effective ways of marketing your goats is straight off of your farm.
This avoids the commissions that auction houses charge along with the transportation costs associated with taking your goats to auction. When dealing with an auction house you are also at the mercy of the day’s market, which may make it so you get lower prices than you wanted to get. You may also get less for your goats than what they are worth.
If you sell straight off your farm though, you have much more control over the price that your goats go for. Also, you get to build relationships with your customers, which can turn them into lifelong customers.
The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension has a great Marketing of Meat Goats article that gives even more insight on marketing goat meat straight from your farm.
Developing a Meat Goat Marketing Plan
When creating your meat goat marketing plan, you need to ask yourself many questions and plan according to the answers you find.
The Oklahoma Basic Meat Goat Manual has a whole Goat Marketing chapter that you can use to make your own meat goat marketing plan. This chapter will walk you through when to sell your goats, how big your goats need to be for different holidays along with other characteristics they need, along with where to sell your goats.
Marketing Lamb and Goat Meat to Hispanic Retail Outlets
According to the University of Kentucky, the Hispanic population is the biggest market for goat meat. This shows that you do not want to hurt your farm by not reaching out to the Hispanic population in your area. Build relationships with these amazing people every chance you get so that you can build bridges for your business.
You can also use the Kentucky State University article, Marketing Lamb and Goat Meat to Hispanic Retail Outlets, as a guide to reaching the Hispanic population in your area. This article also shows the important holidays for the Hispanic population, which are key dates for you to sell goat meat to them.
Goat Marketing Calendar
As noted previously, there are dates and holidays throughout each year that are important to the meat goat market. For you to be the most successful you can be, you will need to know these dates and holidays.
Cornell University has an insightful Goat Marketing Calendar that you can use to know the dates and holidays along with what type of meat your market is needing for them.
Goat Marketing Calendar Holidays
To be an effective meat goat farmer and to market your goats to the best of your ability you will need to know the holidays that are important for goat meat.
Holidays that are important for goat meat and change dates every year are:
For holidays that don’t change date there are:
Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats: Breeds, Care, Dairying, Marketing
A highly recommended reference for you to have if you choose to raise dairy goats is Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats: Breeds, Care, Dairying, Marketing.
This comprehensive book is only $25, or $10 in the Kindle version, and teaches you many things that you will need to know for starting, operating, and marketing your dairy goat farm. Having this valuable book and using the principles it teaches may help your goat farm dramatically as it grows.
Marketing Raw Goat Milk
An option for you on a dairy goat farm is to sell raw milk.
The benefits of raw goat milk include acceptability to people who are lactose intolerant, can boost the immune system, and much more. All of these benefits can and should be shared when you market raw goat milk.
Knowing your facts about raw goat milk, as well as your local laws, and finding your target market will enable you to have a good marketing campaign for raw goat milk.
Oklahoma State University has a helpful Got Compliance? Dairy Products Marketing Regulations for Oklahoma article on raw goat milk that may help answer some of your questions when you are getting educated on selling raw goat milk so you can kick off a great marketing campaign.
Marketing Goat Milk Soap
Farmer’s markets are not the only place you can sell goat milk soap anymore. There seems to be an increasing interest in goat milk soap online and in many communities. Many people like the thought of using something gentle, like goat milk, to clean their body with. You can appeal to this inclination, along with others, as you market your goat milk soap.
One example of a person that hit it off with her goat milk soap is Heather Hicks. In her article, Making Money with Goat Milk Soap, she shares many ways that she has marketed her goat milk soap along with ways to reach your market.
By following her advice and appealing to your market, you can make a good amount of money selling goat milk soap.
Goat Farming Marketing Plan
When develop your marketing plan you will need to take a make sure it is in line with your business plan, that it effectively reaches your target market, and shares the benefits of what you are selling.
OSU Meat Goat has an excellent Developing a Meat Goat Marketing Plan video that walks you through how to make your own goat farm marketing plan. Though it is geared towards a meat goat farm, you can also use many of the ideas from this video to market your dairy goat farm.
One very important marketing strategy that cannot be forgotten is using social media to your advantage.
People will be much more apt to buy from you if they feel a connection to you and your goats because of the things you share on your social media platform. You can share things about individual goats, facts about your products, and many other things to get your audience involved on your social media platform.
A word of caution: try to keep controversial postings off of your social media platform as they can do more harm than good for your farm’s marketing.
Marketing is not as easy as it looks, which is why many large companies employ teams of marketers.
Products literally don’t sell themselves! It takes a great knowledge of your target market, how your product differentiates itself from the competition, your customer relations, and much more to market your goat farm effectively.