ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Marketing for Alpaca Breeders: Think About Your Target Market

Updated on February 17, 2015

A spectrum of buyers

One of the first rules of marketing is to think about and to get to know your target audience or market. For alpaca breeders, our audience is usually somewhere along a continuum, with buyers who are totally new to alpacas to established breeders with years of experience. And with each marketing effort, we need to consider which group or groups we are targeting.

Match the campaign to your buyer type

For example, if appealing to people who are interested but who know little about alpacas, it makes more sense to do broad local advertising, like Craig’s List, as opposed to working only through known alpaca websites or Facebook. Those new to the industry may not know about the Alpaca Owners Association, OpenHerd, or which alpaca Facebook groups to join.

Understand your buyer type
Understand your buyer type | Source

The marketing challenge

Once breeders are established, the tendency is to work mostly through social media. It is challenging enough to register and list new animals, blog regularly and to post daily on Facebook, when there are animals to care for, shows to prepare and go to, shearing, and breedings to see to. Marketing of any kind ends up at the bottom of the list, and so posting pictures from smartphones to Facebook is sometimes the most that we can manage, on a good day.

Marketing for Alpaca Breeders

Current marketing trends

Since our default tendency is to market mostly to our established “followers,” it is important to create a marketing plan that instead covers the spectrum of potential customers. This will not only move us out of our comfort zone, it will force us to stay in step with current marketing trends. For example, as breeders, how often do we consider search engines with our posts? Do you understand how to determine good keywords, and do you use them? Do you understand the shifting Google or other search engine algorithms that currently favor YouTube? Yes, you may work diligently on your Facebook fan page, but you may be missing out on tons of traffic by not setting up a YouTube channel for all those cute videos you have posted.

A long-term marketing plan

For alpaca breeders in today’s competitive online market, your long-term marketing plan should include:

  • Keyword research
  • OpenHerd
  • Membership in AOA and other local breeder associations
  • Facebook and Facebook Ads
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Building and using a mailing list
  • Direct ads (at least local)
  • Print marketing
  • Bringing it all together with a website (perhaps optional if using OpenHerd tools)

Create a long-term marketing plan
Create a long-term marketing plan | Source

Think local

Because of the above can be overwhelming when starting out (and afterward), a short-term marketing plan is critical. For example, if you know you are mostly interested in working locally with those who are completely new to alpacas focus your initial efforts on placing local ads (like Craig’s List, or small papers), and to going to local events, like fiber and craft shows. Also, work with local schools, Girl or Boy Scouts to get farm visits. This is a good way to build a mailing list and to build a network of loyal followers who will follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and other social media as you create those marketing pieces over time.

What is your main advertising or marketing method?

See results

Building a paid following

Others, who may be more technically savvy, may wish to work their initial efforts in reverse. However, be aware that the adage of, “if you build it, they will come” is not true in social media. This may have happened at the dawn of Facebook and Twitter, but there is just too much competition, even in the alpaca breeding space, to build your social media empire and expect people to flock to you—no matter how photogenic you think your alpaca are. If you do decide to build your social media infrastructure before you have “organic” followers, be prepared to learn about creating ads, and be willing to pay for at least Facebook ads to gain a critical mass of fan page followers. You will also need to post regularly to keep your paid following.

Facebook Marketing
Facebook Marketing | Source

The Golden Rule: Be Likeable

Having a “paid” following that you gained from ads, is not as bad as it might sound. If you target your ads correctly, you will be gaining fans that “like” alpacas to begin with. If your fan page is professional looking and has helpful, and/or likeable fun content, those that like it, genuinely do so. Here, the Golden Rule is essential. Treat your fans and potential fans to content that you would like. Always remember what social media is about. People do not surf Facebook, Pinterest, or YouTube, to view sales and marketing spam. No one wants to be pitched or sold to over and over. No, like you, they have come to these sites to have some mindless entertainment, or at most, to learn something. Think of it as a relationship. You will lose friends quickly if all you talk about is your awesome new male herd sire. Sure, he may be awesome, but if you only use your social media as a sales platform, you are missing the point of why people use these sites. Remember what you like on Facebook (funny cat videos?) and keep at least an 80/20 balance: 80 percent entertainment, 20 percent marketing (although 90/10 might be the optimal ratio).

Your Awesome Alpaca Herd Sire

SHC Twister
SHC Twister | Source

Be Helpful

Perhaps you do not wish to entertain with your social media, but do want to educate. This is acceptable and effective too if you are helpful to your fan base. The number one maxim in social media is “be likeable,” but yes, a very close second is, “be helpful.” If you have knowledge or expertise in one area of alpaca breeding or a related subject, like fleece or animal husbandry, by all means focus on this helpful, educational aspect and you will gain and keep a loyal audience. Then when you do mention your new amazing cria or alpaca addition, your sales effort will not fall on sales-deaf-oversaturated ears. In fact, with the respect that you have gained in your area of expertise, your fans will all the more trust your ability to know a prize alpaca and that you have their best interest at heart.

Long-term relationships

Whether you wish to market to new potential alpaca owners, seasoned breeders or the entire spectrum, be sure to give your marketing some thorough thought and planning. Understanding your target market will direct how and where you should begin marketing and will in turn, increase your return on your investment of time and money, and result in eventual successful sales and long-term client relationships.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)