In the past, there was nothing better for marketing your dairy cattle than getting a great photo.  It has often been said that a cow needs to look great twice in her life, once when the classifier sees her and once when you take her photo.  Today’s problem is that, with the advancement in digital photography, some photographers have taken it too far (read “Has Photo Enhancement Gone Too Far”?), to the point where many people do not completely trust photo’s anymore.  This is why, in the future, video will be the #1 way to sell your dairy cattle.

Video is 100% Honest

While it is possible for photos to be touched up, in order to touch up a video it would take more resources than any breeder or A.I. organization could ever afford.  In a video, you are able to see all the strengths and flaws as well as how your cattle walk and move on their legs.  Many times I have seen a cow that would not classify well for feet & legs last 5+ lactations, just because of how they handle their feet and legs.  I have also seen the exact opposite occur as well.  A young cow or bull that has very fine feet and legs that would score well, but since they are not very mobile on them, they don’t last past their first couple of lactations or exits the A.I. stud early in life.  Watching an animal on video lets you see all this.

Check out this video by of Venture Proxy PP-Red.  Notice how with just a little intro, some music, and a little time, they were able to create a great video that really gives you a strong appreciation for what the strengths and weaknesses  of the bull are and how well he moves on his feet.

Video’s Help Sell in Live Auctions

Not every potential bidder can make it in person to the auction where you may be selling your consignments.  Not wanting to lose out on this potential revenue, Ferme Jacobs has done a great job of creating a cost effective video to help show how these potential show heifers continue  the success that Ferme Jacobs has been having at the major shows in North America (read Ferme Jacobs: Success Is All In The Family).

The world has gone digital, and that includes Holstein World.  Holstein World seeing the demand for video has even created Holstein World Productions that does a great job of covering auctions (for a cost) that helps sell the animals to a larger market.  Check out this video in support of the recent Impact of Ada Sale

With no retouching and just simply letting the heifer be natural, the potential buyers get a great understanding of what the animal is really like.  Something they could never get from a still shot.

Use Video to Promote Your Herd to the World

Have you ever noticed that most major big brand’s and company’s front page of their website increasingly resembles TV commercials?  That’s because television advertisers have spent billions over the years on what they know works and grabs people’s attention.  Advancements in technologies and increasing connection speeds have almost doubled in the past 2 years alone.  Websites are starting to catch up with what works on TV.  They don’t do it with text.  They do it with audio and video.  They know they have only 3-5 seconds to grab your attention.  Therefore, I pose this question, “what is the difference between a TV commercial and the front page of your website?” You want to grab attention and prompt someone to take time and look at your cattle, right?  Well, you’d better have video in some fashion up front in order to do that.

Taking their use of video to all aspects of their website, check out the video on Ferme Jacobs website ( welcoming visitors to their farm.  By watching that video, you are able to get a sense for what Ferme Jacobs is all about and because they have broken the ice, you feel as if you already know them and have an increased sense of trust.

Video brings with it a distinct benefit in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your site.  Recently, Google, Yahoo, and other search engines decided that they would rank a website higher in their SEO algorithms for having a video embedded somewhere within the site.  They even figured out ways to view the text within the videos themselves and use that in search engines.

The most common way to have video on your site is by using a service such as YouTube or Vimeo.  However, you do need to be smart about how to use these services if you go that route.  Your view rating will be a lot higher if you embed the video onto your webpage rather than just putting a link to show your video on YouTube or Vimeo.  Besides, why would you send someone away from your website when the goal is to keep them on your website for as long as possible?

The Bullvine Bottom Line

There really is nothing better than video to help you sell and promote your cattle.  It does not have to be some big costly production.  In fact, it can be much cheaper than having a professional photographer come in.  You can simply use your hand held blackberry or smartphone and snap some quick snippets to share with potential buyers on Facebook or on your website.  Even good quality digital video cameras can be picked up at your local Best-Buy or Wal-Mart.  Most even come with some basic software so that you can add your own titles, images, and music.  While I am not saying you don’t need to take still shots of your cattle (they are still needed for ads, and such), what I am saying is think about how you can incorporate video into your marketing plans.  You will be happy you did.  See you in the movies!

Want to take your marketing to the next level, download our free guide “The Dairy Breeders Guide to Facebook“.