In December 2013, Debbie Nightingale and Shain Jaffe launched their goat products company, Haute Goat from their farm in Campbellford, Ontario.
They are two well known powers in the Toronto film and television production industry who when Shain retired, gave up the city for a life on the farm. They found their piece of paradise just outside of Campbellford, Ontario and called it Bashert Farm, yiddish for “meant to be.”
You’d think that would be the end of the story – retire to the countryside and read lots of books, but not for these two. Debbie, a life-long lover of animals started bringing home Nigerian dwarf goats. They started with just 4 of them and it has expanded to a full herd.
Inspired by these gorgeous animals, and by the rich milk they produce, Debbie and Shain founded their business, Haute Goat. It is both an online business and a hot commodity at Toronto’s farmers’ markets and a variety of food festivals around the province. They celebrate all things goat with premium goat cheese truffles, goat butter popcorn and fudge, salted goat milk caramels – plain and chocolate dipped, goat milk cajeta sauce – plain caramel and cinnamon and whiskey, raw goat’s milk soaps, hand and cuticle cream and lip balm. Their salted caramels were featured by Michele Henry in the Toronto Star this summer.
In the winter of 2014, they entered the world of ecommerce with a Shopify website. They were so excited but the problem was, they weren’t getting any traffic to their page. Debbie managed a Facebook account which had great quality content but was sporadically maintained. By the spring, things hadn’t improved so they hired us to boost their online social profile.
The first three months were spent establishing a clear and consistent brand across the multiple platforms that fit their company profile; Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. We added a Facebook store that linked directly to their website, engaged foodies and farmers on Twitter, built a large community on Google+, established them on Pinterest and added a biweekly blog to their website. We ran their first contest on Facebook and more than doubled their fanbase. By the end of three months, traffic to the website average 700 visits per month, they were featured in several publications and the conversions to sales were beginning.
The next three months, we are spending getting into the fun details of social media that will really help set them apart in the marketplace. We are exploring a lot of different advertising options from Facebook and Twitter to Adroll and Shoptoit. We have launched their Haute Goat Farm Channel with two Hangouts on Air and are working with them to build a unique YouTube channel. We have introduced them to Facebook video, Vine and Instagram Hyperlapse – all really fun things that will work well with their goats. We are using Prezly to create press releases that will help them get more exposure in traditional media. We are also helping them to reach out to businesses in the real world for wholesale selling opportunities by engaging with them first on social media.
The buzz is buzzing and their advocates on social media are now helping to spread the word about this small farm that could. There will be no stopping these goats now!