If you run a pet company, you understand that the love pet parents have for their furry friends is boundless. Pet parents delight in doting on their dogs and cats, taking photos of their pets, and connecting with other pet lovers online.
You can also connect with pet lovers online, boost your brand, and build your customer base. We’ve put together the best marketing strategies for pet companies that you can start using today.
As a pet supply store owner, your day-to-day operations revolve around assisting customers, stocking inventory, and making sure your prices are competitive. You might not be thinking about your brand’s online presence because it might not be immediately obvious how online consumer awareness about your brand could impact your business sales. Or perhaps you’ve ruled out social media marketing, having assumed you don’t have the time, money, or patience to deal with an additional hassle.
Lucky for you, getting into the swing of maintaining a Facebook business page doesn’t have to be a hassle and it doesn’t have to cost you a dime unless you use paid advertisements, which isn’t even necessary when you’re first starting out. By simply creating a Facebook business page that includes your store location and contact information, you can increase sales at your pet supply store. But how? The fact of the matter is that Facebook is a local search engine in its own right; one that’s on par with Google, in fact, and you should treat it like one.
Thanks to Facebook Graph Search and the fact that Facebook added a keyword search function as well as hashtags, having a Facebook business page is as valuable as having a Google My Business page. If you only have time to maintain one social media account, it has to be Facebook.
If you’re exceedingly busy, how can you get the most out of your Facebook business page while dedicating as little time as possible to posting? Here are three tips to focus on to get your page up and running on all cylinders.
Share your pet industry knowledge by posting expert tips that both educate and inform Facebook users about your experience-based insights, recommendations, and anecdotes. By creating educational posts about your products, you will subtly and effectively imply that your pet supply store is the best place to find the products you’re featuring on Facebook.
We really can’t stress this enough—sounding salesy will backfire. Your Facebook posts shouldn’t look or sound like advertisements. Frankly, Facebook advertisements that actually work don’t look or sound like advertisements. Instead, aim to present personal-sounding posts that focus on pet-parent lifestyles, the joys of having dogs and cats, and other pet-loving messages that only gently suggest your products belong in the overall picture.
Creating Facebook posts where you remind customers to leave reviews on your Facebook page is a good habit to get into. Depending on the privacy levels of your Facebook followers, you can actually tag their handles as you respond to their comments and thank them individually for their business. If it’s clear that a follower has recently shopped at your location, make a Facebook post just for them that asks them to post a customer review on your page.
Instagram offers its users a magnitude of personal entertainment, but personal socializing is no longer the primary reason people scroll through Instagram. Today, there are more than 25 million business profiles on Instagram. Instagram paid advertisements have the power to pull in more revenue, on average, than most traditional advertising campaigns. For pet retailers, Instagram can be an excellent tool to introduce your brand to users, engage with customers, and showcase your products, services, and pets for sale.
That being said, maintaining a personal Instagram account is not going to cut it in terms of marketing your pet retail business on social. So, make sure to switch your account to a “Professional Account,” which will make posting, commenting, DMing, and advertising far easier.
The trick to making Instagram work for you is to focus on the quality of your content first and foremost. Yes, posting regularly plays an important role, too, but Instagram values—and rewards—quality over quantity any day. And you’ll want to post a variety of content media, such as photos, videos, and graphics, on both your business profile and in your Instagram stories to increase interaction with your followers. Once you get the hang of this rudimentary, immediate form of interaction, you can try stepping up your Insta-game by using “Live,” a feature that broadcasts video content to your followers to watch and comment on in real-time.
If this sounds complicated, don’t get discouraged. You don’t have to use the most advanced Instagram features straight out of the gate. Instead, try the following content ideas.
Carousel posts are single Instagram posts that include up to 10 photos that users can swipe through. Instagram carousel posts are one of the most versatile marketing tools you can use on Instagram, which is why we’re mentioning them first. The longer a user is engaged with a post, the higher Instagram will rank the post. When posts rank high, Instagram will recommend them to users. By virtue of the fact that swiping through ten photos takes more time than scrolling past one, Instagram carousel can help your posts rank higher so that Instagram starts recommending them.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, a “caption this” challenge is when you post a photo that depicts a curious, humorous, or downright puzzling scene and ask your followers to caption the photo to help bring clarity to what’s being depicted. Posts featuring dogs and cats interacting in funny ways are excellent “caption this” subjects. As your followers caption the post photo in the comments section, you can respond to increase social engagement.
Post presentation is everything on Instagram. When users visit your Instagram business profile, they will either click the follow button or bounce away from your profile based on the initial impression your profile delivers. Using an Instagram layout template such as Insta Grid’s “Puzzle” can help you make an excellent first impression. With this particular layout, Instagram will “chop” a single photo into six posts so that once all six posts are published, all of the posts’ “puzzle pieces” form a larger, complete picture.
Animal shelters are busy organizations. Often staffed by volunteers, animal shelters and rescue organizations are pressed for time, have limited resources, and tend to be solely focused on the important objective of placing rescued pets into loving households. If you own and operate an animal shelter, you may not believe that marketing on social media can benefit your business in terms of assisting the pet adoption process. But this isn’t the case when it comes to the social site, Twitter.
Twitter has evolved a great deal since it first came on the scene over a decade ago. Today, Twitter users can post photos, share articles, and even include calls-to-action, or CTAs, in the footers of their posts. Though Twitter will always have a character limit—which means you’ll have to be short, sweet, and to the point in every post—the fact that you can include hashtags makes Twitter the ideal platform to connect rescue animals with prospective pet parents.
Twitter can even help your business to go one step further than marketing the adoption options at your animal shelter. Using relevant hashtags and location check-ins, you can recruit volunteers, build your list of foster homes, promote fundraisers, and connect with other animal rescue groups in your area, such as non-profit veterinarians that will neuter and spay your incoming feral animals from off the street.
Experiment with the following Twitter tips as part of your outreach strategy and before long, you’ll consider Twitter an invaluable tool in your adoption toolkit.
It takes a bit of research and a lot of creativity but using hashtags in your Twitter posts to get the word out about your upcoming animal adoption events is a must. Aim to include about 5 hashtags in each post, and use a combination of trending hashtags, location-based hashtags, and one of your branded hashtags. For example, #petadoption, #adoptdontshop, #petsofinstagram, #yourcityandstate, #youranimalsheltername will be more than enough hashtags to get the word out on social and get potential pet parents to your event.
Another excellent habit to get into—from time to time, try quoting one of your previous Tweets with the caption “ReTweet if you agree!” This Twitter strategy can increase engagement, build awareness about an animal rescue issue, and encourage conversations. You can also reward followers for retweeting your Tweets by offering a discount on your pet adoption fee with proof of a retweet.
Without a doubt, the most advantageous reason to use Twitter to market your animal shelter is that Tweeting photos of your adorable, adoptable dogs and cats will help you place them in homes. Unlike featuring rescue dogs and cats on your website, which can be cumbersome for web visitors to share, a Tweet is fast and easy to share on Twitter. A single post about a recently rescued dog, for example, can get retweeted exponentially in a matter of seconds.
People love watching pet videos on the internet. On Facebook and Instagram, short videos of adorable animals result in higher engagement rates than videos featuring other content. But YouTube has changed the game for pet and animal video content. As a video streaming social site that offers a multitude of video lengths, YouTube has become the home of a wide variety of pet video categories, from short DIY videos featuring pet care tips to reality TV shows about dog trainers, cat psychics, and horse whisperers.
For any pet care company that’s considering launching a YouTube channel, the undertaking will have its challenges, and once you get into the swing of things, you will notice obvious pros and cons. Firstly, understand that this is a crowded space. There’s a lot of pet content on YouTube. But if your business objective is to establish your brand as an authority within the pet care industry for the purposes of gaining local customers, marketing your pet care business on YouTube should bring you more benefits than drawbacks.
Offering viewers quality videos is hands-down the most important aspect of using YouTube to market your pet care company. This means using a professional-grade camera and the best lighting and sound equipment you can afford. You don’t need to aim to produce Oscar-award-winning content, but you should be prepared to meet YouTube’s standards of visual and audio quality if you want to convert viewers into customers. Posting regularly is equally important, and of course, being sure to put out content that pet parents want and need will be tantamount to your channel’s success.
Let’s say you have a camera, enough natural light, a decent lavalier microphone, and a brave employee who’s willing to be on camera… What are you actually going to shoot? Here are some content ideas to get you started.
If you’re just starting out on YouTube, producing 3 to 5-minute videos rather than long-form content is a reasonable goal that you’ll be able to manage. How-to videos will never go out of style on YouTube, which is why we recommend you aim to produce a series of short videos on how to groom dogs, cats, and even exotics. The viral potential of a chinchilla grooming how-to, for example, is immeasurable.
Another excellent short-form video content idea is to use “before & after” transformations of dogs, cats, and exotics. By using the time-lapse feature of your camera, you can show a complete makeover from a muddy puppy to a cleaned-up pup in a matter of 60 seconds. Include real-time footage of basic pet care, too, and present certain grooming steps in a tutorial format so that your video is both entertaining and helpful.
People greatly appreciate getting step-by-step assistance when they’re trying to accomplish a task that they know is over their heads. If you have any expertise concerning the paperwork and protocol of registering a pet as a service dog or emotional support animal, then offering viewers a detailed how-to on the subject is a must. Nowadays, more and more people have a real need for emotional support animals, but registering an appropriate animal through the proper channels can be intimidating. You will definitely boost your brand if you post videos on this subject.
Veterinarians are as important to pet parents as pet supply stores. Though pet parents may not take their dogs and cats to the vet as frequently as they pick up pet food, pet care products, and pet toys from their preferred retailer, the relationships they have with their pets’ veterinarians are no less valuable.
As a local business that provides in-person services, veterinarians must carefully geo-target their digital marketing efforts. Creating and maintaining a Google My Business page is a must. When you create a GMB listing, your veterinarian business and its location will appear on Google Maps, which means that anyone who is using Google to find a vet for their pet will see your business’s page, along with your website and other contact information, and get in touch.
You can enhance your online visibility by launching a blog on your veterinarian website and regularly posting each blog article’s URL to your Google My Business page. For example, if you publish one blog article per week, simply use the published article’s URL to create a Google My Business post. The content will automatically populate on your GMB page, and best of all, Google will assess the article’s SEO and elevate your GMB page accordingly.
Sounds easy enough, but what if you’ve never written a blog before? Where should you start? What should you write about? How can you get the most out of launching and maintaining a blog? Here are some pointers to start you off in the right direction.
When a pet parent realizes their furry friend isn’t feeling well, the internet is the first expert they consult. In other words, people use Google to diagnose potential pet problems even before they pick up the phone to make an appointment with their vet. By covering relevant health topics and common pet health issues on your veterinarian business blog, you can drive website traffic and influence local pet parents to choose your business the next time their pet is sick or injured.
Of course, you’ll need to get permission from your customers first, but featuring the dogs and cats of your real-life customers in your blog articles can do wonders for increasing online engagement and marketing your pet company. This community-building strategy will help other customers feel connected to your clinic, especially if you include a comments section beneath your blog articles where pet parents can discuss the topics at hand.
Including CTAs at the bottom of your blog articles is a must, and one of the most important CTAs to include is a newsletter subscription sign-up button. By collecting your readers’ email addresses in this fashion, you can let them know every time a new blog article is published, which can spark immediate web traffic and online engagement.
We barely scratched the surface in terms of the marketing strategies that can build your pet company’s brand online, but hopefully, this article has given you some ideas to market your business. If you’d prefer the social media experts at FTx 360 to handle marketing your pet business, feel free to contact us anytime. We offer pet shop website design and development, social media campaign handling, and content creation that’s based on pet industry market research. Grow your social audience and provide your customers with the pet information they want most.