Whether your pet business is focused on selling toys, health food and supplements, grooming or something else, you need a strong brand and solid marketing campaigns to stay competitive.
Presentation of Your Logo & Website
The first step to marketing your pet business is to create a solid foundation. This means having a professional looking logo for your pet business and website. Because people think of their pets as family members, they are inclined to trust the most reputable businesses to help them care for their animals. While you may have a great reputation with your current customers that earn you valuable referrals, you can double or even triple business with a strong online presence. Here is an interesting article on the top 10 pet company logos. Here is an example of one of our customer who used a dog mascot for their dog grooming service.
It’s important to be aware that your website helps you make a first impression with potential new customers. A poorly designed logo and website will project your business as an amateur – the exact opposite of what you want.
What does your website look like today? Could it be better? If you’re not sure, ask a few people what they think. Ask your customers, ask strangers and ask your friends for their honest opinions.
You could also use a site like UserTesting.com to generate valuable user feedback on your website. Use all of this feedback to make edits to your site, or have a new site pet services website designed.
Marketing Your Pet Business
Once you have a proper website and logo for your pet business you have to market it to new customers. After all you created your site so that it would help you generate new business, right?
When it comes to pet businesses you could pay a lot of money for print ads in magazines like CatFancy or DogFancy and you could buy a billboard or purchase Google Ads, but you don’t have to and you don’t even need a business plan. Being in the pet industry, you have the ability to reach pet owners through the power of social media.
Here are the three ways you should be using social media:
Instagram is a photo sharing social network – and pets are extremely popular. There are hashtags like #DogsOfInstagram and #CatsOfInstagram that are populated by a constant stream of cute pet photos. #Catstagram and #Dogstagram are also popular. To get your photos in these popular pet streams, simply include the appropriate hashtag(s) in the caption of your photo.
Pro Tip: Leave the URL of your website as a comment below your image or as part of the image caption.
Because Instagram is a fairly new social network (though it now owned by Facebook) not a lot of brands are using it yet. That means if you begin using it soon, Instagram can immediately give you a competitive advantage.
Depending on the type of pet business you run, here are some ideas of the kind of pictures you should post:
- Pictures of your products (supplements, treats, food, toys, etc.)
- Pictures of your customers with their pets
- Pictures of pets using your product
- Pictures of you with your favorite customers
Just like any social network it won’t be enough to simply post photos of your own products or service. You will also want to “like” and comment on other people’s photos. Search popular hashtags and you’re sure to see lots of pet pictures to LIKE!
Because you can add any photo to Instagram you can also experiment with contests. Have your customers post pictures of their pets to Instagram and include your Instagram handle in the caption. This will help bring awareness to your company with their social network!
Because Facebook has over 900 million users, you will want to make sure your pet services or pet product business has a presence there. To do so you will want to create a Business Page for your company.
On your page be sure to include a description of your company, a link to your website and all other relevant business information which would help optimize your Facebook Ad campaign.
You will need want to create an “app” for your Facebook page that allows you to capture contact information from potential customers who want to inquire about your pet product/services.
If you know a bit of HTML you can do this with a free app called Static HTML for Facebook. If you do not know HTML you can use an app builder like Shortstack to create an app. However, you may also want to consider hiring someone who can build one for you at a low cost so that you can focus on your business (we can help – simply submit a quote request).
Your first app should include a contact form so that you can collect potential customer information; however, after that consider creating other fun apps that might engage your audience and make them want to do business with you.
For example, here’s a great app by PetCo:
Once your page and app(s) is all set up, you now have to start posting content. The great news is you can repurpose a lot of the content you created for Instagram. In fact, all of the pictures you post to Instagram will make for amazing Facebook content!
Post once, twice or three times per day – whatever you feel most comfortable with. Just be sure that you can post that many times on a consistent basis. You’ll want your Facebook audience to get familiar with how often and at what times you normally post your updates. If your postings are really good you’ll find that they will be waiting around for them!
Here’s a breakdown of some types of posts you can make on Facebook:
- Post your Instagram photos
- Ask your Facebook audience to post photos of their pets to your wall
- Post funny pet photos and ask your audience to “caption the photo!”
- Post videos of your products or you taking care of pets
- Post important pet information about recalls or other news you hear
- Post daily pet grooming or behavioral training tips
- Post coupons or discounts that can be redeemed on your website
- Posts links to your blog or other pages on your site
Remember you want to post content that gets a lot of engagement. High engagement means that your posts are getting a lot of likes, comments and shares. The more engagement you get on your posts the more people who will see your posts.
For example, you can see in this update the Facebook audience was asked to capture a funny and cute photo – these type of posts work really well to get your audience engaged.
It’s okay to post directly about your products or services once in a while, but you don’t want to come across as too salesy on Facebook. In general I like to say for every 8 posts you make about “fun” stuff you can do 2 posts that directly relate to your products and services.
Pinterest is another social network that is very visual in nature. You “pin” photos to pinboards and each of those pinned photos can link back to a website. This is a great way to get your pet products in front of new customers – or to simply brag about your current customers. Doing so will surely help you retain them!
Here are a few examples of ways to use Pinterest for your pet business:
You could show before and after shots of your grooming services:
Or you could show off some of your favorite clients and their fancy hair cuts:
If you run a pet products business you could absolutely advertise your products! However, it’s best if your Pinterest account isn’t completely about your business. After all it’s a social network which means there has to be give and take.
Create many boards that are about pets and simply include a few boards that showcase your products in those boards. Here’s a great example:
When you upload pictures to Pinterest to add to your pinboards you will have the opportunity to link the image to your site. If you’re linking a specific product to your site be sure to link it to the product page and not the homepage or some other part of your site. This will make it easier for new customers to complete a purchase.
Pulling It All Together
Once your website, logo and marketing sites are all set up and professional looking you are ready to start generating more business! If you need any assistance with website design and set up or social media help, we would be glad to assist at rates that are affordable to small business owners. Please contact us today for a free quote!