How can your pet business compete with the big dogs in a dog-eat-dog digital marketing world? No question the competition is intense, but you’ll be happy to hear that there’s plenty of room for brands of all sizes in this rapidly growing industry… if you know where to unleash your efforts.
In fact, pet ownership is continually rising in the United States and that means that the pet products and pet services industries are booming, too… even in an uncertain financial marketplace that has left many industries floundering to stay afloat.
Ready to claim your spot at the front of the pack in this thriving and competitive market? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve made it our business to excel in pet industry marketing (and we’ve got the case studies to prove it!).
In this article, we’re going to share six proven pet industry marketing strategies you can use to reach more pet owners, sell more pet products or services, and maximize your in-house marketing efforts.
Know Your Target Audience and Define Your USPs
So, we know that the pet industry is growing, but who is fueling that growth? Pet industry market research shows that millennials have the freest time and free income to spend on their furry friends. But they’re not the only demographic who has pets. In fact, 67% of American households have a dog or a cat.
And regardless of the demographic, pets are increasingly being thought of as family members, and that’s great news for companies in the pet industry. Why? Because pet parents are willing to spend money on organic foods, luxury beds and toys, pet-oriented technology, premium vet care, pet insurance, and the best grooming and boarding.
However, dog owners are also short on time, so convenience is a major factor here as well. So, how can your business tap into this market? Start by getting to know your brand’s target audience and defining unique selling points (USPs) that meet their wants and needs.
This will help you know which points to emphasize in your marketing campaigns. Look at it this way, shooting blind is not a strategy. But starting with actionable insights into who you’re marketing your product or service to is.
Bring In Organic Traffic with SEO and Content Marketing
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the first places we recommend focusing your pet industry marketing efforts, and with good reason. It takes time to see progress, but a strategic SEO campaign delivers the maximum long-term gains in organic traffic for our clients.
The simple fact is people don’t look at page two of search results. If your pet business isn’t ranking on page one, you’re missing out on a lot of sales.
SEO probably seems a bit mysterious and vague if you’re new to the concept… how do you get your brand’s orthopedic dog bed to rank in the top ten in Google search results? Let us explain the basics!
In essence, SEO is the process of implementing strategic changes, both on and off your website, to improve your ranking on the SERPs. It involves developing an SEO strategy based on competitor analysis, keyword research, enhancing the user experience, fixing technical issues, digital PR, and more.
Content marketing is also an essential part of SEO and pet business marketing. The best place to start is to create a blog on your business website. It’s one of the most effective ways to increase organic traffic over the long haul.
But you can’t just write about any old pet-related topic and expect to see results. It requires strategic content planning that targets the right keywords, topics, and audience to bring targeted traffic to your website. Your blog posts need to be relevant and useful to your readers, so they keep coming back for more.
Increase Trust and Authority with Digital PR
Digital PR should be an integral part of your marketing plan. It’s a great way to increase trust and authority for your pet brand. What is digital PR? Basically, you write useful, informative, engaging articles and get them published on authority blogs and websites in the pet industry.
The articles link back to your website, which establishes trust and authority for your brand with both readers and search engines. We utilize this strategy at scale for our clients, and they’ve seen tremendous results.
The key is to write informative articles that are valuable to pet owners and relevant to your business and the publisher’s website. Avoid sales pitches or overly promotional links.
Reach a Hyper-Targeted Market with PPC Advertising
An integrated and well-thought-out search engine marketing methodology is also critical for growing your pet brand online, whether you’re a local pet service business, a newcomer in the pet food industry, or a national eCommerce brand. A strategic Google Ad campaign brings an almost immediate return for your investment, which is something you won’t see with any other marketing strategy.
You’ll need to start with a good understanding of keywords, user intent, and search volume for your target audience. Get to know what pet owners are searching for and what terms they’re putting into the search engines to find it. Then think about how your products or services match up with those search terms.
Marketing to millennials where they spend their time can make or break your pet product marketing strategy. We target this market by leveraging PPC advertising on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. For brands looking to capitalize on the millennial market, delegating a portion of your marketing budget to PPC social media advertising maximizes ROI by reaching a hyper-targeted market.
Retain Customers with Email Marketing
Customer retention is the key to maximizing revenue and boosting customer lifetime value (LTV). Once you’ve laid down the groundwork to bring new leads to your website, take advantage of it by encouraging them to subscribe to your email list.
Email marketing can drive sales later on, even if the user doesn’t convert the first time they visit your site. Whether they’re a previous customer or a future one, emails provide an excellent way to keep them engaged and educate them about your products and services.
Subscription and loyalty programs are excellent pet business marketing strategies for increasing upsells in the future. From welcome emails to post-purchase emails, personalized messages can build strong relationships with your customer base and add value at all stages of the customer’s journey.
Build Brand Awareness with Social Media and Influencer Marketing
Building brand awareness through social media is a no-brainer for pet industry brands that have such photogenic customers. Everyone loves to look at pictures of cute pets!
From Instagram to Facebook and Pinterest to Twitter, there are a multitude of platforms to use. And, if you take advantage of social media management tools, you can manage all of your accounts, schedule posts in advance, and view your engagement stats all in one place.
Once you have your social media strategy worked out, consider taking advantage of influencer marketing to expand your reach even further. Working with pet influencers is an especially effective strategy for pet product marketing.
Many pet influencers (we call them the paw-purratzi) have thousands or even millions of followers, so a partnership can help you reach a massive new audience. You can offer the influencer free samples, free products, or a discount for sharing your products. Consider offering a special promo code just for their followers to encourage them to purchase your products.
Pet bloggers with established organic traffic also make fantastic influencers to collaborate with. You can do a guest post exchange to raise awareness for both brands. Be sure your guest post has a link back to your website to pass link authority while promoting your brand to your target audience… pet owners who love to spoil their pets!
Wrapping Up: Overcoming Barriers to Effective Pet Industry Marketing
An effective pet industry marketing strategy doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s absolutely essential if you want your brand to stand out in a hyper-competitive digital marketing space.
The time and money you invest in improving your online visibility will reward you with increased sales, and that’s really the bottom line, isn’t it? That being said, from fixing technical issues to SEO and content marketing to digital PR, there’s a lot to do if you want to maximize your digital marketing ROI.
Simply learning how to utilize the strategies we’ve mentioned here takes up a lot of time, not to mention implementing them and maintaining them regularly. Executing a strong pet business marketing strategy might not be something your brand has the bandwidth to tackle in-house.
But that’s what we’re here for. We’ve got the digital marketing experience to put your pet business at the front of the pack, along with a top-notch team who knows pet industry marketing inside and out. Connect with our pack leader to start a conversation!