People love their pets. That can’t be denied. Often, pet owners are far more meticulous about the products they buy for their pets than they are about what they buy for themselves. Someone who scrimps on groceries by buying generic products might pay a premium price for organic dog or cat food.
When it comes to marketing an animal company, you must put your focus squarely on the emotions of animal owners. Your marketing efforts are likely to succeed if you emphasize the qualities that pet owners feel are most important. If you do that, then your marketing is sure to be a success.
What Do People Look for in a Pet Supply Company?
The first key to branding your animal company successfully is to understand what pet owners want when they go shopping for pet supplies. Here are the qualities they are most likely to prioritize:
1) Trustworthiness comes first for a good reason. If people are going to buy your product or use your service, they want to be confident that it’s safe and healthy for their pet.
2) Compassion is another key element of animal branding. Pet owners want to be sure that the companies they buy from care about animals as much as they do.
3) Playfulness and fun may also be important depending on what you’re selling. For example, a company that makes dog toys or provides doggie day care might want to emphasize the fact that pets enjoy spending time with them.
The colors and shapes you choose for your logo should reflect the qualities that you want to convey to your customers. For example, this logo uses blue, a color that conveys trustworthiness and reliability, along with a moving image of a dog placing its paw in a human’s hand. The image is surrounded by a heart shape.
All told, this logo provides a clear picture of a company that can be trusted because the people who run it love animals and want to care for them.
The logo you choose can tell pet owners a lot about you even if they just glance at it. The shapes, colors, fonts, and images you choose will determine whether a potential customer stops to look at your ad or content or keeps moving in search of something more appealing.
Finding Your Place in the Animal Industry
One of the key considerations when you are marketing your animal company is finding a way to carve out a space for yourself in what is undeniably a crowded industry. Pet ownership is very common and that means that there’s a huge market for pet products and services.
What can you do to make yourself stand out from a crowd of competitors? Here are a few ideas:
1) Take an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses. If your company’s primary strength is your knowledge of dog behavior, then focus on that. It’s also a good idea to find something unique about your products or services. Are you providing luxury products for people who want to pamper their pets? Is your specialty training older rescue dogs? Whatever it is, find an angle that makes your company special.
2) Identify the target audience for your marketing. It’s not enough simply to say that you are targeting pet owners. Effective marketing has to be more specific than that. For example, you might choose to target people who own exotic reptiles, or those who own show dogs. You might offer training services especially for puppies, or make products that cater to cat owners. Knowing who your customers are, including demographic information such as age and income levels as well as interests, can help you hone in on your marketing strategy.
3) Creating a customer persona might sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Using the information you’ve gathered, create an imaginary ideal customer to use as the focus of your marketing.
Following these three steps will help you to determine the best marketing strategy to promote your company. Once you have completed them, the next step is to start marketing.
Marketing Your Pet Supply Company
When it comes to marketing your pet supply company, it pays to plan. Marketing is, after all, a science. Professional marketers spend years learning their jobs and they apply everything from psychology to mathematical principles to what they do. However, you don’t need to be an expert – or even to hire a full time marketing person – to do a good job of marketing.
How Marketing Can Benefit Your Company
It might be tempting to think that you understand all the ways in which marketing can benefit your company, but there may be some things you haven’t considered.
The first thing to keep in mind is that brand recognition is hugely important when it comes to growing any company. Customers need to be familiar with your brand in order to trust it. A Nielsen survey from 2013 found that approximately 60% of internet users preferred to make a purchase from a brand they recognized than from an unknown brand.
What that means in real terms is that the more recognizable and ubiquitous your branding is, the more likely it is that customers will buy from you. You’ll have to be consistent with your branding if you want that to happen – and to do that, you’ll need to make a marketing plan.
Tips for Making a Marketing Plan
It simply doesn’t pay to be inconsistent or haphazard with your marketing. A scattershot approach is rarely effective. You might get it right by chance at least part of the time, but the likelihood of that happening more than once is slim. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to create a comprehensive marketing plan. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:
1) As previously discussed, identify what makes your company unique. Very few small companies can compete with retail giants like Walmart. They can afford to be all things to all people, but you need to be highly focused on what you do best if you want your marketing efforts to be successful.
2) Next, hone in on your target audience. If you already created a detailed customer persona, then you have completed this step. It may help to note where your target customers spend time online. For example, if you’re selling luxury pet products, Pinterest marketing might be very important to you since most of its users are fairly affluent and mostly female.
3) The third step is to choose marketing goals. You might want to increase your revenue by 50%, attract a thousand new customers, or simply increase your brand recognition. Whatever your goals are, articulating them will help you hone the rest of your marketing plan.
4) Once you have identified your goals, the next step is to decide on your marketing strategy, which is a big-picture snapshot of how you intend to meet your goals, as well as your marketing tactics, which are the specific actions you plan to take to carry out your strategy. For example, you might decide to use Pinterest marketing to reach your target audience. Specific tactics you use might include creating bulletin boards featuring your products, or hiring someone to make infographics to teach pet obedience.
5) Finally, decide how much you can afford to spend on marketing and create a budget. In addition to specifying the total amount you plan to spend, you should also allocate those resources to specific tactics so you have a detailed plan.
Once your marketing plan is in place, then it’s time to bring everything together. You’ll have to use your logo along with some specific content marketing ideas to get the return you want on your marketing investment.
How Your Logo Can Help Build Brand Recognition and Loyalty
Every bit of marketing you do should be associated with your logo and branding. Why? Because brand recognition is the key to attracting customers. You should use your logo everywhere, including:
1) On your website and blog
2) On printed marketing materials, including business cards and product packaging
3) In printed and online ads
4) On your social media pages
You can increase brand recognition by repeating the colors and shapes of your logo in other places. If your overall web design blends with your logo, for example, you’ll put forward a very consistent and reassuring brand image to everyone who visits your site.
Content Marketing Ideas for Pet Supply Companies
The final step is to use content marketing both to attract new customers and to provide value and entertainment to your existing customers. Here are some ways you can accomplish that goal.
1) Set up a blog on your website and blog about relevant topics. For example, you might do a blog about the importance of crate training or how often to give a dog treats. Every blog post you do should be relevant to your customers.
2) Create pet-related videos and post them on your YouTube channel. You might share a video about how to make a DIY kitty condo or how to decorate a terrarium for a pet frog. Whatever it is, you should maximize the SEO benefits of using YouTube – which is owned by Google – and provide a clickable call to action in your video.
3) Set up social media pages on the two or three sites most likely to be used by your customers. If you’re marketing to a younger crowd, it might make sense to have a presence on Snapchat. Older, affluent people are more likely to be on Pinterest.
4) Follow animal publications and well-known people in the industry (the Dog Whisperer is a good example) and share their content with your own commentary. Doing so will help you establish yourself as an authority.
Use email marketing to share pet training tips and other useful information.
The key with content marketing is to keep your focus on providing value to your customers. You can include a call to action, but most of your content shouldn’t be a straight sales pitch. Once you start sharing content, the final step is to refine your strategy to ensure that you’re getting the biggest possible return on your investment.
Effective marketing requires ongoing testing and refinement if you want to make the most of your budget. Even if you spend a ton of time and effort on your marketing plan, you’re going to get it wrong at least some of the time. Even small tweaks, such as changing the font size or the color of your call to action button, can make a difference in the response you get. You can refine your marketing with just two simple steps:
1) Review your metrics to identify potential problem areas. For example, you might notice that your sales page has a high bounce rate, or that the video content you post isn’t getting the engagement you hoped for. You may want to use Google Analytics together with social media metrics and email analysis from your autoresponders to determine which areas are most in need of improvement.
2) Come up with an alternative for one element that you think can be improved, and use split testing software to test it. It’s important to test only one element at a time for the best results.
After you run each test, you can tweak your marketing plan accordingly. As you do, you should see your conversion rates – and sales – improve.
The key to marketing and branding your animal company effectively is to come up with a branding message that is specifically targeted to your audience, and then use it consistently and effectively everywhere you have an online presence. The more your brand recognition increases, the more customers – and revenue – you will have.