How to Enhance Your Digital Marketing Strategy
The pet care market is booming as pet owners are projected to spend nearly $70 billion this year on their furry, feathered and finned pets. But for small to medium-sized business (SMB) owners that serve this market, the crowded marketplace may seem more intimidating than full of opportunity.
The great news is, with the right digital marketing strategies, SMBs can compete with the big dogs by becoming savvier to attract and retain more customers. Creating authentic connections with pet owners through engagement and finding opportunities to reach a broader market base can all be done by utilizing a handful of digital marketing strategies.
Your website should be considered your business’ home base. Surprisingly, more than half of small business owners today don’t even have a website, let alone one that is optimized to let people view it on their mobile devices.
Websites don’t need to be complex, but they do need to be comprehensive. Having a website with basic but important information like an overview of your company, location, hours of operation and contact information is essential as customers are increasingly looking for information on the go.
Additionally, when it comes to their pets, owners want to know that the companies they patronize are trustworthy, reliable, safe and will provide their pets with high-quality services, products and care, so make sure prospective pet parents understand the core values of your company.
Directory Listings and SEO
Let’s talk strategy. When it comes to competing, it’s essential to have a plan in place to drive traffic to your website or social channels. According to Google, searches with the words “near me,” “closest” and “nearby” have doubled since last year and increased 34 times since 2011.
When pet parents search for “groomers near me” or “veterinarians near me," if your business doesn’t show up, you’ve likely lost an element of your competitive edge.
There are a number of ways pet businesses can update listings and use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to move up their business in the search results. One approach is to optimize information in both print and digital listings and make sure the listing is up-to-date on Yelp, Google My Business and other relevant review sites. This information should include location, contact information, a link to services or relevant photos. You can also improve SEO with keywords, link building and having the right amount of quality content on your website, which all contribute to higher rankings in organic searches.
Not sure how your business ranks online? Run this free online visibility report to find out.
Social Media Engagement
Social media allows pet business owners to build a robust online community by connecting with current and potential customers in a relatable way.
First, it’s important to target social media sites where your target audience is already spending their time. Instead of casting a wide net across multiple platforms, conduct some preliminary research to find out what sites your customers are already using.
From there, it’s time to engage with your community in an authentic way. Social media should not be one-sided and ostentatiously sales oriented. Instead, it’s an opportunity to connect. Whether it’s sharing valuable and insightful content, real-life stories and imagery, your company can create authentic relationships that engage and encourage your followers to become a part of the conversation.
Taking the leap into social media, website development or SEO can seem overwhelming and intimidating, especially for business owners who lack the resources to implement a successful digital marketing campaign. There are a number of digital marketing companies like Vivial with tools and solutions to help business owners manage all aspects of their digital marketing efforts so you can get back to running your business.
Laura Cole is Vice President, Marketing at Vivial, a leading marketing technology company.