Written by PIJAC Canada Member and Guest Author
Stephanie Dumont, Founder & Creative Director of StreetDog Marketing
“Content marketing” is a buzzword that’s grown in popularity and is an essential tool in every marketer’s belt. But, while marketing is necessary for getting your products in front of the right customers, traditional marketing is growing less effective by the day.
So why bother with content marketing, and what does it entail? You may be surprised by how effective this approach can be!
Before we dive in, though, let’s look at what content marketing is!
Put simply, ‘content marketing’ refers to creating and distributing content in a consistent way in order to attract, retain and drive value to target audiences.
What the means is that content marketing is a long-term strategy – the content you share has to be valuable, relevant, and actionable, and you have to be ready to put in the work if you want it to pay off.
Let’s say your company sells all-natural dog treats, and you want to increase brand awareness so that more customers purchase your treats. With content marketing, you’d create and share content that provides value to those would-be customers – content that relates back to the values your customers look for in a brand like yours, tips/advice on ingredients and natural products, and insights into how dog owners can improve pet health using natural ingredients and products.
You’d then want to share that content consistently through channels like your blog, social media pages and newsletters so that your audiences have something to look for and crave coming back to your brand for more.
In a nutshell, content marketing shows that you care about educating and helping your customers!
It also has a slew of benefits for brands, but typically companies like to use it as a tactic to promote their brand for three key reasons:
Brand visibility – brands can use content marketing to carve out a place for themselves among all of the ‘noise’ from competitors Customer loyalty – by providing value to your customers, they continuously turn to your brand for knowledge, advice, and products they can trust Authority – you become a thought leader and authority, which means people trust your expertise and this strengthens the integrity of your brand
Getting started with content marketing is simple, and you don’t have to jump in with both feet right away in order to begin using this tactic to build brand awareness and engage your customers. But for pet businesses, content marketing is one of the most effective tools you can use to do just that, because you need to stand out in a proliferated market.
Here’s how you can get started!
Start with your customer’s pain points
Ask yourself what questions, concerns or challenges your customers tend to face when it comes to pet care, such as finding the right products, understanding ingredients, knowing what to feed their pets, etc.
Now, this will take some research, but it’s worth it for the content creation phase! You can explore different pain points by using Google to search for commonly asked questions pet owners have, or by looking at the content your competition is putting out.
Social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook can even provide insight, because people join groups to talk about pet care, accessories, pet health and more.
Record those challenges or pain points in a Google Sheet or digital document where you can add to them over time.
Create content that helps solve those pain points
The key point here is that your product(s) should always be positioned as a solution, even if indirectly.
So, if your all-natural dog treats can help prevent plaque buildup and gum disease, you can create content like a blog post that talks to the main causes for those issues and how pet owners can avoid them! What you’re essentially doing is giving away free value but keeping your brand top-of-mind. This is how you create value through the content you share.
The simplest way to brainstorm content is to dump ideas, topics, subject matter and content samples you find through research or from competitors you follow, in that Google Sheet or document you set up during your initial research phase. Once you’re ready to create the content, you’ll have a wealth of ideas to choose from.
Popular content types include How-to articles, listicles, product roundups, interviews, and social media content like polls, Instagram Stories and more.
Distribute your content
Before you share your content, first consider where your customers are most active. If your customers usually interact with your brand on Facebook and through your blog, that’s where you’ll want to share content. But you can build audiences by adding in content to your newsletter or adding a call-out on your website to drive site visitors to specific blog articles!
Because your content can take many different forms – video, social media post, blog article, newsletter, or even a webinar, podcast or downloadable guide/ebook – it’s important to think about how you can use your content to its maximum potential.
That means you could:
- Reshare existing content
- Link back to old articles in new blog posts
- Turn a video into a social media post
- Join groups on platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook and post content to new audiences (To name a few).
The key to success? Consistency!
Content marketing is important to pet businesses because it gives you the opportunity to make a splash in an industry where a lot of other companies exist but may not be providing customers with the value they’re looking for.
To make that splash with content marketing, keep it consistent. That means updating your blog, keeping on top of your weekly or monthly newsletter, and engaging with your communities on social media. You can share content wherever your customers happen to be, but without consistency, people can forget about your brand!
Keep these top tips in mind:
Create content that provides a solution to your customer’s problems
Do it consistently so that your customers have a reason to come back to your brand
Position your product as the go-to solution… But always provide VALUE!
StreetDog Marketing can help you do all of that, and more. Our team brings a multitude of experience and expertise to the table, so we know exactly what it takes to make your pet company stand out. We can simplify content marketing so that you can focus on your business while we do the heavy lifting, all while reflecting your brand’s voice and message.
Email us today for a free consultation and find out how StreetDog Marketing Inc. can help you stand out from the crowds!