Marketing is an essential part of building and growing any business, and dog-related businesses are no exception. But, when you’re working with a limited budget and are just getting your business started, you’ll need to carefully choose your marketing activities in order to invest your time and money on methods that help you find the dog owners (or potential dog owners) you are looking for.
Luckily, there are countless ways to market your business, and you can implement many of these strategies yourself, even if you have limited marketing experience and a small budget.
Use Social Media
Social media is a valuable marketing opportunity. Various social media platforms offer many business benefits, including higher conversion rates, increased brand loyalty, and greater customer engagement.
For the best results, start with just one or two social media platforms, post consistently, and post valuable, unique content. If you own a dog-walking business, you might want to share your favorite rainy day dog-walking essentials. Your customers could use this information for their own benefit on rainy days, but the post would also serve as a reminder of your services and of the care and thought that you put into your work.
Drive Social Media Traffic to Your Website
While building a social media following is exciting, communicating with your social media followers can be challenging as different platforms change their algorithms, restricting the reach of each post. To make your social media audience your own, you’ll need to strategically drive your followers to your website.
Create an email newsletter and give your social media followers a reason to subscribe. Create a detailed guide or other piece of valuable content. For example, understanding the cost of dog ownership can be difficult to determine, but it’s also important for your audience to have that information. You could create a piece that tells customers how to determine the cost of owning a dog and offer that up for free if they sign up for your e-newsletter. By driving newsletter signups, you’re ensuring that you can communicate with your customers directly, rather than having to hope that your social media posts reach most of your followers.
Collect and Share Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are free and they make for powerful marketing pieces that you can share across social media, through your website, and even in your printed marketing material. Ask customers to leave reviews about your business on your social media pages, Yelp, and more. Include a positive review or two in your e-newsletters and through your social media. Even better, contact the customer and ask if you can post their review with a photo of them or their dog.
In addition to asking your customers for reviews, consider implementing a customer referral program. Offer customers a discount off of a future service if they refer a friend who signs up for a grooming, a dog walk, a day of dog daycare, or one of your other services. This strategy can motivate current customers who love your business to share your business with their friends, and they enjoy a small reward for their loyalty and enthusiasm.
Write Blogs and Articles
Incorporating blogs and articles into your marketing can bring more of a learning curve, but both options offer effective and valuable marketing tools for any dog-care business.
Consider writing a blog on your business site to share valuable information and advice with both your current and your potential customers. Blogs offer a number of different benefits, since they can help your site to rank for particular keywords and can also build customers’ trust in you and your business.
Whether you’re writing a blog post or an article, be sure to provide valuable information that your audience both needs and wants. For instance, many dog owners struggle with calming and reassuring their dogs in stressful situations. A dog-training business could write a post on this topic detailing some useful techniques that dog owners can use, while reminding dog owners that the training facility is always available to help them with challenging training or behavioral problems. Readers are more likely to share a blog that offers detailed, helpful advice, which could help this marketing piece to reach even more people.
Pay Attention to the Details
Details matter when marketing your business. It’s essential to learn how to effectively communicate with both your customers and your employees. Not only do you need to carefully choose your words in your daily speech, but you’ll need to be equally careful in crafting written marketing materials. It’s best to have a second, trusted reader proof all of your marketing materials to make sure that they’re easily understood and convey the message you’re trying to communicate.
In addition to focusing on the details of your marketing, it’s also important to implement a business records retention program. If your business collects documents or information about your customers, then you need to take appropriate steps to protect and store that information. If your business is ever involved in a lawsuit, a quality business records retention program may help you to win your case.
Whether your dog-care business is just starting out or you’re looking to bring in new customers, there are many low-cost yet effective marketing strategies that you can implement on your own. Once your business has grown and you’re enjoying increased profits, you may want to hire a marketing professional to take over some of the marketing so you can dedicate more time to managing your business.