By Sameer Gudhate*
As a Pet Marketing Consultant and a strong supporter of Blogging, I am asked by many Pet Business Owners that what are the benefits of blogging and then in particular for their business. And my answer to it is always a big Yes!
Since the late 1990s, blogging has been an exciting and unique way for internet users to share their interests and research their passions. In today’s increasingly digital world, however, blogging has become an essential practice for businesses hoping to grow their company and increase conversion rates.
If there’s one thing that pet business owners are hesitant about when thinking of marketing their business is BLOGGING. Sure, it does need investment, whether they’re paying someone to write posts or they’re spending extra time on their part to produce long pieces of content.
Blogging takes time! You have to generate ideas, write blogs, make sure it’s optimized, and find photos and graphics. And it can also take a while for you to see the results; this is the reason why many pet business owners stop blogging.
Recent studies show that businesses that prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see a positive return on investment when it comes to their marketing efforts.
Today, let’s take a look in detail on how blogging will help a pet business in many ways.
1. Projection as Industry Leaders
How a blog looks and the way it is written can be made to suit the personality of the pet business or the brand voice. These things help a blog to stand out from the rest. And through this, readers/visitors will be able to develop a deeper bond with the business. It makes the business a transparent brand that they would love to deal with. Also, blogging is a great way for businesses to share knowledge and information with their customers about what are the current happenings and developments in the pet industry. Successful businesses regularly publish blog articles to emphasize their authority as an industry leader and subject matter expert. It aids consumers to build faith, trust, and confidence in the brand or business. A user, who reads the blog published by a business, often naturally develops a relationship with the business/brand and trusts them. This is a part of the inbound strategy of any business – to build trust with customers first, before trying to sell them your products/services.
2. Value Creation
The most significant advantage of blogging is to create value for your customers. People tend to ignore a business that is overly promoting sales. What is engaging are the fascinating stories about pets and pet parenting than a bunch of sales posts! With blogging, the customers get something for free before they make a purchase – most of the times it’s information. And then this free information leads them to choose to make a purchase on their own. Something a pet business can share can be helpful tips, pet fashion ideas, recipes pertaining to specific breeds, and so on. The more the prospective customers can get from any pet business for free, the more loyal they will be when they become customers. Educating and enlightening first before selling is always a good tactic!
Search engine optimization is more than just ranking. Unfortunately, not many pet business owners understand this. Search engine optimization is a long-term method to make any pet business noticeable above the competition in search engine results. The best way is to write blog posts around keywords that any pet parent, or in short the customers search for. This way the pet business can be sure that they are publishing appropriate and relevant content. When search engine algorithms notice popular keyword multiple times it automatically lifts up the blog in search result pages. Due to the relevancy seen consistently, a higher rank is determined on search result pages.
4. Data Collection
A pet business can use blogging as a trusted way to collect emails/ mobile numbers of interested prospects by asking website visitors to subscribe to the blog. These emails can be then added to the marketing funnel (more of it in some other blog post). These collected emails/mobile numbers can be used for additional communications and promotions about the business. It’s a well-known fact that the more touchpoints any pet business has with a potential customer, the better is the chance of converting them to regular customers.
5. Demand Generation
Demand generation is a data-driven marketing approach that creates awareness of and interest in the offerings of a business through use of technology. It is considered as the first step in lead generation strategies that capture the interests of potential prospects. Demand Generation is a part where businesses need to generate enough demand from the market to be able to sell to them. A Pet Business can use blogs and content presentations as a medium to announce new products, features, and inform customers about their brand and the solutions they can provide.
6. Lead Conversions
In simple terms, there are three phases of capturing a customer to any business.
- The Awareness Stage
- The Consideration Stage
- The Decision Stage
And fortunately, the benefits of blogging can be stretched across all the three. It is even more essential to recognize that all these three stages play an equal, firm, and forceful role in conversion of a customer. For example, checklists on car travel with pets, tips on pet disease management, benefits of a new product to the pet and its parent in a blog post can help attract a new customer to the pet business and thereby get them interested in the products or services offered. On the other hand, some blog posts that help visitor/reader to know on how things are to be done, for example, how to pick up the best food for a cat/dog/fish helps the customer to get into the consideration stage. And at last, testimonials help a potential customer in the decision stage, where they may need an actual proof before purchasing product/service from a pet business. Blogging is an important component of lead conversion process.
7. Exposure & Visibility
Most of the times, I get a feedback from pet business owners that they would better invest more money in operations and product purchasing than advertising and promotions. But when asked how they plan to build awareness about their business without spending, they fall short on answers. And then I tell them that blogging is the answer to that. This is actually a great and proven strategy for business to spread out information about new products or services.
8. Generation of Backlinks
A ‘backlink’ is one of the most used words in the world of search engine optimization (SEO). As discussed earlier, blogging creates value for customers by giving out tips and important information about the business or industry in general. If these blog articles are valuable enough to solve a customer’s problem, they might get picked up by other websites or blogs too. When other sites link to your information, it looks like a strong recommendation to a search engine. Just like it is with any product, the more someone recommends it, the more you want to use it! These digital recommendations (backlinks) help increase the website authority and signal the website as favourable to search engine algorithms.
Blogging is also one of the great ways for customers to leave comments about your business. Because of easy availability of blogs on a business website, blogging has become an extension for customers to learn more about what they like and don’t like. Customers actually share stories with other users about products/services they have purchased or just leave a feedback on the blog pages. Similar to social listening, a pet business can easily adjust their marketing/advertising strategy accordingly based on the engagement and feedback received on blog posts.
10. Stay Ahead of the Competition
A pet business that has an active blog on its website is more likely to get visitors to make a purchase. Marketing studies have concluded that 55% of users are encouraged enough to buy from a business if they have a consistent and interesting blog. A business with a steady blog is not only seen as an expert by users, but it also creates value that indirectly helps a consumer choose products and services.
These are just 10 reasons why blogging is important for your business — but hopefully it has inspired you to begin or re-launch your pet business blog. After all, with more and more transactions taking place online, blogging for any business has never been more important.
*Author is the only Marketing Consultant in India who helps Pet Businesses to reach out to more and more people for business growth. He also runs Petopedia, the World’s First WhatsApp Daily Pet Magazine for sharing pet related information to Pet Parents. He can be reached out on 9820270247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.