Build Your Audience Through Content Marketing
Regular readers will know I’m all about creating engaging and helpful content as a pet entrepreneur because of how it’s helped in my own business.
As a pet blogger, I grew my blog in a short space of time. It featured in the UK Top 10 Pet Blogs five months after launching.
With my journalist hat on, putting regular content on my website and a little help with SEO from Malcolm and Nicola at 360 Spin helped me reach the top of Google for Freelance Journalist Manchester.
Now I’m heading in a different direction, specialising in writing training and helping pet businesses with media coverage, so I create content each week.
I totally believe in content marketing, blogging or whatever you might like to call it, and creating content on your own land so you’re not at the mercy of algorithm changes.
Recently I went to Janet Murray’s Build Your Audience Live to learn more about social media and content marketing.
Every day’s a school day right? These were my key takeaways from Day Two.
SEO Made Simple with Matt Eldridge
Ah, SEO, that thing we know we need to understand that feels so overwhelming. I admit I’m a bit of a data geek and check my Google Analytics every day.
I studied digital marketing with Squared Online a few years back but there is always so much more to learn on this topic.
When Matt was talking, the room was captivated. Janet had to beg him to stop talking so she could keep to the schedule as he gave so much value.
These were the key messages that I think will help you as pet business owners:
• Content needs to have a purpose. Think about what your ideal customer is searching for. Is your content answering a question?
• Research. What kind of content is popular in your industry? Tie this in with keywords for your business.
• Put your keywords in your URL. When I look back at my first few blogs they’d have titles like /5629538. It should have read /what-its-like-living-with-27-huskies. (Niche I know!)
• Use internal links that are relevant. If you’re creating content on Dog Parkour or Dog Walking bags, go deep on subjects and link your posts together.
• Keep people on your page. Use video, images, infographics, surveys and podcasts (another thing I need to do). The longer people spend on your site, the more Google likes you.
• Is it early days for your website? Use Facebook ads to drive traffic. Lots of people say Facebook doesn’t like you taking people off your site, but Matt says create valuable content and just try it!
Finally, my favourite quote from Matt was this. “Perfectionism will kill your progress. You’ve got to keep putting stuff out there and tweaking and measuring. The first version is always crap!”
For more tips from Matt visit meltdesign.co.uk
Build Your Audience through your blog with Janet Murray
Janet is a former journalist turned marketing expert and started out blogging, then podcasting and now coaches business owners and speaks at high profile events worldwide.
She’s learned from personal experience that showing up every week and giving valuable content is the key to building an audience of loyal followers and future clients.
Her advice is to ask lots of questions and focus on creating content around what people are searching for in relation to your business.
Content should be made up of three different types:
• Awareness – making people aware of the services you offer. e.g. How to make sure you always have your pup’s essentials by using a dog walking bag or How to potty train your puppy.
• Consideration – helping people who are already thinking of making a purchase or working with you. e.g. Eight essentials to carry in your dog walking bag or Five things you’ll learn at puppy training.
• Purchase – this is where you ask for the sale. You might do a Facebook live about the dog walking bag or arrange an open day for your puppy school so people can see exactly what they’re going to get and buy.
I know I’m guilty of creating a lot of awareness content and hardly any of the other two categories – so this is something I need to change!
Janet’s website is www.janetmurray.co.uk
Build Your Audience through podcasting with Colin Gray
I started listening to podcasts at the end of last year, first to Dominic Hodgson’s Poodle To Pitbull Pet Business Podcast and then to Janet Murray’s The Janet Murray Show.
Now I’m addicted to both. So why do a podcast? Colin explained being plugged into someone’s ears really captures their attention and builds trust.
People can listen at any time, while driving, running, walking the dog, cooking. They’re not distracted as they might be with other media.
Colin made podcasting sound far easier than I imagined. His advice to anyone looking to start out is:
• Create a ‘season’ on a subject and break it down. So if you did a season on recall, think of a number of essential steps and go deep on each one in an episode.
• Plan ahead. Think of a theme for the quarter and create content in batches. Colin says if he records four podcasts in one go, the final one is always the best!
• Structure your podcast. Have an introduction, your theory, context where you might tell a story, then tell the listener the action you’d like them to take.
• Repurpose. Make your content work hard for you and use the podcast material as a blog, video, social media posts. More media = more engagement.
• Create a good hook that will pull people in to listen to the entire series and build loyalty.
Doing a podcast is on my to-do list and listening to Colin made me feel like it was within my reach.
Find out more about Colin at www.thepodcasthost.com/
Build Your Audience on YouTube with Jessica Dante
Jessica from Love and London launched her channel which is a guide on visiting London in August 2015 and it’s grown to 100,000 subscribers.
It’s now her full time job. She creates travel guides and offers trip planning and photo services, and works as a speaker and presenter, all thanks to her channel.
Her top tips were:
• Create content your customers give a s*** about.
• Focus on watch time rather than views – it’s how long people stay on your video that’s important.
• Create a series and link them. Similar to the podcast episode, a dog trainer could do a series on recall tips.
• Be consistent. The algorithm favours people who post on the same time and day each week.
• Create one lead magnet. Jessica’s is a Free London 101 guide and she teases it at the end of each video.
• Just do it. Jessica says you don’t need fancy kit. If you think YouTube is for you, all you need is a smartphone, a lapel mike, free editing software and off you go!
Check Jessica out at loveandlondon.com
Build Your Audience through Pinterest with Jeff Sieh
Fancy giving Pinterest a whirl? If you have a product business you might like to know that a single pin last 1,680 times longer than a Facebook post. The lifespan of a pin is four months.
Jeff is based in Texas, runs Manly Pinterest Tips and shared some fascinating stats. A huge 90 per cent of weekly users turn to Pinterest to make buying decisions.
And instead of being annoyed by adverts from brands, 78 per cent of users think it is useful!
These were my key takeaways from Jeff that I think will help pet product businesses:
• People use Pinterest as a search engine and go there to be inspired and try new things.
• If you have a health product for pets, try creating content around what people might put into a search box – i.e. ‘natural treatments for arthritis.’
• Pinterest content is evergreen and the value never goes away.
• Give back to the community. Pin other people’s content more than your own. The Tailwind app can schedule pins for you and might be worth investing in if you’re going to give Pinterest a go.
You can learn more on Jeff’s website, manlypinteresttips.com
When you go to an event there is always so much information to take in and I find I come away bursting with ideas.
It helped to write this post to focus on what is really relevant to my business right now.
Blogging works for me and creating a podcast is something I’ve been milling over for a while.
Having listened to Colin, I think it will be my next focus because I can build it into the blogging that I’m already doing.
Remember there are only so many hours in the day and you can’t do everything – you get overwhelmed and burn out.
Going to events is like a buffet. You pick out the things that appeal and try them out and if they work, go back for some more!
I hope you find the round ups helpful and if reading them gives you the nudge to try something different, send me a DM on the Publicity for Pet Businesses Facebook Group here.
• With thanks to Catherine Berry Photography for the images in this post. Find out more at www.entirelycatherinephotography.com
If you found this post helpful, you might like to read Expert Social Media Tips from Build Your Audience Live or Six things I learned at Dominic Hodgson’s Impact 2019.
Hi, I’m Rachel, a freelance journalist and PR and content consultant and crazy dog lady!
I’ve written so many stories about animals and pet brands that I wrote a book on how pet entrepreneurs can do their own PR.
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