Greetings and Happy Holidays!
This is my last blog post for 2011 because I’ll be traveling cross-country with my faithful companion Louie (the Westie pup) the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We’re spending the winter in the warm and sunny southeast.
I hope you’re doing something fun this winter, too, such as growing your business by leaps and bounds!
I’d like to wrap up the year with 12 ideas to get you blogging in early 2012. Perhaps these ideas will spark a series of blog posts that captivate your audience and even motivate them to share your blog with their friends and colleagues.
Ready? Here are 12 blog topics and categories to help with marketing your pet business in 2012:
1. Provide How-To Tips
People are always searching the Web for tips on pet care. Offer a whole series of how-to- tips related to the solutions you offer, whether you’re marketing pet products or services. For example, if you sell reflective dog collars and leashes (one of my favorite examples), you could offer how-to tips on dog-walking safety at night.
2. Present “What if?” Scenarios
Offer suggestions on what to do in different scenarios relevant to your products or services. For example, if you offer emergency veterinary care, you might list the Top 5 Pet Emergencies (food poisoning, foreign objects, frostbite, etc.) and what to do if they should occur… including “contact us immediately.”
3. Dispel Common Myths
Pet owners and pet businesses are overwhelmed by information overload these days, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to believe. You can help by dispelling common myths people have about their pets or pet businesses.
4. Answer Common Questions
Is there a list of questions you hear over and over again from customers or prospects? Consider doing a blog post on each one. Include the question and provide the answer. You’ll also want to have a helpful Frequently Asked Questions/FAQ page on your website. Your blog post(s) should link people there in case they’d like additional information.
5. Reveal a Day in the Life
If you own a doggie daycare, grooming facility, dog-walking service or other type of pet-service business, it could be great to talk about the experience prospects can expect their pets to have with you. Make it fun, include a photo or two, and find other ways to bring your business to life for them.
6. Report on the Trends
You can serve as a source of useful knowledge for your busy customers. They’ll appreciate you for alerting them about product trends, new medical techniques, product recalls, business opportunities, local news items affecting pet care… anything newsworthy that’s relevant to your business and your audience.
7. Tell a Compelling Story
I’ll bet that many of your customers and prospects don’t know why you started your business, how your extraordinary staff goes the extra mile to help customers, or something funny that happened the other day. People love stories about pets and pet-fans. Why not tell stories about your business?
8. Give out Awards
I heard about this brilliant approach the other day. The Women’s Horse Industry Network gives out Whinny awards each year to celebrities who support horses in remarkable ways. The celebrities are so honored, they show up at the group’s annual meeting. Excellent, right? You could give out your own awards to honor and recognize your customers, clients, colleagues or others… and attract attention for your business at the same time.
9. Present Mini Case Studies
People are fascinated by before-and-after stories. I’m sure you can name a number of specific cases where your business helped solve a problem or need for customers. Tell others about what happened and include a comment from your customer (ask permission first, of course). Mini case studies in your blog can lead readers to full-blown case studies on your website. (Let me know if you’d like to know more about the power of marketing with case studies.)
10. Do a Countdown
Are you about to launch a new service or add a new product to your business? Create an eager audience for it through your blog. Start a few weeks before your announcement and talk about the development of the new solution, what it will do for customers, how it will help them, how it’s unique, etc. For example, if you’re adding an automated dog wash system to your local retail store, build up the excitement leading up to the big day it becomes available.
11. Reveal a Secret
This is always a popular category because people love discovering secrets and getting the inside scoop that others may not know about. For example, let’s say you’re about to offer an astounding service that nobody in your area or industry offers. Let your blog readers know before everyone else. Give them first dibs on getting access. Give them a reward for checking it out or signing up.
12. Entertain Them
It’s just plain awesome to post or share great videos, photos and stories with your audience. After all… dogs, cats, horses and other animals exhibit all kinds of entertaining traits that are loving, funny, inspiring, clever and purely entertaining. If you do a great job of entertaining your audience, readers will share your blog posts and spread the word about your business.
Got some ideas about your blog now? Please let me know. I’d love to read your posts starting in January.
Until next time,
Here’s to a wonderful holiday and an exciting 2012 for your pet business.