Marketing Mistakes Pet Businesses Make
And the Best Ways to Fix Them
Building a successful pet business is not easy, but it is attainable. There are business owners who believe their educational background and experience are all that’s needed to succeed. Unfortunately, there is more to a great business than knowledgeable business owners and/or employees. Whether you’re a dog trainer, veterinary clinic, or pet groomer, you should implement a marketing strategy in your business plan. Marketing your business both online and offline can only benefit your company.
Below, we take a look at the top five marketing mistakes pet business owners make and solutions to avoid them.
1. Hiding essential information on the website
In this digital age, websites are an essential tool businesses must have to present information about their business. Company websites help customers decide if they want to do business with a particular company. The most important information you should have on your website is basic contact information. Your phone number and business hours should be located prominently at the top of your website either in the left or right corner.
Many people don’t have time to sift through your website so place your contact information in a highly visible area. The more effort people have to make to find this information, the likelier they’ll leave the page out of frustration.
2. Not having a picture or video of the staff
You know that saying “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Well that holds true for websites as well. People are more inclined to trust a company when they see an image of the owner and its employees, especially if they’re seeking veterinary assistance for their pets. As business owners in the pet industry know, people are extremely protective of their pets and want to provide them as high quality care as they would their children.
A high quality image of you and your staff smiling directly into the camera holding an especially cute pet evokes a sense of friendliness, warmth, and most importantly trustworthiness. To really stand out from the competition, create a video for your website. The benefit of having a video is you’re able to verbally introduce yourself and your staff. If your company can afford it, invest in a video production team. They can film you in your workplace, which you can air on television channels, as well as produce testimonial videos.
3. Not signing up for Google’s directory listing
There are many directories floating around the internet, but the most significant one is Google’s. When you set up your business on Google’s directory, your company website is more likely to show up at the top of the search results because Google prioritizes your business listing. In other words, listing your business with Google’s directory generates traffic to your website and, possibly, converts people into customers. Your business will show up on Google Maps and Google+ as well. The best part about listing your business with Google is it’s free.
4. Avoiding Yelp
As much as you may want to, you can no longer ignore Yelp. Yelp has the power to influence people to do or not do business with you. People go onto Yelp and review your business based on their experiences. With that said, it’s imperative you maintain your Yelp business profile.
The first step is to create your business profile or claim your business as your own if it was already set up by a Yelp reviewer. In the latter case, verify your contact information and business hours are accurate. You also want to include a link to your website and any additional information to make your business stand out (e.g. 24-hour veterinary care). Next, read through the reviews and respond to the negative ones in a professional, yet caring manner. Last, ask people to check out your Yelp business profile.
5. Not asking for referrals
Asking for referrals is easy to do, yet not many people do it. Referrals from family and friends carry a trust factor, meaning it takes less effort to convince them to go to your business. It’s possible they can even influence those loyal to another company to go to your place of business instead.
You should always have business cards ready and create an incentive for those being referred. For example, you can offer the first dog training class, check-up, or haircut for free for people who found your business through a referral.
Associations can have tremendous benefits for your company. Being associated with a reputable company instantly improves your trustworthiness and authority. You can easily showcase your associations by adding a logo on your homepage.
The foundation of your business should be built on positive customer experience. Happy clients coupled with marketing efforts can only help expand your clientele. Last, but not least, always scout the competition. Checking up on the marketing strategies of companies similar to yours can give you an edge to stay on top in your market.