Imagine—it’s Monday at 9 A.M and your store opens. The bell jingles shortly after opening, and one of your favorite customers walks in and goes right for the grooming aisle. “Loved your blog post,” he says at the register, pulling out a phone to show you a Persian cat that looks very luxurious and very pleased with itself. “It reminded me to pick up more of her shampoo!”
A little later, a new customer chats about how she saw your newest deal on Facebook and had to finally check out your store, while her poodle investigates your dog treats with great interest.
You used to worry that your store didn’t get much foot traffic, so what changed?
Content marketing is the perfect solution to helping local pet stores compete. By producing content in the form of blog posts, email newsletters, social media posts and more, independent owners can both gain new customers and simultaneously build relationships with existing ones.
Here are a few reasons why content marketing is so critical for local pet store owners.
It feels personalized and relevant
You’re loyal to your friends because you feel like they know the real you, right? Well, the relationship between customers and local businesses is no different. Offering content that is tailored to events and issues in your neighborhood is one major advantage local pet stores have over big-box chains, which tend to feel impersonal.
Content marketing specifically targets your ideal audience with content that makes them feel seen and included. It’s an especially great way to build brand loyalty with existing customers, who can then reach out to recommend your business to others.
It shows off your expertise
According to Forbes, nearly half of shoppers still prefer to make their purchases in brick-and-mortar stores. This is especially true for pet owners, who are more likely to seek guidance from a real person when it comes to what they’re feeding their pets, rather than buying online.
Ninety percent of shoppers, however, will begin their search on the Internet, which is where content marketing comes in. By providing content that educates pet parents on various aspects of pet care, you’re establishing your digital presence as a trusted local expert to whom customers can return time and time again for help.
Moreover, content is a great way to introduce customers to new ideas. Pet parents who may never have heard of things like CBD for pets or hypoallergenic
treats, but who encounter them for the first time through your blog posts, might be encouraged to try and buy some of these products in the future.
It helps increase brand awareness
Do you feel like you can’t compete with the advertising dollars behind huge corporate brands? Content marketing is a huge help in expanding your business’s reach, thanks to the shareable nature of the content. Think about it: is it better to get one customer to take you up on your stellar new deal, or to get one customer and five of their friends?
With content marketing, rather than just one person seeing your deal, in a single click that person could be sharing your post with a hundred social connections. Then those accounts can share your content with their connections, and so on, until more people recognize your business’s name than ever before.
Plus, having online content that others can link to helps solidify your brand’s reputation and gives newly interested customers a landing page where they can find all the key information about your store.
It highlights what’s unique about you
One of the reasons we love to buy local is because, just like every region across the country is unique, local stores offer products and experiences no one else has. Do you have the widest selection of organic raw food brands around? Do you run special events that work with your local animal shelter? And do you feel like not enough people recognize everything you have on offer?
Content marketing helps you highlight all the things that make your business special. A course in content marketing can teach you concrete strategies for making your store’s specialties shine on Google and in local SEO searches. That is, you can learn tried-and-tested ways to make sure your store’s name pops up first when local searchers—the most likely to drop by in-person— look for pet stores.
At Astro Loyalty, we want to help local pet stores better market themselves both online and off. We’ll be launching a new free course via Astro Academy with lessons geared toward educating pet store owners on everything from Google My Business to advanced advertising—everything you need to know to start growing your customer base and getting more pet parents through your door. Be sure to check it out!