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Three Counties Dog Rescue

"Rachel from Hairy Dog Marketing has offered us some good advice and made some recommendations about how to move forward. It's very reassuring to have an experienced marketing manager from a Pet Marketing Agency overseeing our marketing, making sure that we get the best value from our marketing efforts."Max Mauchline

Three Counties Dog Rescue

We're delighted to be giving marketing support to Three Counties Dog Rescue, a charity that has rehomed over 6000 animals since its establishment in 1971.
Their priorities for online marketing are to find owners for the dogs in their care and to ensure that potential donors or supporters can find them easily, as well as being easily available for dogs that need rehoming.
We're offering social media support, Google Analytics insights, PPC (pay per click) monitoring and SEO (search engine optimisation).

Three Counties Dog Rescue 1024 280 RachelRodgers
Setting up goals in google analytics
Setting up goals in Google Analytics 650 368 RachelRodgers

Setting up goals in Google Analytics

If you haven’t set up goals in Google Analytics, then we suggest you do so as soon as possible. Goals are a way of recording specific events on your website, such as someone downloading a document or buying a product. These goals are then recorded in Google Analytics and displayed in various charts on the Analytics platforms. It provides you with an easy and quick means of monitoring the success or failure of your marketing methods and you can see at a glance what is working and what isn’t.

For instance, if you are running a campaign on social media and you want to see how many people have found your website as a result of social media and then bought a product, you will be able to do so. Similarly, if you have created a new brochure or white paper for download and set that up as a goal, you will be able to see how many times it has been downloaded and by which audience segment.

How do I set up goals?

This seems daunting when you first take a look, but is actually very straightforward.

  1. Open your analytics account.
  2. Click on the cog icon in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.
  3. When it opens, ensure you are on the ADMIN tab in the top left corner.
  4. Under the third column from the left, click on Goals.
  5. Click on the red “+new goal” button.
  6. Select one of the goal types. If you have an ecommerce site, I would suggest setting up a “Checkout complete” goal. If you don’t sell products, then you could use a “Contact Us” goal or create a custom one by clicking “Custom”. Make your selection and click “Continue”.
  7. If you chose the “checkout complete” option and your website has a “thank you for your purchase” page with a different URL to the checkout page, then click on “destination” and click continue. Enter the URL of the thank you page and click save. Your goal is complete!
  8. If you chose “checkout complete” but you don’t have a “thank you for your purchase” page and separate URL, then you could use one of the other options given, such as an amount of time spent on the checkout page or the number of pages each visitor looked at per session. Both of these will tell you they were very interested in your website and products even if it can’t record the precise purchase.
  9. If you chose a “Custom” goal and click on “Continue”, you can give it a name, such as “Brochure download” then select “Destination” as the goal type and click “Continue”. You can then enter the URL for the “thank you for downloading our brochure” page. If you don’t have a separate URL, then you could set the goal type as “Duration” and specify that the visitor was on the page for a minimum of 30 seconds (time to fill in a brochure request). Then click Save. Your goal is complete!
  10. Practise playing about with different set ups. You might find lots of things you want to record as goals once you get used to using the options.
  11. To view goals in the main analytics page, click on “Conversions” in the left-hand menu, just above Admin and Discover. The click on “Goals” and then “Overview”. This will show you how many times each goal has been met.
Setting up goals in google analytics
Excerpt from a Google Analytics Account showing the Conversions/Golas/Overview page

Look out for another blog post on Google Analytics coming shortly! If you have any questions or would just like us to set up goals for you, give us a call!

Google or Facebook Ads
Google or Facebook Ads? 1024 582 RachelRodgers

Google or Facebook Ads?

Google or Facebook Ads?

A question we are often asked, once people have decided they want to do some Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, is which platform should we advertise on? Google or Facebook Ads? Or any other advert platforms? How do you choose which to use?

Although the two platforms are very similar, there are very different circumstances in which you should use each one. As a very first step in the decision-making process, we’ve defined the main differences.

Search Engine PPC Advertising

Google Ads (or Bing, Amazon or any of the other search engines) target people that are ALREADY SEARCHING for your product. Your adverts, if they are relevant enough, will appear in the search engine results pages.

The best circumstances in which to use Google Ads are, therefore:

  • When you have carried out keyword research and you can see that keywords for your product have a high number of searches each month.
  • When your type of product or service is very well known so that people know exactly what to type in.
  • When your product or service is a solution to a specific problem about which people are searching in Google.

Social Media PPC Advertising

Social Media advertising, by contrast, will, on the whole, appears in front of people who ARE NOT SEARCHING for it. (Depending on the type of adverts that you select). The adverts will appear in people’s social media feeds, or alongside other posts, as people are going about their daily online activities.

Therefore, the best circumstances in which to use social media advertising are:

  • When you have a product that is difficult to describe on a search engine
  • When it’s a completely new product and people don’t know it exists (and therefore can’t search for it)
  • When the item is a luxury that you want to tempt people into buying
  • When the item is an ideal impulse buy (often an unusual, low-cost item)

I find that thinking about the choice on these terms will quickly enable you to come to the correct decision. You can then focus on building your ads! For more about this, please see our blog post: PAY PER CLICK (PPC) ADVERTISING FOR YOUR PET BUSINESS

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising For Your Pet Business
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising For Your Pet Business 1024 657 RachelRodgers

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising For Your Pet Business

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising For Your Pet Business

Used alongside search engine optimisation (SEO), pay per click (PPC) advertising for your pet business can be one of the cheapest and best forms of advertising for your pet business. Both SEO and PPC require great content to work well. For small businesses, having a marketing strategy focused on good content for SEO and PPC purposes is, in our experience, the quickest and most successful way to get your products in front of your customers.

But there is a lot to learn. The PPC platforms are confusing and it takes time to work through them so that you understand what you’re doing. However, it’s encouraging to know that both Facebook and Google have experts on hand that quite frequently get in touch to ask if you need help. Take them up on this offer! You will learn so much and they are extremely helpful.

There are a number of different aspects that make up a really good PPC advertising campaign:

1. Content

Everything in marketing ALWAYS starts with good content. Without good content, you won’t succeed in digital marketing. Not in the long run. Always create good, well-written content. For more information about how to write good content, please see our article: Copywriting for pet businesses.

2. Audiences

This is the second most important aspect of PPC advertising. It won’t work if your audience is too general. Focus in on a very specific audience. Run polls or surveys to see exactly who your most frequent customers are and concentrate your initial efforts on these people.

For instance, we ran a PPC advertising campaign on Facebook for our clients K9 Bridle. We carried out a customer survey and learnt that Labrador owners were our most frequent customers, so our first audience consisted of Labrador owners that also had an interest in dog walking and dog leads/collars. You can be that specific in Facebook advertising!

3. Lookalike Audiences

Even better, most PPC advertising platforms give you a piece of code for your web developer to add to your website. Once this is up and running, you can find out even more about your website visitors. And the really amazing thing is that you can create new audiences based on the people that have already clicked on, and interacted with, your website.

This was one of the most successful aspects of our K9 Bridle advertising campaign: we were able to “retarget” or send out follow-up adverts to the people that had clicked on one of the videos in our advert and watched for more than three seconds. And, using Facebook user profiling, we could send adverts out to people who were similar to those that watched our video for more than three seconds.

4. Landing Page

Put simply, if the PPC advertising platforms don’t think that the content on your landing pages is relevant to your target audience, they won’t display your adverts. If they do display them, the cost per click will be higher.
For more about what to include on a landing page, see Neil Patel’s video, “The Anatomy Of A High Converting Landing Page”.

To use the K9 Bridle example again, we created 3 different landing pages targeting 3 different key phrases all relating to the problem many Labrador owners have with their dogs pulling on the lead. One page included Labrador owner testimonials. The second page related to a poll we ran on social media asking Labrador owners how they deal with their dogs that pull on the lead. The third went into detail in an ebook about the different methods that owners and trainers recommend for training Labradors specifically.
These pages worked perfectly for both SEO and PPC advertising, bringing us on to the first page in Google and running very low cost, successful adverts for our client.

You can read more in our blog post about targeted content.

5. The Adverts

Use high quality, clear images. If your target audience only glances briefly at your image, it should tell them what they need to know. Keep your text as simple and as clear using as few words as possible. Your value proposition should be prominent and your advert should define your audience’s problem and highlight your solution to their problem.

Always create at least three different adverts and see which one results in the most clicks. You will then start to get a good idea about the type of image and wording will give you the best results.
Most PPC platforms have different advert templates that you can use. Make the most of these. Even if you don’t have video, you can create video from a series of images using these templates.

6. Advert Objectives & Targeting Options

There are all sorts of different targeting options that vary on different platforms and you may have to hunt around to find them.

You can select when you would like the adverts to display. Initially, it is probably better to run your adverts constantly and then look at the data after a few weeks to see what times of the day and days of the week are resulting in the most clicks. In future, you may wish to limit your adverts to these times.

You can also select different types of objectives. The objective you choose will determine the point at which you pay for the “click”. These range from profile views to impressions to website visits. One of the best we have found is the Facebook option where payment is triggered by people clicking on your advert then staying on your landing page for at least 3 seconds. This cuts the payment point right down so that you are only paying for people that have demonstrated a real interest in your products.

7. Monitoring

Monitor your ads constantly. Keep an eye on your account and see which adverts are bringing the most visitors to your site for the lowest cost per advert. Remove those that are costing more and experiment with different wording and images.
For the K9 Bridle adverts, we managed to get the cost down to less than 6p per click. We believe that this is because:

  • We used a highly targeted audience
  • The content on the landing page was highly relevant to that audience
  • The adverts used clear images with simple text, stating the problem and our solution
  • We selected the “visitors staying on the landing page for 3 seconds” objective
  • We used remarketing and lookalike audiences

PPC specialists for the Pet Industry

It’s taken us time to learn exactly how to use the different PPC platforms to obtain the best results specifically for the pet industry. And just when you have learnt, they change it all around again and you have to relearn! You can do this yourself given time, but if you want to get going straight away, please give us a call and we’ll help you get set up.

How do I get my business on Google
Why do I need Google My Business? 1024 649 RachelRodgers

Why do I need Google My Business?

Why do I need Google My Business?

We are often asked “How do I get my business on Google for Free?” and “Why do I need Google My Business?”.

The very first thing any new business should do, after building their website, is to create a Google My Business page. This will ensure that if anyone searches for your new company on Google, not only will they find the listing on the left-hand side of the search results, they will also see your Google profile n the right-hand side of the page. (See example below).

This is REALLY GOOD because it will:

• Inform

The Google My Business panel will tell your potential customers more about your business without even clicking on your website. The panel displays any products or services that you offer, your opening or operating hours and shows any questions people have asked you about your business, along with your answers.

• Images

You are able to upload any images that you choose to display. You are in control here of people’s first impressions. You can select the best images that you want people to see at a glance as soon as they start to search for your brand.

• Reviews

Google My Business displays any reviews people have left for you on Google. This is one of the most useful, quick, free promotional tools available online. Google users can instantly see reviews that people have left about your business. It’s immediately visible so people can get a quick impression of how great your business is. If you have customers that you know are happy with your products or services, one of the best things you can do is to get in touch with them and ask them to leave a review on Google. Not only does this look good in the panel displayed as above, it will also help to push your business further up the Google search results pages. Google ranks businesses with good reviews much higher than those without, assuming all other factors were equal.

• Location

People searching for your business will immediately see, on the map, where you are located and they can also see your address and contact details if you choose to add these.

• Opening hours

Google my Business shows your opening or operating hours, useful information for potential visitors.

• Blog posts/articles

The platform will display your latest blog posts or articles, which are added directly into the Google My Business platform. To learn more about what to write in blog posts, visit our “WHAT SHOULD I WRITE IN MY BLOG?” post.
This is all-important, valuable publicity!

And the great thing about Google My Business is that it’s free! Once set up, all you need to do is add all your details and regularly add in posts to keep it updated with the information you want your customers and potential customers to see when they search for you.

If you need help setting up your Google My Business page, please call. It’s a service we offer for only £50. Contact hairydogmarketing@gmail.com | 01775 750580.

Copywriting for pet businesses
Copywriting For Pet Businesses 1024 679 RachelRodgers

Copywriting For Pet Businesses

Copywriting for pet businesses and services is the art of writing content about your pet product or service that persuades and tempts customers to make a purchase. It’s like having lots of salespeople all in one place. Salespeople will go out and contact one potential customer at a time but good copywriting and intelligent placement on the many different marketing platforms reaches many potential customers all at once.
There are several aspects to writing good copy, from what to actually include in the copy that will persuade potential customers to buy your products to how to write it. How to write content varies according to the platform that you are writing for.

What to write about

When copywriting for pet businesses, we follow the guidelines below. Keeping these points in mind should help you to write compelling content about your product or service.

  1. Always start with a description that tells people about your pet product or service.
  2. Explain what is unique about the product – what makes it different from your competitors
  3. Describe the number one benefit that this product offers
  4. Demonstrate the potential customer’s problem or issue that this product alleviates
  5. Provide detail about the features of the product and the benefits of each feature

How much detail you give to each point depends on the marketing channel for which you are writing. For instance, on a website you may want all of this information briefly on the home page, then go into more details on separate pages, but in a press release, you would want to condense this information in as little as 200 words. And in your social media profile descriptions, you would need to try and get at least the first 4 points into as little as 280 characters.

What is the purpose of the content?

This is more technical than it appears and there should always be a main purpose for writing each piece of content.

For example, you may notice that your website is not performing very well for a certain product or phrase in the search engine results. The main reason for writing your next blog post could therefore be to improve your search engine optimisation for a selected key phrase to bring more traffic to your website. (See out article “Why Do I Need A Blog For My Pet Business?

Or you may wish to reach out to a certain narrow sector of your target market, for example, owners of a particular dog breed. Your content would, therefore, need to be all about how your product or service would benefit that particular group of customers.

Once you have a purpose for your content, it is much easier to write.

How to write the content

How to write the content refers to the way that the content is structured. When we are copywriting for pet businesses, we will always vary the content according to the platform for which we are writing:

Website Copywriting

Every page on your website should ideally be written with one key phrase in mind. For instance, if you sell dog shampoo, then you will need at least one page on your website that will be optimised for the phrase “dog shampoo”. You might sell many different types of dog shampoo and therefore Ideally you would need a page that is optimised for each product that you sell as well as the general “dog shampoo” page. For example, you might need a page optimised for “Sensitive dog shampoo” and another for “Aloe vera dog shampoo” and so on.

Additionally, it’s important to structure web copy so that readers, usually in a rush, with so much online content being pushed at them, will be able to scan the page and see your key points without reading the page in detail. You will, therefore, need lots of subheadings and images. The right images can tell customers a lot more than great long paragraphs of writing.

Your web content should also link to other pages in your website, tempting visitors into reading more about your business, and should be at least 300 words in length. This will ensure that the page will be optimised for your chosen key phrase in the search engines.

Press Releases

The ideal length of a press release is approximately 300 – 400 words. Any longer and a busy editor will not have time to read it. Writing everything you need to include in 300 – 400 words can be a challenge.

You will need to sum up the entire release in the title and in a very short paragraph at the start of the release so that it is interesting enough to keep the editor reading.

Use subheadings and try and include at least one quote from someone involved in the subject, for example, a customer, your CEO or a supplier.

At the end of the article, give a word count (the number of words in the article) and add a paragraph titled “Notes to the Editor” that explains a little bit about your business, such as where you are located, the number of employees and your main products or services. This gives the editor a bit of background information about your business that may not have been included in the release.

Blog Posts

Blog posts are usually written in a more relaxed, informal way and are a great way of getting your brand personality across.

As in all web copy, decide on a keyword or phrase to optimise the article for. Our article “What should I write in my blog post” will explain more about what to write.

In terms of structure, use subheadings, and ensure that it the blog is at least 300 words.

Use images and check that, if someone only glances quickly at your page, they will see what you want them to see.

Social Media Posts

Social media is social. There is nothing social about standing in a room, shouting about how great your products are and not listening to anyone else. Social media works in the same way. Never use social media just to talk about your products. You need to be part of the conversation and your posts need to provide interesting or helpful content to your target market.

Social media posts need to be engaging, giving people a reason to read them. When copywriting for pet businesses, this is easier because pets are such engaging animals. Pictures of animals using your product or service work brilliantly, with accompanying posts using the animal’s name and a bit about them.

Social media posts are much more about the image that the words. Be friendly, follow the rules:

  • Be nice – always
  • Don’t talk politics
  • Don’t include anything sexual
  • If you’re not sure whether to post something or not, don’t post it

Advertising Copy

Advertising copy can be much more blatantly “salesy”. Ensure that it features all or most of the points in the above section “What to write about”.
Use bullet points to highlight your key features and benefits. Use images where possible to demonstrate the point you wish to make or use infographics rather than listing information or data.

Ensure that, at a glance, people will see everything you want them to see. Images help people to remember things much more easily than words alone.

Advertising copy is used on banners, leaflets, brochures, exhibition displays, print adverts, digital adverts, billboards and so on…. The list is very long and we can help with what you will need on each.

PR Articles

Articles written for magazines or the trade press need to much less “salesy” and only very subtly promote your product. For example, if you sell pet food, you may want to write an article for a pet health magazine that will help to teach readers about pet nutrition and what their animals need in each meal. You can follow briefly follow it up with pointing out that all your foods include everything their animal needs for maximum nutritional value.

Or if you sell dog toys, you could write about the importance of play to help dogs bond with their owner, and relieve boredom. You could then talk about a couple of your items that would be ideal for the activities you mentioned.

With magazines losing readers to the internet, editors are often very pleased to be offered an article or piece of writing about a topic that could interest their readers. As long as the articles are not too promotional, they may well include them. This is a great way of getting your brand free publicity as well as demonstrating your knowledge and expertise about the subject. People are more likely to buy from experts.

This was supposed to be a short article about copywriting for pet businesses, but there is so much to write about! I hope it helps and if you need any more information about writing for different platforms, please get in touch! We can help by either writing it for you or giving you the training to enable you to do it for yourself.

What should I write in my blog
What should I Write In My Blog? 804 512 RachelRodgers

What should I Write In My Blog?

“What should I write in my blog?” is a question we are asked all the time. We suggest that you turn the question round and ask “What do I want to achieve by writing a blog?”. The main reasons for writing a pet business blog are listed in our blog post “WHY DO I NEED A BLOG FOR MY PET BUSINESS?” but briefly include:

  • SEO – to attract visitors to your website in relation to a particular search phrase
  • Knowledge leadership – to demonstrate the depth of your knowledge
  • To add value to site visitors – answer a question or solve a problem for your target audience
  • To build your brand personality
  • Blogs provide content for social media posts

We generally write a range of blog posts that fill each of these needs. Some will meet all of these objectives, other posts will only meet one or two.

For example, in this blog post, we are aiming to answer a question that we suspect our target audience is asking, we want to prove that we have the capability to help if anyone needs us to help and we are hoping that this blog post may appear in front of someone searching in Google. We are also hoping that the post demonstrates our helpful, friendly and approachable brand personality.

Taking each of the above objectives individually, we will show you how to determine what you should write your blog posts about:

SEO -Search Engine Optimisation


We would never just pluck a question out of the air or word it ourselves. It is much more scientific than that! Here is the process that we work through:

  1. To start with, think about questions you are frequently asked by your customers, or problems that they often experience.
  2. Go to the Google Adwords Keyword tool or find one of the many keyword tools online, such as Wordstream, and enter the questions you think that people will type into Google. The tools will present you with a table of different phrases and questions, along with how frequently these search terms are entered into Google. They may also tell you how much competition there is for these phrases online.
  3. Select a question, phrase or search term that you think your customers would ask that has low to medium amounts of competition and is also one of the highest searched phrases. You have your title for your blog post!
  4. Make sure that this exact phrase is the header for the blog post and try and include this exact phrase another couple of times in the main body of the post as well as at least one of the sub-headings if possible.
  5. Make sure that the image you upload to the website is named with this phrase as well.

All of these things signal to Google that this page is a very good answer to any searches using your selected key phrase or question.

Knowledge Leadership

This means going into a lot more detail about your chosen area of expertise. For example, if you manufacture dog food, you could write a detailed article about nutrition and why dogs need certain amounts of which food types. Or if you sell dog harnesses you can describe the research that demonstrates why dog harnesses are the best way of restraining dogs.
Think of all the different ways that you can tell people more about your area of specialism in a way that will be interesting, informative and useful.
Surveys are a great source of useful, unique and helpful information and can demonstrate to customers that you know what you are talking about because you have done the research.

Adding Value – Problem Solving

Once you have carried out the keyword research and have found the question or problem that you wish to answer or solve, write your article – answering the question as precisely and succinctly as possible. It should be at least 350 words to be indexed by Google and displayed in the search results.
It should also include at least one image. Images are important and can actually appear in image searches independently of the main blog. Try to create images that sum up what you are saying. If you don’t have the access or training to create the right image, find someone who can use software such as Photoshop and ask them to create it. We can always help with image creation or manipulation.

Building your brand personality

Think about your brand personality. How do you want to appear to readers? Do you want to be humble and approachable or confident and affluent? Do you want to work with executives in big companies or sole traders in small companies? Make sure that every blog and social media post reflects your brand personality.

Using blog posts in social media

This is a great way to get your content out there in front of people who aren’t searching for it. And this is where the importance of the image comes in. The image should show, at a glance, what your blog post is about, and how it will help or add value to the reader.
Ensure that your web developers have added open graph tags (they should know what this means) to your posts so that the links stand out on social media platforms.
Use hashtags relating to the content whenever possible and follow people that you think might benefit from reading your posts. Please see our guide to social media blog post for more information.

To sum up…

  • Always look at keyword tools to define what your title and key phrase for each blog post should be
  • Aim to answer a question or solve a problem for your target market
  • Go into as much detail as you wish, but don’t ramble – keep it interesting
  • Write at least 300 words
  • Create a unique image that sums up your post
  • Think about your brand personality and ensure that your blog post reflects this
Why do I need a blog
Why Do I Need A Blog For My Pet Business? 1024 674 RachelRodgers

Why Do I Need A Blog For My Pet Business?

We are asked so often “Why Do I Need A Blog For My Pet Business?”.  Some people can’t see the value in adding a blog to their website, others have tried but have so few visitors to the blog posts that they can’t see the point.

However, if you are marketing on a shoestring or trying to set up a new business and promote your website, blogging is one of THE best ways to promote your business.

Next time you ask “Why do I need a blog?”, think of the following six very good reasons:

1. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation

Blogging helps with SEO in 2 ways:

Firstly, Google (and other search engines) will look at your website as a whole and decide how much information about a particular topic you can offer its searchers.  If it thinks that you have a lot of unique, detailed information on your site, it will rank you more highly in the search engine results pages.

Secondly, when users type a question into Google, such as the title question of this blog post, there is a good chance that your blog post will come up in the results.  This will bring people to your site and, if you chose your question well (see our blog post….), they will be potential customers.

2. Solve problems or answer questions

Blog posts can add value to your customers or website visitors.  Some of your blog posts should always strive to serve a purpose for your customer base and potential customers.  They may answer a question that people frequently ask in relation to your business or they could be solving a problem that many of your target market encounter.

If you can help them in this way, they are more likely to return to your website, building loyalty and brand advocates in your customer base and attracting potential new clients.

3. Knowledge leadership

Building a blog that goes into detail about a wide range of topics relating to your business is perceived by website visitors that you are knowledgeable in your chosen field. This builds trust and makes customers more likely to buy from your business than from a business that that is not perceived to have the same depth of knowledge.

4. Brand personality

The blog on your website is an excellent way to further develop your brand personality.  First impressions are extremely important. When people visit a website for the first time, they immediately begin to make judgements and assumptions about a brand.  These assumptions may influence if they want to do business with the brand or not.  Writing about your business in a blog is the ideal way to deliver the message that you want to deliver.

5. It’s free! Or very low cost

Writing a blog is a free, or very low cos,t form of content marketing.  With Google always on the lookout for organisations that “cheat” using marketing methods that are essentially exploiting their algorithms for quick results, businesses run the risk of being caught out and penalised.  When you write good content, you are doing what Google wants you to do – delivering high quality, detailed information to the people that are searching online.  And if Google and other search engines like your content, then you will always do well in digital marketing.

6. Social media

Blog posts provide great content for social media posts.  This is where the importance of a good image (see our post “The importance of images“) is essential.  The image should convey, at a glance, a visual summary of your blog post.

Use the image and content on every social media channel at least a couple of times, with different comments highlighting different aspects of the blog. 

Ensure that your web developer has added open graph tags to your website content.  This ensures that when you share a link to your website in social media, the image from the web page and the title of the blog post are displayed in a large box underneath.  These act as a very eye-catching link for people to click on.

So there you have it, the next time you hear someone ask “Why do I need a blog?”, you will be able to help them.

If you need any help writing blog posts or using blogging to improve your SEO, please get in touch. We can help!

importance of images in marketing
The importance of images in marketing 804 512 RachelRodgers

The importance of images in marketing

The importance of images in marketing, (or any visual content), should never be overlooked. Images, video, infographics and diagrams serve a number of purposes and their selection and creation should be carefully thought out.

The human brain processes images 600 times more quickly than words. If information is read out to people, they are only likely to remember 10% of what they heard after 3 days. However, if the information is accompanied by a relevant image, they retain 65% of the information after 3 days.

Always accompany online text with visual content

There is now so much content available online, don’t even think about posting on social media or writing a blog without an accompanying image because it will just get lost in the “blurb”. Images make your content stand out, and they help to make people take notice of what you have to say.

Different types of visual content

1. Images

We have learnt never to forget about the importance of images in marketing. The golden rule we follow is to try and make sure that our images sum up our blog post, article, social media post or other content. We have to assume that people won’t stop to read all the words we write, but if they take in the image, even subconsciously, and retain the information that you are trying to impart, then wonderful! It may be enough to jog their memory next time they need your product or arouse their interest enough to go back and look again.

Unless you have a large marketing budget, it is unlikely that you will be able to pay for the exact stock image that you need every time you post something. We’d recommend learning how to use Photoshop or one of the other photo editing platforms so that you can create the image you need yourself.

Additionally, every time you use the image, it will need resizing slightly to ensure that it displays correctly on all the different web and social platforms.

If you’re unable to do this, we can help you by creating any images you need.

2. Video

Images are wonderful but video is often even better and has a great many uses, including:

• Explaining how something works
• Video testimonials (asking your customers to comment on video)
• Showing your product or service being used successfully
• Showing your product or service being used by a really cute animal (the ahhh factor)

Just the image of a video sitting there with the triangle “play” button is often enough to pique people’s interest to see what it’s about. And any type of engagement is really, really good. It will help to ensure that people remember what you want to get across, or even just remember your brand.

Although professionally filmed videos will always be best, a video filmed on a phone is often better than nothing, particularly if a customer or client has filmed it and sent it in. For example, we always repost videos sent in by the customers of K9 bridle, one of our clients.

Sometimes, if you identify an issue that your customers are having problems with, then video can be used to explain the solution more quickly and easily than writing it all out. You can then add the video to the website, to refer other people to, that may be asking the same questions.

The golden rule when using video is to keep them short. Under 30 seconds if possible.

3. Infographics

Infographics are a way of displaying information visually in a way that is more easily understood and remembered. They tend to show a lot of information around a particular topic and may use icons, symbols or representations.

Google “infographic” and see what comes up. We can help you create infographics if you need any.

4. Diagrams, charts and graphs

These are a great way of quickly summing up any data, processes, interrelationships etc. For instance, survey data can be brilliantly summed up in a graph and the process in which you work with customers can often be summed up in a diagram.

5. Virtual reality and augmented reality

It is worth thinking about how VR or AR could be used in your business. The cost of creating AR and VR content is gradually coming down and it may be the ideal way to demonstrate your product to customers, particularly if you have a really innovative product that’s based on new technology.

Images and digital marketing

The importance of images in marketing is increasing continuously in the area of SEO (search engine optimisation). Search engines and other software can now identify items on images and display relevant images in the search engine results pages.

2019 has been labelled by some as the year for visual search. People can now point their phone at an item and ask Google to search for it, with no written explanation of the item needed. Imagine how many opportunities you could miss out on if you don’t accommodate this function by using images alongside your content.

Image search

Images search results – have you ever tried to search on Google and clicked on the “images” tab? It will display relevant images from relevant articles. Even if your verbal content isn’t outstanding enough to get you to page one, you may still be ranking on page one on the Images searches.

Low cost marketing
Low Cost Marketing for Pet Businesses: Unique, Targeted Content 1024 649 RachelRodgers

Low Cost Marketing for Pet Businesses: Unique, Targeted Content

We find that one of the most successful low cost marketing strategies for pet products is the use of pay per click (PPC) advertising. A number of platforms offer this, primarily search engines, such as Google or Yahoo, and social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There are also other less-well-known options – even Amazon now has a PPC option!
The secret about keeping costs right down is using the following two rules:

  1. Select EXACTLY the right audience for your content.
  2. Write content that is unique, interesting and of value to that audience.

The Right Audience

Most PPC advertising platforms will enable you to target people with very specific interests, such as an interest in a specific dog breed. Therefore, somehow, you need to create a blog post, an article, an ebook or any sort of content that will be extremely relevant to the very specific group of people that you choose to target.

Social Media Polls

One of the most exciting and easy-to-use features that has appeared on social media in recent times is the ability to run polls. You can use these polls to create unique content that arouses the interest of specific breed owners.
For instance, for K9 Bridle, we know that Labradors are one of the worst breeds for pulling on the lead so we wanted to start by targeting Labrador owners. We joined Labrador facebook groups and used hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. We asked Labrador owners in these groups how they deal with their dogs that pull.

The options in the poll were:
• Train using the heel position training technique
• Train using the loose lead training method
• Use a headcollar
• Use a harness
• Trian using a slip lead
• Never been able to train their dog not to pull on the lead
• Other (add in comments)

We had a fantastic response with over 500 Labrador owners responding to the poll. We also had some really useful comments and some new methods and tips that we had never heard of before!
A side-effect of this process is that you can use the comments section below the poll to promote your pet product or service to people directly by sending links to relevant pages on your website.

Unique, interesting and user-generated content

But the best way of using these polls is to write something that other Labrador owners will find really interesting and useful It needs to solve their problem. We wrote this ebook (Link to https://hairydogmarketing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/How-do-I-stop-my-Lab-pulling-on-the-lead.pdf)
It describes why Labradors pull, the many disadvantages of allowing a dog to pull, and the training methods mentioned in the survey. Most importantly, it shows the results of the survey. It shows Labrador owners how other people just like them are dealing with their dogs that pull, and promises to help them with their own dog using trainer and owner hints and tips.
We generated so much information from the surveys that we ended up writing a 20-page article, but it’s not necessary to write that much if you have less time. As long as the content you write is a minimum of 350 words and includes attractive images, it will be enough.

Low cost marketing

Ask for reviews

Alongside the polls, we also appealed to Labrador owners that have successfully used the k9 bridle to stop their dogs pulling. We asked if they could write a quick review and send in a photo of their dog and to thank them for taking the time and trouble, we sent them a free lead to match their bridle.

Setting up PPC advertising

So, you now have content on your website revealing the results of your survey and reviews of your product used by your particular target audience. You now have an amazing, very targeted landing page on your website to send people that click on your advert.

Why does it need to be so targeted?

This is key to low cost marketing. The more relevant your content, the more people will click and the more people click, the lower your cost per click.

Low cost marketing – extremely low cost advertising

For instance, with our K9 Bridle Labrador feature, we set up adverts on Facebook and Instagram. We targeted people with an interest in Labradors and people who are professional dog walkers. So far, we have chosen to run the advert for two days, but in those two days:

• The advert was seen by 1405 people
• Of the 1405 people, 99 clicked on the link (a high conversion rate)
• The cost was only £0.06 per click

We only spent £6.25 in total but the week we ran the advert, we sold the most k9 bridles so far in 2019! We have the advert ready to turn on at the click of a button then turn off just as quickly. You can run for as long or as little time as you wish and you can control exactly what you spend.
So, remember, select the right audience and build content that is unique, interesting, user-generated and helpful.

If you’d like us to help you build a successful, low cost PPC advertising campaign, please contact us on hairydogmarketing@gmail.com