More and more pets are joining families all over the world, which means the pet care industry just keeps on growing. And thanks to online pet shops, more pet parents than ever are starting to purchase online pet food, pet toys and everything else their pets may need.
To make sure you know how important the online world is for the pet food industry, let's go through some stats and facts.
First, let's talk about the eCommerce world, well, it seems, online sales will continue to grow and are expected to reach $6.3 trillion globally. The pet care industry is one of the fastest-growing segments within eCommerce.
For example, this research predicts the online pet care market will reach $87 billion by 2027! And by 2026, one-third of all pet products will be bought online, according to another market research company.
If we change our focus to the US, which is also the most important market for the pet care industry, it’s now estimated by Packaged Facts that over 50% of all pet food will be purchased online by 2025.
So, more and more pet parents are realizing the benefits of buying kibble or treats with just a few clicks. What does this mean for your pet food brand?
Well, it's now essential to have a strong digital presence if you want to connect with your audience online. To help you reach and capture pet parents' interest online, we've put together a complete guide with the top digital marketing tips for pet food brands.
Now, we've also used some of these next tactics in our digital marketing strategy to reach and educate our customers about the benefits of krill for their pets.
Whether you're new to digital marketing in the pet food world or want to step up your game, we will explore some of the proven techniques to:
- Increase your website traffic
- Attract more leads
- Boost brand engagement
- Drive online sales
Choose the right keywords to optimize your website
With search engines, such as Google, being one of the top channels for pet parents researching and purchasing food, having an SEO strategy has to be the cornerstone of your digital approach.
Now, as you might know, every SEO strategy starts with identifying target keywords that pet parents are likely to use when looking for information related to pet food, pet health and nutrition.
Once you choose the keywords with the highest search volume, you need to optimize your web pages and content for those specific keywords.
That means you have to use keywords naturally in titles, headers, metadata, alt text, and website and blog content. Also, make sure you publish new blog content regularly on topics that can educate and help your audience make the right choices for pet food.
If you want to boost your domain authority even further, you can also reach out to other high-authority websites from the pet food industry and get backlinks from them.
Ensure your website is fully optimized
Having a mobile-friendly site has now become a must. And this study confirms it: 91% of pet food owners access the internet on their smartphones.
That's why ensuring your website provides an excellent user experience on mobile devices should be a huge part of your digital marketing strategy. That can mean having easy navigation, minimal scrolling, or clickable buttons for easy conversions.
Now, besides SEO optimization and mobile responsiveness, your website needs to ensure fast load speeds, calls-to-actions, and optimal security, among others.
Create educational engaging content for pet parents
After optimizing your website, the next step should be to build a content marketing strategy and develop engaging content for your audience.
In case you’re wondering if content marketing is the right step for a pet food brand, well, according to a survey by Packaged Facts, 68% of pet owners look to pet food brands as an educational resource for information on pet nutrition.
So, developing robust educational content like blog articles, infographics and videos should be a must if you want to attract and engage with your customers.
Some examples of topics you can start creating content for your blog:
- Ingredient guides explaining quality sourcing
- Deciphering food labels and claims
- Pet nutrition requirements by breed and age
- Vet Q&As on specialized dietary needs
- Pet rescue stories highlighting your brand values
Now, once you have this content online, you have to make sure your audience knows about it. So, promote it through your social media channels, email newsletters, and backlinks on relevant industry websites, groups and forums.
By delivering new content about the nutritional benefits of your products and the specific needs of different pets, you provide valuable content, build trust, and become a reliable source of information in the pet food industry world.
Engage with your audience on social media
More and more pet parents (and users worldwide) turn to social media channels to browse and research pet products online. That’s why, a successful digital marketing strategy for your pet food brand needs to involve multiple social media tactics on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Here are a few examples of how you can reach your audience and promote your brand using the top social media channels for pet owners:
- Instagram is one of the best platforms to connect with your audience through stunning product and pet visuals. You can win your audience by posting hurtwarming pictures of pets with your product, looping videos of pets that your followers will watch on repeat, and amazing, informative and educational Instagram stories.
- Facebook is still a preferred social media platform among pet owners. You can reach and attract more traffic to your website with adorable pet photos and videos, informative images, links to educational videos, and nutritional blog posts. You can also use hashtags related to pets and pet nutrition to join larger conversations and run polls, quizzes and contests to spark engagement.
- Now, on YouTube, you can add longer videos that have much more information about your brand and products. For example, you can add educational videos, how-to videos about your product packages, ingredients or formulation, expert interviews with vets and scientists, and testimonials from your customers about your pet food.
- Even though TikTok is still a relatively new social media platform, you can use it to promote pet food products to a younger audience. These days, especially in the USA, users turn to TikTok instead of regular search engines to find videos about specific topics they are interested in, even pet food. For example, your TikTok page may include short videos on how pets react when eating your pet food, funny spins on memes with pets, etc.
Regardless of the social media platform used, you need to be consistent with posting engaging content as that's the only way you can create a loyal following and increase your brand awareness.
Partner with pet influencers and bloggers
One of the best ways to reach and convince your target audiences is to partner with pet owners, veterinarians, trainers, bloggers, and rescues who are influencers in the pet space. These days, influencers have become powerful voices you can leverage by sending them products to feature on their social media, blogs, videos, etc.
Our recommendation is to only collaborate with pet influencers and bloggers who genuinely like your product and actually use it in their pets' food diet. Actually believing in your products will build credibility and raise your brand visibility.
By partnering with influencers who have an engaged following audience, your pet food brand has access to a ready-made audience of pet lovers.
Leverage paid search and display ads to reach pet parents
You should also add paid advertising to your marketing mix to better reach your audience. Google Ads offers effective paid channels like search, display, and discovery campaigns.
For search ads, research relevant keywords and topics pet parents in your target regions frequently search for. To increase your visibility, make sure to place bids on these terms so that your brand appears in search results when users actively search for pet food.
For display and discovery ads, create unique messaging, stunning images, and offers that speak to your audience.
Retargeting ads also enable you to reconnect with users who previously interacted with your brand by showing relevant ads across sites they browse. You can use this type of ads to remind them about your products.
When launching paid ads, start small to test campaign performance. Then, keep on monitor your campaigns, and refine targeting, bids, ad copy, and more based on data like cost per click and conversion rates.
If paid search is new to you, this guide provides an excellent introduction to Google Ads.
Paid advertising, when done right, gives your pet brand amazing exposure, bringing it in front of the right users, and driving website traffic and sales. It's a great way to supplement your organic traffic.
Create video content to increase your leads
Video remains an important part of digital marketing strategies in the pet industry. In case you need convincing, these next statistics show the impact video content has on lead generation and brand building:
- 90% of marketers report that video increases lead generation for their business. (Source: Hubspot)
- Over 90% of consumers want to see more videos from brands in 2023. (Source: Hubspot)
Clearly, this data leaves no doubt - video works. As such, video content is a great opportunity for pet food brands to connect with their target audiences.
Videos with captivating storytelling can help your brand capture your audience's interest, show your expertise, establish trust, and drive conversions.
Specifically, these types of videos tend to give the best results:
- Social media videos - short, fun content perfect for Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
- Explainer videos - educational videos that teach customers about pet food, nutrition, etc.
- Presentation videos - brand leaders, experts, or partners highlighting relevant topics for pet food.
In the digital space, video humanizes pet food brands while delivering information in a stunning way. In other words, videos can empower your brand to build strong relationships with pet parents.
So, creating impactful video content needs to remain a high priority for any marketer in the pet industry in 2023 and beyond.
Test and optimize your results
All your digital marketing activities and brand performance can be closely monitored through data and analytics. So make sure to always analyze metrics and test different digital campaigns.
For example, track engagement levels, conversion rates, return on ad spend, and other such key data metrics across your digital campaigns. By keeping an eye on these insights, you will know what messages, offers, and creatives are resonating most with your audience.
Also, you can conduct A/B testing on email subject lines, social posts, landing pages, and other such elements. For example, test different calls-to-action or banner ad images to see which option drives more clicks.
Tracking and testing will help you focus more on what works and stop ineffective tactics. These will also help you get a full sense of how your brand awareness, consideration, and emotional connections with pet parents are growing.
Monitor your brand image and competitors
Monitoring a brand’s social conversations and competitors' channels has to be an important ongoing task in any digital marketer's life.
Social listening tools can help you track mentions of your brand name, relevant hashtags and keywords across platforms. It’s essential to know how pet parents perceive your brand and react to marketing efforts. And once you know what your audience's pain points are, you can address their concerns with helpful and fast replies.
Another ongoing task is to regularly assess your competitors’ digital presence. By following their website content, blogs, social media, and ads, along with analyzing their messaging and positioning, you can discover gaps in their content or SEO you can fill.
The power of digital marketing
Pet food brands need to fully understand and embrace the power of digital marketing if they want to reach their audience in the digital world. From SEO and content creation to social media and paid channels, there are multiple creative and innovative ways your brand can engage with the new generation of internet-savvy pet owners.