Your website says a lot about your business, but so does the content you create for your site.
For most pet businesses, creating content boils down to social media content, because it’s easily shareable and spreads the word about your brand. But as a pet business, you’d also be wise to invest in content marketing to help grow your audience and establish your business as an authority.
That’s where blogging comes in.
86% of content marketers use blogging as part of their strategy to reach new customers and expand awareness of their businesses. Not only that, but businesses with consistent blogs can produce up to 67% more leads than businesses that don’t blog.
You may be thinking, “How does that benefit me as a pet business?” and the answer is simple: value.
When you provide free value to your audiences, they are more likely to interact with your brand, seek you out at a resource, and build trust with you. All of those elements are crucial for establishing a loyal base of return customers.
Whether you’re new to blogging for your business or want to strengthen your existing blog strategy, we’ve got a few tips that could just help you create converting blog content for your pet brand.
Always start with a value proposition
This isn’t always going to be a clear statement or visible portion of text in your blog articles, but it must be the foundation of every article to write.
The value proposition of each blog article is really just the point or purpose of your article; it answers the question every reader has, which is, “What’s in it for me?”.
That means every blog article you write should:
- Teach the reader something;
- Make the reader feel something; or
- Provide the reader with actionable advice
When choosing a topic to write about, always keep in mind whether your article is going to be educational, informative, or actionable. And yes, blog articles can be all three!
The point of your blog’s value prop is to give the reader something they can take away from having read your content. Because blog article’s cover topics people are curious about, you want to ensure that your articles address problems readers have and offer a solution.
That’s how you’ll answer the “What’s in it for me?” question, every time.
Do your competitor research
The best blog articles are those that either introduce the reader to a completely new topic or provide information on a topic that others haven’t expanded on enough.
For example, if you do a quick Google search for “things to look for in a dog food brand”, you’ll be met with thousands of results, but the best articles will be those that built and expanded on the topic better than the others did.
This is why it’s important to do competitor blog research, and it’s simple to do!
First, you have to choose your blog topic; once you’ve decided on the topic, you’ll want to do a Google search and look at the results on the first and second page of the search results.
Scan each blog article and take note of the following:
- The word count
- The headers (H1, H2s, and so on)
- The repetitive keywords
- The main argument and solution
Chances are, you’ll see a pattern between all of the blog articles – mainly, they’ll all focus on the same or similar keywords and will probably make the same argument.
The key is to look at the articles and add more value through your own article. You can do this by expanding on the topic, providing relevant statistics, using infographics to provide data, and more.
You can also optimize the use of your keywords by focusing on incorporating them in headers as well as at the beginning of your article for better SEO.
Consider your blog’s format
There are some blog article formats that work every single time, without a doubt. And while not every article you write should be the same format over and over, you can cycle through formats that work.
The first format you can incorporate into your blog strategy is the listicle.
Listicles or “list posts” are lists of 5+ bite-size tips, strategies, products, tricks, or advice that are all easily digestible and informative. Listicles are super search-engine-friendly because they break up content in actionable “steps” and are very shareable.
An example of a listicle is something like, “10 Dog Toys That Are Safe and Durable”. These types of articles are easy for readers to consume, but you want to ensure (like any blog article) that there’s a value proposition.
Another blog article format that works is the comparison format. It’s basically a “this versus that” type of article format that works so well because it provides a ton of value.
With the comparison format, you save your audience a lot of time they’d otherwise be spending on research, which makes your content a valuable source of information. This format is pretty similar to product round-up articles because you’re comparing two or more things and helping your reader arrive at a decision.
Beginner’s Guide Post
And finally, a third recommended format is the “Beginner’s Guide” format. You’ve probably seen more than a few of these online, especially when searching for educational content (like our Beginner’s Guide to SEO).
The reason this format works so well, especially for educational topics, is because it distills a broad range of information and advice into actionable steps that are more digestible for readers.
But more than that, these guide-style articles also happen to be perfect for social sharing and backlinks, which is great news for encouraging traffic to your content.
Break up your content into digestible sections
You may have noticed while reading through this article that we’ve broken our content into sections.
And there’s a reason for us doing that: it helps you (as the reader) better digest the content without getting overwhelmed.
One of the easiest and most SEO-friendly ways to do this is by breaking your content up using headers.
Headers (which you may see or know as H1, H2, H3 and so on) are important for creating structure within your content, but they also give context as to what your reader is going to read or learn as they work their way through an article.
They break up your content into sections but they also work for SEO, as it improves readability of your content, and search engines love that.
The best tips for optimizing headers? Follow the right header sequence and use them to give context.
For example, any blog article will only have one H1 – your article’s title! But you can break out your content into sections using H2s (like we do in this post), and sub-sections as H3s. We did this in the section above where we provide article format suggestions.
Along with your headers, keeping sentences and paragraphs short or brief also helps with both readability and SEO. You want to keep your article as uncomplicated as possible!
Make your content relevant to your target audience
We mentioned at the beginning of this article that blogging can help provide real value to your audiences, which builds trust, authority, and loyalty with your customers.
But that value comes from creating content that’s relevant to your target audience, and not just “anyone”.
Let’s say, for example, that your target audience is cat owners interested in organic cat food, treats, and supplements. Your blog content would perform better if it speaks to that audience rather than all pet owners, because you’re not trying to acquire customers who own dogs or other types of pets.
The best way to tailor your blog content to your target audience is to look at who your existing audience is and comparing those audiences to the customers you want.
This comes from using purchasing and customer data to understand what people are buying and what the demographics are. Using this data, you can better determine which topics your audiences will care about.
However, the point of blogging is to use content to identify a pain point and then solve the pain point. Even if you know your target audience or customer intimately, your content will only be valuable if it empathizes with their pain point or problem and helps them with it.
Here’s how you can determine if your content is achieving just that:
- Audit your existing content – does it answer a question or solve a problem that your target audience likely has?
- Does it speak to the right audience? If you’re writing for everyone, you’re speaking to no one, so it’s important to speak to your audience (these are your target customers!)
- Use your data – don’t ignore what your CMS or analytics tools are telling you about your customers, but instead use it to better tailor your content to what your customer cares about
Make your CTAs strategic
Your CTAs (call-to-actions) have to be enticing yet actionable enough that people want to click on them.
But CTAs aren’t links to other content you’ve created or links to your social platforms – instead, your CTAs are action items that drive your customers to take a desired action.
And for businesses, that means using CTAs that generate leads.
You’ll see a lot of businesses use CTAs in their blog content that use strong words or phrases designed to make people feel that they have to take an action to get a benefit.
For example, if you have a newsletter list, building that list by getting more subscribers is a great way to acquire leads (potential customers) that you can market more content to.
Then, if or when you create a piece of content you want people to download, you could use a CTA such as “Get your FREE pet sitter guide now” and attach it to a newsletter sign-up form.
Words like “get”, “free”, and “now” create a sense of urgency in people but also show them that they’re getting something for free by doing something as simple as submitting their email to a newsletter form.
The objective is to use wording that acts as a command or a directive because people want to be instructed on what to do next, or where to go to get even more value. Using strong, emotive words can help you achieve that.
Here’s an example from CoSchedule that shows how emotive or commanding language is used to direct people to take a specific action (subscribe to a newsletter to get free content).
Consider content upgrades
Ideally, any pet business could get to a place where content is driving a fair share of their lead generation.
But blog content isn’t the only option for creating content that brings people to your website and keeps them coming back for more!
Something you can create that will increase conversions from your blog and help you leverage knowledge your audiences can benefit from, is a content upgrade.
Simply put, a content upgrade is a piece of downloadable content you tailor to a specific blog post or article, and use to capture leads.
For example, if you have a blog article about the top 10 ingredients to look for in natural dog food, you can provide readers with a downloadable guide on those ingredients specifically for that blog article.
Capturing leads happens when you ask people to subscribe to your newsletter in order to download that tailored guide.
The best part? Content upgrades don’t have to be magazine-quality content! They just have to be valuable and informative, so don’t worry too much about the design and instead focus on the value you can provide.
Where to start with your content upgrade
Step 1: Write down your high-traffic blog articles (the ones that get the most traffic)
Step 2: Identify what information would make those articles more valuable (how can you build on the article?)
Step 3: Create the resources for those articles (this can be as simple as creating PDFs using a tool like Canva or Word)
Step 4: Add those resource to their respective blog articles
Step 5: Use a CTA to drive subscriptions or sign-ups to download the content
As you track the success of these content upgrades, you may see some perform better than others. Maybe some result in more newsletter sign-ups while others don’t generate nearly as much impact. The goal is to provide free value to your audience and use it to consistently acquire leads!
Whether you have only just started blogging or want to elevate your existing approach to blogging, you can always try tweaking and improving your blog content using simple tips that will skyrocket your blog initiatives!