How do you emotionally connect with pet parents? How do you encourage them to get to Know, Like and Trust your pet brand, above all others?
What’s more…why is this even important in the first place?
If you’re currently asking these kinds of questions, then congrats – you’re already a step ahead of the game.
Because where most modern pet brands focus on pumping money into paid digital advertising, or churning out loads of SEO content, in an effort to get their brand bumped to those first Google results, they often forget one essential thing…
Investing all this money into driving traffic to your website will achieve diddly squat in the long-run, if you don’t also make an effort to emotionally resonate with your pet parent audience.
In other words, if all you’re focused on is boosting your brand visibility (getting pet parents to KNOW you) without building any brand substance (getting pet parents to LIKE and TRUST you), then pet parents are going to land on your website…
…and then leave almost immediately, forgetting you even exist in the blink of an eye.
It’s only when you connect with pet parents on this deeper level, and you consciously put the structures in place to help nurture Like and Trust in your brand, that they will convert into paying customers and loyal community members.
True, it’s important for any modern brand to put effort into emotionally connecting and resonating with its audience. But as a pet brand, it’s doubly important for you.
In short, because the majority of pet parents expect a lot more from the pet brands they purchase from.
This isn’t any old purchase they’re making where they can shrug their shoulders and think to themselves, “Whatever. It’s worth giving a go. What’s the ultimate harm?”
Rather, when we – as pet parents – make a purchase, we are essentially trusting that pet brand to have our pet’s health, wellbeing and safety in mind. It’s not something we take lightly. It’s definitely not something we shrug our shoulders or are flippant about.
That means you – as a pet brand – need to work even harder to gain and retain their trust.
For instance, before I personally consider making any purchase for my two dogs Winnie and Bair, I’ll rip a pet brand apart. I look at everything from their website to their social media to their customer reviews – anything and everything I can get my hands or eyeballs on.
And it’s only once I’ve got a clear sense that I Know, Like and Trust this brand do I then convert – either by handing over my money or giving them my personal details like my email address.
That’s why you can’t underestimate the importance of getting pet parents to Like and Trust you. Because if you don’t, the number of conversions you’ll be missing out on will be astronomical.
But how does this work, in reality? What’s the difference between Know, Like and Trust?
To give you an idea of how the Know, Like, Trust (KLT) journey can work in a potential pet parent’s mind, here’s how it may play out…
It’s simply not enough for you, as a pet brand, to show up in a pet parent’s social media feed or for them to click on your website for the first time, and expect them to immediately convert.
It’s not enough to have images of animals and people smiling splashed across your marketing materials, and expect that to be enough for pet parents to Like you.
It’s not enough to simply shout about the fantastic features of your product or service, and expect that to be enough to gain their Trust either.
Whilst showing up online and communicating info about your product/service will help pet parents in getting to Know your brand, it’s more crucial that you take additional steps to nurture both the Like and Trust factors in your brand too.
As it’s only then you’ll be able to generate repeat custom, heighten word of mouth and develop genuine brand loyalty.
As I’ve already indicated, getting pet parents to Know you is a relatively straightforward process – in the technical sense, at least.
For example, you can focus on ensuring your website and social media content clearly conveys exactly what it is you’re offering pet parents. I.e. What your product or service is all about, and how it is relevant to their lifestyle.
And to broaden your online visibility, you can also consider either putting budget behind paid digital advertising and competing for space on Google, or platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Or you can stick with the organic route, jumping onto popular hashtags and trending topics.
But what’s most important is that alongside any efforts like these, you also consciously put effort into cultivating Like and Trust in your pet brand too.
And to do this, you need to understand what emotionally drives your pet parent audience…
Because when you understand what emotionally drives your pet parent audience to make the decisions they make…
…you can tap directly into these emotions, and talk to these emotions in a way that makes you 100x more relevant and relatable to pet parents.
They will see that you truly ‘get’ them. You’re not just another pet brand looking to get money out of their pockets. Rather, you deeply care and understand them and their pets.
You’re not here to make a quick buck or exploit them. You’re here to make a genuinely positive impact on their life, and support them with any challenges or needs they have in giving their pet the best life possible.
How could they not Like and Trust you, when you’ve demonstrated this level of empathy and understanding?
So, how do you actually identify what emotionally drives your pet parent audience?
Well, to help you out here’s an idea of what core emotions – or desires – typically drive any consumers to make a purchase:
This list is not limited to pet parents but covers all consumers and industries.
However, you can definitely see what core emotions may drive pet parents to make certain decisions or purchases when it comes to caring for their pets – right?
Love is an obvious one. But also Belonging and Fun and Compassion too.
Even Control could be an emotional driver, for some pet parents.
(Sidenote: You’ll notice that negative emotions like fear or anger don’t feature on this list. And although negative emotions can definitely drive pet parents in their decisions, as a pet brand I would recommend against tapping into fear when encouraging pet parents to Like and Trust your brand.
Basically, this is because pressuring your audience or instilling fear in them won’t inspire long-term customer loyalty or Trust, or help them to Know or Like your brand on that deeper level. It may achieve short-term conversions – such as purchases, clicks or shares, but will eventually cause deeper anxiety and resentment to develop in connection to your brand.)
So if you want to nurture Like and Trust in your pet brand, then your first step is to look at these emotional drivers and ask yourself…
How can I nurture this emotion in my audience?
In what ways can I inspire feelings of belonging or fun, for example, through my content? What conversation can I create that elicit these emotions, to draw them in and create connection?
What language can I use to capture these feelings? What visuals can I feature on my website and social media? What stories can I use in my content to further nurture these emotions?
I’d recommend picking one or two core emotions and start brainstorming what you can do to reflect or embody these emotions in your branding and online content. Think: website, blog content, social media, About Us page and basically…anywhere you connect and communicate with pet parents!
In order to get pet parents to Know, Like and Trust your pet brand above all others…
You need to deeply understand pet parents – how they think and feel, and what emotions compel them…
…And then make a conscious effort to connect with them, in a way that shows you know them on this intimate and personal level.
Don’t put all your energy into promoting the visibility of your pet brand. Remember, it’s just as important to develop the substance of your pet brand too…to create and share content that communicates you’re a pet brand with relatable values and inspiring purpose.
Ultimately, pet parents want authenticity, honesty and integrity from the pet brands they purchase from. They want to be confident that you’re putting their pet’s health and happiness before profit.
If you can showcase this, then there’s no way pet parents won’t want to get to Know, Like and Trust you. And that’s when you become a pet brand truly worth championing.
Remember, if you need a helping hand, or are unsure how to nurture the KLT factors in your pet brand, then remember we’re always here to offer our help.
Book in for a free consultation and we can what steps you can take, all to increase your sales and develop loyal brand advocates!