As a nation, we’re a bit pet-obsessed. Pet owners take their animals with them everywhere, from the park to work, to outdoor restaurants and in airplanes and trains. Pets are truly constant companions. However, a vast array of challenges accompanies such extensive travel adventures.
How can pet brands, or pet-friendly brands, better reach these pet parents on the go and help solve their travel woes?
Recognize the Needs of Pet Parents on the Go
According to a survey from AAA and Kurgo, 56% of dogs travel in the car at least once a month and 84% accompany the family on road trips. Think of the pain points that pet parents experience when they travel with their pets.
- Hair/dirt/mess in the car
- Thirsty/hungry pets
- Safety issues
- Bored pets
- Anxious pets
- “Bathroom issues”
These are just a few of the concerns that I often hear from my pet lover audience. How does your product work to solve one or more of these problems? It’s likely that you’ve already thought of many of these pain points way back when you were developing your product. However, your messaging may have potential to evolve since you first launched.
For instance, you may be marketing a toy that keeps dogs engaged. However, have you thought of how this toy could alleviate boredom in pets that travel? If you’re not positioning your product in this way, you’re missing out on an untapped audience that has never thought of your product in that light.
As an influencer, I have the opportunity to share with my audience all of the ways I use my favorite products, like Chilly’s Whistle 3 GPS Tracker. While I always make sure he has it on at home, I recently highlighted to my Instagram followers all of its benefits we enjoy when we travel.
Narrow the Competitive Highway
The market is flooded with pet products, some tried and true and some that are brand new on the shelves. With so many available choices, winning the trust and loyalty of pet parents is a challenge indeed.
However, you can narrow the competition by tapping into the credibility of influencers who are already using you product. Just remember, bigger isn’t always better.
Nano-influencers are rightfully beginning to gain recognition as every marketers “secret weapon.” According to cmswire.com, nano-influencers typically have between 1,000-5,000 followers. The post goes on to recognize that nano-influencers often:
- Have better engagement rates
- Are more likely to over-deliver
- Cost less
- Have a better ROI
Creating a partnership with the right influencer is often the right key to unlock the right door that leads to brand loyalty.
Educate Pet Parents
It’s possible that your brand may have a less obvious connection to pets, as is the case with car companies, travel cups, or clothing, and the like. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for you in the pet travel industry.
A few years back, I had the privilege of working with Toyota, Kurgo, and AAA on their Toyopet project. Toyota recognized the need
to educate pet parents about safe pet travel and engaged influencers, like myself, to spread the word. As a result of these types of campaigns, brands like Toyota, Jeep, Subaru, and Volvo are known for their pet-friendly culture and have carved out a niche market for themselves. It’s one of the reasons my new ride is a Volvo.
Use Influencer Marketing to Fullest Extent
We’ve talked a bit about nano-influencers, but how can you leverage the power of influencer marketing to the fullest extent?
Engage with influencers who have fully-developed programs. While it may be a bit more challenging to find influencers who have developed their own marketing programs, it’s not impossible. These are usually well-vetted influencers who fully understand the principles behind good marketing, as well as the ins and outs of the pet industry.
In order for your product to reach pet parents, and more specifically those who are looking for travel solutions, you need to find an influencer who:
- Understands the pain points of traveling with pets
- Has an engaged following
- Has a wide variety of programs to offer
- Offers long-term partnerships
- Provides detailed campaign metrics
A full checklist for vetting influencers can be found in this recent post.
Many influencers are used to one-and-done projects, such as a blog post or a Instagram post. And while these have their place, long-term partnerships are much more effective in building consumer trust and generating consistent revenue, which is the end game of any campaign.
To better reach pet parents on the go, be sure to:
- Create messaging that positions your product as an attractive solution
- Educate your target audience on why your product is important for travel
- Use influencer marketing to build trust with a targeted audience