Some blogs appear popular by volume. They receive a lot of comments, have a lot of subscribers, etc. This creates an illusion that they must be doing something right and they are, it just has nothing to do with blogging. They produce a popular pet food so they have a large following.
While none of the blogs met all of the criteria, they were judged by:
- Quality & variety of content
- Creative marketing
- Social media integration
- Buzz, sharing & links
- Pet parent recommendations
- Search/directory ranking (from Google to Technorati when applicable)
- Post frequency
- Design & multimedia
A Note on Sales Copy
Companies lost points for sell, sell, sell blogs. Blogs that do nothing but blatantly push your products aren't useful to consumers. Be creative in your blog marketing and remember that a blog is a subtle selling tool. It's about giving to consumers. Your website is for direct selling. Your blog is for sharing information, building trust, getting to know the consumer and letting them get to know you. It's ok to announce the launch of a new product, post coupons, write an article about one of your ingredients, or share company news, as long as your inner sales rep. isn't setting the tone.
Based on the above criteria, here are four pet food brand blogs we can learn from:
Halo Purely For Pets Blog
Dr. Tim's Blog
Dr. Harvey's Blog
You Don't Have a Blog? Really?
Surprisingly, there are still far more brands who don't blog than those who do, which gives bloggers a competitive advantage in today's tough market.
Having a blog for your brand(s) offers benefits ranging from drastically improved search engine ranking, to branding, and on to markedly increased sales. Today's consumers expect to be engaged and informed before and after they purchase from you. The overall mistrust of manufactured pet food demands a personal conversation with you and your company. A blog presents entirely new opportunities to generate leads and create brand awareness like the traditional newsletter, but without the spam concerns. You can also guide and sell to retailers through your blog.
On a side note, as I scoured websites looking for brand blogs, I noticed A LOT more pet food brands have harnessed the power of social media in the past year.
Do it Right or Don't Bother
During this review I found it very easy to spot blogs that aren't written by people who are qualified to do so. Effective blogging and social media management requires a unique set of skills and talent that usually doesn't come with your typical marketer, sales rep., veterinarian, copy writer or journalist, and certainly not your average secretary or CEO. It's a job best performed by a combination of all of those qualifications and a few more on top. Finding these unique people can be challenging, but they're literally worth their weight in gold. Carefully selected guest writers can make a blog more interesting as well, as long as someone qualified is running the show.
Share your favorite pet food brand blogs in the comments below, or post a link to your own if you wish.