So, having made the decision to launch your own small business you’ve identified your niche – dog treats. And why not? As a dog owner it’s something you know a thing or two about, and having seen your own beloved pet’s grateful reaction when handing him a chew you have decided you would like to share that joy with other canines and their owners.
Of course there will have been more to your decision than mere sentiment. Having researched the market you have realized that although there is a lot of competition out there – established providers like Wonder-Chews.com – there is also an appetite for variety and a lot of owners are forever on the look out for new brands to give to their pooches in the hope that they will enjoy them even more.
Social Media Provides an Early Opportunity to Get Your Brand out There
So you have a website but nobody visits it yet because nobody knows it is there, and you have a supply of merchandise with a sell-by date that nobody knows you sell. So what’s the next step?
You already have a marketing strategy which involves pitching to all the local pet stores, and maybe to some of the bigger names too. But that takes time. In the meantime you are looking for a few quick wins to place yourself on the doggy treat map and to get people buying, and hopefully talking to all their friends about, your product. Your obvious port of call is the social media giant Facebook.
In spite of all the newer kids on the block Facebook remains the go-to place for the imparting of casual information. This is especially so if the subject under discussion has anything to do with cute young children or animals. A short video of your dog lapping up a tasty treat from your hand accompanied by an invocation to your friends to share and your job is more or less done, at least until you run out of Facebook friends to call upon. Then, when you sell them your product (at a special “friends” rate, naturally), you can hand them a voucher for their next purchase complete with your web address and an invitation to post a review.
Paid Advertising Can Help You Reach New Markets
None of this precludes you using paid advertizing alongside your cheeky free Facebook publicity shot. Indeed Facebook itself offers a handy service at a very cheap price in which you can control how much you pay, how many people you reach, the demographic make-up of your audience and also their approximate location. Much more scientific than randomly pushing a leaflet through somebody’s front door and hoping they have a dog.
As a long-term marketing strategy relying on your Facebook friends to propel you to a life of unimagined luxury is a tad ambitious. Clearly it has its limitations. But as a first step it is an obvious, free and surprisingly effective business tool for the aspirant entrepreneur.