Pet Groomers, Boarders, and Trainers Need to Harness the Power of Cute

We’ve covered the ways Instagram has changed the restaurant business, but food porn isn’t the only thing inspiring searches on the Internet like wild fire. The digital age also presents important marketing opportunities for pet services. From pet groomers to dog trainers and everyone in between, if you work with animals, your social media game should be strong.

It’s no secret that the Internet loves animals, whether they’re cute, ugly, or riding a skateboard. People can’t get enough of all kinds of critters.  Working with animals gives you the unique opportunity to create original content to feed the Internet’s never-ending demand for new animal related pictures and videos.  

In a 2012 study, the majority of consumers, at 35%, reported that pictures were their favorite posts on social media. The study also showed that 44% of consumers surveyed were more likely to engage with pictures than any other media posted on social networks. These findings show that from a marketing standpoint, a picture really is worth a thousand words. When you work with adorable animals all day long, you should be cashing in on the cuteness, one slightly filtered post at a time.  

Once you have accounts on major social media platforms, encourage your clients to post pictures and videos of their pets either with a clever, company-specific hashtag or by tagging your company’s handle. Many people post pictures of their furry friends on social media anyway, so encouraging them to give your pet salon credit for a cute haircut is an easy and simple way for customers to show their appreciation.  

You can then re-post the best of these pictures to your company account, adding your own captions about upcoming deals or directing the audience to your website. If you’re savvy with a camera, you can start creating content yourself.  Ask your customers if they would be okay with you snapping your own pictures with their little bundles of fur after a haircut or during a shampoo. These quick pictures can be posted alongside testimonials on your website and are more likely to catch the attention of a potential customer than a block of text.  

People are now bombarded with images all the time. From Instagram to Pinterest, consumers are no longer satisfied with reading about a service. They want to see the service and the value that your company can provide. If you want your business to be as memorable as your competitors, you need to incorporate visuals into your marketing plan. Trust us—you’ll be glad you did!

Should you open a mobile or brick-and-mortar pet grooming business?

Setting up a grooming business is something many passionate animal lovers aspire to do. There are two distinct ways the business can be started. Each type of business has its advantages in comparison to the other.

The advantages of a mobile pet grooming business

Lower up-front costs to make it easier to get started

One huge advantage a mobile groomer possesses is saving capitol. Buying or renting a space to groom these adorable creatures can put a big dent in the wallet. Maintaining those costs is where the payments really start to hurt. A mobile groomer needs their equipment and a van and they are ready to begin their journey as a small business owner. On the contrary, rent, electric, and water bills are a few costs that a brick-and and-mortar business must sustain on a monthly basis. This puts a much added pressure in consistent sales.

Pet owners crave convenience

Let’s face it; people are just busier and lazier these days. Maintaining a pet’s hygiene is a very difficult task to keep up with. I have a Pitbull named Ricky. I run around outside with Ricky every night for at least a half hour. After some time of playing fetch and horsing around, Ricky is covered in mud and dirt. By the time I get home I am too tired to give Ricky a bath. Now if I have the opportunity to sit on the couch, go on my smartphone, and find a trusted groomer to pay us a visit, that is exactly what I am doing.

Cover more ground – and a bigger market

As of 2015, there are roughly 80 million homes in the US who possess a pet. The market of a brick-and-mortar groomer is typically confined to the local demographic and a few travelers. The physical location may limit the reach of the business. A mobile pet service has the capability to travel, target specific markets, and work within a broader radius.

The advantages of a brick-and-mortar grooming business

coco the pup with groomers
coco the pup with groomers

Pet owners also crave legitimacy

Comfortability is one of the most important factors in choosing someone to take care of your dog. A dog is truly a man’s best friend and a member of the family. As a dog owner, I consider my pet as one of my closest companions. I would never put Ricky in the hands of a stranger whom I don’t trust. Having a brick-and-mortar business indicates that this person has put a lot of time and money into doing something they are passionate about.   As a pet owner, a groomer with a physical location gives me a greater sense of comfortability.

One location means a stronger online presence

Having a physical address is essential in establishing a successful online presence. A small business owner must have a brick-and-mortar location to give their business the best chance at being picked up by the sites where people are searching for pet groomers. Having a map marker can help a business get discovered in local searches, which have increased in frequency over 34X in the past few years. If a mobile pet service wants to improve its search engine optimization (SEO) and combat this disadvantage, it must ensure that their online presence is frequently kept up with and accurate.

The Internet: The new word of mouth

Acquiring customers through word of mouth or referrals by veterinarians were thought to be the only way a groomer could expand its clientele. Now it’s 2015. Referrals and word of mouth have evolved into online reviews and social likes & shares. Google did a study and found that 49 percent of local searches for a small business occur without a specific business in mind. This means half of your market is word of mouth and the other half is doing a blind search on various sites. People are getting new pets every day and moving around the country. This means groomers have the potential to constantly acquire new clients. The significance of an established online presence not only allows for these potential clients to feel more comfortable, but it gives your business the best shot of steady growth.