A “green” pet product and cleaning company operating out of a guest house wants to build brand awareness to grow online sales and get their product into stores.
The company has beautiful brand imagery, a good product, but very little brand awareness outside of family and friends.
How can this small, pet product and cleaning company get on the radar of local foragers to become a local vendor? How can the guest house turn back into a guest house, rather than storing stockpiles of organic cleaning concoctions? If possible, can this startup avoid paying a cost of $5+ per click to grow awareness? And, what keywords should they even start targeting?
If you’ve been to Whole Foods, you’ll know that an organic pet product and cleaning company facing steep competition. Consumers stand wearily in aisles looking bleary eyed at brand labels without truly knowing about the contents that lie inside.
Online, it’s not much different. Ranking for keywords either demands a steep cost per click via PPC (pay per click) advertising or requires an uphill battle to rank organically for desirable keywords. Companies who occupy first page search results are retailers. They aren’t the companies who are looking to get a big break by being carried by a retailer.
So how does a well intentioned, small company with 1 employee attract retailer interest?
Can the product really be sold online, instead of at local farmer’s markets?
How does the website go beyond visits from family and friends and turn into real traffic in Google Analytics?
Our solution was to create and promote content that targeted the “local foragers” at retailers like Whole Foods. By targeting the right “discovery” keywords (search queries and phrases local foragers may use to find new, local brands), we hoped that a combination of search and social may attract the right interest.
For content generation, we identified search phrases that local foragers were using online. We reversed engineered the online success some local brands being carried in Whole Foods had experienced. And probably most importantly, we identified phrases customers were using online. If we could create content around the problem, we felt we would reach our forager.
So, we created a 90-day content strategy that prioritized target keywords (and customer questions) like “dog shampoo that is naturally based and sulfate free spray.”
Pretty specific stuff.
But, the specific often what gets noticed. If you can get clear on how you solve a customer problem, then the pitch to retailers becomes more powerful.
By developing a specific content strategy centered on customer problems, good stuff started happening.
First off, website traffic began to increase as our keywords became more widespread.
The more impressions that were made via organic search, the more brand awareness grew. We started to see an increase in “branded” impressions – a fancy term for the number of people searching for a company name.
And eventually, the ultimate happened: a local retail forager came calling to request product for their store.
That was about 6 years ago, and we’re proud to say that the product is still carried in local Whole Food stores today. The company was able to move out of the guest house into a real office (goodbye, Peppermint smell!) and hire a small team to help mix up the drums of “green” ingredients.
Our client was able to get the brand awareness they were looking for. The product line expanded. And we had our first experience in offering what we now refer to as Pet Product SEO.
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