|credit: pumpkin apple dog treats made by Pumpkinista|
The dog food industry is quickly moving from "regular" dog treats to special diet dog treats! We have made our own dog treats for years and used to give them away to the local animal control kill shelter, wolf rescue, and our neighbors dogs. One event that I like and we will be doing this year is a Halloween Party for Pups! I'll share more about that party and show you the treats in other articles here.
Our homemade dog treats will be for special diets which are all made with coconut oil and meet the USDA guidelines, and the run-of-the-mill chicken egg, whole wheat flour and special ingredients.
We will also be making dog cupcakes. Don't worry, we'll have a fancy name for them! These are going to be offered in various flavors and options for buying them... dry mix or cooked. They will also follow the special diets and then regular diets.
Mary Straus is the owner of DogAware.com. She shares important information about dog's diets and what should and should not be included if making your own dog food here: http://dogaware.com/articles/dietcritique4.html
We have recipes that have been adapted from nutritional and veterinarian cook books for dog food and recipes and some that we handed down from our friends and colleagues.
One of the considerations in the future will be subscription boxes. We will donate some of the proceeds to dog chartities.
Some charities that are often overlooked are Dogs with Special Needs, Military Dogs, and dogs for people with special needs.
These are the ones that we will be donating portions of proceeds to.
Marketing is something that I learned the most from bloggers during the last Ultimate Blog Challenge. I kept wondering why I always followed "coaches." Now I know.
Here, Danny Maloney, co-founder and chief executive of Tailwind, a social-media marketing intelligence firm company that builds tools to harness the power of social data offers four ways companies can better leverage their social-media presence into an effective marketing tool:
1. Use a targeted approach.
Fostering wide scale awareness on social media in the same manner as huge brands isn't economically feasible for small- to medium-sized companies. Instead, Maloney says companies with more modest budgets should spend their time and resources on the customers they're most likely to convert.
"With the right tools you can monitor keywords and phrases related to your business" and respond to what customers, fans and even detractors are saying in real time, Maloney says.
Mention, for example, is a simple program that lets users track mentions of their brands across Facebook, Twitter, RSS and the web at large. Tagboard is a similar program used to monitor hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Google+. Based on the query, the software puts together a curated display of content from various social platforms.
Related: 3 Annoying Social-Media Mistakes Businesses Need to Avoid
2. Let your fans know you're listening.
Unlike other mediums -- like print and broadcast -- social media isn't a one-way channel, it's a conversation and brands have an obligation to be responsive.
"Brand advocates want to know that you're there and that they're heard," Maloney says. "If they took the time to share a blog post you wrote or to give you a positive review, be listening for it and thank them."
Some companies take it a step further by using their strongest brand advocates as a source of ongoing marketing content by asking fans to write testimonials or guest blog posts. "[Customers think] 'this company actually cares, they're listening, I'm going to go tell more people about them,'" Maloney says.
3. Target your special offers.
The customers who already sing your praises on Twitter and Facebook sometimes need a just little nudge to keep them coming back. So as you thank them, consider offering them an incentive, such as a discount, to visit your business one more time.
It lets customers know you're listening and that they're valued, turning them into an even stronger advocate and a repeat customer.
Related: Are Your Fans Among the Most Social on Facebook? (Infographic)
4. Curate compelling content.
One way brands can develop meaningful relationships with their fans and customers on social media is by finding and sharing interesting content around a specific set of topics. Larger brands are expected to publish content on par with quality magazines, but Maloney says companies of any size can develop an effective content-marketing strategy.
"You have to build relationships with people, engaging them based on an interest and not just going into a sale right away," Maloney says. "If you're a consumer-facing company, it's more important to share something that's interesting and sharable so your audience will propagate the message."
This topic will be a running theme for the month of October as we hope to bring you some exciting news in time for Halloween!