How do you feel about content planning?
Do you love it?
Or find it overwhelming, like feeding a beast that is permanently hungry?
If you’re in the latter group then you will love this episode with Janet Murray, a content marketing expert.
Janet – aka the Content Queen – has spoken all over the world about content creation AND is a former Guardian journalist and editor.
Her social media posts, blogs and podcasts have reached millions of people and she knows what content will engage people – and what will flop.
In this episode she shares how pet business owners can create content with ease.
You can listen on the player link or read as a blog post.
About Janet Murray
Janet spent nearly two decades working as a journalist for national newspapers, focusing on politics and education.
She was Education editor at the Guardian before moving into PR, then content marketing and launched The Janet Murray Show in 2015.
Janet’s podcast started out focusing on how small business owners could win press coverage.
Soon she realised people needed a wider understanding of marketing rather than just press and PR.
Now her focus is on building online audiences and her flagship programme is called Build Your Online Audience.
It covers branding, social media, content and e mail marketing equipping business owners from all kinds of background with the skills they need to stand out online.
(Find out more about the Build Your Online Audience programme here.)*
- denotes an affiliate link meaning if you click through I will receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay.
How to create engaging social media posts
It can be hard to know what to post on social media and disheartening when you share content and get little or no response.
Janet says she has experimented with lots of different styles of posts and she has whittled the most successful ones down to four different types.
They are ‘I need to know this,’ ‘I know about this,’ ‘This is what I think,’ and ‘I know how that feels.’
Each post can be adapted to show empathy and understanding with your pet business clients and Janet shares examples in the episode.
Here is a brief outline explaining each style of content post
I need to know this
For this post, you share helpful information with your followers. It might be some new research from the Kennel Club about the puppy boom.
It could be ‘How to support your pet in lockdown’ with helpful information owners need to know.
An example of this is Claire Lawrence’s blog on pets and self isolation. This was picked up on social media not just by pet owners but also local radio journalists.
I know about this
This is where you invite your followers to share their opinion or feelings on something related to your business.
It could be asking for their thoughts on your new logo.
Or you could talk about a product you’re thinking of launching, share pictures and ask them to vote for their favourite by choosing the number on the image.
For example, if you were thinking of launching Parkour classes, you could simply ask people to answer yes if they liked the idea.
The key is to keep it simple, so they only have to take a small action, like tap in a number or short word to engage.
This is what I think
This is also known as the ‘grenade’ post and if you’re feeling brave you can use this to share strong or potentially controversial opinions.
An example might be sharing an experience of another dog barging up to your dog while you were walking them on a lead, like this post from Michelle Walker from Michelle’s Canine Care.
You might also voice an opinion about whether dogs should have vegan diets.
I know how that feels
This is where you share a story you feel will resonate with your audience and it can cover all kinds of topics.
It might be about being a new pet owner. It could be about the heartache of losing a pet.
It could be a moment where your pet has embarrassed you. (I once posted about Daisy doing a poo when I took her for dog Reiki)
The key thing is that people feel an emotional connection and can relate to what it is you’re saying.
Why having a pet business is ‘social media gold’
Janet works with business owners from all kinds of backgrounds and says pet business owners are at an advantage because they work with animals.
This means there is an endless supply of adorable photos and cute anecdotes, it’s simply a case of trying and testing different styles of posts to see what works.
Janet says: “There’s just so much opportunity to create really engaging content that people connect with because people really love their pets.
“So I always get really excited if I get a client that does anything pet related, it’s just brilliant.
“The mistake many business owners make is they think it has to be very work related, but social media is about being sociable and relatable.
“Look at the content that people engage with on your personal posts and how can you replicate that on your page.
“That’s where I would advise people to start.”
These are the key timings and points covered in this episode:
1.02: Janet’s background
3.03: The power of content that makes people stop in their tracks
4.23: What is content? Defining the different mediums of content in 2020
6.13: The challenges of creating content as a business owner
6.45: The importance of timing
7.08: Why people need to ‘care’ about your content
10.42: Where people go wrong on social media
13.15: Calling in favours to get your content seen from family, friends and colleagues
16.32: Understanding the topics your followers or clients are interested in
18.20: Remember people will be watching your content so keep showing up!
20.30: How cornering a niche can help your content be more successful (and your business)
23.08: How to use your Facebook page as a signpost to your Facebook group
24.45: Janet’s four types of posts
25.02: I need to know this content
26.47: I know about that content
28.20: I know how that feels content
32.55: This is what I think content
36.00: Case study – cat hotel post ideas
37.56: Case study – pet product maker ideas
39.45: Case study – pet business service providers
41.59: Lead magnet ideas for pet business owners
42.15: Considering the problems your clients have for content ideas
44.32: Lots of ideas around poo!
46.02: How to get content ideas on your dog walks
46.30: Content ideas for charities and rescues
49.56: Using awareness days in your content
55.10: How to put a content plan together without feeling overwhelmed
56.47: Peak points in the year and how to use them to promote your products
1.01.25: Picking dates in the year like Halloween to build up your plan
1.03.45: Why planning content in advance means you create better content than rushing
1.07.19: Why you shouldn’t get disheartened if your content doesn’t connect straight away – keep at it!
Links mentions in this episode:
Janet Murray Build Your Online Audience: Build Your Online Audience*
Janet Murray Media Diary: Media Diary 2021*
Janet Murray Podcast: The Janet Murray Show
If you enjoyed this post you might like to read: Five easy ways to come up with content ideas for your pet business or How blogging can help your pet business