Not many things in life make me happier than when a shelter animal gets adopted. Just the other day, I decided that my dad’s life would not be complete unless he had a canine companion. Did I run this news by him? Of course not, although in my defense he’s been talking about getting an “ol’ pal” for a while now. I promptly began the exciting search for the perfect pup to come home with him, and lo and behold, I found The One. His name was Finnegan, and I just knew he would be the ideal buddy for my dad. Unfortunately, my father didn’t take the bait. “He’s too big,” he said the next day at the humane society. I replied, “Pfft, he’s only 60 pounds, Dad. That is, like, a third of a human being.” I still fail to see why he didn’t accept my logic.
Undeterred, I promptly began trotting Finn around the grounds looking for the soul who would surely fall in love with him. I spotted a family with three kids and knew they were my target. After about a 10-minute spiel on why Finn was the cuddliest, tamest, calmest, most perfect dog on the face of the earth, they were convinced. Big, slobbery, sweet Finnegan found his forever home.
I guess the reason I have such a passion for dogs is that I love their outlook on life. They are loyal, forgiving, full of excitement and generally a joy to be around. It occurred to me during our humane society trip that dogs can surprisingly also teach us a lot about business and content marketing practices. Think that’s a far-fetched (pun definitely intended) idea? Have a look at the below list of what dogs can teach us about marketing strategy.
Always show enthusiasm
If there’s one thing that warms my heart, it’s the greeting I receive from my dogs when I get home each day. I can walk outside to check the mail and both of them get so excited upon my return you’d think I’d been gone for half a century. Why don’t some websites make us feel welcome like that? Quality content marketing focuses on making each individual reader feel valued and warmly greeted. Quality content marketing is excited about the product at hand. Quality content marketing always has a positive outlook.
Excessive noise is annoying
Okay, I admit it. When it comes to the quieter of the creatures, cats definitely win the award (but only this award, nothing else). While dogs’ enthusiasm is often charming and cute, excessive barking can not only be annoying, but also destructive to the dynamic in your home. The same goes for unrestrained social media posts that loudly shout identical information over and over. Even people supremely interested in your company get irritated by spam-like mail and status updates.
Pay attention to body cues and facial expressions
Dogs can’t understand the human language (although mine are fully aware of what the word food means), but they can pick up on nonverbal cues. An angry voice means they have done something bad, a head pat and a cooing voice are signals that all is right with the world. If you really pay attention, people readily tell you more than they are actually saying with words. A great leader knows this and takes advantage of it.
Don’t force your will on others
Dogs live to please their masters, so they are well-versed in finding out what results in praise and doing it. While I’m not saying that bending to your audience is always a bright idea, it’s good practice to diligently work on finding out what motivates your followers and then working to adapt your strategy to their needs.
I have an idea. Let’s make our New Year’s resolution to treat our social media and content marketing strategies as we think our dog would. Get excited about it, show enthusiasm, don’t overdo it, pay attention to your clients and adapt to their needs. And also, have a look at some of our employees’ very own pups below. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a more handsome group!
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Caralee Culpepper – Writer and Message Board Specialist