Amanda LeGaux - Trone Brand Energy & BlogPaws Survey Highlights


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Amanda LeGaux's opening talk at BlogPaws 2012: Highlights from the Trone Brand Energy / BlogPaws Pet Blogger Survey

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  • Thank you to Yvonne and the entire BlogPaws team for giving me the opportunity to speak with you all today. I’m really excited to be here…it’s actually my 3rd time at BlogPaws and it’s really become a conference I look forward to attending and I’m constantly surprised and impressed by the growth and growing influence of this community. Tonight, to kick off the festivities, and give you some things to think about throughout the rest of the conference, I’d like to present some recent findings that my agency, Trone Brand Energy partnered with the BlogPaws team to facilitate about the pet information seeker and how they intersect with you, the pet blogger.
  • Before we dive into the presentation, I wanted to quickly say a few words about Trone Brand Energy. We are one of the largest independent brand communication agencies in the Southeast and are based in High Point, NC. We are a full service marketing communications firm that provides a number of services for our clients, particularly in the pet space.
  • We have a wealth of experience in the pet care field and have a broad knowledge of pet products and services. We are actually representing several of these clients here at BlogPaws – so be sure to stop by the Greenies and PetArmor booths and say hello!
  • As an agency so entrenched in the pet space, we’ve been able to evaluate various pet owner trends throughout the years. One particularly notable trend that plays into the information I’m going to present today is the noticeable shift in the influence of the veterinarian in the life and decisions of the pet owner. Ten years ago, pet owners relied heavily upon their veterinarian as their sole source of information about the health and wellbeing and overall lifestyle of their pets. Today, while they are still depending upon their veterinarians to a degree, many are finding information online from a different set of influencers – what we call online influencers and enthusiasts. Pet owners are now turning to the Internet to get information about pet products and health tips.
  • This chart illustrates the gradual decline veterinarians influence and the incline of the internet as a source of pet related information. You can see that the presence of online resources such as yourselves is growing pretty rapidly.
  • A coupleof months ago, we began having conversations with Yvonne about the importance of this conference and the varying degrees of change that has occurred over the past couple of years in this space in particular. She mentioned that it would be helpful to get a better grasp on the types of information pet owners are seeking online and how the pet blogosphere plays into that. So, we decided to gather insights on just that. Just to provide a background on our process, we fielded a study in early May with the BlogPawscommunuty of bloggers – in fact, many of you probably took part in that survey, so thank you! At the beginning of this month, we fielded a similar study to our Trone Brand Energy panel of pet owners (get numbers) and then compared the results. The following slides are highlights of some of our findings.
  • Overall, we found that the 42% of engaged, what we call, information seeking of pet owners are spending more than 30 minutes per week researching topics that relate to their pets. This tells us that among all the pet owners out there, that almost half are frequently researching pet related topics online. Next, we decided to dive deeper into this 42% of pet owners and try to understand them better.
  • So, who are they? This might not surprise you because these attributes are very similar to the typical pet blogging audience as I’m sure you can tell by this room. [Run through bullets]. Now let’s take a look at the many places where the information seeking pet owner is getting her information.
  • Our study found that the information seeking pet owner is getting her information from places like books, magazines, newspapers and of course general news websites…
  • …but it also found that she is actively relying upon blogs and this audience for information. What’s more is that of those information seekers who research pet related information on blogs, the majority of them believe that blogs are a credible, reliable source of pet related information.So now that we know some basic information about the information seeker, let’s see how they interact with blogs in more detail.
  • Our study found that the layout and design of a blog heavily impacts the pet owner’s willingness to engage on the platform and read the content. For many of you blogging veterans, this comes as a no brainer. It’s important to have information organized in a clean and simple, navigable manner. However, for those of you who may be new to blogging or are just beginning to turn your blog into a viable platform, this finding is an important one and one to keep in mind throughout the rest of the conference as you attend specific sessions. The online reader’s attention space is that of (x seconds), so it’s important to quickly engage them, and oftentimes, the layout impacts the user experience immediately.
  • Just to provide a couple of examples of what I’m talking about…I’m in the process of training for a marathon (as crazy as that sounds) and have been relying upon many blogs for information and training tips. While the content on all of the blogs I’ll show are great, you can see why some are more appealing that others. This blog has some wonderful information but I tend to get caught up in all of the links here and there and it’s difficult to navigate through. This blog is very clever, but to the average reader, the very basic interface could be a deal breaker.
  • You can tell from this page, that even a slight typography change helps to keep the design fresh and engaging. This one uses vivid photography to draw my attention, despite the stark white background and of course, one of my favorites, Put Down the Donut provides information in an organized and fun interface that makes it easy to read.
  • Out study also showed that pet owners are interested in a wide variety of different categories…particuarly relating to health and nutrition. These are pretty broad categories, so we wanted to a better understanding about specific topics underneath the categorical umbrellas that the information seeking pet owners were particulary interested in.
  • When we looked at the results with a topical lens and we found 6 areas where pet owners were most interested. In then used data from the pet blogger survey and compared our results. We found that there were 6 different areas of focus for the pet blogging audience. Now, this isn’t a bad thing…the purpose of showing this information is to make you aware of the issues that pet owners are most frequently researching and to show you as an audience how you can intersect with them and be that source of information.
  • For instance, pet owners are interested in vet care, hip and joint health and elderly pet care. Well, those items can fall under the preventative care bucket of information that bloggers are interested it. So perhaps the next time you write a post about preventative care, maybe it could have one of these specific focuses.
  • Dangerous foods and healthy treating align closely with food ingredients, so again, consider these sought after topics when crafting your posts if you’d like to rise to the top as an information seekers preferred online resource.
  • I’m going to quickly wrap things up here because I know we all have an exciting night ahead of us and I’m in between you and Tillman who is largely more interesting that I am…but to recap, [read slide]I hope you carry these findings with you throughout the conference and that they provide you some extended value when sitting down to write material for your various platforms.
  • Trone Brand Energy has several team members at BlogPaws, and we’d love to answer any questions you have regarding today’s presentation or our agency. The information we presented was just a highlight. If you’re interested in getting a full report, please visit us online at For the marketers and brand team members in the room, we’ve also got information on our website specific for you regarding the DNA of today’s pet blogger that we’d love to share with you if you are interested. Again, thank you so much for your time and I hope you have a wonderful experience at this year’s conference!!
  • Amanda LeGaux - Trone Brand Energy & BlogPaws Survey Highlights

    1. 1. The Pet Information Seeker…and how you, the Pet Blogger connect with them! BlogPaws Pet Blogging and Social Media Conference June 21, 2012
    2. 2. Who is Trone Brand Energy?• One of the largest independent brand communication agencies in the Southeast• We are a full service marketing firm that works to connect brands with customers across all mediums – Services include strategic consultation and analytics, social media, digital marketing, media buying and planning, advertising, design, public relations and event marketing
    3. 3. Our Animal Health Experience Susie
    4. 4. New Pet Owner Influencer Eco-system• Veterinarians are increasingly sharing influencer status
    5. 5. New Pet Owner Influencer Eco-system • In the past 10 years, use of the internet has more than doubled as a pet care information provider. 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 Veterinarian InternetSource: APPA National Pet Owner Survey, 2011-2012
    6. 6. Overview• We asked YOU. - Emailed to BlogPaws’ community of bloggers - Asked 46 questions• We asked PET OWNERS. - Emailed to Opinions@Trone Pet Owner Panel - Asked 46 (similar) questions
    7. 7. Pet owners are information seekers.42% of pet ownersspend more than 30minutes per weekreading about orresearching petrelated topics.
    8. 8. Who is the information seeking pet owner? • Female • Age: 40-49 • Married without children at home • Employed full or part time • HHI: $50k + • Technologically savvy: ― 48% have smart phones The following slides take a deeper look at the dynamics of the information seeker.
    9. 9. Pet blogs are achieving mainstream useand credibility Newspapers 33% Books 55% General News Websites Magazines 39% 42%
    10. 10. Pet blogs are achieving mainstream useand credibilityBlogs 37% 71% credible
    11. 11. The layout and design of a blog impacts pet owners’ willingness to read it100% 67%80%60%40%20% 0% Impact of layout/design No impact 2 3 4 5 A very large impact
    12. 12. Pet owners have moderate to high interest in a variety of categories.100%90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10% 0% Top 2 Box
    13. 13. The specific topics pet owners find most appealing are not always as appealing to bloggers.Information Seeker’s Interests Pet Blogger Interests Dangerous foods Behavioral Interaction Veterinary care Human-Pet Bond Hip and joint health Socialization Emergency care Abuse Prevention Elderly pet care Food Ingredients Healthy treating Preventative Care
    14. 14. The specific topics consumers find most appealing are not always as appealing to bloggers.Information Seeker’s Interests Pet Blogger Interests Dangerous foods Behavioral Interaction Veterinary care Human-Pet Bond Hip and joint health Socialization Emergency care Abuse Prevention Elderly pet care Food Ingredients Healthy treating Preventative Care
    15. 15. The specific topics consumers find most appealing are not always as appealing to bloggers.Information Seeker’s Interests Pet Blogger Interests Dangerous foods Behavioral Interaction Veterinary care Human-Pet Bond Hip and joint health Socialization Emergency care Abuse Prevention Elderly pet care Food Ingredients Healthy treating Preventative Care
    16. 16. Key Learnings and Takeaways1. Pet owners are spending significant time researching pet related topics and pet blogs are among their top resources for information.2. Beyond the veterinarian, you are a very important and credible source ― Higher than store clerk and advertising.3. As your role grows, there is a higher expectation on the design and content on your blog.4. Your content and topics must continue to align with pet owner needs.
    17. 17. Questions? Find Us. Ask Us!