How would you market a $9 cat toy?

by jkk
28 replies
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Hi,

A few months ago I designed and ordered a bunch of cat toys and started selling them on a wordpress based website. Marketing mostly via instagram (9k followers) and blog posts with funny cat videos and facts. I have sent out the toy for free to other instagram accounts with larger followings and they have posted bunch of videos of cats playing with the toy.

Problem is that I get 2- 3 sales per week. My goal is at least 100. The product is very cheap to make, there are no exact same competitors and it costs only $9 shipped worldwide.

What I am doing wrong? How would you market the toy?
#cat #instagram #market #marketing #pet #toy
  • Profile picture of the author TheGMa
    Hi jkk,

    You know, there are specialists who can help you with that. I do know a couple of dudes who make a bloody fortune doing what you want to do, but they charge a bloody fortune for advice.

    We have a forum right here where your question might be better answered: eCommerce Sites, Wholesaling & Drop Shipping FYI, you can find specialized forums by scrolling down the home page.

    Start there, but also consider hiring a copywriter for your mini ads. 99% of selling on Instagram and other tiny screen arenas is all about the ad copy. I mean, it's always about the ad copy, but you have less space available, fewer characters that can be used, yada yada on mobile devices. You know what I mean.

    Anyway, you can find copywriters in Warriors for Hire.

    - Annie
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Have you considered approaching sites that cater to cat owners? Targeted advertising is always important and Instagram is not targeted.

    Any time you sell low ticket items, you've got to scale and scale so you get the kind of traffic volume that will generate lots of small sales.

    You have chosen a selling model that depends upon you driving mega traffic to a high converting offer. There are much better ways to make money if you don't know how to generate big traffic.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Robscom
    Have you thought about marketing via veterinarians?

    If someone is spending big $$$ to take Fluffy to the vet, then plunking down $9 for a toy shouldn't be a big deal.

    Maybe advertise on veterinarian sites, or see if you could get a shoutout in the vet's newsletter?
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Marketing not just your Product but yourself. Go to like minded blogs/Sites and do some helpful blog commenting and promote yourself as knowledgeable in this area. Build up some Traffic to your Properties this way


    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    I would start posting video on YouTube everyday and have a link going to your site.

    You never know, you might become an overnight sensation there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    In brief, this is the process:

    1. Product.
    2. Selling Platform.
    3. Traffic.

    You need to examine those 3 items in order. It boils down to efficiency. You can, indeed, start to consider clever marketing campaigns on YT, FB, DM, etc., but first - get the product right, get the selling platform right.

    - Tom
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  • I would open up a shopify store and send traffic by Facebook advertizing. it´s the easiest way and most affective. If you know your target market you can drive 100 sales per day fairly easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Tom is right. Right now, you have a single product.

    From the sound of it, cats like your toy, and cat people (at least on Instagram) seem willing to show the videos. So #1 might be okay.

    Which leaves the selling platform and traffic.

    Your Worpress site might not be the right platform. You might look into platforms with a pre-built audience, like using Fulfillment by Amazon or trying to get listed in some of the novelty catalogs that still go out by mail (Lillian Vernon, as an example).

    Does a magazine like Cat Fancy have any user-generated areas, like forums or social media pages? Can you place the product there?

    You know, something just came to me. Do the people watching cats play with your toy on Instagram know it's for sale,and where to get more information? Or are they seeing yet another "ain't that cute" video?
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I would sell it on ebay and Youtube. On Youtube you get to demonstrate the product and how cats react to it, all on video. Ebay has people there looking to buy stuff like this. Also consider Google Adwords and Bing Ads. Do you have a lead capture page or hover ad that generates leads for you? How about email marketing autoresponder program?
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  • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
    Sell the boxes for $9, and throw in the toy for free. Any cat owner worth their salt knows that cats are really only interested in playing with the box!
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  • Profile picture of the author Nico Puegher
    Tried Pinterest? Your product seems to be perfect for Pinterest. Keep doing your Instagram strategy, try Tumblr as well, making funny stuff with cats and viral shit is the way to go, keep doing it.

    Try contacting other popular blogs and ask them if they can help you with promotion, you can offer to them a % of the sales.

    Some offline marketing could work as well, a simple paper with images and your website can lead new people to your offers and content.

    Make a Youtube channel where you can share videos from your clients with cats and the toy and also create quality content about cats, try to do 80% fun, viral and awesome content and 20% promotion, if you just promote you will not improve.

    You could try solo ads as well, the hard part is finding someone to buy where you can make results, you can find a bunch of solo ads providers but you need to find someone with your audience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean DeSilva
    If you'd like to post the page here or send it to me via PM, I'll offer you a few tips. My hunch is that the traffic you've built up is low value ie. people seeking amusement at work instead of people willing to pay for novelty or especially wanting to solve an actual problem in their lives.
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  • Profile picture of the author twinklingstars
    I think contacting local business owners to help you would be a great idea. And you could go on Fiverr and have someone make a promotional video for you for your site or product...And, you could ask friends/family if they'll put a poster with your site/toy on it to help advertise, on their cars!!! I see that all the time around where I live.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Discussed in college marketing courses, this is a classic example of taking a "product orientation", which is thinking that simply creating a good product is all that's needed...just build a better mouse trap and the sales will roll in.

    When thinking about creating a product a business plan should also be created, which includes a marketing plan. This is a "marketing orientation", which is the optimal way to do marketing. You need to be able to answer where you are specifically going to get customers for your product.

    Even though the OP didn't have a business or marketing plan and seems to have lost interest in his own thread, here's some marketing possibilities:

    1. Raise your price to $12. Anyone that will pay $9 will pay $12.

    2. Use the additional revenue to buy ads on Youtube. (In addition to creating your own videos and playlists.) Place ads on all the cat videos you can. There's different types of YT ads, research them and test which work.

    3. The OP said the production costs were low. Give the toys away to places like animal shelters so they can give them to the folks that adopt cats. Send a press release telling people about your good deed. Repeat.

    4. Become an expert on cats. Submit your info to HARO. (Help a Reporter Out)

    5. Make sure you collect buyer contact info. Follow up with cat related affiliate offers, like pet health insurance. Using something like Facebook PPC you may be able to build a list of buyers, using sales from the toys to break even and pay for the ads. You may even be able to eek out a small profit.

    6. Next product, ask this question BEFORE your product goes into production.

    7. Pretend you're interested in our responses and participate in the thread you started.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheGMa
    DON'T FORGET TO USE THE VIDEOS AS TESTIMONIALS!!!

    Testimonials are hard to get, and apparently you have several. Ask each person if you can post their video on your site.

    Your sales sequence will then be Watch, Watch, Got to Have, Click!

    - Annie
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  • Profile picture of the author StingGB
    Knowing cats, and I do. And in particular cat owners, this is a rare opportunity where I would advise giving the toy away (minus postage) free on a 30 day trail, to anyone who wants it.

    Trust me, after 30 days the cat will have either wrecked it, and if not, what owner is going to take a toy away from their beloved cat and send it back?

    I wouldn't, would I Mosi? No, I wouldn't.
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  • Profile picture of the author LaLaLives
    Without seeing the toy, here are a few suggestions off the top of my head (lost the first list I wrote, so I hope I'm remembering everything):

    ~ Make sure your site and your social media posts are search engine optimized.

    ~ Ask people to subscribe to your site.

    ~ Create a newsletter.

    ~ Share content that solves a problem on your site and in your newsletter (visit Amazon, Quora, etc. for topic ideas if you need help).

    ~ Network with influencers in the cat care niche. Mention them in your blog posts, ask them for direct quotes to be included in your posts, tag them on social media when appropriate (especially when you've mentioned them in a post or featured a quote from them). Share and reshare their content, etc. Hopefully, they will return the favor, which will add to your credibility, visibility, followings and, hopefully, sales.

    ~ Hold regular contests featuring your product to generate buzz and up your following.

    ~ Ask for testimonials that can be featured on your site and mentioned on social media.

    ~ Create a strong social media strategy.

    ~ Utilize Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook in your social media plans. Pet content is huge and the most successful are those that feature photos. Do not post without using cute, fuzzy pics (featuring your logo and/or website info, of course)!

    ~ Remember that social media is about networking and sharing, not merely selling a product. With this in mind, share and reshare articles from other sites and publications, pictures, infographics, etc. that are interesting to your target audience. Slide a little soft promo for your toy in here and there and (depending upon how often you post) 1 - 2 strong calls to action per day.

    ~ Create a cat-related Facebook group--not necessarily about your toy, but about cats, in general.

    ~ Engage with other pet and cat-related Facebook groups.

    ~ Regularly post on cat blogs and forums by adding USEFUL information. Use your signature for promo and/or to get people to visit your site, follow you on social media, etc.

    I'm forgetting a few items from my original list, I'm sure, but I hope you find something useful here and good luck to you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Unicom19
    Banned
    I will sign up on all major affiliate platforms and try to recruit affiliates...
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    • Profile picture of the author Ella Robillard
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      • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
        Originally Posted by Ella Robillard View Post

        Using affiliates is a great idea!
        Doing a search for "cat" on the WF and then making all of the resulting posts live again by posting a lame response just to get your cat related sig file seen... IS NOT
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    send product to amazon fulfillment

    then build a list with PPV traffic in the cat niche.

    send them value via email and periodically send them to your amazon page.

    ----

    or you can create a woocommerce website and sell it there.

    but u gotta take care of everything: customer service, shipping etc...

    -Ike Paz
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    Lets look at what is working! Your making sales aren't you! Promote and build your instagram account and your blog with good content and keep working on it. Get yourself 18,000 followers now and see if that will double your sales. Also work on optimizing for better returns. Are you building a list with this traffic?
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  • Profile picture of the author psenjani81
    Very good, already you are using the social media site. Beside the Instagram, you can use the Facebook. Nowadays most of the people are using the Social Media site to spend their gossiping time. You can use the Craigslist. It is one of the good advertisement site, I am sure the CL is a best way to make advertise in your area. Thanks for your asking. Best of luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author DeanJames
    Go where the buying traffic ALREADY is (or potentially is). The usual suspects - Ebay / Amazon etc. The safeguards and branding these channels offers also mitigates any trust issues a potential buyer may have. You should be open to multiple distribution channels to sell your physical product whilst also promoting the product on your own website. One note of caution however - do not sell your product cheaper on your own website if you do this as it often goes against TOS to sell on one platform and then offer the same product at a lower price elsewhere.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Pinterest has promoted pins. Also, twitter is great for doing promos.

    I would raise the price. Maybe to $17 and then do a super sale at $7.99 called end of summer savings.

    Best strategy is to give the cat toy to big name bloggers in return for a review.

    They are always looking for new products to announce.
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    • Profile picture of the author Live:mhkunzman
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      Originally Posted by seobro View Post

      Pinterest has promoted pins. Also, twitter is great for doing promos.

      I would raise the price. Maybe to $17 and then do a super sale at $7.99 called end of summer savings.

      Best strategy is to give the cat toy to big name bloggers in return for a review.

      They are always looking for new products to announce.
      This. With something as niche as a cat toy. You want to get it into the hands of those who are well known in the pet product blogging/reviewing community. Raise the price, make a promo code for those reviewing to mention. Amazon would be a good outlet as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnVianny
    Why wouldnt you promote it with FB ADS set on CONVERSION goal?

    So you pay only when the item is sold.
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  • You can try some offers like buy 2 with some discounts. Hope it will boost some sales
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