There’s no shortage of animals who have become stars on social media. From Grumpy Cat to doggo memes, people love looking at pictures of cute pets on Instagram and similar platforms. Some businesses have even begun to leverage the popularity of pet accounts for marketing purposes.
Small Business Trends recently discussed this trend with Richard Wong, the VP Marketing and Creator Relations of #paid, an influencer and content marketing platform that works with brands and influencers — including pet social media stars.
Social Media Marketing with Pets
Whether you’re interested in making your own pet into a social media star or leveraging the power of other animal influencers for your brand, here are some tips for creating compelling social media campaigns that revolve around popular animals.
Go for Mass Appeal
Normally, marketing a business requires you to speak to a very specific niche. But pets have pretty universal appeal. So using your own pet in marketing materials or working with other cute animals can help you make your brand more appealing to people in general, which can be beneficial when included with the rest of your marketing strategy that is more carefully niched.
Post Content Regularly
As with any other social media strategy, creating an account for your pet requires you to post and create content regularly. Wong suggests getting on a regular schedule so that people know when to expect new posts from your account.
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Provide Inspiration or Escape
Within that content that you’re creating regularly, it’s also a good idea to think about what it actually provides to improve the lives of your followers. In most cases, this should be some type of inspiration or escape from the normal day-to-day.
Wong said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “People go to social media primarily to get inspiration or take them to new places, and what better way to do that than with amazingly cute photos of animals.”
Keep It Social
Another similar facet of running an account for a pet social media star is interacting with followers. Just because the account might revolve around your pet, who in all likelihood can’t respond to Instagram comments, doesn’t mean you can just post something and forget about it. You or another rep from your business should regularly respond to questions and interact with others on the platforms that you use.
Integrate Brands Seamlessly
For those who are interested in creating pet influencer accounts that can actually earn an income by working with outside brands, which could be a nice side hustle for an existing business owner, it’s important to demonstrate to brands how you can integrate posts about them into your content.
Wong says, “A great way to do this is to recommend different brands that you work with on an organic basis in a seamless and natural way with your followers.”
Research Outside Influencers Carefully
On the other hand, if you’re interested in working with other pet influencers to market your business, you need to carefully vet those accounts before investing any time and money on the project. Specifically, pet influencer accounts can purchase followers or bots just like any other influencers. So dig deeper by looking at engagement numbers, likes and comments or work with an influencer marketing agency that vets its users.
Partner with Other Social Stars
In order to grow your pet social media account, it can help to find partners with similar audiences. If you have an account where you share photos of the dog at your family farm, maybe you could partner with a cat from another local business for some cross-promotional opportunities.
Create Authentic Partnerships
Whether you’re partnering with another social media pet personality or paying for an influencer marketing campaign, it’s important that you content comes off as authentic. Make sure you find partners that are knowledgeable about your industry or target customers. If they’re representing your business in any way, they should able to answer questions about your business or the campaign that you’re promoting.
Consider Your Target Audience
Another thing to consider in any partnership opportunity is to carefully research the target audience of the account you want to work with. If you have a business that only sells products locally, then it wouldn’t make much sense for you to work with accounts with global audiences. If you target young people, then make sure the pet stars you want to work with are popular with that particular age group.
Get Creative with Campaigns
However, that doesn’t mean that you can only use pet influencer marketing if you have a pet centric business. Since these animal accounts have the potential for mass appeal, you can connect with popular accounts or create your own to promote basically any type of business.
Wong says, “People always think of pet food companies or pet stores, but we’ve seen some brands do some really creative things.”
He says that #paid has seen everyone from musical acts to paper towel manufacturers make use of pet influencers. Basically, you just need to be creative and do all the prep work involved in launching a successful marketing campaign and you can leverage the power of cute animal pictures to increase your reach even more.
|Strategies for Social Media Marketing with Pets||Description|
|Go for Mass Appeal||Leverage the universal appeal of pets to make your brand more attractive to a wide audience, complementing your niche marketing strategies.|
|Post Content Regularly||Maintain a consistent posting schedule to keep your pet-focused social media account active and engaged with your followers.|
|Provide Inspiration or Escape||Offer content that provides inspiration or an escape from everyday life, aligning with the reasons people use social media.|
|Keep It Social||Interact with followers, respond to comments, and engage with your audience to foster a sense of community around your pet social media account.|
|Integrate Brands Seamlessly||Showcase brand partnerships naturally within your content, demonstrating how your pet influencer account can seamlessly integrate promotional posts.|
|Research Outside Influencers Carefully||When partnering with other pet influencers, thoroughly vet their accounts for genuine engagement and avoid those with inflated follower counts.|
|Partner with Other Social Stars||Collaborate with influencers who share similar audiences for cross-promotional opportunities and increased reach.|
|Create Authentic Partnerships||Ensure authenticity in partnerships by aligning with influencers who understand your industry and can represent your business knowledgeably.|
|Consider Your Target Audience||Choose pet stars to work with based on their alignment with your target audience's demographics and preferences.|
|Get Creative with Campaigns||Think outside the box and create unique campaigns that leverage pet influencer marketing to promote various types of businesses creatively.|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is pet influencer marketing?
Pet influencer marketing involves using popular animal social media accounts, often referred to as “pet influencers,” to promote products, services, or brands. These pets have a strong following and engage audiences, making them valuable partners for businesses seeking to tap into their appeal.
How can I incorporate pets into my marketing strategy?
You can either use your own pet or collaborate with established pet influencers to create engaging content. By featuring cute and relatable animal content, you can increase your brand’s appeal and connect with a broader audience.
Why are pets so effective in marketing?
Pets have a universal appeal that transcends demographics and cultural differences. They evoke emotions, inspire, and provide an escape from daily routines, making them a powerful tool for engaging audiences.
How can I maintain consistent engagement with my pet influencer’s audience?
Regularly posting content and interacting with followers is key. Establish a content schedule to keep followers engaged and encourage interaction through likes, comments, and sharing.
What role does authenticity play in pet influencer marketing?
Authenticity is crucial. Your content should align with your brand’s values and resonate with your target audience. Transparent and genuine partnerships with pet influencers enhance credibility.
Can I collaborate with pet influencers outside my niche?
Absolutely. Pet influencers have broad appeal, allowing you to connect with diverse audiences. Partnerships should have organic alignment to ensure authenticity.
How can I effectively integrate brands into pet influencer content?
Seamless integration involves recommending brands naturally within the content. Demonstrating the product’s value and utility in your pet influencer’s daily life adds authenticity.
What should I consider when working with other pet influencers for my marketing campaign?
Carefully vet potential collaborators. Research engagement metrics, look for genuine engagement, and consider collaborating with influencer marketing agencies to ensure credibility.
Can pet influencer marketing work for businesses beyond pet-centric industries?
Yes, pet influencer marketing can be creative and adaptable. Brands from various niches can use the universal appeal of animals to create engaging campaigns.
How can I leverage pet influencer marketing’s potential creatively?
Explore innovative content formats like video, storytelling, educational content, and challenges. Stay adaptable to trends and use user-generated content for a vibrant and interactive strategy.
What’s the key takeaway from pet influencer marketing?
The heart of pet influencer marketing lies in creating genuine connections. Authenticity, creativity, and an emotional connection with your audience are essential for building lasting brand loyalty.
In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, the rise of pet influencers stands as a testament to the boundless creativity and innovation possible in engaging modern audiences. From heartwarming tales to whimsical escapades, pets have become more than just companions; they’ve become conduits of connection in the virtual world.
The phenomenon of pet influencer marketing has illuminated a path for businesses to venture beyond conventional strategies and embrace the enchanting world of adorable animals. The power of pets lies not only in their universal appeal but also in their capacity to evoke emotions, foster connections, and transcend language barriers. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a photo of a charming pet can spark a multitude of conversations.
However, amid the allure of viral fame and market expansion, the heart of pet influencer marketing remains authenticity. Just as pets embody genuine companionship, brands must weave sincerity into their collaborations. Authenticity builds trust, and trust cultivates loyalty – the bedrock of any enduring brand-consumer relationship.
As businesses embark on their journey into the realm of pet influencer marketing, it’s imperative to heed the lessons learned from this fusion of fur and fame. It’s not just about showcasing cute animals; it’s about crafting narratives that resonate, delivering value that enriches lives, and forming connections that stand the test of time.
So, whether you’re crafting campaigns around your own furry friend or partnering with established pet personalities, remember that in the heartwarming world of pet influencer marketing, the most magical moments are born from the genuine bonds shared between pets, people, and brands.
In a digital age where attention spans wane and trends shift, the enduring allure of a wagging tail or a mischievous glance remains unwavering. Let the power of pets guide your brand toward uncharted territories, where marketing isn’t just about selling, but about weaving enchanting tales that spark smiles, kindle conversations, and leave an indelible paw print on the hearts of your audience.
Photo via Shutterstock
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