The Rise of Pet Influencers: A Paw-Pular POV
Without fail, it seems that just about every time you scroll down your Instagram feed, you can’t escape the presence of a dog in menswear clothing, a celebrity dachshund going on trips, or a raccoon that found a forever home in the Bahamas. These animals seem to be living lavish, colorful lives that far surpass even some influencers of the human variety.
So how does one cat, raccoon, or even a prairie dog go from rags to riches like this? We had the opportunity to ask our very own influencer expert, Angela Seits, about some of her experience and insights into the perplexing world of pet influencers.
From coordinating pets on the green carpet at the Secret Lives of Pets movie to dressing humans up as pets for the Nine Lives premiere, Angela has had some interesting experiences promoting pets in the past.
According to Angela, pet influencers comprise more than just cats and dogs. While those pets are the most popular influencers and take up a majority of the pet influencer space, we can’t forget about those “famous” turtles, hedgehogs and even pigs. Even though pet influencers have been around for a long time, they are losing traction and influence because of the many challenges they face. One of the largest challenges pet influencers face is creating interesting, relevant content in an over-saturated industry. Angela helped us break down the rise and current state of pet influencers.
Like many trends, pet influencers came about due to the increased popularity of social media. After a photo of an infuriated looking feline surfaced online, Grumpy Cat blazed a very traveled trail that many pets eventually went down. Following Grumpy Cat, a costumed Pug started gaining Internet fame and followers, opening the door for many pups to follow.
Before too long, social media was filled with photos of dogs in clothing, reptiles going on adventures, and cats living in mansions. What do all of these pioneer pet influencers have in common? They (with the help of their human companions) discovered a niche and ran with it.
These animals appeared in commercials for Coach, Warby Parker, Barney’s, and a myriad of other top brands as marketing professionals capitalized on their attention and novelty. They were compensated for promoting brands on their pages or trying the latest products on camera. Many social media famous dogs received free product from BarkBox in exchange for reviews.
Pet influencers are compensated similarly to working with human influencers. Based on their values, social following and of course, their influence, pet influencers can be paid anywhere from $100 – $30K a post. This, of course, depends on the brand engagement and the pet’s level of fame and influence.
Since this trend has become saturated with more and more pets competing in the space, pet influencers (and their owners) have to be more original in their approach to creating a brand persona and content. Using a pet influencer is not the right move for every brand, so it makes it that much more difficult for pets to find original, niche content to stay relevant.
Angela spilled some best practices to turn any normal human (or pet) into an influencer. First, you’ve got to find your unique angle or niche differentiator. Your content strategy will be built around your unique POV, so, unfortunately, simply having a cute pet won’t cut it. Next, consistency is key. The content you share must be consistent with your pet account’s personal branding. If traveling around the world with your pet is your thing, make sure you stay the course and keep traveling. If you are an aspiring influencer, you need to be posting new content on a daily basis.
The key to becoming an influencer is sharing your refreshed content, daily and with the right people. Lastly, pay attention to your audience insights and analytics — cater your content towards your following.
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