The Growing Market of Pet Influencers
4 Minute Read
- Pet influencer profiles are growing in number on social media which have gained millions of followers; many of these accounts have higher engagement rates with consumers in comparison to many human influencers.
- Due to this growth, the demand of pets in branded campaigns has caused a rise in global pet influencer talent agencies who are creating unique pet persona’s that brands can align with.
- Brands outside the pet category can use pets as an emotional connector in their campaigns to target consumers.
- There are risks associated with using pet influencers such as brands entering social debates with animal rights activists.
Humans are no longer the only influencers on social media. Pet profiles have exploded over social media and have become a shareable asset for pet owners who are developing these accounts. Brands have taken notice of this movement and have leveraged these social profiles by turning them into brand ambassadors of leading campaigns. These pet influencers are helping brands reach new audiences and create refreshing content. The pet industry is growing - from 2007 to 2015, the pet owner market in the US has grown 43% with millennial's being the driving force behind this, spending $10.6 billion in 2014 alone. (Packaged Facts) MKTG explores how these growing profiles are being monetized within and outside the pet category.
The demand of pets in branded campaigns has caused a rise in global pet influencer talent agencies who are creating unique pet persona’s that brands can align with.
Due to the increase of pet influencers on social media, talent agencies across the world, such as North America’s WAGSociety and Australia’s Power Pets, have been created to consult brands on which pet can best achieve their marketing goals. These agencies are fine tuning the world of pets on social media by streamlining the content on these accounts to be dedicated to specific categories such as comedy, cause, fashion or travel. The Dog Agency in New York City, which is home to some of the most influential pets on social media, has a roster of pets that can rake in $10,000 – $15,000 per post (The Dog Agency) for leading profiles such as Tuna Melts My Heart. Tuna has recently partnered with The Body Shop’s campaign against animal testing. The campaign has a call to action to sign a global ban against animal testing – the partnership has been effective in helping the brand collect over 600,000 online signatures. (Digiday) See below for one of the posts:
Many of these pets are providing high value for the brands by creating viral content and exceeding engagement rates in comparison to human influencers. (Dog Agency) Many of the popular pet content we see today is developed by these agencies which allow brands to align more authentically with a pet influencer.
Pets are used as an emotional connector with brand’s outside the pet category.
Humans have a special and unbreakable bond with their pets. Brands outside the pet category can use this connection and research if their consumer profile aligns with pet ownership – if so, a pet influencer may be a more lucrative option as a brand ambassador. When Mercedes was researching consumers who are in the market for purchasing an SUV, the result was many of these consumers also owned dogs. This lead to the insight of targeting the pet owner market. Mercedes used Insta-dog Loki as the face of their 2017 campaign for the one of their SUV models, the GLS. Loki is a dog who loves to travel and explore which aligned perfectly with the target market for this vehicle. See below for the spot.
Loki was used as an emotional connector in the automotive category to create a sense of relatability with SUV consumers to ultimately spark a purchase decision.
Pet influencers can create brand loyalty with animal related products
The pet product market is expected to grow to almost $70 billion by the end of 2018. (Collective Bias) This provides the opportunity for pet brands, from food to kitty litter, to build a loyal consumer base. Pet owners want the highest quality products for their pets. With many pet owners doing their product research online, using a pet influencer across social media is a way to directly connect with consumers that are considering their next purchase.
What are some of the risks of using pet influencers?
1. One pet does not fit all. Due to how content is being created for unique pet personas, your brand may not always align as pets may be just as select as human influencers.
2. Brands wanting to explore the pet clothing market may be entering a social debate on whether or not pet-wear acts as harmful costumes.
3. Challenges may arise with animal rights activists and advertising legal issues. Brands must adhere to the same advertising standards as humans.
Brands need to consider the challenges and risks. Due to how branded content is being curated to align with brands and the demand from consumers in the pet market increasing, using a pet influencer as a brand ambassador may be a strategic option.