Pet-fluencer marketing is on the rise as an up-and-coming purr-suasive marketing strategy. Recent findings suggest that they can generate higher engagement rates than their human counterparts by triggering only positive feelings in social media users.
A term coined by WorkingwithDogs, ‘pet influencer’ refers to an “insta famous” dog, cat, rabbit or critter with a large following on social media. Similar to human influencers, these pets can promote products that might have an impact on those in the community.
While human influencers might represent a risk to brand security due to problematic statements or sensitive content, pet influencers can be a “pure escape” of cute and adorable stories as they offer easily-digestible content that is well-received by a wider demographic of consumers, with 70% of American households as pet owners (National Pet Owners Survey).
Furthermore, “30% of pet owners follow celebrity pets on social media,” with many more following smaller micro-pet-influencers as well (Mars Petcare US), which suggests that pet-owners are genuinely interested in and enjoy engaging with pet content in their down time. This willingness to engage with pet-centered content creates an interesting opportunity for brands who are looking to reach pet owners.
We have seen pet influencer marketing play out successfully in various initiatives.
For example, in the high-fashion industry, an effective canine campaign for Britain’s biggest department store chain, John Lewis, led to a 420% rise in dog-coat sales and 2,200% rise in dog-jumper sales in 2021.
However, the evident success of pet influencer marketing has not provided much clarity or direction for marketers or consumers in the pet industry. The oversaturation of marketing content filled with misinformation, lack of information, and promotion of ineffective or outright harmful products make it incredibly difficult to answer: what is actually good for your pet?
Did you know that “each year, American consumers lose billions of dollars as a result of deceptive marketing of pet food and false ads”. In fact, the founder and author of Poisoned Pets, Mollie Morrissette, has shown that “pet food companies continue to mislead consumers with false and misleading advertising and how most commercial pet foods on the market put the health of pets at risk of foodborne illness, disease and premature death”.
So, how can we really promote the safety and health of our furry best friends? By relying on everyday pet owners, who are well-informed and involved with their pets, to share their stories and experiences with pet products.
Pet Microinfluencers > Pet Celebrity/Macroinfluencers
Celebrities and macroinfluencers tend to have different experiences than everyday pet-owners. In fact, some celebrities spend thousands of dollars to care for their pets.
Paris Hilton spent $325,000 building a two-story replica of her mansion for her pets, complete with amenities such as a patio, air conditioning, and designer furniture. It almost cost her the price of a real home in the US during 2022. [The average home price in the U.S. is $348,079 in 2022].
How can the average pet owner be expected to relate to celebrity and macroinfluencer pet owners when they spend more money on their pets than the average person can spend on themselves? This lack of relatability and excessive display of wealth not only drives pet product consumers away, but everyday pet products seem unnatural when promoted by celebrities that probably wouldn’t use them.
Many microinfluencers, on the other hand, show their pet knowledge by sharing products and meals they truly support, such as DIY nutrient packed canine bowls or healthy recipes containing fresh foods.
That is why microinfluencer pet owners are the best choice for pet influencers—because they are sharing their real and authentic stories and experiences.
Additionally, unlike celebrity and macroinfluencer pet-owners who post romanticized views of pet life, microinfluencers tend to post the realities of being a pet-owner, including some of the hardships that the former cannot relate to.
Many ordinary pet-owners choose to train their dog—even if they can afford to hire a professional. This is because the process of training the dog is one that many people want to be a part of as it “builds confidence, provides mental stimulation, and strengthens the human-animal bond”. In fact, many pet-owners find great joy in training their pets to do out-of-the-ordinary tasks and tricks to test their developmental abilities.
Furthermore, many dog owners can relate to the struggle of having to walk your dog after a long, hard day or grooming your dog yourself; something celebrities and macroinfluencers may not relate to.
These are just a few of the ways that raising a pet as an average individual is different from raising a pet as a celebrity or macroinfluencer. Microinfluencer pet owners are more representative of everyday people; they are able to share their relatable and authentic experiences in ways that their audience can resonate with. Not only does this make everyday people trust them more, but it makes them more inclined to support them and the products they promote.
If you want to expand your audience and gain the trust of pet-owners across the nation, partner with People First to access an expansive network of pet microinfluencers.
As a precision microinfluencer marketing firm, People First specializes in identifying, recruiting, and managing content from any niche across any social media platform. If you are looking to source chihuahua owners in California, golden retrievers owners in the East Coast, or a community of foster and forever families for rescues, we can help you deliver your message quickly and at scale. We accomplish this by combining our existing network of microinfluencers and our dedicated team of human organizers to deliver unique, authentic narratives.