While influencers are more of a modern-day concept, the appeal of animals to the internet is not. There was once a time where it seemed that the primary purpose of the internet was to share cat videos, not just to look at whichever picture Kim Kardashian has posted this week. The blending of animals and influencer culture seems like a no-brainer, and in the vast influencer market of 2021 your pets can make you stand out. Pet influencers are the wave of the future, and Pets on Q can help you utilize them properly.
A Brief Look at Animals and the Internet
The internet genuinely loves cats. It seems that from the very beginning cats have dominated this virtual space, with early viral videos and images almost exclusively featuring cats. According to an article on Thought Catalog, the early adoption of Cats as the standard shared internet image began on 4chan. In their forums individuals would throw in a picture of a kitten every now and then to keep things light.
With the expansion of the internet and the growth of various social media, the internet has made space to love animals other than cats (so don’t fret if your pet is not of the furry variety) and love them outside of chat forums.
How did we get here?
You may be asking yourself, how did virality turn into influencing? The answer is quite simple. With the advent of social media, virality was suddenly and easily traceable. When before you’d come across a funny video and that would be it, now the animal you see in that video has a specific account, probably on multiple platforms. You can find them, watch and enjoy more of their content, and build up their fanbase. This slow progression of building up followers eventually leads to influencer status, and you’ll often find that the animals with the most followers are the ones whose images are randomly found throughout the internet, outside of their account(s). This type of virality/influencing mix is unique to animal influencers, and it’s one of the things that makes animal influencing so special!
Any traditional influencer can create a branded content post, but unless this influencer is also a traditional celebrity it’s very unlikely for their image to appear in a random Google search. Animals and pets have the added benefit of not only being able to create branded content, but also being able to easily spread their images (and their brand) throughout the internet. After all, who doesn’t enjoy seeing adorable animals? Pet influencers’ content are valuable assets as they’re extremely shareable, plus animal content is some of the most viewed content on the entirety of the internet.
The Current Influencer
Influencer marketing is arguably the most profitable marketing strategy for both brands and influencers. According to MediaKix, “The Influencer Marketing Industry will be a $5-$10 Billion dollar market in the next 5 years.” This specific article was written in 2018, and according to their projections the amount of Ad Spend has been increasing by about $2 Billion dollars per year since 2015. In 2018, it was reported that advertisers were spending roughly $1.6 Billion dollars on just Instagram influencer marketing. According to PR Newswire, it was estimated that that amount would double in 2020 to $3.2 billion dollars on Instagram, and that the number of sponsored posts on the social media platform would be over 6 billion. This market is growing, and it’s growing fast.
In addition to the growth, influencer marketing is effective. According to a 2019 Influencer Marketing Survey conducted by MediaKix, 80% of their surveyed marketers claimed influencer marketing was effective, and nearly 90% claimed that it was, “comparable or better than other channels.” With this in mind, the appeal of influencer marketing is abundantly clear.
Animal Influencers and Where They Fit In
Companies typically seek out brand partnerships with influencers who have established brands, and who post relatively safe content. While human influencers can be unpredictable, an animal or pet influencer will likely remain constant in its online persona. This makes them incredibly appealing to family brands, and, more obviously, pet-focused brands such as Purina, PetSmart, and others. It was even reported recently by Pet Product News that the Westminster Kennel Club was able to boost its online presence through the use of animal influencers and TikTok. Marketers have utilized influencers to turn many brands into multibillion dollar companies through influencer marketing alone, and animal influencers especially pose a fantastic opportunity to companies within and outside of the animal or pet space. Animal content is some of the most viewed content online, and oftentimes utilizing a pet influencer has a lower cost than more traditional influencers, but with very comparable benefits. To put in some numbers for perspective, the total number of Instagram followers for every pet influencer on Pets on Q’s roster is 79.3 million.
Predictions for the Future
Despite their long-term presence on the internet, animal influencers are still a relatively new concept within the influencer marketing space. Animal or pet influencers, just like traditional influencers, have experienced a huge surge in popularity within the last 5-6 years, and, based on the growth of the influencer space as a whole, they are expected to only get bigger. It’s been estimated by Pet Product News that millennial and gen-z consumers are now the majority for pet ownership, and as brands and companies look for ways to appeal to the younger and more tech-savvy generations they are inevitably going to turn to animal influencers.
Consumers oftentimes form para-social bonds with the influencers they follow, so it is imperative that the influencers themselves build a brand based on trust and loyalty. For example, the Kardashians are some of the biggest social media influencers in the world and love them or hate them people are more or less likely to buy the products they promote based on that partnership. Animals do not have that effect at this time. This makes them a safe and reliable option for brands everywhere, not just those within the pet-space. For example, Pets on Q pet influencers have worked on campaigns for major pet brands, plus Stainmaster, Cadbury, Mercedes, and even Decoy Wine, to name a few! All very different brands in completely different marketing spaces.
Animal influencers are here, and any brand would be smart to utilize them. Due to their unique position as animals and beloved pets, animal influencers have the ability to go viral in a way that no human influencer could.
Animal influencers typically lack any form of drama or controversy that comes with traditional influencers, and typically keep their brand consistent overtime. Pets on Q can help your company or brand partner with some of the biggest pet influencers in the entire world (from dogs and cats to birds and lizards). Whatever works best for your campaign, Pets on Q has it all. Partnering with pet influencers is a low-risk investment with a potentially very high reward, and it’s a marketing technique that can be used by a variety of companies both within and outside of the pet space. If you would like to learn more about how your company or brand can partner with an animal influencer, please contact the sales team at Pets on Q today!