Social media and you: Yes, your customers are watching

With e-commerce on the rise, learn how building your brand online can be a boon to gaining new clients.

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Artem Beliaikin |
Artem Beliaikin |

We are at a unique point in time in terms of customer attention. Because of the pandemic, people are staying home, shopping online and looking to get their hands on the same quality products they’re used to without ever leaving their couch. And since they’re already online, they might as well do some brand research to see what the internet has to say about the latest and greatest foods for their pet. When they Google your brand, what’s going to come up?

Pet owners love pet-related content

HypeAuditor, an AI-powered Instagram, TikTok and YouTube analytics tool, recently released a report on “Top Instagram pet influencers” that provides some key insights into who is looking at pet-related content online.

“The trend for online pet pages has been continuously growing in popularity,” said Nick Baklanov, marketing specialist at HypeAuditor. “Brands including Bodyshop, Dyson and Ralph Lauren collaborate with them to promote their products, people around the world are trying to turn their four-legged friends into social media stars, and there are talent management firms which specialize only in pet influencers.”

Animal content is relatable, approachable, fun and socially accepted escapism, and when done correctly from a brand perspective it gets potential consumers’ attention.

In a February 2019 interview with AE Marketing Group, Merrick Pet Care’s Vice President of Marketing, Barbara Liss, discussed the benefits of emotional storytelling.

“We really focus on telling the right stories that resonate, whether that’s just cute puppy stories or rescue stories, but then we are able to follow that up with a, ‘Hey remember us — we just gave you that great story? Well, now we’re going to tell you about the great food we have,’” she said. “And digital allows you to execute that one-two punch.”

‘Petfluencer’ demographics and how they reflect pet food customers

Some basic demographics about pet influencers — which almost inevitably reflect their audience — reinforce what we see in the pet food space.

  • Pet influencers’ content has a higher engagement rate when compared to a general worldwide content engagement rate: It’s no secret that pets, alongside babies, grab more attention and more devotion in the buying space than just about anything else. “Outside of people’s kids, there are very few things that people care about as much as their pets,” said Liss to AE Marketing.
  • 61.46% of pet influencers’ audiences are female: Women tend to make up the majority of pet food purchasers, largely because they’re the majority of household purchasers overall.
  • 44.13% of pet influencers are from the U.S.: As the most mature pet food market in the world, the U.S. unsurprisingly has a significant pet owner base for more marketing-focused or entertaining pet content. In addition, according to a Mars Petcare U.S. survey, one out of six pet owners in the U.S. has created a social media account specifically for their pet.
  • Dogs have 14.9 million more followers than cats in the Top 100 Petfluencer list: Dogs have long ruled the pet food space, and they seem to rule the pet entertainment space, too, to the tune of 56.3 million followers on Instagram compared to cats’ 41.4 million.

Briefly: 5 tips for social media success

In September 2019, I interviewed Gary Rubin, co-owner and chief operating officer for TOP’s Parrot Food, on how his company handles their social media presence. According to him:

  1. Be present.
  2. Be authentic.
  3. Develop a strategy and objectives.
  4. Think about the audience.
  5. Measure everything.

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