How to Find the Right Micro-influencer to Grow Your Pet Brand
In making purchases for their pets, consumers are more often than not turning to social media to find recommendations from friends or bloggers that they trust. So how can pet products earn good word-of-mouth on social channels such as Instagram or Snapchat?
By turning to the latest movement in social media, your pet product can find a micro-influencer to support your brand. A micro-influencer is someone with a substantial following across social platforms, but hasn’t reached “celebrity status.” Micro-influencers are still considered to be everyday people but have had greater success on social media, whereas celebrities have reached a level of fame that is perceived as inauthentic.
To really gain endorsement for your brand, consider searching for an up-and-coming micro-influencer—not of the human variety, but instead a lovable pooch, sassy cat or prickly hedgehog. Here’s what to keep in mind during your search.
Match Your Product to the Level of Stardom
Depending on your preexisting audience, you should choose your influencer accordingly. If your brand is somewhat well known in the pet community, feel free to reach out to pets with a large following like Trotter or Pumpkin. However, if your product is just starting to gain momentum, consider finding a star on the rise. Accounts with a few thousand followers still receive significant attention but will not have been approached with too many influencer opportunities at this point. Try to avoid pets with their own agents or agencies, like Chloe the Frenchie who is represented by The Dog Agency. Pets with this level of fame are generally no longer considered influencers and have instead become celebrities like Grumpy Cat. Some possible candidates who are gaining a following: Panda the Oreo Frenchie who has almost 6K followers, The Logan Square Bears with 11K followers or Poki the Hedgehog with nearly 10K followers.
Create an Authentic Brand Relationship
Part of what makes micro-influencer marketing so successful is that followers tend to trust the recommendation of the pet “recommending” the product because they’re perceived to be an average pet with an owner rather than a pet receiving thousands of dollars to be the face of a brand. If you try to send your product to a pet that’s unlikely to use said product, you’ll either be rejected by the owner or followers won’t buy into the pet actually using said product. If you send a hedgehog a large toy to play with, unless there’s video proof, followers aren’t likely to believe that the hedgehog uses said toy. However, if you’re a pet wipe company that freshens smelly animals and is safe for small creatures, you would be the ideal brand to work with a hedgehog.
Send a Product That’s Easy to Photograph
Keep in mind what your product might look like on camera. Someone whose main priority is getting the animal to pose correctly may not know the best way to shoot your product. If the item you send is oddly shaped or not visually engaging, consider sending it to the influencer with branded packaging and ask for the packaging to be included in the photo. While your pet treats might not show up easily in an Instagram photo, a shot of your packaging and awesome logo are sure to catch attention, especially if the pet is anything like Loki and looks thrilled to dig in.
Look Out for Famous Friends
Could you imagine your product being promoted by Taylor Swift? Such a lucky break would bring you an untold number of sales and send your brand’s engagement through the roof. While it might not be possible to get Swift to show off your catnip dispenser with her cats Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson, you could work with an influencer who is seemingly BFFs with her, such as Marnie, and reap the benefits of your brand being only a few degrees of separation from one of the most famous celebrities.
Avoid Influencers Who Already Promote Several Products
In order not to get lost in a long string of brand suitors, make sure that your prospect isn’t courting several companies at once. Ruckus the Eskie has a great fan base on Instagram but receives several boxes of products each month. No matter how energetic a dog is, there is only so much time to play with the toys sent their way.
Invite Your Influencer to Your Events
Take your relationship with your influencer offline and invite them to any events that your business is hosting. This way you’ll not only get face time with your beloved representative, but you’re also more likely to draw people to your event to meet and greet the pet. If you’re working with multiple influencers, don’t be afraid to invite them all for a cute photo op!
No matter what your marketing budget is, with a little searching, you’re sure to find the right pet to represent your brand, create engagement and ultimately lead to increased sales.
Sarah Walsh is an online PR specialist at Web Talent Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Lancaster, Pa. She’s passionate about creating impactful content and using social media authentically. In her free time, she likes reading, writing for her personal blog and spending time with her dog and three cats.