If you thought the worlds most influential characters were humans, think again. Turns out these days you quite literally don’t need to have a voice, to well, have a voice.
With the pet industry having just tipped over the $100 Billion mark this year. Clever social media bods are cashing in on the loves of their lives. Their hounds.
Loni Edwards, the owner and Founder of The Dog Agency, yes that’s right a talent agency for dogs with a profile, explains:
“We have clients that are making $10,000, to over $15,000 per piece of sponsored content”
If you are trying to build a following on Instagram then maybe you could take some tips from the likes of Harlow and Sage who have amassed 1.5 million followers. The thing that strikes me most about their success is that they have achieved it without saying a thing. Or did they?
Their posts are such a great example of how a picture paints a thousand words and the wonderful emotions you can evoke and the connections you can achieve with your audience if you just keep your storytelling simple, yet authentic.
The fact that these little guys have faces that could melt even the hardest of hearts does go a long way towards their popularity, but try to look beyond that and see that the feed does a wonderful job of making you feel like you are sharing in the adventures of these two characters. This is down to their very clever owners staying true to their brand voice and no doubt putting in countless hours behind the scenes that we don’t see.
Pic: The adorably goofy stars of the Harlow and Sage Instagram account.
The big brands outside of the Pet industry are starting to sit up and take notice of the power these Social Media Pet Influencers now have as they are so well positioned to be very relevant to todays behaviours, wants and needs. This is because if you own a dog, it’s likely you think of it as your child and if you don’t own a dog you likely still love being made to smile by the funny things they do. This opens up a range of storytelling options for lifestyle brands in fashion, travel and domestic. Remember the Dulux Dog? He still reigns supreme after 50 years as a mascot selling paint of all things. Loni goes on to say that:
“Pet influencers outperform human influencers in terms of engagement and virality as their posts are engaging across every age and gender and consumers have an innate positive reaction to pet content and, in turn, associate those positive feelings with the given brand partner”
Sounds like a win win for all.
Cutting through to our human values are dogs like Louboutina, or ‘Loubie’ for short. This pretty six-year-old, golden retriever has been reviewed by Huffpost as one of the worlds most famous Dogs and had his been celebrated by Time Out New York for standing on the street corner and offering strangers hugs.
Image Credit: Time Out NYC
His ‘Dad’, owner Cesar Fernandez-Chavez who is a medical rep by day and lives in New York says:
“I never predicted that Loubie’s Instagram would take off and become as popular as it is now”
Louboutina’s popularity on Instagram @louboutinanyc has reached over 174,000 followers. Not bad for a pooch that was given to his owner to heal his broken heart from a relationship break-up. However the fame and the rewards don’t come as easily as a walk in the park. The hounds may be having the fun, but behind the scenes the humans are treating this as a serious business. The Dog Agency reports that their;
“Clients spend on average 80% of the time they are not working in the ‘day jobs’ crafting their Instagram feeds”
The feeling is that the same efforts must be applied to any brand wishing to monetise their content on social media.
“Every single walk, I have to dedicate time”, says Loubie’s owner, Cesar.
However unlike the human world, the Instagram dog world does have one or two extra benefits. Not only do you not have to be able to talk, you don’t even need to be pretty.
Meet Tuna. Possibly the worlds ugliest dog, but with nearly 2M followers @tunameltsmyheart
If you happen to reside near New York city, you have a chance to meet these famous insta dogs in all their hairy glory at the PetCon NYC on November 18th and 19th. Here you can pick up some serious tips by listening to the owners of these feeds on what makes up good content and how to build a successful Instagram community.