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Online Trends

Published October 30th 2023

15 Pawsitively Influential Pet Influencers

Petfluencers are on the rise, earning big bucks from brand collaborations.

We all know that influencers can make a lot of money with a smart content strategy and brand partnerships. But did you know that this formula also applies to influencers with paws? 

The internet loves cute animal content. Whether it's a dog crashing a Zoom meeting, a cat with a strong set of lungs, or a parrot that can name different objects, there's no shortage of cute and funny videos to get you through the day.

Pet content is usually entertaining, heartwarming, and positive. Funny videos quickly go viral on social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok. So, it's no surprise that there's a lot of money behind popular pet accounts.

Like Hugo and Huxely, two golden retrievers who make $100,000 a year from endorsements, sponsorships, and dog modeling. Their owner quit her job to take care of her two dogs full-time, driving them to events and creating content for their Instagram page.

But the animal that kicked off the age of internet pet fame and the money that comes with it wasn't a dog; it was a cat. Grumpy Cat is one of the most famous cats in the world. Her grumpy face quickly catapulted her to fame with a huge Internet fan base celebrating her with many memes. Celebrities were eager to meet her, she made guest appearances on TV shows, and signed endorsement deals with major brands like Nestlé. It's hard to say how much money the sour-faced Tadar Sauce (Grumpy Cat's real name) made from those jobs, but the Washington Post says it was somewhere between $1 million and $100 million in her first few years.

Why some brands might benefit from working with petfluencers 

Petfluencers can be great influencers for marketing campaigns and endorsements. They have a lot of followers who love their authentic and cute content, so the audience tends to be very engaged. Their followers develop an emotional connection with the petfluencer. Brands that work with pet influencers can benefit from this connection and ideally be associated with these positive emotions, making consumers more likely to buy and become loyal customers.

Petfluencers’ following is usually made up of a wide variety of people, including (but not limited to) other pet owners. They are perfect for pet brands to promote their products to a targeted audience. But they are also a good candidate for brands in other industries because of their broad following.

Major brands have discovered the potential of working with pet influencers, including Dior with greyhound Tika The Iggy, Mercedes-Benz with wolfdog Loki, and Dyson with Australian shepherd Sedona.

Brands that work with pet influencers have a real chance of going viral. A charming and humorous petfluencer post can spread quickly, potentially reaching an audience of millions. But you don't have to go big. Brands that want to target a more niche audience can partner with micro-influencers for a better ROI.

Petfluencers: A look at the online conversation

There is an increase in online conversations about petfluencers. The number of mentions from public social posts, blogs, forums, and news sites has increased by 23% from October 2022 to October 2023 compared to the previous year. More than 20% more people are discussing pet influencers. In these conversations, people mostly mention pet influencers on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

The highest peak at the beginning of this year was caused by Dave Krantz, a man who found an abandoned kitten and named it Finn. Dave says Finn changed his social media habits for the better and that he “restored his faith in the internet.”

While this account isn't a classic pet influencer account because the account wasn't created for the cat itself, Dave's account now has a lot of cat content because fans love Finn. Cats being cats, Finn took over his owner's account, who had no say in the matter.

The cats vs. dogs showdown 

Who wins the online game in the world of influencers? Cats or dogs? According to online mentions, dog influencers are mentioned more than cats. A whopping two-thirds of online conversations are about dogs. Dog influencers generate more buzz than their purry rivals.

But when we look at the emotions expressed in petfluencer conversations, it's a different story. While cat influencers don't get as much buzz as dog influencers, they do spark more joy. 58% of emotion-categorized mentions about cat influencers express happiness, while conversations about dogs are only 46% joyful. 

“Happy,” “cute,” and “awesome” are some of the most popular phrases in positive catfluencer conversations. And no wonder. A study from Indiana University found that watching cat videos gives viewers a boost of energy and brightens their mood. So, there's no need to feel guilty about watching cat videos in the future. It is scientifically proven to be good for your mental health.

So, dogs are getting more talked about, and cats spark more joy, but who is the better petfluencer? To answer that question, we took a look at pet Instagram accounts that are getting high levels of engagement.

15 influential petfluencers on Instagram

Who is winning the social media engagement game? Using Influence, we identified pet influencers on Instagram who have "cat" or "dog" in their account name or bio description, have at least 500k followers, and are active in 2023. We then ranked the accounts according to their average engagement rate.

Top petfluencers on Instagram:

  1. good.boy.ollie
  2. mr.kitters.the.cat
  3. magnusthetherapydog
  4. ringodanyan
  5. siberian_reinhardt
  6. itsdoughthepug
  7. madmax_fluffyroad
  8. adventuringwithnala
  9. norbertthedog
  10. elligoldenlife
  11. maggiethewunderdog
  12. nala_cat
  13. wanderlust_samoyed
  14. rexiecat
  15. sukiicat 

With ten dogs in the top 15 list, it's clear that dog influencers are outpacing their meowy counterparts on Instagram. The ranking is packed with adorable dogs showing off their skills. Whether excelling as a therapy dog, holding and balancing things, or traveling the world with their owners, they all stand out with memorable personalities.

Instagram post by Good Boy Ollie

Instagram post by Mr. Kitters the Cat

Instagram post by Ringo the Cat

That’s a wrap

People love pets. 66% of U.S. households own at least one pet, and pet accounts on Instagram and TikTok receive millions and millions of likes and views. Their potential virality, authentic and entertaining content, and engaged audiences make them ideal candidates for collaborative marketing campaigns.

As with any two-legged influencer, choosing the right petfluencer depends largely on the goals you have for your influencer campaign. Make sure the pet is a good fit for your brand so the collaboration is authentic and gets the best results.

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