What Is a “Petfluencer?”

With the popularity of influencer marketing, a bunch of niche influencer types have emerged. From dadfluencers to skinfluencers, just about every industry is covered.

A petfluencer, or pet influencer, is a growing group of influencers that focus on pet-related content. These influencers are technically humans posting TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram on behalf of their pets, but their creative approach can be valuable for pet brands.

Like other influencers, petfluencers are creating content designed for a specific audience with the intention of getting a response.

The Rise of Petfluencers

If you follow accounts like the Grumpy Cat, Neville Longbottom The Corgi, or Mary Lee, the massive female great white shark who roams the waters off the east coast, you’ve seen petfluencers in action.[1]

Typically, these accounts are named for the pet, not the owner. Sometimes, these begin as simple accounts to share pet photos and stories, but they may grow to become true influencer accounts – like Prancer, the high-maintenance chihuahua who went viral.[2]

Petfluencers have a lot in common with human influencers. As more and more pet brands take notice, influencer marketing agencies are offering opportunities in this niche market.

Pets as Influencers

Pets have always been popular on social media. Whether you like cats, dogs, pigs, ducks, or wildlife, looking at cute animal pictures appeals to a wide variety of people. In fact, some of these petfluencers have followers in the high hundreds of thousands or millions, outperforming some major celebrities and mega-influencers.

The majority of petfluencers are micro-influencers, however. They typically have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers, and most of the accounts are run by female owners.

Both human owners and the pet stars of these accounts can make a profit on their content. Owners may receive money from brands to promote pet-related products or do a product demo. For example, a dog influencer may endorse a new puzzle toy by posting a video of the star pup playing with it and the owner talking about the features.

Petfluencers for Change

Not all petflluencers are motivated by profits. There’s an intersection of the audiences who want to see pet content and care about animal issues, which is where petfluencers can shine.

In 2017, TikTok launched a campaign to raise funds for a pet nonprofit, Blue Cross. The platform asked users to post videos of their pets with the hashtag #petbff. For every 10,000 videos posted, the company donated £1 to Blue Cross.[3]

Animal shelters and nonprofits also use social media to raise funds or awareness for animal issues, such as overcrowded shelters, rescuing dogs and cats, and the importance of spaying and neutering.

Some petfluencers use their platform to raise awareness for other environmental causes, which may impact pets, such as slow gardening, microplastics, pesticide-free gardening, bee-friendly plants, protecting wetlands, and respecting local wildlife.

The Power of Petfluencers

Petfluencers are making waves in social media. Pet-related brands, rescue organizations, and nonprofits can leverage the power of a cute dog or cat to spread the word, boost brand exposure, and increase sales or donations.

Sources:

[1] https://www.ocearch.org/tracker/detail/mary-lee

[2] https://www.npr.org/2021/04/27/991376581/prancer-the-haunted-victorian-child-dog-from-viral-ad-has-been-adopted

[3] https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-gb/tiktok-launched-petbff-challenge-to-raise-funds-for-animal-charity-blue-cross