Leveraging Pet Influencers To Reach New Customers  

Nidhi Agarwal
Content Writer
August 4, 2022
min read

Pet influencers' furry faces, cute eyes, and paw-tastic personalities have won the hearts of millions on social media. So much so that the audience trusts their advice more than human influencers. Non-pet brands, such as those in the beauty and fashion industries, use these influencers to build a strong brand presence.

Even luxury car brands like Mercedes began working with pet influencers way back in 2016.  The attention-gaining power and the emotional connection driven by these pet influencers can make a brand go viral.  Plus, influence your target audiences’ purchasing decisions.

More importantly, the pet industry has expanded rapidly over the last decade. What was a $50 billion industry in 2011 in the United States has now grown to a $123 billion industry. D2C brands such as Alpha Paw, My Lovely Feline, and Tuff Mutt Pets, among others, have recently emerged and are rapidly expanding.

You have a paw-fect opportunity to collaborate with petfluencers and increase your traffic this International Cat Day on August 8 and International Dog Day on August 26. 

This article explores how pet influencers can boost your brand's growth, what are the best practices you can adopt to run a successful campaign, and the top animal creators in the USA!

How can pet influencers help boost brand growth? 

Petfluencers, like other social media accounts, have a large audience reach. They have a loyal and engaged fan base, which can help brands reach untapped target audiences through proper influencer marketing strategy . Here's how petfluencers can help you grow faster:

1. They are trusted by consumers 

Pet parent consumers are driven by trust. They scour through multiple reviews online to ensure they choose the right product for their furry kids. Any recommendations coming from existing pet consumers are like GOLD for them. They rely on the authentic content of pet influencers to learn about new and safe products for their pets, making it easier for brands to convince consumers and turn them into active customers. 

2. They help establish an emotional connection

Pet social media content reminds the users of their own pets, which instantly triggers an emotional connection in them. Brands can leverage this emotional connection to put forward their products and directly connect with the target audience. 

3. They help tap into the undiscovered audience 

If you only hire one type of influencer, there’s a chance you might miss a potential audience segment. You can target this audience segment with the help of furry influencers. Several people follow these influencers, so if you partner with them, you can tap into an undiscovered or unreachable audience, increasing your chance of getting discovered and pulling in more traffic and leads. 

4. They are great for posting educational content 

Pet parents, who can be professional vets or animal rescuers who know what works or doesn't work for most animals, manage these pet influencer accounts. People trust their opinions and are likely to buy their recommended products. 

The educational content created by these pet influencers, including pet health and wellness tips, pet lifestyle hacks, etc., helps the audience learn about their pet's needs. As a result, brands partner with thought leaders to position themselves as experts in the market. 

Best practices to scale a pet influencer marketing campaign 

1. Right branding and positioning

It is easier for pet brands to collaborate with pets and create relatable content. But for a non-pet brand, it might be tricky to win the consumer's trust through pet influencers. Consumers are savvy enough to figure out your marketing techniques, so your content should make sense and show consumers why you're using a pet influencer for a non-pet product. 

Ulta Beauty did a great job at this in their pet influencer marketing campaign, where they partnered with JiffPom, a popular pomeranian influencer, to promote their products as animal and environment-friendly. 

If you, too, want to follow the steps of Ulta Beauty and run a successful pet influencer marketing campaign, then affable.ai, an influencer marketing platform, can help. Its competitor analysis and market trends feature allow you to discover the latest content trends on social media and learn what your competitors are up to, giving you an upper hand in using the pet influencers correctly. 

2. Thoughtful strategy building 

You will need a well-thought strategy for a pet influencer marketing campaign to succeed. So making sure you have considered all the following elements will help you deliver the message in the right way. 

  • Communication: Smooth communication is key when collaborating with pet influencers. Similar to other campaigns, you will need to draft contracts, handle negotiations, manage product deliveries, and other processes. 
  • Right social media platform: Picking the right platform is equally important as your strategy will depend greatly on the channel and its target audience. For example, if you choose Instagram, then you will have to create different content formats like still images, reels, stories, etc., but if you choose TikTok, you just have to focus on videos. Or you can mix and match and use multiple platforms for your campaign as long as it helps you achieve your goals. 
  • Type and number of influencers: Based on the budget, brands can pick different types of influencers, including micro, macro, or even nano creators. For example, a brand may work with a few macro-influencers with more than 100K followers or with a more significant number of smaller influencers like micro or nano pet influencers.

    For example, Frenchie Bulldog, a pet supply brand, uses a mix of micro and celebrity animal influencers. They have a dedicated team of 90 micro pet creators and 30 celebrity influencers who promote their leashes, harnesses, and other products.  

3. Data-driven pet influencer selection 

Like any other influencer marketing campaign, choosing the right pet influencers on social media is important. Picking just any cute animal won't do. It is crucial to find creators with the right target audience, high engagement, creative content, authentic followers, and whose personality aligns with your product's core features. 

An affordable way to make campaign management easier is using data-driven influencer marketing through affable.ai like Katris Cat does. Katris Cat is a cat accessories brand that hires both human and cat influencers to spread awareness about the products. 

Still relying on hashtags and brand mentions to find pet influencers? Try affable.ai influencer marketing platform.

Get A Free Trial today

Four successful pet influencer marketing campaigns from top brands  

1. Mercedes Benz featuring Loki the Wolfdog

Loki the Wolfdog featured in the Mercedez Benz's short film.
(Image Source - Loki's Instagram page)

In 2016, the automobile giant Mercedes Benz partnered with Loki the Wolfdog, a popular pet influencer, and his pet parent Kelly Lund. Loki is a hybrid breed – a cross between a Siberian Husky and an Arctic fox, and boasts more than 1 million followers on his Instagram page. 

Mercedes released a short film named Loki, featuring the dog and his human parent in Colorado (Loki’s hometown). The short film engages the audience by sharing the story about Loki and Kelly's friendship. The video went viral and received a whopping 4 million views. 

The campaign was a success as it stirred the audience's emotions and reminded them of the beautiful relationship between humans and animals. After the video’s release, Loki's social media page flooded with viewers and his post featuring Mercedes Benz received more than 57K likes.

2. The Body Shop – #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting 

Pet influencer campaign by The Body Shop
A dog influencer promotes The Body Shop's #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting campaign.
(Image Source - Public Inc)

The Body Shop, a well-established British cosmetics company, partnered with a mix of human and animal influencers to spread awareness about their #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting campaign. The company joined hands with Cruelty Free International, a nonprofit organization that supports cruelty-free products, to get 8 million signatures for a petition against animal testing. 

To ensure the message resonates with the audience, the company hired top pet influencers with more than 100,000 followers. The Body Shop arranged a one-off campaign where the influencers had to post a pic only once with the hashtag #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting, encouraging people to sign the petition. 

"The Body Shop has a significant amount of awareness all over the world, but it doesn't hit every single person, and so we are using these influencers to broaden our reach and scope, " said Andrea Bielden, VP of marketing, The Body Shop in an interview given to Digiday. 

The campaign's top influencers were Mr. Bagel, Toast, and Tuna, who are popular dog influencers on Instagram. 

3. American Apparel × Menswear Dog 

Bodhi the Menswear dog influencer flaunts the denim jacket by American Apparel.
(Image Source - Bodhi's Instagram page)

American Apparel is an online clothing brand that is popular among American fashion lovers. The company, based in California, features a range of men, women, and kids fashion. 

In 2013, the brand partnered with @mensweardog, Bodhi, the most stylish dog on Instagram (399K followers) who models for dog and men's fashion collections. 

American Apparel collaborated with the pet influencer to promote their new winter clothing line, including stylish fleece and leather jackets. The brand gave Bodhi his own fashion line and shared images of him wearing the clothes on social media and their website. The campaign gained traction and was featured in a number of magazines. 

The American Apparel × Menswear Dog campaign was loved by the consumers, earning sales for the brand. 

Besides American Apparel, brands like Coach, Salvatore Ferragamo, and many fashion giants have approached Bodhi for their pet influencer marketing campaigns.  

4. Bullymake – #bullymake for power chewers 

Tough dog influencers promote the Bullymake products.
(Image Source - Bullymake website)

Bullymake is a direct-to-consumer brand based in the USA that sends subscription boxes filled with chewy toys to the customers' doorstep. 

The brand adopted an excellent strategy to position its products as tough and durable in the market. They partnered with big tough dogs, including Pitbulls, bulldogs, and more, and asked their pet parents to post content with the Bullymake box. 

The dog parents posted a pic or a reel on Instagram with their pets interacting or chewing the brand's toys and enjoying them. Their content revealed to followers a brand that makes toys for aggressive chewers and instantly connected with followers with similar pets.

This strategy positioned the brand as extra tough and confirmed its durability in the consumer's eyes. 

Related: How Pet Influencers Can Help Your Brand

USA's Top 10 pet influencers to check out on Instagram 

1. Jiff the Pomeranian (@jiffpom) – 9.7m followers

Jiff The Pomeranian promotes Nature's Recipe brand pet food brand.
(Image Source - Jiff's Instagram page)

Jiff is the most popular dog influencer on the internet. This cute little furball has more than 9 million followers worldwide on Instagram who loves to see him living his best life. Jiff is a stylish dog who likes to play dress-up and has been approached by numerous brands in multiple sectors, including Ulta Beauty, Farmville, JUST RIGHT by Purina, Cadbury USA, KVD Beauty, and more such brands. 

2. Nala Cat (@nala_cat) – 4.5m followers

Nala the popular pet influencer
Nala Cat promotes Zymox pet brand for health and wellness.
(Image Source - Nala's Instagram page)

Nala, a shelter-adopted cat loved by 4.5 million followers, is a top pet influencer on Instagram. She is the cutest Guinness world record holder and owns her premium cat food brand – Love Nala. She has also worked with multiple brands, including Chicken and Klink, OmletUSA, HappyandPolly pet supplies, and more companies in the food and pet supply industries. 

3. Tucker The Golden Retriever (@tuckerbudzyn) – 3.3m followers

Tucker promotes the brand PupBox.
(Image Source - Tucker's Instagram page)

Tucker is a healthy and happy golden retriever who lives in Michigan, USA. This furry influencer boasts 3.3 million followers and collaborates with brands like Lucy & co., TruDog, Big Barker Dog Beds, BarkBox, and more, in pet accessories, food, and other sectors. His social media displays content related to dog lifestyle and fashion. 

4. Juniper & Friends (@juniperfoxx) – 3m followers 

Juniper poses for Farmville - a gaming app.
(Image Source - Juniper's Instagram page)

Juniper is a rescued exotic fox living her life with pet raccoons, dogs, and possums. Her cute activities have won millions of followers on Instagram. Her brand collaborations include Farmville, BarkBox, We Feed Raw, and more brands in the pet industry. 

5. Venus The Two Face Cat (@venustwofacecat) – 2.2m followers 

Venus the cat influencer
Venus promoting Litter Genie, a pet care brand.
(Image Source - Venus's Instagram page)

Venus is a pretty little USA-based cat famous for her distinctive two-colored face. Venus's Instagram page has content about her cat friends, brand collaborations, and lifestyle. Venus has collaborated with Litter Genie, Vetster Inc., The Catfe, Fancy Feast, and more brands. 

6. Coby the Cat (@cobythecat) – 1.9m followers 

Coby the cat influencer
Coby poses in a chef attire for the brand Fancy Feast.
(Image Source - Coby's Instagram page)

Coby is an Instagram and TikTok pet star based in California. This blue-eyed cat is famous for her beautiful white fur and blue eyes. Brands like Litter Robot by Whisker, Zoetis Petcare, Edible Pets, Purina, Spotify, and more have reached out to her to endorse products in pet and other industries. Her Instagram page shows her dressed up in several cute attires. She is a true fashionista! 

7. Hamilton the Hipster Cat (@hamilton_the_hipster_cat) – 741k followers 

Hamilton the cat influencer
Hamilton shows off his mustache while posing with the Bounce Fresh brand.
(Image Source - Hamilton's Instagram page)

Hamilton is famous for his unusual human-looking curly white mustache, which makes him look hip and stylish. His sensational mustache has made him become a social media star with thousands of Instagram fans. PrettyLitter, FancyFeast, Pet Armor, and FreshStep, are some brands that have reached out and collaborated with Hamilton. His Instagram page features him living a spoiled pet life with other kitties and dogs in his family. He is also an advocate for #adoptdontshop. 

8. Geordi La Corgi & Scotty (@lacorgie) – 549k followers

Georgi and Scotty the two pet influencers pose with a brand named Darwin's.
(Image Source - Lacorgie Instagram page)

Geordi and Scotty are two corgi brothers who live in Los Angeles and are one of the top pet influencers in the USA. The cuteness of these corgis has bagged more than 15K likes on their social media pages. Their educational content includes topics like their favorite treats, nail grinding tips, behavior medication, and breeding practices. Brands like Catto Outdoors, Bark, Primal Pet Foods, and Chewy have collaborated with both the dog brothers. 

9. Hamlet The Piggy (@hamlet_the_piggy) – 330K followers 

Hamlet the piggy pet influencer flaunts his cute little wig and sunglasses on camera.
(Image Source - Hamlet's Instagram page)

Besides cats and dogs, pigs can also be social media celebrities! This cute little pig, Hamlet, is one of them. She's a fashionable piggy who has her social media followers in awe. Her content mostly includes snippets of her life with her pet parent. Based in Nashville, she loves posing in front of the camera in cute attires. The Vegan Box, Vegan Bowls, Cadbury USA, and Chewsy, love her content and have collaborated with her for their pet influencer marketing campaigns. 

10. Remix the Dog (@remixthedog) – 145k followers

Remix dog influencer poses in a beach shirt for Wild Earth.
(Image Source - Remix's Instagram page)

Remix is a hipster fashion-loving dog who loves to dress up. His mustache and cute little face covered with fur make him a social media sensation. The bearded pup flaunts dog hoodies and more dog world accessories and apparel. This Miami-based dog influencer has been featured on ELLE, Mr. Porter, Glamour, and many more. Besides fashion and grooming pics, his content includes brand promotions with Cesar, Curex, Dream Bone, TruDog, and other brands. 

Visit to discover more best influencers on social media!

To Sum Up 

Pet influencer marketing is an effective way for brands in multiple sectors to reach their target audience. But landing the right petfluencer and managing the entire campaign can be challenging for some brands or agencies. 

There is always a likelihood of pet influencers not having the right audience or being unable to create engaging content. Their pet parents are busy and don't understand the hard work behind creating a successful pet social media account. 

However, an influencer marketing platform such as affable.ai can help brands and agencies find authentic petfluencers, manage influencer relationships, and analyze their success. 

Get a free trial to learn how affable.ai can help you run a world-class pet influencer marketing campaign. 

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