Choosing the Right Influencer for Your Pet Business

By Monday, August 8, 2016

A brand influencer is one of the most powerful marketing resources a pet business can have on its side. This individual (or individuals, as the case may be) can help boost brand recognition and sales by acting as a spokesperson and representing your company in a positive light. They can also help expand your reach by connecting you with a whole new audience

In years past, celebrities were often chosen as influencers due to their name recognition and influence. These days, more and more companies are turning to bloggers and other digital influencers to fill this role. Smart move! After all, these professionals have spent time building trust with their own audiences, giving instant credibility to any brand they partner with.

When looking for a pet brand influencer to help spread your message, ask these questions to find the right fit:

1. Are they passionate?

Consumers can sense when someone is just acting as a mouthpiece versus sincerely believing in a product. That’s why it’s so important to work with an influencer who is truly passionate about your product, service, or company. If they have a personal connection or story about how your brand has helped them or their pet, that’s a great start!

For example, I’m currently acting as a brand ambassador for the Calmz Anxiety Relief System. It’s a cause that’s near and dear to my heart since one of my late, great dogs, Buck, had severe thunderstorm phobia. So I’m incredibly excited to talk up a brand that could potentially help others tackle this tough issue.

2. Are they confident and professional?

Because your brand ambassador will be representing you on a variety of different platforms, it’s important to have a representative that can speak intelligently and enthusiastically about your brand. They should also be comfortable speaking on camera, in person, or by phone with the media. Take the time to help them become well-versed in your business so that they can clearly communicate the benefits of your product or service.

3. Do their goals, knowledge, and audience align with yours?

While it may be tempting to partner with an influencer who is widely recognized or respected in another niche, it’s a good idea to choose someone who is a better fit with your brand. This should be someone who understands the pet industry, what pet parents are looking for, and how to talk to them. For example, depending on the nature of the products or services offered, your company might benefit from partnering with a veterinarian, a dog trainer, a groomer, or a pet lifestyle expert.

4. Do they understand marketing?

An effective pet brand influencer will do more than write a blog post or product review. They’ll understand that it’s about marketing your message in different ways across a variety of platforms. This doesn’t mean they have to be a marketing expert, but they should have a good grasp of basic marketing tenets and appreciate its importance. In addition, they should be able to work within your existing marketing strategy while also offering creative ideas and options that can expand upon it.

5. What type of insight and feedback do they provide?

It’s almost impossible to know whether an influencer marketing program is working, and where it needs to be tweaked, without some data to back it up. Ask the influencer what analytic systems they currently have in place, and work with them to determine the metrics you’ll use to measure the success of the program. This could be anything from views on a Facebook Live video to the number of entries on a product giveaway to one-on-one conversations they have with their fans. It will vary depending on your specific company and goals.

If you’re ready to take your marketing plan to the next level with a pet brand influencer, contact me to learn more about how I can put my experience to work for you!