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How business is cashing in on pet influencers

Posting the perfect pugshot is a lucrative game.

Azal Khan

Digital Journalist, Your Money

Our furry friends with an entrepreneurial streak are raking in the cash, exploiting their cuteness on social media to help businesses promote their products.

Unethical? Perhaps.

Are we complaining? Not really.

As Your Money reporter Camille Bianchi found, a new generation of social media personalities is becoming part of the online ‘influencer’ industry, which will be worth just under $3.5 billion globally by the end of the year.

Sydney pug Mr Biscuit is Instagram royalty with 102,000 followers.

“We got re-grammed by a famous pug account which sounds so ridiculous but after that we got a thousand followers more every day and I just watched it go viral,” said Mr Biscuit’s owner and manager Emma.

Big businesses are jumping on the trend after finding the value of animal marketing which translates to high engagement online.

It’s a win-win situation for businesses and pet owners, with some posts attracting a $1000 paycheck for a fur parent.

“If you’ve got a beautiful dog with a great personality and that attention to social media. It’s definitely a very modern career choice!” said Emma.

Remarkables Group started pet influencer marketing in 2017 and counts Woolworths and Ikea among its clients.

“The value proposition for brands is Australians love their pet,” said Natalie Giddings, CEO of Remarkables Pets.

“We have the most dogs per capita than anyone else in the world and there will be numerous conversations people have a day about their pets.

“It’s a bit like sport or reality television. And if anyone is willing to tune in, watch it and follow there is an opportunity to reach an audience and brands are all about reaching a new audience if they want to grow.”

Instagram famous cat Bacon Cup rose to fame after owner May began taking snaps of her in 2012 and publishing them online.

“There wasn’t as many famous Instagram cats back then, so I started out doing it for fun – then Buzzfeed gave us exposure with an article and are followers jumped very quickly,” May said.

Marketers look for animals with a minimum of 10,000 Instagram followers and a point of difference.

“People like Daisy Ray Dachshund and her owner take elaborate care in the stories,” Giddings said.

The environment they create and to make things more interesting for their audience.”

Watch the video for Camille Bianchi’s report on Your Money Live.

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