7 Brilliant Marketing Tricks We’ve Learned from Celebrity Dogs

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While being furry and adorable is one recipe for self-promotion, celebrity dogs reveal concrete brand strategies that business owners can imitate for marketing success.

By celebrity, I’m not talking about The Rock’s french bulldog, Hobbs or Paris Hilton’s pomeranian, Prince. Rather, I’m referring to famous pooches who have earned their star power in their own right on social media. Starting out with humble followings, dogs like Tuna, the chiweenie rescue with an endearing overbite, have entertained their way to success.Some of these furry icons have even converted their internet fame into revenue streams, bringing in anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars. Like Boo the Pomeranian, who paws in around $1 million annually in profit from promotional products and endorsement deals.

We’re not suggesting that you adopt a four legged mascot in hopes of winning the Instagram jackpot. However, you can harness your own star power to work for your business.

Here are the top 7 marketing musts we learned from our favorite pet superstars:   

  1. Put your personality on display

You won’t want to go overboard with selfies (we’re looking at you, Kim), but a little self-promotion goes a long way. Showing some individuality is how you can differentiate yourself from the pack, and give your business a friendly and unique brand.

Bodhi, known as “Menswear Dog,” is a 6-year-old Shiba Inu from New York. His 850,000 followers on Twitter are obsessed with his spiffy dress shirts and ties. You’ve seen dogs in sweaters before, but a dog bedecked in fancy menswear is especially entertaining.

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Bodhi may be cute, but he also teaches us that visual marketing has proven ROI. Carefully consider the images you use in marketing your brand and the face of your business. In email campaigns, 65% of users prefer emails to contain mostly images, compared to 35% who prefer text (Capterra). People tend to scan, not read content. So, provide your viewers with images that accurately represent your brand and convey your message to your target market.

Adding video to an email can increase click rates by 300% (Emma). Changing up your email marketing with gifs, comics, and cartoons that resonate can make for some of your most successful emails.

  1.   Get that “aww” factor

Maybe your marketing campaigns won’t feature an irresistible grinning Corgi, like Burrito (we know WE can’t resist his floppy tongue and teeny legs). That doesn’t mean you should discount the idea of the emotional tug.

Sharing your visual story on social media and your website makes a difference. Using high quality pictures is no longer optional- 46% of senior marketing executives say photography is critical (not just important) to their marketing strategies.Instagram’s dog Maddie’s success in achieving over 1 million followers is in large part due to her owner’s passion for photography. Not only is each post visually stunning, it also conveys a fairytale-like story. Maddie accompanies her owner on picturesque winter drives and as he builds his own wooden home in the mountains. The whimsical photos add a storytelling quality to Maddie’s social media.

  1. Be engaging

As human attention spans shrink (we are even falling behind goldfish), we have to find more creative ways to attract and keep people engaged. Stats from Youtube reveal that keeping an audience coming back for more can be even harder than making a video go viral. Kissmetrics reveals Youtube findings that videos under 1 minute long have 80% retention but that rate shrinks to 60% for 2-3 minutes videos.

Meanwhile, many celebrity dogs have mastered the art of entertainment. Like Mochi The Little Frenchi whose short and sweet videos featuring Mochi prancing in a panda costume or as a peapod to pumped up beats racks up the “likes.”

Save the panda costume for Halloween, but do know when to post and where people are watching videos in this handy infographic. Also note that 98% of millennials are using their smartphones to view videos. Bonus points: collaborate with your viewers to engage them even more.

  1.   Get a mascot or a “spokesdog”

If you feel like everyone and their neighbor has a dog, then you’re onto something. Pet care is a huge industry—around$60 billion annually with about 65% of households owning a pet. A celebrity dog takeover can humanize and bring humor to your brand. Legal company Avvo played up the unique mug of  Shih Tzu Marnie in its humorous ad. Hitting a funny bone means you’re more approachable. This works even if you’re just sharing ‘life at work.’ Occasionally bring in an employee dog to act as a mascot for your company that people are eager to see (in person and online!).

  1.   Automate to make life easier.

We understand if your iPad is overpopulated with apps, but hear us out about the “If This, Then That” app (IFTTT). We stole this hack from our own unofficial brand ambassador, Disco the Corgi. His owner, Kim, set up a “recipe” so that when she posts a new photo to Instagram, it automatically sends to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, too! She credits the IFTTT app for how her social media darling grew his Tumblr following exponentially — without any extra work!

  1. Get giving

While owners and brand ambassadors serve as the “face” of a business, supporting a good cause shows the “heart.” Embrace a worthy cause just like Ginny the Jack Russell does. A rescue herself, this “UK connoisseur of naps” brings awareness to adopting dogs in need. Her owner uses Ginny’s page to tell people about the Blue Cross for Pets, a charity that helps dogs find new homes when they are unwanted or sick. Supporting a charity that your customers believe in will only boost your brand cred and make them want to support a local business and a good cause.

  1.   Take on hashtags

What do successful celebrity dogs have in common? They use hashtags and emojis to emphasize a message and build awareness of their brand. According to Hootsuite, posts with at least one hashtag have 12% more engagement. There are some rules of etiquette to follow. You don’t want to go overboard on hashtagging.

Create your own custom hashtag that is unique (hint: if it has 3 million tagged photos, it’s not unique). Front Desk client FIT4MOM does a great job cultivating an online community of fitness inspired moms, posting with their own hashtag #f4mvillage. Fans can share their own photos by adding the tag. The biggest benefit – eople who are not your followers can discover you based on hashtags.

Even if Boo does not make a personal appearance on your company Instagram, there are still plenty of tricks you can show off yourself. From flawless photos to automated social media posts, you’ve got 7 ways to boost your own brand and get people {almost} as obsessed with your business as they are with corgis.

Blog post for Front Desk

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