EC Blog header How pet brands can succeed on Tik Tok

Social Media, Strategy

How to succeed on TikTok as a pet brand: strategy insights, tactics & ideas

TikTok’s growth and surging animal adoption rates have created a primed, social-first, pet-owning audience. Is your brand capitalising? Don’t let your TikTok strategy go to the dogs.

Pet brands, meet your new (and growing) TikTok audience

With about 57% of UK households housing a pet, it’s more likely than not that you have a four-legged friend at home.

Pets have always played a huge role in social media, with users wanting to share cute content of their furry friends. In fact, 42% of adults with personal social media accounts like to fill them with pictures of their pets — one in four have even created accounts for them!

Growth of TikTok as a platform has aligned with the boom in Millennial and Gen Z pet ownership — under-35s account for 59% of new pet owners, with 3.2 million adopted in lockdown. This is your new, primed, social-first, pet-owning audience.

Pet purchases and spending are sacrosanct amongst TikTok users

This new pet audience on TikTok has a different mindset. The emerging trend of ‘pet humanisation’ has led to phenomena such as #DogMom and #FurBabies. Alongside the societal shift in Millennials delaying having children and having smaller families, these pet owners tend to spend more on their pets than older pet owners.

Consumers are, therefore, increasingly viewing their pets as integral members of the family — in Britain, we’d apparently rather cut back on holidays rather than cut spending on our pets.

Sustainability is a trend driving pet purchasing decisions, too. 92% of consumers say that it is important to them, which is now evident within the pet care market with the rise in plant-based food options. All of these factors pose the perfect opportunity to show up to this audience in the right place (TikTok) with the right product (something their furry friend will love).

This pet-obsessed audience are less willing to cut pet spending, even when real personal disposable incomes decline — 37% of pet owners redirected money saved in other areas onto their pet in the past year.

However, we must still be mindful of the impact the cost of living crisis is having across all areas, including expenditure on pets. Even though consumers are very reluctant, around 20 percent of owners have had to make cuts on pet insurance, vet visits and pet food. Could your TikTok content resonate with this audience?

TikTok: the paw-fect home for the pet market

Traditionally you’d visit your vet for official advice, or talk to fellow pet owners at the dog park. You can now find out more about your pets within the For You Page, creating the perfect platform for our social-savvy, pet-obsessed consumers.

Not only does the TikTok content format work to support this boom in education content, but also the rise of TikTok SEO.

Traditional platforms are more static. A picture of a pet lead, or an informative TikTok video on why and how this pet lead will change your pet’s life? We know what’s going to engage with this conscious scroller. With the launch of pet care category onto TikTok Shop, the platform is ready to serve pet product shoppers.

Beyond just the obvious pet food brands, this TikTok space is wide open for the taking for all pet care suppliers, including apparel and home accessories to pet insurance.

#PetsOfTikTok: an audience snapshot

  • 61% are 18-24

  • 22% are 25-34

  • 17% are 35+

Looking at the top related interests to the #PetsOfTikTok hashtag is Handicraft and DIY content including tutorials and tips, further showcasing that the pet audience are interested in educational content that helps them feel more connected to their pets, ensuring they’re giving them the very best care.

Who are the pet brands doing well on TikTok?

When it comes to #PetsOfTikTok, who’s the cat’s pyjamas? It’s not necessarily the brand giants of the pet market that are showing up well on this platform, it’s actually the ones who are creating bespoke content tail-ored for the conscious pet parent, delivering informative, educational content and heroes about why their brand and product solves a pet problem.

@petlabco

Creating reasoning based content — such as ‘why your cat is staring at you’ — is the purr-fect format of content for an audience wanting to understand their pets further. Utilising expertise content of vets talking through problems gives an authority in an education space.

@petlabco

We owe it to our best friends to care for their teeth! #dogteeth#doghealth#dogparents#vetadvice

♬ Dream Away - Ramol

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@dogg8co

They’ve nailed their TikTok content strategy: focusing on the issue (and how the product solves this), utilising the TikTok native functions but highlighting the USPs and boosting their in-app search visibility for key terms.

Key takeaways: don’t be afraid to create around your niche. You might feel like you’re repeating yourself, but if your audience is resonating, then keep creating.

@dogg8co

The easiest dog gate you will ever install. #FYD#foryourdog#DogG8

♬ original sound - Nostalgia FC

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@thepethealthclub

It’s more than likely you’d think Pet insurance plans would be boring, but Pet Health Club are creating informative and entertaining content that pet owners want to like, share and save.

Creating timely content themes such as advice to keep pets safe during fireworks, additionally building out as a ‘Autumn Pet Advice’ playlist to easily drive users to similar relevant content.

Please enable cookies or click here to view the video on tiktok.

But who’s dropped the ball?

Of course, not everyone in the pet-osphere is nailing their TikTok strategy. A brand we think is slightly missing the mark at the moment is Lily’s Kitchen.

They focus on entertaining pet content — not necessarily a bad thing — but it’s seemingly completely at the expense of why they should invest in the brand or its products.

Funny pet videos are rife in the consumer audience space, and they can’t compete with this. But in the pet food space, where they can compete, they’re not creating content to support this.

The rise of the pet influencer on TikTok

Some of the biggest social media influencers are pets themselves. So, in the same way that audiences are influenced to purchase a beauty creator’s favourite lipstick, Doug the Dog’s favourite treat will be sure to appear in pet owners baskets.

With conversations about pet influencers (pet-fluencers, anyone? No?) continually on the rise, utilising them within your TikTok strategy can provide not only an authentic voice, but support in the all-important content funnel.

It’s not just pet brands jumping on the bandwagon of pet influencers, some of the world’s largest luxury brands are collaborating with these furry influencers to capitalise on the highly engaged audiences, including Dior and Tikatheiggy.

@tikatheiggy

I’m so honoured to be the first four-legged @Dior Beauty Girl! Grey has never looked so good. Grey is elegant, timeless, and bold. I am grey, grey is Gris. Reintroducing the #GrisDior Collective. Will you #DareInGrisDior?#DiorLaCollectionPrivee Bisou!

♬ original sound - tikatheiggy

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Pet creators and influencers succeeding on TikTok

@adventuringwithnala

With over 5.4M followers, golden retriever Nala rose to TikTok fame with her adorable ‘Nala Stomp’ dance while out on hikes and adventures in Utah. This niche creative content continues to draw in huge audiences and aligns perfectly with brands in the portable dog accessories space.

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@marmiteandtoastie

With over 683k followers, cat trio Marmite, Toast and Dumpling have built a loyal fan base engaging with their entertaining content. With a focus on carousel post formats they’ve carved a clear spot in the pet influencer space.

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Docboj

Don’t only consider furry influencers — there’s many within the #VetTok space. They offer that invaluable authority whilst also having access to an engaged audience. Dr B has grown an audience of over 326k sharing everything from what it’s like to be a vet, to the best insurance you can get for your pet.

Top tip — build an ambassador relationship with vet influencers to help feed your own content funnel and further build brand awareness and affinity.

@docboj

🥰 dont you just love kittens

♬ Snooze - SZA

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Grace Beverley

Think beyond just the obvious pet influencers that you might not be tapping into. For instance, Grace Beverley has over 138k on TikTok but also shares content of her dog Ziggy and new puppy Zeus.

Targeting relevant moments can be a recipe for success by being reactive and authentic. Take the below example where Zeus is escaping his pet pen and imagine a follow up collaboration with a pet crate brand that alleviates this problem.

Please enable cookies or click here to view the video on TikTok.

3 tactics for pet brands to try on TikTok

1. Educate with authority

Pet owners take the health and wellbeing of their pets seriously. Across social media, there’s a plethora of advice and tips on social that are often misleading or misinformation — ‘misinformation’ was listed as one of the global risks by the World Economic Forum — which means it’s vital your brand is recognised as a trusted source that audiences are willing to come back to again with new queries.

Ensure your credentials are clear within your content. Are you a vet giving top tips? Have you conducted research? Make sure your audience has confidence in you as this will help build brand loyalty.

2. Tune into new habits, trends and seasonality

Much like the trends towards vegan and sustainable diets for pet owners, these are being passed onto the pets themselves. Ensuring you’re on top of the shifts in habits and behaviours for owners means you’ll be at the forefront of shifts for the pets themselves.

Additionally, staying on top of social trends and seasonality ensures your content is relevant. For example, you could tie in with Halloween — we saw #TrickOrTreats spike within the pet sector. This could present an opportunity to educate on the best treats or things to avoid with your pets.

3. Hook, line and sinker

TikTok is a busy place and it’s vital the beginning of your content is thumb stopping. Consider what might grab the attention of a pet owner and then entice them to continue watching and engaging. When it comes to hooks for your pet-related content, think…

  • Does your pet do X and you don’t know why? Here’s what it means and what you can do.

  • Your pet is doing X because of Y

  • This product changed my pet’s life

  • PSA: Pet Service Announcement

  • I thought I knew what my pet

  • 3 reasons you should do X for your pet

  • This is what happens to your pet when X

Feline a bit overwhelmed by TikTok?

If you’re after a helping hand creating the paw-fect TikTok strategy, you’re barking up the right tree. Our team of award-winning social media experts would be delighted to hear from you. Drop us a message today.

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