The Pawsitive Power of Petfluencers: A Look at the Influence of Pets in Marketing

The Pawsitive Power of Petfluencers: A Look at the Influence of Pets in Marketing

Are you ready to meet the newest stars of the digital age? “Petfluencers” are taking the internet by storm, and their adorable antics have made them beloved by millions around the world. From cuddly cats to playful pups, these social media sensations are sure to put a smile on your face – and possibly help your business grow!

“Petfluencers,” which is short for “pet influencers,” are beloved pets who have their own social media profiles, dedicated fan bases, and substantial online engagement. From an Instagram-famous French Bulldog to a Twitter-famous parrot to a TikTok-trending cat, these and other fascinating animals are competing to attract brand attention and sponsorships.

Do you remember Tardar Sauce… aka Grumpy Cat? At the time of her passing in 2019, she had reached a net worth of $100 million! She was a petfluencer before the concept took off. So, although our pets are guaranteed to bring love, joy, and companionship into our lives… they may also have the potential to become superstars!

Let’s dive into the fascinating rise of petfluencer marketing and what it means for brands in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.

The Petfluencer Phenomenon

It is no secret that petfluencer marketing has seen a surge in popularity. A huge factor in this involves pet adoptions, which have increased significantly since the beginning of the pandemic. In 2022, more than 73% of households in Canada owned a pet, with 54% of Millennials calling themselves “pet parents.” (Source: https://petkeen.com/pet-ownership-statistics-canada/).

In recent years, pet ownership has the potential to become a financially rewarding endeavour, with some petfluencers earning upwards of $15,000 per post. This is likely due to the undeniable fact that pets are far more adorable than their human counterparts! The competition is heating up, though… nearly a quarter of pet owners are now attempting to transform their animal companions into social media celebrities.

This rise in petfluencer marketing has also presented a unique opportunity for brands to better connect with their customers. By taking advantage of the bond between pet owners and their companions, brands can create content that resonates and produces meaningful results. The best part? Petfluencer marketing is a powerful tool that does not require a large budget, making it an appealing option for businesses of all sizes. As the digital world continues to evolve, petfluencer marketing has the potential to remain an essential part of a successful marketing strategy.

Authenticity and Relatability

One of the key reasons behind the rise of petfluencers is their authenticity. Pets have genuine and unfiltered reactions, as opposed to human influencers who could be perceived as endorsing goods purely for financial gain. When a dog gets excited about a new toy or a cat playfully interacts with a product, it feels real, and audiences appreciate that honesty.

Plus, pets touch the core of our emotions. They can easily forge a deep emotional bond with their followers because of their simplicity, loyalty, and eccentric personalities. Given that they can result in greater consumer loyalty and brand advocacy, brands are keen on seeking out the power of these connections.

The Universal Appeal of Animals and Their Impact on Brands

Pets are a universal language. Regardless of cultural or language barriers, the love for animals transcends borders. This makes petfluencers highly accessible to global audiences, allowing brands to reach a diverse demographic with a single cute furry or feathery face. The growing popularity of petfluencers has opened up exciting opportunities for brands looking to connect with audiences in unique ways. Here’s how “petfluencer” marketing benefits brands:

#1. Enhanced Engagement. Petfluencer posts tend to receive higher engagement rates than traditional influencer marketing. Their adorable content draws viewers in, resulting in more likes, comments, and shares. This increased engagement can significantly boost brand visibility and reach.

#2. Authentic Storytelling. Through petfluencers, brands can tell authentic and heartwarming stories. For example, a pet food company can showcase the improvement of a rescue dog’s health after switching to its product, creating a touching narrative that resonates with viewers.

#3. Increased Trust. Audiences tend to trust the recommendations of petfluencers more than traditional advertisements. An endorsement from a cherished pet offers a degree of credibility and sincerity that money alone cannot buy.

#4. Diverse Campaigns. Petfluencers can work with brands on all sorts of campaigns, from product launches and reviews to charity partnerships and cause-related marketing. The versatility of petfluencer marketing allows brands to align with their specific goals and values.

#5. Viral Potential. Since petfluencer content is shareable and heartwarming, it has a great chance of going viral. Virality, in turn, can lead to immense exposure and brand recognition in a short amount of time.

Over to You

Petfluencer marketing is more than a trend; it’s a testament to the power of our beloved pets. Their emotional connections and universal charm make them powerful influencers. Brands can tap into creativity, authenticity, and heartwarming storytelling that resonates with their audiences. As the saying goes, “Every dog has its day.” And, in today’s marketing landscape, that day belongs to the petfluencers!

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Twitter Blue…And Beyond

Twitter Blue…And Beyond

Do you remember when Twitter was a trustworthy source for real-time updates on breaking news, politics, celebrity gossip, and personal opinions? Unfortunately, the once-loved site is currently undergoing changes that are raising doubts and sparking debates across the internet. Twitter, now X, is seemingly undergoing a collapse that extends beyond technological issues – it is also becoming a shell of its former self.

Although many people may be struggling to see Twitter’s value, it is important to remember that it still enables countless conversations and connections for its users worldwide. The platform has been – and continues to be – a place where people can express their ideas and connect with others who share similar interests. Some businesses see the advantage in keeping active on Twitter if they have an audience there. However, for many users, the value of remaining on the platform leaves much to be desired.

Twitter’s Transitional Uncertainty

The app has been impacted by massive disruptions just months after Elon Musk took over the corporation. A particularly notable incident saw all links to external websites suddenly cease to function leaving users frustrated and perplexed. Even the widely used Tweetdeck was not spared from these technical hiccups. Such disruptions aren’t unprecedented, of course, but they’ve taken on a new level of unpredictability under Musk’s leadership.

A critical blow was dealt by the mass layoffs that saw more than half of Twitter’s workforce ousted. The aftermath left essential teams dealing with bugs, content moderation, and advertiser relations shorthanded and struggling to keep the platform afloat.

Twitter’s Unconventional Path

The consequences of Musk’s unconventional approach go beyond technological issues. His belief in “free speech absolutism” motivated him to reinstate accounts previously suspended “permanently” for numerous violations. This policy change unintentionally fuelled an increase in hate speech, raising questions about the platform’s commitment to providing a safe environment for users. This is one of the main reasons people have departed in droves for other online platforms where they feel more comfortable discussing their ideas.

Musk’s excursion into product development hasn’t been any smoother. The ambitious Twitter Blue, designed to offer a paid version of the platform with the perk of a verification badge, suffered from a botched rollout. Musk’s intention to level the playing field inadvertently led to spam and impersonations. And while Musk pledged a renewed paid API version, his abrupt termination of third-party app support tarnished the company’s relationship with developers who had enriched the platform.

Some were initially encouraged by Musk’s takeover of Twitter – perhaps the billionaire entrepreneur could breathe new life into a stagnant platform, for example. Under Musk’s leadership, investors, corporations, and regular users were optimistic about the platform’s revival. He was perceived as a free speech advocate who could broaden the range of voices on the app. Unfortunately, the reality is far from these initial expectations.

The Disconnect Between Musk’s Vision and Twitter’s Reality

The business side of Twitter is under threat, as evidenced by the departure of 500 major advertisers since Musk’s takeover. Advertisers are concerned about Musk’s erratic behaviour and the alarming surge in hate speech. The top 30 advertisers cut their spending on Twitter by an average of 42% under Musk’s tenure so far. His solution of encouraging more users to pay for subscriptions hasn’t been successful, with less than 0.2% of monthly active users opting for paid plans.

Contrary to Musk’s claims of Twitter’s growing user base, external data tells a different story. Traffic was higher before, and the app’s growth continues to decline. Twitter’s trustworthiness is deteriorating, and Musk’s goal of a more open and inclusive space remains mostly unrealized.

Elon Musk’s aspirations to revolutionize Twitter appear to be taking a different course than anticipated. The company’s financial future is uncertain, user trust is waning, and the promises of a more open platform are mired in inconsistencies. X’s journey has been anything but smooth sailing – but will it be able to reclaim its former glory, or will it go down in history as just another app that couldn’t make it through the transition? Only time will tell.

An Honest Opinion

Philip Berne, a Senior Editor at TechRadar, recently published his opinions about the perceived negative changes Twitter has undergone since Musk took over. His article, aptly titled “Sorry, Elon Musk, I Signed Up for Twitter, Not X. Now It’s Time to Go,” provides several reasons why he, as a once avid user of the platform since 2009, has decided he is now done with it. Berne sums his opinions up with the following lines:

I didn’t sign up for Twitter: The Payments App. I didn’t sign up for goods and services. I didn’t sign up for Everything. I signed up for Twitter.

For everything that Elon Musk has ‘accomplished’ since he bought Twitter, the biggest thing he hasn’t been able to deliver is Twitter.

Over to You

As a business owner, you should always consider which social media sites are ideal for your organization. X (formerly known as Twitter) has recently become a less popular platform for many, especially since its reach and capabilities can be hindered if you do not have a verified account. So, is being “verified” worth the monthly fee? Depending on your business goals, resources, and audience’s preferences, it may be worth it. Or you may be interested in diving into alternative platforms. Whatever you choose, MYOB Inc. will be watching, assessing, and helping you with your strategy.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

The Rebranding of Twitter: Does “X” Mark the Spot?

The Rebranding of Twitter: Does “X” Mark the Spot?

In a stunning strategic move, billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, has rebranded the popular social media platform Twitter as “X.” This decision has sparked intense discussions across the internet. Every day, I see these and similar hashtags trending:

  • #RIPTwitter
  • #GoodbyeTwitter
  • #TwitterIsDead
  • #TwitterIsCancelled

You get the idea. So, although Musk’s plans for Twitter’s future are ambitious, they also prompt concerns about the potential benefits and drawbacks of such a radical rebranding.

The new Twitter name, “X,” has some users wondering what Musk’s goals are for the network. The rebranding could result in an entirely new direction for the platform, including the introduction of new features and capabilities. Netizens have been left speculating about Musk’s endgame, but whatever Musk has in store for Twitter will undoubtedly make headlines.

Rebranding a well-established platform like Twitter is a significant decision with advantages and downsides. Let’s look at what rebranding could mean for Twitter and some of the benefits and drawbacks of doing so.

The Vision Behind “X”

With the rebranding to “X,” Elon Musk hopes to transform Twitter into a more inclusive, adaptable, and futuristic platform. Musk noted when he first announced the rebranding that the new name stands for “the variable, the unknown, and the unexplored possibilities.” According to him, this transition represents Twitter’s intention to expand beyond its current identity and take on a broader scale.

One of the core elements of the rebranding is to emphasize user privacy and data protection. Musk envisions a platform that safeguards user information and respects the boundaries of personal data, setting an example for the tech industry. He also plans to use cutting-edge technologies, such as enhanced AI moderation systems, to address issues like misinformation and abuse more efficiently.

Regardless of how you feel about the changes, rebranding Twitter could be an excellent way to improve the platform’s image, reach new audiences, and increase its user base. Here are some of the most notable benefits of Twitter’s rebranding that you should be aware of.

Pros of Rebranding

#1. A Fresh Start and Reinvention. Rebranding Twitter as “X” provides an opportunity for the platform to distance itself from past controversies and present itself as a rejuvenated entity. This “clean slate” approach could attract new users and re-engage old ones.

#2. Broadening Horizons. With its new identity, Twitter can diversify its offerings and explore new business avenues beyond microblogging. The changes could lead to more cutting-edge or user-friendly features to help the platform reach new audiences and attract new user demographics.

#3. Focus on Privacy. With growing concerns about data security and privacy breaches online, Musk’s emphasis on user data protection could significantly enhance user trust in the platform.

#4. Innovation and AI Advancements. Twitter has been criticized for its role in spreading misinformation and hate speech for quite a while. However, a new commitment to improving AI moderation systems can help create a safer online environment by reducing the spread of harmful content, hate speech, and misinformation.

Overall, rebranding Twitter may be a good thing for the platform. However, it is equally necessary to consider the disadvantages.

Cons of Rebranding

#1. User Confusion and Resistance. With Twitter’s rebranding, its long-time users may struggle to adapt to the new identity and features. This may cause a short drop in user engagement because some users may prefer the familiarity of the old platform. The challenge lies in effectively communicating the changes to users and ensuring a seamless transition to the new brand.

#2. Brand Equity Loss. Twitter has spent years building a robust brand with widespread recognition and user loyalty. Rebranding abruptly to a new name may result in a loss of brand equity while diminishing the emotional connection users have with the previous name. As a result, gaining new users and retaining existing ones may become more challenging.

#3. Cost and Time Investment. Rebranding Twitter requires significant resources in terms of time and money. Implementing a comprehensive rebranding involves creating new branding materials, such as a logo, website, and marketing campaign. If the rebranding fails to resonate with users, this investment may not yield immediate returns, and the long-term benefits could remain uncertain.

#4. Criticism and Backlash. Users who enjoyed the old interface and functions are likely to be critical of large-scale modifications to a widely used platform. The public backlash could harm the company’s reputation, affect user sentiment, and potentially lead to a loss of revenue and advertiser support.

More likely than not, Elon Musk has carefully weighed all his options and sought feedback from users and stakeholders before making those big decisions that will shape the platform’s future.

Over to You

Elon Musk’s bold decision to rebrand Twitter as “X” signals a promising evolution for the platform, potentially setting new standards for data privacy and user experience. However, the road to success is not without challenges. The pros of rebranding, including a fresh start and privacy emphasis, are balanced by the cons of potential user confusion and brand equity loss.

As X continues to emerge and reveal its unique features, the coming weeks and months will be crucial in determining its adoption and impact on the digital world. It is still to be seen if Musk’s gamble will pay off or serve as a cautionary tale for all business owners.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Performative Allyship vs. Supportive Allyship: Why It’s Crucial to Understand the Difference

Performative Allyship vs. Supportive Allyship: Why It’s Crucial to Understand the Difference

The concept of allyship has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. As a result, more businesses and individuals are expressing solidarity with traditionally underrepresented and even oppressed communities. However, there is a significant difference between performative and supportive allyship. It is vital to understand this distinction to ensure that your efforts are authentic and relevant and contribute to positive change.

For example, Pride Month just ended. Throughout the month, you probably saw many rainbow logos and colours. There were many businesses who were simply sporting the logos since it’s what others are doing. They would fall into the performative allyship category. The businesses whose staff genuinely support the LGBTQ2IA+ community go beyond jumping on the trend du jour. Theirs’ is an example of supportive allyship.

In mid-2020, more than 28 million Instagram users posted black squares to show their support for the protests against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With that number, it is safe to say that many who displayed those black squares on their social media had good intentions but were probably more caught up with appearing supportive rather than actually being supportive offline.

So, what makes someone an ally? Is allyship an identity, and who has the right to claim it? Let’s explore this further by learning more about the distinction between performative and supportive allyship.

Performative Allyship: Superficial Gestures that Lack Genuine Commitment

Performative allyship refers to actions or statements that give the illusion of support and solidarity with marginalized groups without genuine intent or commitment. Instead of coming from genuinely understanding the issues, it frequently results from a desire to appear moral or socially acceptable. Performative allies may make ineffective displays of support, such as sharing social media content or putting on symbolic clothing, without actively opposing oppressive structures or putting in the work to make genuine changes. This category of allyship often prioritizes optics over meaningful action – perhaps to avoid being “cancelled”. But unfortunately, this form of allyship perpetuates a cycle of empty gestures and hollow promises.

Key Characteristics of Performative Allyship:

#1. Superficiality: Performative allies focus on performative acts rather than addressing the root causes of systemic oppression. Their actions tend to be surface-level and lack substance or depth.

#2. Inconsistency: Instead of sustaining consistent support and engagement over time, performative allies may only participate in allyship during high-profile events or when it becomes trendy.

#3. Self-Centeredness: Performative allyship often centres around the ally’s image and seeks personal validation rather than centring the voices and needs of marginalized communities. In other words, the businesses that participate in this manner are more interested in receiving a “pat on the back” and recognition for their efforts before returning to business as usual after the month or event has ended.

Supportive allyship requires more than performative acts; it instead necessitates education, self-reflection, and a willingness to challenge one’s own privilege. This type of allyship is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and a commitment to learning and unlearning. It means recognizing that allyship is not about personal validation or recognition but about supporting and advocating for those who face discrimination and marginalization. To be supportive allies, we must move beyond performative gestures and engage in meaningful actions that contribute to real change.

Supportive Allegiance; Sincere Engagement

Supportive allyship involves sincere engagement and dedication to opposing systemic injustices. Supportive allies actively seek out information about the struggles faced by marginalized groups, pay attention to their concerns, and work to destroy oppressive systems. Rather than simply showing support, they emphasize collaboration and take the lead in enacting meaningful change.

Primary Qualities of Supportive Allyship:

#1. Active Learning: To comprehend the subtleties and complexities of marginalized communities’ experiences, supportive allies continually educate themselves about the issues they’re standing up for.

#2. Amplifying Voices: Supportive allies give marginalized communities a platform and resources to speak out, assisting them in their efforts to bring about change. Allyship is not about your business and how great of an ally you are – it is about embracing others and amplifying the message.

#3. Taking Initiative: Allies who are supportive actively combat discriminatory systems and practices, both in their personal lives and in broader societal contexts. They are committed to creating long-lasting change and are willing to do the necessary work, even when it is uncomfortable or inconvenient.

Over to You

Understanding the difference between performative and supportive allyship is essential for businesses that wish to support any given cause. Performative allyship may offer temporary validation but lacks the depth and substance required to drive significant change. It may also result in followers questioning your authenticity. Supportive allyship, on the other hand, requires a genuine commitment to learning, listening, and taking concrete actions to challenge systemic oppression.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Make Your Business Top of Mind: Using Integrated Marketing to Its Full Potential

Make Your Business Top of Mind: Using Integrated Marketing to Its Full Potential

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, simply having a website or relying solely on social media for growth and visibility is not enough. To truly succeed, entrepreneurs and business owners need to adopt a holistic approach that encompasses various marketing touchpoints, which is also known as integrated marketing.

By understanding the importance of integrating different channels and personal interactions, you can effectively position your business as the go-to solution when your product or service is needed. As you probably know by now, there is no “one-size fits all” answer when it comes to marketing. Instead, successful campaigns require a deep understanding of the customer journey and how different marketing methods can be used to influence their behaviour.

What is integrated marketing and how does it work?

Integrated marketing involves the use of various components of marketing, such as advertising, public relations, and social media. The variety of media, channels, and strategies is consolidated to provide a consistent and customer-focused experience. It essentially means maintaining a uniform appearance, feel, and tone across the brand’s communication mediums.

Integrated marketing works by creating a consistent message and experience across channels, increasing the likelihood of a conversion. It works because:

  • More channels = more eyes to see your messaging.
  • Repetition helps keep your brand top of mind.
  • You gain authority by being available on every channel your customers are on.

Ultimately, showing up more frequently across several channels is the highest reward for organizations that embrace integrated marketing. (Source: AdRoll)

Starting Your Integrated Marketing Strategy Off Right

It’s important to note that after discovering your business on social media, potential clients often begin their research journey, exploring your entire online presence, including your website and reviews. When they eventually make a purchase, they may attribute it to factors like positive Google reviews, your website, a door hanger, a TV advertisement, or even a recommendation from a neighbour, without ever mentioning social media.

Many companies track leads and referral sources, but it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you should disregard your other marketing efforts and ask clients to pick just one source. Having numerous touchpoints enables interactions on different platforms, ultimately adding more value and conveying your message in a manner that better connects with individual prospects.

If you’re ready to put an integrated marketing plan into action, here are a few aspects to consider:

#1. A Website Alone Won’t Ring the Phone.

There’s little doubt that having a website is essential in today’s digital age, but this alone won’t guarantee business success. Many business owners naively believe that customers will automatically start pouring in once their website is up and running. However, a website is just one component of a comprehensive marketing strategy. To make your business top of mind, you must combine it with other elements.

#2. Social Media: Beyond Building an Online Presence.

Social media platforms offer incredible opportunities for businesses to engage with their target audience, but they should not be relied upon as the sole means of generating growth. While social media can help build brand awareness and foster a community, it should be integrated into a larger marketing ecosystem. Leveraging social media alongside other channels, such as a well-designed website and personal interactions, goes a long way toward developing a compelling and unified brand presence.

#3. Humanizing Branding through Personal Interactions.

Networking and personal interactions are often underestimated in our online-dominated social sphere. However, the value of face-to-face connections should not be overlooked. Attending industry events, conferences, and networking gatherings can help humanize your brand and establish credibility. These personal interactions provide opportunities to showcase your expertise, build relationships, and position your business as a reliable solution in the minds of potential customers.

#4. Speaking Engagements: Amplifying Your Reach

Speaking engagements are an excellent way to expand your reach and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. By offering valuable insights and sharing your expertise, you can capture the attention of community groups, professional organizations, and industry events. These engagements enable you to directly connect with potential customers and enhance your reputation as a trusted resource, ultimately keeping your business top of mind when they require your product or service.

#5. Paid Advertising: Maximizing Your Visibility:

Paid advertising via traditional means such as radio, television, and print media remains valuable. While digital advertising has gained prominence, traditional media outlets continue to reach vast audiences. Investing in well-targeted advertising campaigns boosts your brand’s visibility, raises awareness, and keeps you at the top of potential customers’ minds whenever they are ready to purchase.

Over to You

Integrated marketing offers businesses numerous advantages and opportunities compared to relying on a single touchpoint. Here at MYOB, we always want to ensure our clients understand this. By combining various elements like advertising, social media, and networking, businesses can develop a robust marketing strategy that amplifies their impact and distinguishes them from competitors. Many marketing experts agree – it can take up to 13 touchpoints before an interaction is converted into a lead.

If you’re interested in learning more about our marketing services, let’s chat. Contact Karen at 519-657-4283 or leave us a message on our website.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

De-influencing – What’s the Hype?

De-influencing – What’s the Hype?

One of the latest trends in social media is not about trying to persuade viewers to buy items; instead, it is doing the exact opposite. It even has a name – de-influencing. Whereas the influencer market informs people about the latest trends and shows them products to buy, some influencers, known as de-influencers, are doing their best to reduce overconsumption.

De-influencers are taking it upon themselves to promote a more sustainable lifestyle and encourage their followers to buy fewer, better-quality items. Some share their experiences with second-hand and vintage items and ways to get creative with what they already own. De-influencers encourage their viewers to exercise caution and make more deliberate choices by demonstrating that owning less stuff does not necessarily imply a lack of flair or originality. Additionally, they are also teaching their followers how to live more sustainably.

What exactly is de-influencing, and is it more than just a trend?

It’s no secret that the hashtag #deinfluencing has been viewed millions of times on TikTok alone. This is perfectly timed to appeal to people who are concerned about the current economic climate of inflation and rising living costs. Many people use TikTok to learn more about specific products and watch consumer reviews, making the platform a powerful force in customer decision-making. And as we mentioned in a previous blog post, TikTok can be a powerful platform for businesses looking to reach a younger, highly engaged audience.

De-influencing has sparked a broader discussion of how popular products may not necessarily be the best, and some content creators are outwardly questioning the necessity of certain purchases. This reflects a growing recognition of the impact of social media on our constant consumption habits. It’s fair to say that this significant trend is helping people focus on their purchasing habits while businesses are reconsidering the authenticity of their marketing methods.

How could de-influencing impact businesses?

While de-influencers are gaining prominence, it doesn’t necessarily mean that businesses should abandon their influencer marketing plans altogether. In fact, it could be an opportunity for organizations to re-evaluate their brand strategy and focus on promoting authenticity. Businesses could reduce the risk of becoming the target of de-influencers by presenting their brand honestly and avoiding false claims.

Small businesses, in particular, may find that traditional influencer marketing tactics are not as effective due to the growing demand for authentic interactions between customers and brands. Customers increasingly want to see real people using and endorsing products. By building genuine connections with their followers, small businesses can set up trust and loyalty that can lead to sustained success.

Over to you

De-influencing is a growing trend that is putting the traditional approach to influencer marketing to the test. De-influencers promote a more sustainable lifestyle and encourage their followers to make more informed purchasing decisions. Overall, de-influencing appears to be more than just a fad. Instead, it could be the start of a movement that has the potential to significantly influence how organizations and customers approach purchasing and marketing strategies.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger