Can Cats Really Power Your Digital Marketing?

Cats are amazing creatures, they have been around for thousands of years, they are cute, they can be evil / grumpy, they are very expressive, they are pretty much always amusing, they're a bit like mice in the Hitchhikers Guide (totally ruling the world in secret) and most of all - they are not dogs! But these facts alone are not the only reason that I believe Cats can power your Digital Marketing.

The Power of Cats in Marketing

Lil Bub - the Cutest Cat on Facebook

We are all human and in general we all love on type of animal or another. Most of us are either "cat people" or "dog people". This means that we have feelings towards those animals and that psychologically we are more likely to engage with them over something else. Consider this scenario; You are walking down a street and you walk past a lamp post, a few gates and a few cars, you notice a cat in front of you - you walk up to it slowly and begin to stroke it. Why did you do that? Why did you even notice that Cat and not the Ferrari that just drove past you? It's because your mind notices something out of the ordinary that you really like.

It's the same online, unless you only follow Grumpy Cat, Joey the Garden Cat, Lil Bub or someone like me (yes, i admit it) then you won't see Cats here there any everywhere. So when one does pop up into your stream you notice it, and even if you just think "oh a cat" then it's done it's job - everything else is like walking past a lamp post or a garden gate, insignificant to your mind. And you will likely remember that Cat picture or link.

So, it's Brand Recognition in a way. Great, but that doesn't explain how it can power digital marketing.

If after seeing a picture of a Cat doing something funny you interact with the post, you retweet it, like it or share it - copy it to an email even. Then as with almost anything in marketing you are re-enforcing your connection with the image, and if done correctly that connection will continue to grow - eventually you may follow the person / company posting those pictures.

So, it is also Growing Your Followers.

How Far Can Cats Take You in Digital Marketing?

Cats can power your marketing efforts, many advertisers across the world use Cats in the way described above to engage you and ensure you remember them. Online companies such as Mashable use Grumpy Cat (yes they sponsor most of his events) to reach a wider audience, Joey (mentioned above) is the studio cat at THV11, a tv channel, Cravendale Milk used "clicking thumb cats" in a recent TV campaign and Mobile company Three are using SingItKitty as a campaign (video below) and enabling you to become part of the video - ensuring it's virility because your friends are going to share it to laugh with you.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXy6JElmgHU]

Are Cats Really That Popular?

Now, although it's quite clear from the evidence above Cats are a key part of marketing for many, its not a clear picture as to whether they are really that popular from a search point of view. Well we do know that "Cat" did not make it to the Google Zietgeist last year, but looking at Google Trends data it is clear that actually we are looking for our favorite Cat terms more and more using the search engine. Here is a chart showing the increase in this trend since 2009.

//www.google.co.uk/trends/embed.js?hl=en-US&q=cat&date=1/2009+61m&cmpt=q&content=1&cid=TIMESERIES_GRAPH_0&export=5&w=750&h=330

But that isn't all. Take the current massive trend to take a "selfie" (a photo of yourself, usually at arms length), even movie stars are doing it at the Oscars! Well, according to The Telegraph in a recent article the number of selfies shared by the British population online is 1.4 million per day (this is based on mobile operator Three's research) - this compares to 3.8 million cat pictures shared each day, again by the British population online. Interestingly Lianne Norry, director of brand and communications at Three UK, said:

“It’s clear from our research that we love seeing and sharing funny or cute pet pictures, videos and memes online. Being able to create and upload content straight from our smartphones to social networks means that we can share these images instantly and put a smile on people’s faces. As such, ‘social petworking’ has now become an online phenomenon with our big love for cats really fuelling this trend.” Lianne Norry, Three UK

So the above is clear proof that the popularity and power of cats is growing online, even today!

It also demonstrates that a cat is so much cuter than a human that it is more likely to be shared than a selfie. Cats truly are the hero's of the internet and if you've a fun vibrant brand to promote, then you should probably consider cats as part of your marketing strategies going forward.

So yes, Cats can power your marketing campaigns - and yes, I do endorse you using your cute cat pictures to promote your services.

If you still aren't sure check out this blog over at Kiss Metrics about the science of cats in marketing.

Finally, here's a picture of my gorgeous little cat, Elsie.

elsie kinsey - cats in marketing

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