It takes one look around you to realize the pet industry is booming.
But if you’re a pet brand, you also realize that the same industry is more saturated than ever before.
It’s not only premium food or pet toys, but also jewelry, fashion, and many more. All competing for the same wallets.
This means you’ll have to be more creative than ever to promote your pet brand online with stunning pet ads that could make pet owners wag their tails—if they had one.
Jokes aside, this guide will help you navigate the intricacies of pet marketing so your brand doesn’t just bark up the right tree, but also charms its way into the hearts (and wallets) of pet enthusiasts.
So let’s begin.
Why You Should Make the Most Of Your Pet Products?
We’ve worked with many pet brands that came with the same thought—pet products have plenty of competitors and a saturated market that pet ads might not work.
The thought of running pet ads for nothing and losing money might feel deflating but don’t let it disarm you.
There are a bunch of reasons to dive right into pet advertising to get your brand more exposure. Here they are.
Reason #1: The Pet Industry Is Surging
In the past couple of years, and especially during the 2020 pandemic, the pet industry has started racking up some serious numbers.
According to Bloomberg, the industry is already worth $320B globally now in 2023, with a potential to grow to $500B by 2030—and $200B in the US only. Wow. And that’s not all.
- Pet industry grew 450% (you’ve read it right) over the last 25 years.
- Americans spent over $123B on pet products in 2022
- Other online signals show that pet products are on the rise—rising engagement on various Reddit subforums, more Google searches, and pet-related hashtags on social media.
This, and many more stats show that the pet industry is here to say.
Reason #2: Lifetime Value Is Super High
If you’re not only a pet brand—but also a pet owner—you’d know that once a pet enters your life, it stays for its entirety. And sometimes one pet is just the start, right?
On average, pets stay with their owners for at least 10 years (depending on their type and lifespan).
For instance, the cost of owning a dog can go up to $15k throughout its life—if you want your furry friend to have the best possible life. And owners are often willing to pay for it.
Reason #3: Pet Industry Is Almost Recession-Proof
Pet brands don’t have to worry about recession as much as other businesses.
Entrepreneur magazine notices that during the past two recessions, pet spending has actually grew each year by 5 to 7 percent.
In fact, spending on pet food among US households rose 36% between 2007 and 2017—and you can guess the growth curve had an upward trend until 2023.
Finally, the status of pets is changing for the better, with more and more pets actually becoming treated as family members and being on equal footing with humans. Nice.
Reason #4: Pet Ecommerce Has Just Started
This might be the most important part for us all.
Pet brands and ecommerce industry are a match made in heaven. A few clicks and you’ve got all the goodies you need for your pet—all shipped right to your doorstep.
And the stats prove it:
- More than 30% of pet brand sales come from ecommerce. (source: Insider Intelligence)
- Over 86% dog owners shop for their pets online (source: AKC)
- Pet industry spends over $1B on advertising in the US, with online ads taking up a little less than $100M and growing. (source: Statista)
So yes, it’s just getting started.
Reason #5: There’s Enough Pie For Everyone
You might think that the market is saturated, but that might not be the case.
It’s true that you might be competing for the same wallets with other brands, but there’s also case to be made about the diverse niche markets inside of the pet industry.
The problem your product is solving might be entirely different from anything else in the industry.
A peek at exploding topics will tell you that what you’re selling is miles apart from what you think your competitors are. And in one household there might be place for both.
For perspective: Some of the brands we helped scale include unique pet tags, a calming dog shirt, disposable potty grass for dogs, and many more.
How to Prepare Your Pet Ad Campaigns For Success
Now that we’ve gone through the whys, it’s time to move to action.
Preparing your pet ad campaigns will take a meticulous effort that you shouldn’t rush. Especially knowing that a lot of money that goes into ads can be wasted money if not set up right.
So before you move to the actual ad tips, make sure that you’re all set for getting the most out of your pet ads. Here’s what you should consider:
- Find your acquisition channels: Advertising on Instagram or on TikTok is not the same. Make sure you understand where your audience spends its time online and allocate money there.
- Define your target audience: Selling aquariums is not the same as selling premium dog food. Create an ideal customer profile (ICP) before start creating ads.
- There’s pets in other yards: In other words, make sure you look what your competitors do. If you notice something working well, you might want to test it out.
- Develop brand identity and voice: Create a memorable and appealing brand name, logo, and slogan that resonates with pet owners and use it in your ad copy and creative.
- Plan your budget: Don’t dump all money in one channel. Set aside some budget for testing and start slow, then double down on what works.
- Set up tracking: With all privacy regulations coming up, tracking your ads effecitvelly, will help you save money by knowing where to spend money.
- Rely on automation: New automated campaigns like Meta’s Advantage Plus or Google’s Perofrmance Max do most of the legwork for you—and so far they do it well, as long as you set up parameters and provide creative assets. Embrace it.
- Think about retention right away: When you acquire customers, make sure you’ve already set up a retention plan using email marketing to maximize the lifetime value of your customers.
That’s pretty much it! Now let’s move to the tips and tricks.
Pet Ads Best Practices
Guess what, we grow pet brands (surprise, yeah).
During that time, we’ve figured out that some things work better than others when it comes to promoting pet products.
So let’s share them. Along with some of the pet product advertisements we’ve launched on Meta, TikTok, and more for our clients.
Make the Pet the Hero of the Story
You know how you go “awww” whenever you come across a cute animal video?
Well. to any pet owner, an animal video effortlessly evokes emotions and creates instant connections.
Showing a playful animal fosters a sense of joy and fosters relatability—with your audience often reflecting their own furry buddies in your ad.
So if you’re promoting a pet product—pet comes first, product comes second.
Here’s a video we made for one of our clients that sells calming shirts for cats and dogs:
Short, simple, effective. The dog—who was maybe terrified of driving before—now enjoys life and embraces all the wonders of the open road. Sweet!
Use Video Ads to Showcase How the Product Works
If your product solves a particular pet problem, you should use videos to show it.
Viewers can easily see the positive impact on a pet’s health, happiness, or behavior, making the product’s value instantly clear.
This visual demonstration of the product features not only builds trust but also highlights its practicality and usability in real-life pet scenarios.
For example, Fresh Patch sells real, all-natural potty training grass for dogs that make urban pet owners’ lives so much easier.
Here’s how they do it using YouTube Shorts:
Leverage Influencers… the Furry Ones
Not all influencers can talk. Some bark.
If you’re promoting a pet product, you can tap into the pool of pet influencers—there’s literally thousands of them depending on your budget and needs—and borrow some of their furry charisma.
Here’s how Doug to Pug—probably the world’s most famous Instagram dog—uses his huge following and global adoration to promote its own pet products:
If you think your product is better demonstrated with a little help of an animal microcelebrity, consider it.
If you need a place to start looking, here’s how influencer platform FeedSpot rates the top 100 dog influencers. But there’s also cats, horses, or anything that comes to mind.]
Utilize Pet Holidays
Black Friday? Thanksgiving? Nope.
Think National Hug Your Cat Day (June 4th), Ugliest Dog Day (June 20th), and a miriyad of other ways you can use to promote special offers, discounts, and retain previous customers.
It’s also a great time to test some new creative and copy, do product launches, and more.
You can see all the animal/pet holidays listed here, try them out and
Promote Values and Causes
Global audiences are growing increasingly conscious of all the environmental and social troubles in the world. Make sure your brand is, too.
Highlighting your commitment to issues like animal welfare, environmental sustainability, or community support not only showcases your brand’s ethos but also resonates with socially conscious consumers.
Customers today seek brands that reflect their values; by championing causes in your pet marketing ads, you not only appeal to their love for pets but also to their desire to make a difference in the world.
One of our clients, Waterbox Aquariums, emphasizes the importance of supporting wildlife restoration—particularly marine wildlife—and promotes it everywhere.
Make Your Brand Luxurious
Pet owners who shop online often want the cream of the crop for their four-legged friends.
And the stats don’t lie. AKC says that almost half of dog owners purchased premium dog food for their pets in 2022 with the trend predicted to grow in the following years.
So if you’re brand is extraordinary in any way—has premium features, more expensive ingredients, and caters to pets’ well-being make sure you emphasize it in your pet ads.
Consider Introducing Pet Subscription Plans
Great news. Most pet products are consumables, perishable, or susceptible to wear and tear.
This means that the majority of pet brands—and maybe you—will have their consumers needing to resupply their pet goodies.
And here’s two growing trends to back it up:
- 12% of dog owners in the US had online treat subscriptions in 2022
- 9% of millennial pet owners have purchased a pet subscription box in 2020
So if your pet product is replenishable, make sure you include a subscription program that you’ll promote—both in your social media ads and in email marketing campaigns.
Subscriptions provide predictable revenue streams that can help you scale easily and better manage budgets, boost customer lifetime value, strengthen customer loyalty, and better manage inventories. And on top of it all, with a platform like Shopify, it’s super easy to set it up!
Cater to Millenials
There’s a golden rule when it comes to pet ad management—target millennials and you can’t go wrong.
For millennials, pets have become almost equal to children—and that’s according to research.
They’ve become the biggest pet-owning demographic (32%) and are open to providing their pets with utmost care—and fun—with 51% of millennial pet owners saying they’ve purchased a toy for their pet in the span of 6 months.
So no matter what pet products you sell, make sure you have a pet ad set that resonates with millennials—don’t be shy to compare pets to kids, and memes, and millennial slang. It works.
Pet brands shouldn’t be shy when it comes to ad spend.
The competition is stiff, but the industry is still diverse and with a proper ad strategy, you should be able to propel your pet brand to the top of your audience’s minds.
And of course, if you need any help, feel free to reach out. Our team of seasoned pet markteters can help you set up your ads!