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Interzoo Petfluencer Session: Three questions for André Karkalis

André Karkalis, TONY the Petfluencer Agency
André Karkalis, TONY the Petfluencer Agency // © André Karkalis

During the first part of the Interzoo Petfluencer Session on Wednesday 25 May, André Karkalis from TONY the Petfluencer Agency will talk about marketing tips and best practices. We asked him three preliminary questions:

1. Who is Petfluencer Marketing designed for?

Petfluencers are highly relevant, especially for brands that want to focus on the emotions while presenting themselves in an authentic setting. Cats and dogs also help to draw attention in the face of increasingly tough competition. The content these entities offer is consumed voluntarily and eagerly. Many successful pet brands enjoy a high level of familiarity, but manage only to get a small number of followers on Instagram, for example. But a new, private account for a labrador can build up quite a sizeable community for itself in just a few months. That’s down to the DNA of social platforms, and has nothing to do with the quality of the brand accounts themselves.

The truth is that no-one clicks on Instagram or TikTok to buy dog or cat food. Instead, users are looking for interaction with people who share their interests, or for entertainment – pet content, for example. Anyone making the effort and using the labrador mentioned above in their brand story will reach the dog’s followers, and they won’t feel like it’s advertising.

2. How do I recognise a good Petfluencer?

The first thing is to know what you’re looking for! This can differ greatly from brand to brand. That’s why a Petfluencer or influencer campaign should always start with the strategy of “What are my goals? What does my brand represent? What actions do I have in mind, and are they designed for the short or the long term?” I should only start looking for suitable partners once I’ve answered these questions. We’ve developed a strategic model for this, which we call INFLUENCER PERSONA. It consists of 20 criteria that cover all possible forms of collaboration. The weighting of the various criteria will differ depending on whether I’m looking for a familiar face for a PR campaign, a content creator for my new TikTok account, or if I’m more interested in designing a prize game on my cat’s account. In the first situation I need a person with a high PR factor who will serve as a press magnet. For my TikTok account, the key element is the quality of the content the partner will provide, in other words, creative and hands-on skills. And for the cat’s account, the critical elements are rates of interaction and responses, since both point to the strength of the community.

3. What can I look forward to in the Petfluencer Session?

A little theory and even more practice: Assistance with planning strategies and campaigns based on many best practices. And answers to questions such as “What should I consider when it comes to product placement, how do I tell a successful story, and what are the key factors in making Petfluencer events successful?”

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