Marketing Lessons from Famous Internet-Famous Cats

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Jul 2016
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Author : Pete Peranzo

There are two types of people on the Internet: those who love cats and those who don’t.

Regardless of which category you fall into, cats can teach you quite a bit. Especially Maru, Grumpy, Lil Bub, and Scarface.

These just happen to be among the most popular cats on the Internet. And what have they done for it?

Not much, except, well, be cats!

But since we humans are hardwired to find patterns and meaning in everything, let’s see if we can translate this cat magic into some tangible marketing guidance.

Have a purrrsonality!

Cats don’t know it, but the camera loves them. We love them, and that is because they are such characters!

Whenever you point a camera in the direction of a cat, you know you will be rewarded with a shot. And that shot will be so characteristically, inimitably cat.

Colonel Meow has a ton of personality.

He’s an old dude loaded up on alcohol. His long white hair lends him a feline Gandalf-ish touch. His overall style reminds one of Capt. Jack Sparrow. His Facebook page calls him an entertainer, and he is one.

Hick!

(Image credit: http://www.cutestpaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Most-Famous-Felines-017.jpg)

What are you known for? What is that one thing that is characteristically you, which defines your blog or business?

It doesn’t have to be purrrfect, it just has to be you. Playing safe might not work. If you do not come across as something to your followers, rest assured you will get branded something by them. Even if it’s only “a little bit all over the place.” You’ll look aimless, like you don’t know what you are doing here–that is, if you do manage to get any followers in the first place.

Create a unique style statement. It will help you carve out a niche and attract the right kind of followers.

Be consistent in your marketing

The owners of the Internet-famous cats are a patient lot.

Anyone who has photographed animals will tell you that cats, and animals in general, aren’t always cooperative. They do not care what ideas we may have in mind for them. And that one shot we are looking for that has the potential to go viral? It will take time coming.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t post something in the meantime. You have to keep the page alive and the conversation going.

A community following comes about when people know they will be rewarded with a cute, quirky, or stylistic picture, video, or post each time they visit your page. Indeed, that is why they choose to sign up with a blog or follow a business on social. Those updates mean something to them.

A lack of consistency can kill any momentum you may have created with a grand first few posts.

Do not be random, or inconsistent. It gives out a message that you are unreliable and do not value what your followers want.

Give the followers what they want

So consistency is one thing, but just because you must put out a video each week or publish a blog post every day, doesn’t mean you can compromise on quality and push something out just for the heck of it.

No. That wouldn’t work.

You have to be consistent with quality content.

Look at the comments, the likes, and the favorites that your previous content has generated. Some of it must be considerably more popular than other. Sometimes our followers like that which we aren’t too fond of, and cold-shoulder that which we feel is awesome.

But since good marketers need to listen to the cues (and what bigger cue your followers love something than a huge number of ‘likes’), they need to produce content that is in line with the popular sentiment.

Share your purrsonal experiences

So why do you think people love to see photos and videos of other people’s cats?

Why do they love to read how bad someone’s last breakup was and how they coped?

People love to know the person beyond the mask. There is something reassuring about it. Letting the person shine through lends a brand credibility, especially if that brand happens to be an individual. Nothing facilitates this better than honest and real personal experiences. It could be about the omelette you botched up in the morning or how deeply disappointed you are that all the weight you lost last week is back. But allowing yourself to share your numerous stories–that is where the gold is.

In his book Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day, author Todd Henry says that the graveyards are the most valuable places on earth, since they are full of untold stories and unwritten novels. The world would have been so much richer if someone had gone ahead and finished that story or chased that business idea.

There are sources that provide people with news and information, but beyond that, almost everything we love, like, and share on the Internet evokes an emotion within us. Social is driven by sharing and connecting, and being brave enough to present your personal experiences in a constructive manner for readers is a must for your message to strike home.

You can write about anything under the sun (within reason) as long as you are able to make it look genuine. Or fun. That is what people relate to, as the famous cats of the Internet prove.

Go ahead, take a risk. We are all sick of reading the same old. In fact, we can help you with your content and social media!

Cats, though, will never get old!

 

 

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