When Lonnie Edwards founded The Dog Agency in 2015, she had to convince brands — and even some pet owners — that pets on Instagrams were marketable.
But the agency is now listing high-profile pet accounts whose owners are knocking on their doors for a chance to join, she told Insider.
dog agency has been described As the first major pet management company popular on social media. If you are not familiar with the company, you may have seen their celebrity accounts on Instagram. there Crusoe the dachshundAnd the Tweet embed AKA clay noodles, and Tweet embedFor example, but not limited.
Edwards and her team of 10 helped discuss business deals that go beyond the typical Instagram-sponsored post. The agency paid stylists to incorporate dogs during the New York Fashion Week show; Her dogs and cats have appeared in major commercials; And it even got The cat شرrampton (who has unfortunately since passed away) in one of Carly Rae Jepsen’s music videos.
“We’re about 175 customers, and we’re sticking with that number,” Edwards said. “We have an eclectic client base, with all kinds of talent: cats, specialty pets like pigs, hedgehogs, trainers, and we’ve expanded overseas as well.”
The agency is so selective about who it serves to the point that an Instagram account must reach a minimum number of followers in order to be considered. Here’s what The Dog Agency looks for when attracting new clients, or predicting the success of a rising animal to represent.
Like other agencies, it rates both hard and soft metrics on Instagram account
“We first look at the account itself: their social handles, content, engagement metrics, and we review comments,” Edwards said. “We want to make sure that the account is marketable… and that it’s a unique perspective.”
The most difficult metric for an agency to use is minimum audience size: a dog agency will only consider a client if it has at least 50,000 followers. However, there have been a few exceptions over the years.
“Sometimes, if they move too fast, we will drop below that [minimum]”That’s when the brands we work in are generally interested,” Edwards said.
Thomas Shapiro, owner Tikka the Egy He told Insider once his dog’s account reached 50,000 followers in 2019, he received a message from a representative at The Dog Agency about signing Tika. She now has more than 1.1 million followers on Instagram.
The next most important qualification, Edwards said, is the human (usually the pet owner) who manages the account. Edwards said it’s important for them to be easy and responsible in the long run.
“We are conducting an interview to get to know the human and see how it interacts with pets,” she said. “We want to know that they will deliver the work on time, and are happy to bring our network.”
Every account is different, which means that a human is sometimes an active part of the famous account of their pet. Other times they are completely behind the scenes. The Dog Agency doesn’t prefer one over the other, and Edwards said both types of accounts work well with brands. But if a human appears heavily in Instagram posts, they can change the types of brands they will match with.
“Brands have preferences — if the account comes from a human perspective or a pet perspective,” she said. “They want to make sure they get value, a really engaged audience, a good click-through rate, and other back-end metrics.”
Shapiro still deals with the creative side of his dog’s account, which includes posting and interacting with her fans. But all administrative and legal work is handed over to his account manager at the agency.
“They know what Tika can pull,” Shapiro said. “They negotiated the exclusivity, and I had no idea what that meant. Gucci released something for pets, so I texted my agent, and I said, ‘Get a Tika about it.'” “I don’t have that kind of attraction or network, or know who to contact.”
Since the brand Tika Wear fun and fashionable clothesThe dog dealer was able to strike deals with high-end fashion brands such as Valentino and Fendi.
Edwards said pets are perfectly safe for the brand. And the pet economy is fairly stable.
As parts of the influencer industry face headwinds from a market downturn, Edwards said the pet influencer industry has continued to thrive. This is a feature for managing pet clients.
“The pet industry is one of the strongest industries out there,” she said. “Pet lovers will skip their meal before they don’t feed their dogs. Even in early COVID times, the pet industry hasn’t seen much success. Pets make people happy. When times are bad, people look at pet content more; it brings joy and endorphins.”
When she started her agency, Edwards said initially, she had to do a lot of persuasion for major non-pet brands to market in pet accounts. Now, they see value and security in investing in these types of deals.
“I was reaching out to brands and influencers, and I got a lot of no,” she said. “They were, like, we don’t sell pet toys, and I was like, ‘No, everyone loves pets! Everyone loves pets. Pets won’t be canceled, they’re safe. We’ve gone from Instagram campaigns to book deals now.'”