Marketing Lessons from Famous Internet Pets

Movie Star Poodle Striking a Pose

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for wholesome content:

Famous Pets of the Internet. They pop up all over our screens, and unless you live under a digital rock, there is no avoiding them.  These creatures are more than just cute faces; they are established brands that have a lot to teach us about how to market effectively.

Here are the 4 dealership marketing lessons from the famous pets of the internet:


1.    Humanize your Business

Followers want to connect to these animal celebrities in a very human way. That’s why many of the most successful posts are those of pets doing relatable human-like things such as wearing human clothes, going to human places, and eating human food. Why else would so many people call their pets “fur babies”?

This same concept applies to your dealership. While we wouldn’t advise calling your customers “car babies” there is a lot you can do to build that human connection with your customers.

  • Show the people behind the scenes

Customers will feel much more comfortable when they know exactly who they will be interacting with when they come into the dealership.

  • Give a taste of your brand’s personality

What gives your dealership a unique identity? Are you in a small town or a big city? Do you like to keep things serious and professional or do you try to be fun and joke around? Whatever it is, show it through every communication you have with your customers.

  • Tell stories…even the embarrassing ones

Mistakes are part of what makes us human, and they are inevitable in every business. Most companies try their hardest to sweep those mistakes under the rug, but some mistakes could be used in your marketing. Brands who talk about mistakes in a graceful and humorous way make it easier for customers to feel comfortable quickly.


2.    Find your Following

For years, the population has generally been divided into two categories: Dog People and Cat People. But now, in the age of the internet, we have discovered that there is a magnitude of subgroups that people fall into. Sure, you still have dog people, but they now specifically identify as “’English Bulldog people” or “Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog fans”.  There are also groups with interests outside of traditional pets. There are bird buffs, squirrel supporters, llama lovers, and people who just want to see hedgehogs in small hats.

The brands around these pets understand that they aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. They instead focus on growing their following by finding the right people.

This is no different than creating a following for your dealership. You don’t have to appeal to the masses, you just have to find the right group of people to target. Our data at Naked Lime has found over 60 unique car buying profiles that your customers fall into. Some of these groups aren’t going to like your product or your message, and that’s okay! There are other groups that are going to love everything that your dealership is about.


3.    Create Fur-ever Content

Internet pets are the masters of giving something to get something.  People generally don’t react well when aggressively getting sold to, but they are more open to hearing you out if you have given something to them first. Customers want to do their own research and make their own decisions- which is why the most valuable thing you can give them is content and information.

The content surrounding animal social accounts gives viewers what they are looking for: something wholesome, comforting, and entertaining. They are rewarded for their content by their followers purchasing sponsored products.

The content for your dealership should also give viewers what they want. This is typically in the form of answering their questions. You should have detailed vehicle information for those who are stuck deciding between vehicles. Publish maintenance information for those who want to know why a certain light keeps popping up on their dashboard. If they know that they can go to your dealership’s website when they are in need of information, they will know that they can visit your dealership when they need somewhere to buy and service their vehicle.

Here are some of our favorite types of content that remain valuable for years:

  • How-to content- first-time buyer guides, vehicle upkeep tips
  • Vehicle Reviews and Details- video walkarounds, vehicle specs and comparisons, video test drives
  • Checklist- seasonal preparation checklist, maintenance checklists
  • Success Stories- customer testimonials, case studies


4.    Throw them a bone

Most of the successful internet pets deepen their followers’ love for their brand by giving back to the animal community. This can be through collecting donations for animal shelters, sharing posts of adoptable animals, or donating advertisement proceeds to rescue groups. This isn’t just a great way to give back, it is an excellent way to grow their business.

This is where knowing your customers can come into play. What do your customers care about? Is there a way your dealership can help that cause? Showing your customers that you value the things they value will strengthen your relationship and increase their trust in your dealership.

Giving back to your community is also one of the best ways to create local buzz that can improve your online reputation, boost SEO through backlinks, and build your following on social media.