As we head into fall and the pets of the world stop shedding and start piling up the fur for a long winter, let’s take a look at what some of the top brands in the Pet Food space are doing on Instagram. And in some cases, what they’re not doing.

Let’s start with a high-level look at 7 of the top brands in the industry: Wellness, Pedigree, Eukanuba, Natural Balance, Beggin’ Strips, Purina ALPO and Purina ONE Dog. Below is a leaderboard showing all the major public data KPIs for each brand, sorted by Follower Growth Rate.

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A couple of interesting notes in the above leaderboard. One, there’s quite a range of follower counts, from over 50,000 with Beggin’ Strips down to just over 1000 with Purina ALPO. That’s a little surprising, given that I’d think Purina ALPO would be one of the most recognizable names among this list of brands. Perhaps an interesting indicator in itself of how preferences are shifting to less generic, seemingly more artisanal brands for the objects of so much of pet owners’ attention and interest.

Per the legend on the chart, the cell color gradients indicate rank for the given column. Comparing the columns Posts to Follower Growth Rate, you can see an interesting trend. The brands with 0 posts for the month are among the lowest in growth rate, and in two cases, are experiencing negative fan growth. Also known as fan loss. It’s an indicator that social media followers have certain expectations from brands, and when those aren’t met, they’re likely to leave.

With that, let’s get into the good content some of these brands are posting. Below is a Content Themes word cloud, featuring the top posts and campaign hashtags. In particular, I like to look for hashtags, as they’re most likely to be a brand’s top campaign effort.

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There are a number of funny hashtags used by brands this October. #nomoreboringbowls, #caturday, #tongueouttuesday, #happythedog, and others.

The #pawtywithpedigreefoundation has a catchy name, so let’s poke a little deeper into that one.

By clicking on any of the terms in the above word cloud in Zuum, you can view an analysis of how that campaign was architected in our Campaign Analyzer, below.

These four charts tell a large part of the story around this campaign. The posting volume, media type, engagement levels and types, the campaign themes, and lastly but certainly not least, how this campaign was scheduled over the course of its run.

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While not a overly complex or high-volume campaign, it’s typical of a messaging type many brands deliver. A promotion of a brand-related event. In this case, the Pedigree Foundation’s 10th annual event to promote dog care and safety.

The event was on Oct 11th, and in the Daily Posts chart you can see how they build up to the event, and then publish a followup post the Monday after the event. It’s a solid approach that gets the message out without overwhelming the audience.

Below is the complete list of posts from the event, ranked by engagement. Note that the most engaging one is the followup post. Those are great opportunities, because not only can you use the event to generate new followers, those who attended the event are going to engage at a much higher than average rate.

Zuum Top Instagram Pet Food Posts

Next, we’ll check out a campaign that’s more targeted to a specific product offering. #nomoreboringbowls.

Below is the Campaign Analyzer for this one. In the Daily Posts chart below, you may notice that I expanded the dates on this to include August and September. That’s because when I first opened this report, I could see what looked like a campaign extending beyond the current month’s boundaries. The report now indicates a fairly long-term (in 2018 terms, anyway) campaign that has a somewhat regular if not systematic publishing schedule.

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If you look at the engagement volume relative to the Pedigree campaign, it’s significantly higher. Two causes could be Wellness brand’s higher fan count, and of course, posting twice as much. But still, 11,600 engagements is a lot higher than 145.

Looking at the campaign posts below, again, sorted by engagement, it’s no surprise why the two photos in the top three generated the engagement they did. By far the most charming pics in the lot. And note the use of video scored highly with fans, as well.

Zuum instagram campaign from pet food brand Wellness

Keeping tabs on competitors is a great way to stay on top of Instagram content trends in your industry, and also helps you understand how to architect your own campaigns.

If you’d like to check out the social media benchmarks and content habits of other brands and industries, be sure to check out the additional reports we’ve posted here.