Cats vs. Dogs: who does the internet love more?

This has to be the greatest debate facing our generation today – who do we love more (on the Internet)? We all are well aware that animals, not only cats and dogs, hold a warm fuzzy place in our hearts, especially when it comes to videos, memes, GIFs, and more.

You might think that cats rule the Internet. There are the hero cats – such as those that save little boys biking in their neighborhoods from pitbull attacks – and cats that are pure purrodigies such as those that know how to stroke the keys effortlessly on the piano.  

So are meowsers truly the mascot of the Internet? Or are bowsers taking over? According to the Chinese zodiac, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. Perhaps then, by nature of the alignment of the stars, dogs are more popular than cats. We dug deeper into some web analytics to find out who’s the Internet’s favorite animal:

  1.   Top Most Followed Instagram Pets in 2017

According to Instagram, the majority of pets (6 out of 10) followed on Instagram were dogs. Ok, so that’s probably not enough to justify that dogs are more popular than cats online. Let’s look at some other statistics.

2.   Top Instagram Posts

When it comes to number of total posts, there were 31M more dogs posts than cat posts in 2017 on Instagram. Although dogs had more posts, there were over 323M posts about dogs and cats combined. People sure do like to share the love for these critters and they’re winning on Instagram content, but it’s still hard to conclude that dogs are truly more loved than cats online.

3.   Search Trends

In 2012, we experienced a turning point in video searches. That is, globally, people became more interested in searching for dogs videos than cat videos. The graph below shows that cats have been on a somewhat steady decline since 2008. People desire more dog video content than cats.

Source: Google Trends 2018

Then another crazy thing happened. In 2014, the Google search term “cute dogs” was searched more for the first time than “funny cats” in the United States and globally in 2015. “Funny cats” has continued a steady decline ever since then while “cute dogs” have remained relatively stable. Does this mean that we yearn for playful Fluffy more than Grumpy Cat? Or could it be that the Sochi Olympics’ sweetheart Gus Kenworthy’s viral photos of stray puppies created a rise in online puppy love?

Source: Google Trends 2018

  1.     YouTube Content

While dogs are searched for much more than cats, there are less doggy videos actually uploaded.

  1.    Subreddits

And when it comes to one of the most popular subreddits for cats, dogs, babies, and more things that make you smile, /r/aww is a hotspot for “cute and cuddly pictures” with its massive following of 18.5M subscribers and growing. By sorting top posts on the subreddit by “past month”, there is a greater number of dog posts than cat posts. When it comes to indexing all subreddits though, there are more cat subreddits. This could mean that cat lovers are branching off to create their own subreddits and posting less on /r/aww subreddit.  

  1.  Kitty vs. Doggy GIFs

We love GIFs. When it comes to our GIF library, we have more cat GIFs to choose from than dog GIFs, according to GIPHY.com. As of today, there are 81K cat GIFs while only 77K dog GIFs. When it comes to GIFs with both dogs and cats, there are almost 70K. Clearly we’re attracted to the age-old entertainment of who’s the real Iron Man: cat v. dog.

  1.    “Cats and the Internet” is its own Wikipedia page.

Finally, the fact that there is a specific webpage for “Cats and the Internet” suggests the magnitude cats have on online culture. This type of page doesn’t exist for doggies on Wikipedia.

 

The Verdict: When it comes to searches and content, the winner is dogs. The reason for this may be that in the state of the world as it is today, we desire a sense of belonging and loyalty, something that dogs offer unconditionally. When it comes to viralness, cats take the cake. Maybe it’s the law of diminishing returns. As humans, we can only be interested in something for a specific period of time and then we redirect our interest somewhere else. Although there isn’t as much dog content online, the interest is there so get out there and start posting some cute pupperonis!

8 things we learned from writing digital marketing blogs

1. Social Media presence and experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prior to writing a blog online, it is important to have some experience with social media platforms. Each social media platform is leveraged in a different way (Reddit vs. Twitter vs. Facebook as examples). It is a good idea to have existing social media accounts and access to existing online social networks.  More importantly, ensure you understand how audiences on each platform might react to your content and promotional efforts. A Reddit user may be more likely to engage with a targeted and specific post curated for their interests while a Facebook friend may be more likely to engage on broader messages in support of the friend’s blog.

2. Social Media strategy is key

 

 

 

 

 

As you head down the exciting path of writing a blog, it is important to not only have a content strategy, but also have a promotional strategy. The content strategy should outline the types of topics to write about and the social media platforms on which to post. A promotional strategy should identify the intended audiences  and how you expect to reach them via the social platforms.

As you develop your plan for building a great social media marketing blog, be thoughtful about your posting cadence (posting twice a week is a good start) and your subsequent promotional strategy (promote heavily immediately after you post to ensure your fresh content is delivered on time).

Without an initial strategy that outlines the topics of interest, the frequency of the posts, the promotional campaigns, and the target audiences, you may find it challenging to get enough people reading, following, sharing, liking and talking about your posts.

3. Identify a topic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invest the time to identify a topic that is not only interesting to write about but also provides a connection to an attentive audience.   While you may think you have a great idea for your blog, if there aren’t enough people interested in the content you may not get anyone to read it.

4. Understand various blog types and select one

 

 

 

 

Before writing a blog, it is important to understand the various blog types such as: Listicle, Click Bait, Op Ed, or a Product Review. Once the blog types and formats are understood, you should then select the appropriate format for the topic.  For example, you can write a product review on something of interest and relevance to you as the writer.  This will result in more honest and engaging content that can serve to connect with a targeted audience.  Another approach is to choose a topic that is of interest to the intended audience.  You may decide that a Click Bait post with nostalgic images or humorous content may be an easier way to promote to a broader audience as a means to drive traffic to your blog.

5. Writing a blog can be time consuming

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t underestimate the amount of time it takes to research, write, review and edit a blog before posting it.  To demonstrate this, consider a blog that includes original video content.  While videos can be an effective way to drive traffic and session duration, they are also very time consuming to produce.  Effective videos require frequent editing, re-shoots, voice over sessions, more editing and then copy overlay.  Finally, you put it all together, post it to your site and promote it to the masses.  While it can be fun, don’t underestimate the time commitment needed to pull it off!

6. Find audiences to drive traffic

 

 

 

 

 

With so many different channels available, deciding on the right platforms for promoting your message is an integral step in a successful campaign.  Email, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and Tumbler are a just a few of the options available and all have may seem to have benefits.

You might think that email is a great channel for promotion because you have lots of friends and family interested in your content.  However, you may find that people often don’t read blogs in their email as frequently as they check their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.

The trick is finding the right social media platform and the right audience to post and promote your blog.

7. Leverage Google Analytics

 

 

 

 

Through Google Analytics, identify the key metrics that allow you to monitor your blog site’s performance and measure how well you are reaching the intended audience. Some examples of effective metrics include: number of sessions, bounce rate, average session and duration. Number of sessions measures the number of visitors to your site or campaign (i.e how effectively are you driving traffic).  Average session duration provides you with a measurement of how long on average people are viewing your blogs (i.e is your content interesting to the reader). Bounce rate represents the action of leaving the site immediately after clicking on a campaign (i.e is your content relevant to the visitor).  To measure how effectively your targeted audience is engaging with your blog, you want your bounce rate to be as low as possible.

8. Adjust your approach if it doesn’t drive enough traffic

 

 

 

 

There are times when it seems like the topic is relevant to many audiences and the execution of the promotional strategy seems correct. However, something didn’t work. It could have been an issue with the blog title, the blog content, the target audience or the promotion. When this occurs, you have an opportunity to make adjustments to the blog, the social media platform and/or the promotional campaign to a more appropriate audience.  If you can learn from your missteps and quickly address any issues, you can develop into a more effective social media marketing blogger.

Good Luck!