What cats can teach us about content creation

Marketing managers should embrace humans’ affinity for felines. Instead of theorizing about which videos or social media posts to share, one pro recommends going right to the source.

Cats rule the Internet , and cat-centric content only continues to increase in popularity.

I can take a picture of my cat, George, doing just about anything, post it on Instagram with cat related hashtags, and the “likes” pour in.

To determine what content marketing lessons to adopt from the trend, I asked George for an interview. RELATED: Free download: A communicator’s guide to crafting videos that captivate and engage employees.

George and I discussed important questions concerning cats, social trends, psychology and community. Here’s the unedited transcript:

Me: Hi, George. Thanks for joining us today. Why do humans love cats so much?

George: Society has been infatuated with cats throughout history. The Internet provides a platform to extend that infatuation through linked communities in a sharable way.

Me: So, the Internet didn’t create the trend; it just amplified one that was already there?

George: As an article in the New Republic points out, cat-related content has had a place in whichever medium was most popular at the time. Verse, literature, art, photography, theatre and movies all make the list.

Me: What can communications pros learn from this and apply to their content creation techniques?

George: Look for social or historical themes to tie into your content creation. No matter how we transform as a society, certain trends and themes follow us. These are simply projected through the popular mediums of the moment. Content strategy should emphasize long-term resonance, instead of the “thing” of the moment. Your foundational content creation strategy should be based around themes that matter to your target audience regardless of platform. I like to call that this this “nine lives approach to content creation.”

Me: Community building is a very important part content creation and cats appeal to a wide range of communities. Why is that?

George: Cats are relatable to a variety of humans. You might have different views about who should win the presidential election, but very few people won’t laugh at a sponsored videos of a big cat sitting in a tiny box.

Me: This is a valuable lesson for marketers. Finding a connection that pulls a variety of audiences together builds community and conversations.

George: Consumers like to look for similarities, and if you provide them something to connect with, they will. Remember, too, that people look to different communities to fill different needs, so it’s important to find your niche.

Me: Many marketers attribute cats’ popularity to being relatable. They are a blank slate, which we can project our own feelings, emotions and experiences onto. Is this true?

George: Cats allow humans to connect over stories that might be embarrassing or not acceptable to tell to the public. They can project these feelings or experiences onto cats and work through them.

Me: Ah, so it’s about storytelling.

George: Yes, but it’s an inclusive type of storytelling. It’s about telling a story that people can relate to their own lives.

PR Daily readers, what would your cat add to this list?

Laura Petrolino is the director of operations at Arment Dietrich. A version of this article originally appeared on Spin Sucks.

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