It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that American consumers are obsessed with their pets – particularly cats and dogs. Nearly 115 million U.S. households own a dog or cat, and those proud pet parents will spend almost $110 billion on their fluffy friends in 2022.

Although we don’t need a holiday to spoil our four-legged family members, we certainly have created plenty of them. That has led to incredible revenue-generating opportunities for advertisers and publishers in the “Pet” vertical.

Right now, it’s time to dig in and plan your strategy for two more upcoming pet-related social holidays: International Cat Day on August 8 and International Dog Day on August 26.

In this post, we’ll dish out plenty of tasty, data-backed morsels and treats you can use to create purr-suasive content and campaigns that pet parents can’t help but click. So, perk up your ears as we explore current news, targeting strategies, and creative trends you need to know to breed success.

Trends Happening This Meow-ment

Looking into Skimlinks and Taboola readership data, several pet purchase trends have emerged this year. Pet purchases increased in May and June for the first time since adoptions skyrocketed during the pandemic.

That spike could be due in part to people celebrating many pet holidays, including National Pet Month (May), National Dog Mom’s Day (May 8), National Rescue Dog Day (May 20), Adopt a Cat Month (June), Pet Appreciation Week (June 6-12), and Take Your Pet to Work Week (June 21-25).

During those two months, plenty of trending articles focused on top-selling cat and dog products, most of which are geared towards making owners’ lives easier, such as self-cleaning cat litter boxes, healthcare products, crates and accessories, and subscription boxes.


Harness This Year’s Trends

Pampered pets are all the rage, and that won’t slow down any time soon. By 2025, the pet accessories and pet grooming markets will grow by almost $10 billion and $14.5 billion, respectively, while the pet tech segment will grow at a 22% CAGR.

Skimlinks data shows pet tech items like GPS trackers and mini cameras that let pet owners keep an eye on their fuzzballs have soared in popularity now that people have returned to the office. We also believe pet owners will continue to prioritize their cuddle buddy’s health with products that keep them happy and in tip-top shape, including flea and tick prevention meds and hi-tech litter boxes.


News Trends That Will Fetch Sales

Although our pets’ decision-making is guided by instincts, it’s best to rely on data as an advertiser or publisher. Search data from publisher sites provide valuable insights into the topics consumers are most interested in. You can then use that to guide your content strategy or marketing campaigns.

As of July 22, 2022, our U.S. publisher network data revealed three rising search trends:

Dog breeds: 247,310 pageviews in the last 90 days

Pet adoption: 154,160 pageviews in the last 90 days

Fleas: 20,900 pageviews in the last 90 days

Best in Show Publisher News Articles

Just as dogs and cats learn from their adoptive owners, you too can learn from others. Let’s look at some pur-fect examples of publishers putting the previously discussed search trends into action.

Knowing their audience is full of parents, TODAY created a guide highlighting dog breeds that make great pets for families.

Trusted publisher The Spruce Pets published this article to help readers find the flea prevention products that will work best.

Dr. Phil took an on-brand advice approach, releasing an article that helps his fans avoid scams while they look for a pet to adopt.

Targeting Best Practices: The Whole Kit(ten) and Kaboodle

As we’ve seen, pet moms and dads are willing to spend big on their fur babies. Still, during tough economic times, it’s crucial that you reach the right audience, make the most of every impression, and stretch your budget as far as it will go. To improve your ROI, you should incorporate tried and tested targeting strategies.

First, let’s look at some targeting best practices related to bidding, campaign placement, and ad formats.

Automate with SmartBid: Powered by deep learning algorithms and historical campaign data, SmartBid is a semi-automatic bidding strategy developed to maximize conversions. It increases your bid for high-value impressions while lowering bids on impressions least likely to convert.

Leverage High Impact Placements: The best way to increase brand awareness is to utilize Taboola’s High Impact Placements, which ensures your campaigns appear in the most valuable areas on premium publisher websites and are surrounded by brand-safe content. High Impact Placements include the homepage, section front, mid-article, Taboola Feed, mobile-integrated news, and Taboola Stories.

Try Motion Ads: Taboola’s Motion Ads format attracts the most consumer attention by replacing static campaign images with GIFs or looped videos. Motion Ads deliver higher CTRs and CVRs, and lower CPAs, making them the perfect format for consideration and conversion goals. With this format, it’s important to continually optimize campaign performance using an A/B test strategy.

There’s no need to chase your tail to find out which content formats your pet-loving audience will respond to or the device type that will help you easily meet your chosen performance goal.

Instead, achieve higher CTRs and lower spend by following the targeting strategies below, which are based on data from thousands of U.S. advertisers in the Pet vertical (as of July 22, 2022).

Performance by Content Type: Promote Photo and Video content over Text

Performance by Platform – Pageviews: Earn more page views by targeting Mobile over Desktop and Tablet

Performance by Platform – Leads: Collect more leads by targeting Mobile and Tablet over Desktop

Performance by Platform – Purchases: Increase purchases by targeting Mobile over Desktop and Tablet

Lead the Pack with these Creative Best Practices

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, but there is a way to get a leg up and boost your click-through rates. Use the data from Taboola Trends to help you choose the optimal campaign images, videos, and headline content. This handy, regularly updated free tool allows you to explore creative trends using various filters, including verticals, platforms, languages, and locations.

As of July 25, 2022, US-based advertisers in the Pet vertical should consider the following advice to earn higher CTRs:

Image Trends: Select photos (+29%) taken outside (+45%) and include a person (+28%).

Video Actions: Achieve higher completion rates across all platforms by including scenes that show people eating (+16), getting married (+8%), and sleeping (+7%).

Campaign Headlines: Out of the three campaign headlines we tested with Taboola’s Title Analyzer, “7 Pet Beds Your Newly Adopted Dog Will Love” should yield the highest CTR.

If you combine the news trends and creative best practices we looked at, you could end up with campaigns that look like these examples:

Brands Chasing (and Catching!) Success

When pet food brand Lily’s Kitchen wanted to reach audiences outside of search and social channels, it distributed High Impact Placement campaigns on top publisher websites through Taboola.

In just eight months, the brand earned over 1 million completed video views, with a 9% increase in vCTR and a 14% increase in completion rate.

Turn Your Brand into the Cat’s Meow

If creating content for either of these social holidays or launching native ad campaigns on Taboola has you feeling like a cat on a hot tin roof, there’s no need to be nervous. We’ve covered all the tips and tricks you need to know to succeed.

There’s no time to kitten around or let sleeping dogs lie! Instead, prep your campaigns in advance and get ready to un-leash greatness.

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