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Cats in sinks

It’s one of life’s epic questions: why are cats so popular on the interwebs?  Theories abound, from the dog-park theory, to other social/scientific notions published in articles like this.

As a cat lover (ailurophile) of crazy-cat-lady proportions, it struck me that we, as content creators, might learn a lot from the pulling power of cat videos and memes. Here’s why:

1. Everyone loves a laff

Meet my cat Delilah.


She doesn’t try to be funny.  She’s just a natural-born clown. That pose, the tiny head on the enormous furry body.  Those little arms posed a bit Thriller style.

Cats are often hilarious (despite their reputation for aloofness) and we humans love to smile. Connecting your brand with something that lifts someone’s mood out of the doldrums can be a great thing.

Many businesses are afraid of humour. They’re afraid it will make them seem trivial or deprive them of gravitas, or trust. Sometimes humour is not appropriate, it’s true, when your audience’s health, freedom or finances are at stake. But ultimately it’s the confidence to use the right kind of humour at the right time, that distinguishes the bold brands from the scaredy cats.

2. Honesty works

Cats are not suck-ups.  There is no blowing smoke up people’s you-know-whats in the cat universe.  They are honest to a fault, laughing in the face of popularity contests.

Nor is it the job of a business to win people over with insincere flattery.  When you’re producing branded content, there’s no need to be a suck-up.  Be nice, sure. Talk to your audience like a friend (one of the oldest marketing truths) and tell them, in simplest terms, what you offer.  Be cheeky where it’s appropriate, be stern when it’s called for, and be kind when it’s least expected, and most needed.  Not just when you’re trying to sell.

Like a cat rubbing up against your leg after dinner, just to say thanks.

3. We applaud fearlessness

Wow, leaping from a bed to the top of a door! Chasing away a bear! Standing on your hind legs and boxing a rooster! Considering what small, fragile creatures they are, cats do amazingly courageous things and we admire that.

As a content marketer, or any kind of marketer, there are rewards for feeling the fear and doing it anyway.  The reward is that you stand out. Just because your competitors aren’t doing it, or nobody’s done it before, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get out there and box your own rooster.

4. Unexpected is good

The stereotype says that cats are “independent”, happy with their own company.  Sedate, snobbish animals by nature, they nap all day, whinge for food, then nap some more.

But the interwebs show that cats are delightfully aerobic and unpredictable: Whether they’re leaping vertically for no apparent reason, diving into a box, or flying out of the shrubbery to ambush a small child, we’re never sure what’s coming next.

Is there any good reason why content marketing should be predictable? Should we fit a stereotype?  I can’t think why we should.  Unless you like to blend…

5.  Fluffy gets hugs

What’s not to love about something that’s fluffy?  You just want to squeeze it, hug it, stroke it.  But can you make your content fluffy?  Would you want to?

Not literally, no.  Marketing ‘fluff’ is a waste of everybody’s time.

But you might want to be embraced and viewed with affection.  Have people think good thoughts when they think of you. You want to be likeable, “that” brand that does “that”.

How do you win that affection? By showing your vulnerability, but at the same time showing that you are fearless, unpredictable, honest and at times, downright ridiculous.

Are you ready to take lessons from Delilah?  She’s available, occasionally, when she can be bothered.


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Susan Burchill
Susan has been a professional writer for 25 years. Today she is a content marketing specialist and occasionally, a copywriter, fulfilling briefs ranging from blogs, scripts and LinkedIn content to longer-form white papers and thought leadership. Her clients have included some of the biggest consultancies, tech companies, media and finance brands in the world. With a background in television - music, the arts, factual - she crosses genres regularly, writing for TV networks and producing video as required. She also writes about sustainability, her passion project.