Influencer marketing is a popular marketing strategy among many companies; however, when marketing to a young demographic, particular factors must be looked at. Kids, especially in the tween and teenage bracket, are incredibly impressionable, so when a business decides to work with influencers that resonate with this age group, they need to consider these individuals’ reach and how they are likely to impact the consumers.
There are many additional elements that a business must consider before diving into the influencer market as a way to sell their product. Here, eight professionals from Ad Age Collective offer their best advice on what a company should keep in mind when considering using an influencer or micro-influencer to help market its product to a younger demographic.
1. Don't be something you're not.
Don't try to be something you're not. Hanging with the "cool kids" at the party, particularly if you're paying them, doesn't make you cool, but rather has the opposite effect. It's embarrassing. - Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive
2. Embrace self-awareness.
Self-awareness is key. Younger demographics are ruthless when it comes to inauthenticity, so be wary about putting your influencer in a compromising position when pushing your product. If done right, the influencer, audience and your product should seamlessly and naturally fit together. Be sure to let the influencer drive the creative process so that it resonates with their audience by default. - Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
3. Think about the effect of peer influence.
I feel that the younger demographic is truly influenced by their peers more so than in the past. The way that social media can affect popularity, as well as that being a strong representation of how they judge each other, means choosing the right influencers for your brand is important. If they can get more "likes" and activity, that enables the brand to be more accepted. - Rob Palowitz, PALO Creative
4. Make sure they reflect your target audience.
Influencers should be reflective of your target audience. Instead of using them as experts, have them showcasing your product and having authentic interactions.Your target audience should be able to see themselves in the influencers’ reactions. - Arjun Sen, ZenMango
5. Look for influencers with a spotless history.
It’s important that any influencer has a spotless history and a strong moral code if they are speaking to and influencing a younger demographic. Everything must be above the board and on brand, and the influencer must showcase this in their public and personal persona. - Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
6. Remember behaviors and mindsets constantly shift.
Young people (teens and tweens) are constantly going through a radical change of mindset and behavior. What was hip and cool yesterday becomes lame today. Therefore, the "lifespan" of an influencer to younger demographics is very short. Once you've selected the casting of influencers and collaborators to work with your brand, make sure to track their freshness and relevance to a specific public. - Marcello Magalhaes, Speakeasy - Knowledge Brokers
7. Don't focus on the size of their audience.
Don't focus on the size of the influencer's audience. Instead, focus on their authenticity and engagement with followers. Anyone can be paid to promote a product or service, but the influencer's credibility is paramount when it comes to endorsements and the actions taken by the audience thereafter. The partnership also really needs to align the influencer's beliefs or desires with your offering. - Kurt Kaufer, Ad Results Media
8. Stay on top of changing values and current events.
Stay on top of changing values and current events. Generation Z is more tech-savvy and socially aware than Gen X and Y are, relatively speaking, and have a unique sense of humor, as shown with the Tide Pod challenge. Thus, they become harder to win over. If your influencer or micro-influencer shows they can connect with the audience and care about their values, then you have a solid target market. - Duran Inci, Optimum7