In another post we talked about the importance of YouTube to Generation Z, with half of them saying they can’t live without it. But YouTube’s success is less about the platform and more about who is on it.
These days, the biggest influencers for youth are, well, influencers – that social media phenomenon of people, mostly young, who are followed, emulated, and watched.
Influencers are powerful forces of change because they are trusted sources, something that is incredibly important to this generation. Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s latest report offers some insight with some interesting facts such as more than half (55%) of children between the ages of six and 16 want to buy a product if their favorite YouTube or Instagram influencer uses or wears it and 25% say social media stars are the top influencers on shopping decision. Also fascinating is the fact that kids, themselves, can become influencers and feel a sense of control over their own personal brand.
Influencers are like friends to the extreme. They talk directly to teens in a way they understand. They don’t “sell” in the traditional sense, rather they inform, entertain and connect – all powerful brand attributes. And, with tweens on social media more than TV, influencers are right in their living room all the time.
For marketers, educators, and parents, understanding the role of the influencer is crucial to connecting with this generation.