Teens in today’s economy have a massive buying power of $44 billion annually, but an attention span of only eight seconds. Because of the growing role of teens as consumers, advertisers are making bigger and bigger efforts to reach them. However, the limited attention span of the average teenager — which is shorter than that of a goldfish — makes this task increasingly difficult.
Influencer marketing offers brands a new way to communicate with their target audiences and has been particularly impactful for reaching members of Generation Z (the largely teen generation that includes individuals born between 1996 and 2010). This relatively new advertising strategy leverages the power of social media influencers to market a brand, product, or service to specific audiences.
As teens in Generation Z abandon traditional media, influencer marketing has become an essential strategy for reaching them. Here, we’ll explore why influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to influence teenagers’ purchase decisions.
Younger generations are abandoning traditional media at an alarming rate. Television was once an extremely popular medium for consumers and advertisers alike, but cable subscriptions are quickly becoming a thing of the past. A recent survey reported that only 36% of consumers aged 13-24 paid for traditional TV like cable or satellite.
Additionally, television is becoming a less effective channel for advertising. Only 18% of Gen Z and 25% of Millennials find that TV ads are highly influential in their buying decisions.
In place of traditional TV, teens are turning to social media in droves. More than one in three Gen Zers and Millennials get news from social media sites rather than more traditional mediums like TV broadcasts and newspapers.
As teens leave TV and other forms of traditional media behind, they’re using social media at extraordinary levels. Almost half of Gen Z spends ten hours per day or more on the internet — and not just for entertainment. 85% Of Gen Z uses social media to learn about new products.
However, the fact that teens are spending a massive amount of time online and on social media doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easy for brands to reach. Teens are particularly opposed to internet ads. An estimated 36% and 42% of Gen Zers have negative attitudes towards non-skippable pre-roll ads and pop-ups, respectively, and roughly 31% of teens have an ad-blocking software on their computers.
One of the most successful methods for reaching teens on the internet today is through influencer marketing. Influencers offer a powerful vehicle for integrating advertisements into teens’ online experiences. By infusing ad content into the social content teens are choosing to follow, influencer marketing offers a less intrusive alternative to the ads many teens are choosing to block.
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Influencers are social media stars who form powerful connections with audiences in general and teenagers in particular. 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTubers more than to traditional celebrities. Further, 40% say their favorite YouTuber understands them better than their real-life friends — an alarming but compelling statistic.
By creating relatable content, YouTubers earn the respect and trust of their followers. As a result, Gen Zers are 1.3x more likely to purchase a product recommended by an influencer than by a traditional TV or movie celebrity. Furthermore, 27% of Gen Z and Millennials find that an online recommendation from a friend, family member, or social media influencer will help them in a buying decision, illustrating the immense power a recommendation from a familiar face holds.
Brands all over the world are acknowledging the importance of advertising to teens. By 2020, Gen Z will make up 40% of consumers in the United States. They’re not yet adults, but they’re becoming a bigger and bigger part of the world’s consumer base. Globally, the Gen Z population is forecasted to reach 2.56 billion by 2020. Teens’ collective impact as consumers is growing, and with effective marketing, brands can capitalize on this growth.
One important factor that contributes to a brand’s ability to capitalize on teen consumers is the fact that many teens have not yet developed brand loyalty. In general, kids will start to break away from their parents’ brand preferences at age 11 and will identify their own favorite brands by age 18
In the US, 92 million Millennials, spend a total of $600 billion. While teenagers currently have less buying power than their older millennial counterparts, as they join the workforce, they may spend as much if not more than Millennials.
It is critical that brands capture the attention of the youngest generation, and influencers on social media are the perfect messengers to connect with teen consumers. Influencer marketing is helping brands overcome the challenges of marketing to teens and capitalize on their undeveloped sense of brand loyalty and increasing buying power.