Best For Your Brand: Connecting With Gen Z Through Digital Influencers
Ranging from teens to young adults in their early twenties, Generation Z currently makes up 26% of the U.S. population and is considered to be the next best consumer base for brands. Projected to have the spending power of approximately $44 billion, Generation Z has become a prime target for brands looking to leverage their purchasing potential as well as their dominance in the world of social and digital media. Because Generation Z has grown up surrounded by technology, brands looking to tap into this “Holy Grail” need to create authentic, original and creative content that is easy to share and engage with on social media. By partnering with predominant digital influencers, brands can speak to their audience through their preferred mediums while pairing with a personality who is considered to be a trusted and reliable figure.
Start the Social Conversation: Given the fact that this generation has grown up surrounded by digital media, they are no longer watching TV in their family rooms or spending time reading magazines in doctors’ offices. Instead they are binge watchin
g YouTube videos by Jenna Marbles and sharing their favorite article on Facebook. With over 96% of 13–24 year-olds viewing their online content through social media, brands need to create messages that can be easily engaged with digitally. Although Lionsgate had access to Jennifer Lawrence to promote the premiere for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, they leveraged five digital influencers to create YouTube videos entitled, “The District Voices.” Influencers including Justine Ezarik, Jimmy Wong and Ashley Adams all created videos promoted through their own channels to engage teens in discussion about the upcoming release of the movie.
Find Relatable Sources: Social media stars are considered to be trusted peers amongst their followers and often have more influence than some of the biggest names in television, music and movies. Variety found that five of the most influential figures amongst American teenagers are all YouTube personalities. Smosh and PewDiePie all were considered more influential than Harry Potter star, Daniel Radcliffe and global pop sensation, Katy Perry. Because digital influencers are seen as more relatable than Hollywo
od celebrities, brands are tapping into their clout to actively engage with teenagers to promote their product. For example, Proactiv leveraged over nine YouTube personalities to promote their acne treatment. Ultimately the campaign garnered a 72% increase in subscribers and over 2 million views on YouTube. As trusted sources for information, digital influencers can act as peer testimonials and friendly recommendations. When it comes to purchases, these endorsements are extremely important as over 62% of Generation Z saying they would try brands recommended by a YouTube star.