Born in the digital era, many young people consider themselves influencers in the social networks and believe they are important pieces in the “discovery” of influencer marketing. That is because they manage to influence and cause an impact with conversations and opinions on the networks.
Besides, they establish trends and connect with brands and diverse groups with which they have an affinity. According to Pew Research, 82% of adults in the USA aged 18 to 29 use Facebook actively. A recent study highlighted by MediaPost suggests that one out of three young users of social networks qualify themselves as an influencer.
Although that result probably is not a surprise – seeing that young people many times have digital skills to create roles as influencers – age is only a small part of the general equation.
Youth is not a pre-requisite for success. It happens that such individuals deal with networks more easily, in other words, the online environment has always been there.
According to a research conducted by Yahoo, 18% of young people consider themselves well-established influencers, called “socialites”. In the meantime, 61% are “rising stars” and 17% are “beginners”.
In this group, 35% already associated themselves to a brand online, with 40% of them working with a technology company. In general, 66% of posts made by socialites included some kind of integration with the brand. Other popular categories with whom people wish to work with include fashion and beauty (33%), entertainment (30%) and travel (20%).
55% of those interviewed revealed they would like to associate themselves to a brand. Only 27% of posts made by rising stars Interact with companies on social networks. Members of this group prefer partnerships with entertainment brands (27%), electronics and technology (26%), beauty and fashion (25%) and, lastly, travel (18%).
In this group, 71% have never associated themselves to a brand. Regarding the newbies who managed to get a connection, 82% of their posts presented an integration with a company, but those were mostly smaller brands who already had a personal connection with the influencer.
The following analysis discusses the demographics of each of the five platforms of social networks in the research:
Facebook – 72% of adult internet users / 62% of the entire adult population
Pinterest – 31% of adult internet users / 26% of the entire adult population
Instagram – 28% of adult internet users / 24% of the entire adult population
LinkedIn – 25% of adult internet users / 22% of the entire adult population
Twitter – 23% of adult internet users / 20% of the entire adult population
Is every young person an influencer?
While the study focused on people who aim to monetize their influence when establishing partnerships with brands, the truth is that everyone influences people in their social networks. Their comments, opinions, shared links, talks and indications reflect on that which their friends will see in their news feed. That influence can be subtle, but it can also motivate a connection to check out a new brand, reconsider a company or turn into new interests.
The lesson here is that if you are looking at increase the brand awareness and attracting new customers for your business, influence doesn’t come only from people who have a large following on social media. For marketing purposes, you don’t even need to pick between one or the other. If you fall into the right niche, the partnership with a social influencer, regardless of age, can be a great deal for your business.
Marcelo Salgado is in charge of managing Bradesco’s social networks. On an interview for Comunique-se, he mentioned the fact that influencer marketing can be used on several segments, such as in the bank’s case, which keeps a relationship with influencers and, at the same time, gets closer to clients through social networks. A good example is Nerdcast, Jovem Nerd website’s podcast which represents Bradesco.
“You have the massive, which is the most popular artist, the celebrity… and you also have the long tail, which are the niches. On Orkut, it used to be called community, on Facebook it is group or page. When you look at it and test engagement, it is more likely that you will get engagement in the niches than in the massive. The challenge is gain in scale doing personalized things for each niche”.
Tubelab agency’s planning director Danilo Strano spoke of the content creators’s “boom” on influencer marketing. In his opinion, a company may connect very well and be successful with small influencers.
“The person who can talk to a very specific niche can market. In the market of men’s beauty, for instance, there aren’t many influencers, unlike the women’s beauty market. However, you have people there with 40,000 or 50,000 followers who are followed by very important individuals. Then, that guy can be a replicator for other influencers. He may not be in the spotlight, but the message gets across to opinion leaders and reaches people who may share that.”
These young influencers have a great power of creation, something essential in influencer marketing. Remarkable moments and innovative stories win the audience and create new connections. Watch and listen closely to your target audience in order to get clues about who influences them. It’s worth the effort making a few social analysis. It’s appropriate to check out conversations, posts, personalities, interests and begin connecting effectively.
The more you use such strategy, and the more conversations you have with regular people who influence a small audience, the better you will understand why they share topics and a number of things on the networks. In regards to that, influencer marketing is just like any other type of marketing: it all comes down to a deep knowledge of your audience, their preferences, and their issues.
Influencer marketing industry is growing, and young people are exploiting that moment. Studies confirm that such strategy should burst soon. Data from eMarketer show that marketing professionals nowadays are spending about 11% of their budgets on social media in general. From next year on, that amount will increase to 14% and 24% within five years. Besides, 59% of them plan on investing in the influencer’s market soon.
The female influencers
Each product demands one specific type of influencer. However, it’s almost always safe to bet there is a bigger chance of the influence being exercised by a woman. Therefore, a female influencer, instead of a male one.
Data from TIME magazine points out that the number of women aged between 25 and 29 with a college degree grew 8% between 1999 and 2009. Besides, 50% of jobs outside rural areas in the United States are occupied by women. In 2008, 64% of women with children aged less than six worked outside the home, versus 39% in 1975. Besides, in 47 out of every 50 metropolitan regions in the United States, women aged 20 to 29 with no children make more money than men with the same profile.
A study by Women@NBCU shows that in the last two decades, women have become more involved in financial decision-making in the families when it comes to the acquisition of high value goods.
According to Harvard Business Review, women are the decision makers in the purchasing of 94% of furniture, 92% of real estate, 60% of cars and 51% of electronics. according to the Scarborough USA study from 2011, 14% of American mothers have a blog.
Women also dominate social networks. According to a Ruby Media Corporation and Finances Online study, 76% of them use Facebook in the United States (against 66% of men), 54% of them use Tumblr (against 46% of men), 33% of them use Pinterest (against 8% of men), 20% of them use Instagram (against 15% of men) and 18% of them use Twitter (against 17% of men).
Men are majority only on LinkedIn: 24% against 19%. On a similar way, women prevail in trends, such as mobile. According to the same Ruby Media Corporation, 46% of women (and 43% of men) use their smartphones to access social networks and 32% of women (and 20% of men) use their tablets for the same purpose.
According to Burst Media Online Insights, women interact more frequently than men with brands, whether it is to show them support, take advantage of offers or giving opinions and comments. On social networks, 54.2% of American female users (and 48.6% of American male users) interacted with brand activities, such as shares or ads.
The evolution of influencers
Influencers evolved during the development of generations. Many years ago, families with more social, economic, and religious power had a lot of influence over people’s decisions. After that, celebrities – always involved in publicity actions – represented brands, when characters started being created.
According to a Google study, 70% of teenagers think YouTubers are more reliable than celebrities and 88% of consumers trust the online recommendations just as much as in-person recommendations.
Understand the evolution of influencers to the current days and their influence power in purchase decisions with this infographic by Nogre below: