In marketing terms, we could say that my mom is my original influencer because she has definitely persuaded me on brands to buy simply because she uses them, and I trust her.
Today, the term “Influencer” has taken on a whole new meaning with people make a living out of associating themselves with brands and endorsing them on their social media platforms, whether they genuinely use those brands or not!
I have two boys, aged 13 and 10. Both are avid gamers and regular YouTube viewers. I’ve never understood it, but they really enjoy watching YouTubers playing games. In one way I guess it helps them to complete levels on certain games that they’re playing as these YouTubers demonstrate how best to do it and in another way, my kids find it very entertaining. They also enjoy videos of YouTubers watching random, silly videos or hilarious memes which are currently huge amongst teens. My kids have grown to love these YouTubers and trust their opinions and advice and I have no doubt that other tweens, teens and young adults will do the same.
Here are some interesting YouTube stats:
- It’s ranked second in most visited sites organically in USA and first globally (Ahrefs).
- 1 billion hours of YouTube videos are watched daily. (YouTube Press)
- YouTube has 2 billion active users every month and over 30 million daily users. (YouTube Press)
- There are 38 million active channels on YouTube of which 15 million are content creators and 22,000 of them have crossed 1 million subscribers. (Tubics)
- More than 70% of viewership happens on YouTube’s mobile apps (YouTube Press).
- 90% of digital consumers in the US use YouTube (Oberlo)
- 70% of what people watch on YouTube is recommended by YouTube’s algorithm (HootSuite).
- As of 2019, 500 hours of content is uploaded every minute (Statista)
- Users who watch at least 30 seconds of a YouTube ad are 23 times more likely to visit or subscribe to the brand's channel (Think with Google).
For this reason, in addition to the usual digital ads on YouTube, marketers should be making use of the services of YouTubers to promote or endorse their own brands. Children will access their social media platforms and then nag (read: convince) their parents to purchase these brands on their behalf. A prime example of this is how my 10-year-old son recently started skateboarding. He also follows a YouTuber called Yub (1.36m subscribers) who is a big skating fan and who loves Vans apparel. In Yub’s videos he can be seen wearing Vans sneakers. Next thing you know, I’m out shopping with my kids, and they tell me that they want Vans shoes and Vans shirts because “they’re cool mom”. Add to that the increase in popularity of Vans slip-on sneakers since the global sensation of Netflix’s TV series Squid Games (watched by 142 million households). The series shows some of the cast wearing shoes resembling Vans all-white slip-ons. VF Corp, the maker of the sneakers, reported a small increase in demand of its Vans brand of white slip-on shoes, thanks to the popular drama. So, there I am swiping the credit card with two very happy boys sporting new Vans shoes in tow.
Another example is a TikTok video that went viral indicating how to make a cake in a mug out of Oreo biscuits. It takes about 4 or 5 Oreos to make a cake in a mug. Of course, my kids were all over that and went through lockdown making them very often as a quick snack. I can’t tell you how many packets of Oreos we went through during that time and my waistline has suffered as a result! But what a clever way of targeting kids (and adults) to consume more of the product and in turn potentially increasing sales! The cake is delicious by the way 😊
Some interesting TikTok stats:
- TikTok users spend more than 850 minutes per month on the app
- As of January 2022, TikTok had 1 billion monthly active users
- 167 million TikTok videos are watched in an internet minute
- TikTok was the second most popular iPhone app downloaded in 2020
- TikTok was the most popular iPhone app downloaded in the US in 2021
- TikTok was the most popular overall app downloaded globally in 2020 and 2021.
- 69% of US teenagers are regular TikTok users
- Children aged 4-15 average 75 minutes per day on TikTok
- TikTok is the most popular social media pp for kids at 42%
Advertisers need to be mindful and responsible when using influencer brand marketing towards children. While there are many ways for parents to set limits on devices to ensure their kids can only access age-appropriate content online, none of it can be 100% safe.
If marketers of the appropriate brands can reach children using Influencers via their various digital platforms the result is the creation of great brand loyalty with consumers beginning from a young age and possibly for years to come. Just like my 30+ year loyalty to Aquafresh toothpaste.