Social media influencers are getting younger and younger over the years. These “kidfluencers” now have their own accounts even before they are born. Maybe the kids don’t understand social media, but social media definitely gets them.
Brands with a target audience consisting of children look no further than these incredible “smaller influencers” or as it’s referred in a digital world – “Kidfluencers”. And many of the bid brands already leaped at the chance to leverage them to advertise products easily.
Kids become influencers before they can even talk
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Sharing some part of children’s lives online with family members and parents’ friends is normal these days. According to a study average parents share approximately 116 photos of their children before they turn eight, but now a growing number are actually making a living at it.
However, for a small but growing number of kids, their online footprint is much more noticeable and far-reaching. The past several years have seen the rise of “Kidfluencers” – children whose social media presence has garnered enough attention that they attract advertisers and sponsors, turning their YouTube or Instagram into a money-making platform.
While big brands love collaborating with celebrities, they’ve also learned that the kidfluencers are great for endorsing kids’ toys, clothing, and other products.
In this industry, there is a niche for everyone at any age. From fashionistas to tech-savvy, kidfluencers have already made their way in a digital era.
Kidfleuncers range from children who have become an Instagram sensation, to children who star in videos of themselves unboxing and playing with toys.
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A story of an 8-year-old Ryker Wixom started with the search of his name on Google. Instead of finding unrelated pages or accounts with the same name, he found his photos as a toddler on the top of the results page. While scrolling down there is an article for him on a website called famousbirthdays.com and a video on a Daily Mail video of 4-year-old himself trying to do a magic trick. He came mother with a question of whether he is famous. Mom answered that he is not famous, but people know him from his pictures.
As the mother explains, Ryker always knew that his mother likes taking his photos but he never knew that the people actually saw these pictures too. His Instagram account @ministylehacker amasses over 300.000 followers and created by his mother Collette Wixom in 2014. The mother started the account, she only posted Ryker’s photos of wearing kid-sized versions of men’s wear, but now the profile is full of photos of her three sons. Many of these photos are sponsored by various retailers like eBay and natural baby products brand – the Honest Company.
Social media platforms, particularly YouTube and Instagram are lucrative ground for marketers looking to promote their products, especially children’s products like child food, clothes or toys. And these young influencers are the best option for marketers to target the right audiences.
Some of these kids, like Ryker, are features on his parent’s account, but the others have their own accounts. But all these young social media influencers‘ fame comes as a result of their parents calling the shots and running the business behind the scenes.
Like the parents of 9-year-old photographer Hawyeke Huey. This creative and tech-savvy Kidfluencer became popular as a photographer with a sharp eye for details. The fact that his father is also a professional photographer at National Geographic, proves the natural creativity of the family.
As of 2019, his Instagram account has 199k followers and the feed is full of pictures of Hawyeke himself and his shots.
Ryan Kaji is one of the recognizable kidfluencers in this game. Known by his YouTube channel’s name Ryan ToyReviews, this 7-year-old child star’s channel already has 19 million subscribers and over 29 billion views.
Ryan’s channel features various videos that reflect his interest, such as playing with Legos, monster trucks, Disney heroes and trains that recorded by his dad. Besides playing with toys he also talks about different educational topics like Science experiments for kids or healthy food choices.
Examples like this are endless. It goes without saying that Kidfluencers are on the rise. Whilst the young generation exposed to social media is having kids, this trend is only set to continue.
How much do kidfluencers make?
One family with kidfluencer identical twins said that a sponsored post could earn between $10,000 and $20,000. Another seven-year-old kidfluencer has made $22 million playing with toys on his YouTube channel.
A parent shared the prices commanded by the parent’s child on the condition of anonymity, citing concern that the disclosures could harm negotiations with brands. The parent said brands might pay $10,000 to $15,000 for an Instagram post while a sponsored YouTube video might cost $45,000. A shout-out in 30 to a 90-second in a longer video can cost advertisers between $15,000 and $25,000.
Such fame and money at a young age raise the question:
Is all this really in the child’s best interest?
Some parents of these young influencers work carefully establish boundaries between work and having fun for their kids. But this is not always the case. Sometimes the kids’ fame gets in the way of the child’s regular routine.
Concerns about the harmful effects of social media on kids are not new, but if the case is being famous, the game changes.
The rise of kidfluencers has generated concerns about children’s privacy, particularly when it comes to how parents’ social media sharing could affect their child later in life. Forbes argued in December that, “Parents are already some of the biggest violators of their children’s privacy, leaving potentially harmful digital footprints well before the age of consent.”
At the same time, social media became a part of the everyday lives of the majority of Gen Z, so the fact that children are the subject of their parents’ social media posts is hardly surprising. People post about what’s important to them, which means they post about their kids too.