How does influencer marketing target kids?

For a good few years now, Millennial has been the word on the lips of many marketers but brands may soon have to shift their focus to a younger, more diverse audience that is growing at a rapid pace, Generation Z and Alpha. Born with smartphones, tablets, and technology at their fingertips, these young consumers are the ones to watch. Generation Z, a group of consumers that were born from 1996 onwards and Generation Alpha, born from 2010 onwards. So this blog covers how big brands use influencer marketing to target kids?

“They are adult consumers of the future.”

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Here are some interesting statistics about Gen Z.

Technology has always been front and center for these two generations. With 73% of Generation Z having access to subscription video on demand services and over 90% of them owning a smartphone, this younger generation is unlike any other. 

According to a recent study, children between the ages of 5 and 15 now spend at least 15 hours online every week, which is 1 hour and 18 minutes more than they used to but how are they spending their time online exactly?

Surprisingly, social media is not at the top of that list. 73% of children between 5 and 15 use YouTube more than any other online platform. Some even indicated that they would rather watch videos and shows on YouTube than watch TV.

It is predicted members of these generations will make up 40% of all consumers, which means that brands really need to start paying attention to what makes them tick.

So what do marketers need to know about them?

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  • They do not respond to traditional marketing

This generation does not respond to advertising in the same way that older generations do. The use of ad blockers is almost a given, which means that marketers need to think of more creative, impactful ways to not only reach this audience but grab their attention too.

  • They are all for the community.

Their peers are important to them and they care about what others have to say. All of their most important conversations happen online and they’re much more likely to respond to brands that are more humanized.

  • Optimized contents are their thing. 

These young online users are used to having to sift through mountains of online content all the time, so while it might seem that this generation has a really short attention span, they’ve really just learned how to assess and recognize the content they really want to consume in a short amount of time.

Brands already collaborate with Kid Bloggers to Sell Toys and Clothes

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“Toys R” – Toy Box reality show campaign

Brands and marketers are stepping into a partnership with these kid influencers and their parents, and even the more as the holiday shopping season picks up. The big brands in particular – Walmart, Amazon, Target, and eBay – are competing for a greater share of the toy market recently vacated by “Toys R”, which closed down more than 800 stores in June of 2018.

It’s worth noting that while “Toys R” was responsible for a hefty 12 percent of all toy sales in the US before its demise, the toy sales industry has been slowing in recent years. Toy manufacturers are losing market share to mobile games – which now account for 20 percent of the $187 global toy and games market.


Even if you didn’t necessarily buy all your toys there, making the trip to “Toys R” stores with the kids was a holiday tradition in the US.
However, for small toy companies, it can be difficult to get on the shelves of megastores. Influencer marketing provides a way for small toy companies to insert their brand in front of potential customers just as the year’s shopping season gets underway.

To actualize its goal, “Toys R” first partnered with ABC and Mattel to support reality television show called The Toy Box. In this TV series, passionate toy inventors presented their unique ideas to a panel of judges made up of kids. They leveraged young social media star @katieryan430 with 1.9MM followers who was the perfect social media influencer to deliver the brand’s message. They created a humorous series of posts and video contents covering kids having fun and playing with toys.

At the end of the competition, the winning toy was produced by Mattel and sold exclusively at “Toys R”. To promote this partnership, they tasked WHOSAY to design a social campaign that resonated with the “kids know best” creative of TheToy Box.

As a result, her native posts generated over 22.5M impressions and 2.2M engagements (including paid). Viewer sentiment was surprisingly positive with 85% of the comments reflecting enthusiasm for the content. Her original content boosted media metrics with nearly 3.8M impressions and almost 1M engagements.

“Target” – Kid clothes campaign

Back in 2017, Target launched a children’s clothing line designed, modeled, and promoted by a class of kids. The 10 kids worked together to design a collection for children aged 4-16 years old, all displaying their own individual styles.

The kid influencers ranged from 7-year-old photographer Hawkeye Huey to Dance Moms star Kendall Vertes, each with their own unique styles and designs is woven into the 100 piece collection.

“Target” used this same tactic again in later seasons of their “Art Class” line as well as inviting kids to come in and assess their other clothing lines each season. Each campaign features a new batch of kidfluence

“Walmart” – New website

Walmart introduced a completely new website so that it looks more like a traditional lifestyle blog than an e-commerce site. 

walmarts-new-website

Smartly, Walmart is using well-known kid influencers as a way to better position itself to grab a greater share of the toy market, and equally as important, grab a greater share of consumer attention.

Top-Rated by Kids features filmed experiences and unscripted (though not unedited) reviews from Walmart’s cast of kid influencers about the toys currently lining the shelves of Walmart stores and those trending – the ones you can only get on Walmart.com. Products featured on the left and the kid influencer reviews accessible on the right. The review is filtered by kids and age level. 

But, of course, Walmart and Target aren’t the only brands partnering with kid influencers. eBay has recently begun to launch a new advertising offensive featuring a range of influences across a wide range of niches and backgrounds. One of the more surprising choices they made was working with British Dad Blogger and his son –LadBaby. The two of them have appeared in a number of TV commercials, promoting the family-oriented side to eBay. 

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How food brands can nail their influencer marketing campaigns?

Before taking off an influencer marketing campaign, it can be beneficial to know this statistical information – every investment in food influencer marketing generated 12 times its value in earned media. Unlike the owned media which is brand’s social media accounts and website and paid media like bought advertising, earned media is the visibility received by a brand with third-party means (blogs, social media and so on). 

Nowadays a word-of-mouth technique is the most effective way to sell, the extent to which social media has taken up space in our lives means it’s now possible to use social media on a full scale by mobilizing the right influencers.

Influencers are people that have achieved a large following on social media by posting videos or photos that take the interest of a certain demographic and by remaining authentic to their audience over time. 

Traditional influencer marketing was about leveraging the top industry influencers and celebrities as brand ambassadors and running ads on TV and radio. It is not only expensive but also irrelevant for food brands which are not in the top of the industry with several outlets in different geographies. Micro influencer marketing is definitely the way to go for a small food brand. 

These micro influencers have a niche following that is usually specific to a particular region. For instance, food bloggers of Istanbul would have the majority of their followers from Istanbul. If you collaborate with such food influencers, they would talk about your product, post pictures, videos, and put up reviews on social media and the product review sites. This, in turn, will help you increase your visibility, and garner credibility for your product and brand.

It is more effective when food brands equip their consumers and influencers with a challenge or event they can participate in using a set hashtag. This engages the influencer’s network and creates a community and camaraderie for everyone participating or following the challenge.

“Activia”s campaign for Ramadan 

“Activia” is a yogurt brand of “Danone” company and launched under the “Bio” brand name. It is classified as a functional food, designed to improve digestive health. Emphasizing this feature, the company started a campaign during Ramadan, a month of fasting in the Muslim countries. 

The Ramadan campaign targeted people who were fasting for the whole month. The idea behind the campaign was to focus more on the functional benefit and more on the product. Throughout the campaign, influencers showcased Activia yogurts in their iftar tables and shared their experiences how the yogurt helps them to feel relieved after a heavy meal. The campaign involved 12 influencers, however, received over 50.000 engagement during the first six days. The campaign lasted the whole Ramadan and reached nearly 300.000 audiences across Instagram and Facebook.

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“Hello Fresh”s approach

“Hello Fresh” is a company that sends weekly menus to families and busy people who don’t have time for cooking. They work with a variety of influencer from vegan food bloggers to multitasking mothers. 

The foremost goal of the campaigns was to demonstrate the advantage of the service for busy people, especially those who take care of their health. Through these influencer marketing campaigns, Hello Fresh wanted to reach broader audiences and raise awareness around its brand. The company provided many of the influencers with the discounts by special promo codes and even apron with a personal touch, creative gifts and so on. As a core part of their lead generation strategy, the company invested mainly in influencer marketing. 

Besides providing them with promo codes, influencers were asked to share branded hashtags like #hellofreshpics and #freshfriends. They also encouraged their audience to do so. 

By demonstrating how the product solved influencers’ problems,  the company achieved raising awareness of its delivery boxes in an authentic way. 

“Youfoodz”s strategy

This is an Australian food brand, which wanted to promote its newly launched winter menu with the help of influencer marketing. They leveraged a range of influencers with the niches related to food, fitness, and health. The brand runs an influencer marketing campaign with 81 influencers which resulted.

During the campaign influencers managed to create more than 162 Instagram stories and in total 167 pieces of content. As a result, the campaign saw 507.909 impressions from the content, 70.000 engagements and reached 1.5 million audiences on Instagram and Facebook. 

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How to nail your influencer campaign

These are all excellent ways to demonstrate how to leverage influencers to have the desired brand impact. But the key to success behind each of them is finding the right influencers to work with. With that in mind, here are a few things you should remember when looking for influencers:

  • Alignment – Will your campaign content look good coming from them, given their respective niches? Do they align with your industry and brand values?
  • Popularity – Are they someone your target audience can relate to? How popular are they amongst your target audience?
  • Reach – Is the influencer capable of engaging your target audience? 
  • Demographic – Is their fan base similar to the buyer personas you’ve built for your company?

Here are strategies how food brands capitalize on influencer marketing trends and stand out in cluttered digital environments.

Show the origin of food

It is more common for food brands to experience rumors about where their food products come from. Showcasing the origins of products with the help of influencers have helped many food brands to save their reputations. They may monitor the factory where their products are produced or fields where ingredients were gathered from and share their experiences on social media accounts. 

influencer-marketing-in-food-industry

Promote in-person events

Of course, it’s ideal when brand representatives can interact in-person but plenty of brands work with influencers to be ambassadors and host events for a brand.

What’s fantastic about working with influencers to host a party or event is all of the sharable content that results. Think about the posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and blogs that get created with any party.

Be part of a greater brand

Millennial consumers especially demand that a brand fulfills its responsibility to do good for the world, not just making money.

There is no reason that food brands should be sharing a really cool story with their advocates and influencers they partner with. 

Seasonal influencer planning

Working with influencers more than once, on an ongoing basis, creates more authentic and trusted earned media. Thought behind it is that consumers trust an influencer when they talk about a brand at least three times.

Having a plan in place to work with the same network of influencers for an entire year is key. Food brands do this exceptionally well by planning their marketing partnerships according to the seasons. Think autumn pumpkin spice lattes and summer peach deserts.

Influencers love to be in the loop and in the know when it comes to a new flavor and product launches so use this to work with them to help your brand announce new products throughout the year.

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Conclusion

Even though influencer marketing can bring you a huge success, it has a dark side too. 

Let’s say you newly opened restaurant mainly focused on vegan food. You heavily invested in influencer marketing and suddenly hundreds of people are posting about your restaurant and also recommend their friends. You will definitely get noticed but as you are new in the industry, the skill set of all your restaurant staff might not be trained or experienced enough to handle such a huge crowd.

And consequently, in a hurry to manage the huge crowd, your food and service might get compromised with. And compromising with these basic things for which your customers visit your restaurant at such an early stage, will not leave a very good impression on your customers. Thus, it is essential to not venture into this until you are absolutely ready.

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5 Reasons why long term collaboration with micro-influencers is beneficial

There are 2.77 billion social media users from all over the world, scrolling their news feed right now. According to Forbes, depending on their engagement, each account with more than a million followers earns $50.000+ for one sponsored post.  A study has found that working with micro-influencers (having followings of 30.000 or fewer) is more profitable for marketers.

(more…)

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