— FullBottle (@FullBottleGroup) January 27, 2015
By Alison Lukin
According to Statistic Brain there are over 26.8 million teens in the U.S. Their total spending last year (products bought by and for teens) totaled a whopping $258.7 BILLION dollars! WOW!
Clearly today’s marketers would be foolish to ignore this demographic. But marketing to teens is quite a challenge for they’re a fickle bunch. If they smell even the slightest scent of uncool, they’re out the door and nearly impossible to get back. If another friend they think is cool thinks you’re cool…then you’ll LOL all the way to the bank. So how do you get this age group’s attention?
Tracking teen trends definitely shows specific patterns of what they go for. Want to get on their radar? Here are 5 foolproof tips for marketing to minors in a major way.
1. It’s All About That Instagram: Teen blogger Andrew Watts made major waves with his take on teens and social networking. According to Watts, Instagram is where it’s at when it comes to his peers:
“Instagram is by far the most used social media outlet for my age group. Please note the verbiage there—it is the most used social media outlet. Meaning, although the most people are on Facebook, we actually post stuff on Instagram. It’s always fascinating to me to see a friend with 1500 friends on Facebook only get 25 likes on a photo yet on Instagram (where she has 800 followers) she gets 253.”
That being said, this leaves a huge opening for marketers to access this large group of active followers. But the challenge is two-fold. Companies need to let teens know they’re on Instagram and entice them to follow. Then, post relevant content that will keep them following and sharing across other social networks.
Still not convinced? According to Media Post brands are having great success marketing creatively to teens through Instagram:
“…it is the fastest-growing social network among 14- to 17-year-olds, with 59% saying they’re using it more than they did a year ago, according to the Cassandra Report. As long as brands stick with ethos of the network as an inspiring communication venue, teens welcome their involvement. To date, brands have found creative ways to use the site to offer games, innovate stagnant online product catalogs, and spark “flashtagrams.” Keep an eye out for more companies giving their followers fun and unique experiences on the platform.”
2. Relatable Influencers: When it comes to “who teenagers are listening to” gone are the days of the traditional celebrity. Online influencers have way more pull when it comes to who they’re watching for the next cool product.
Let’s take a look at the top 3 most followed stars on Vine according to www.BusinessInsider.com:
Who’s watching all these shenanigans?? You guessed it. And these Viners don’t have millions of views they have BILLIONS.
So when a company is going to choose the next famous face to represent their company, there are many more options than the traditional celebrity endorsement. Add to the mix the notion that there is considerable value in long-tail influencers, a topic we will discuss in an upcoming blog.
3. Keepin’ It Real: There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING that a teenager can see through faster than someone being fake. That’s why these everyday influencers are so effective. They are REAL. Kids want authenticity, relatability, and to really identify with not only the person they’re watching, but the company that is vying for their attention.
Top Rank Blog surveyed top online marketers and asked them their predictions for 2015. An insight from DJ Waldow, Digital Marketing Evangelist, Marketo, relates directly to the youth-driven market:
“2015 will be the year of HUMAN for digital marketers. Gone are the days of corporate-speak messaging and dull, boring campaigns. Instead, we’ll begin to see more marketers incorporate human-speak into their messaging – videos, pictures, humor, and human!”
4. Funny or Die: Google “top viral videos” and the results that come up are virtually all funny. Stupid humor in particular. Why? People love to laugh! Especially teenagers.
The reason why a video goes viral is because people want to share that chuckle with others. Teenagers are good at sharing?? It gives all us parents of small children hope for the future. At least they get it eventually!
The soda brand, Fanta, recently started their wildly popular social media campaign, “Fanta For The Funny.” It’s a weekly digital comedy series consisting only of 6 second Vine videos. Not only are the videos on Fanta’s social media channels, but also on www.CollegeHumor.com. The Vine clips depict “gags and pratfalls” featuring some of the most popular faces on Vine like AlliCattt and Jason Mendez.
Companies like Fanta are clearly getting it right. All hail the funny!!
5. Mobile Medium: Teens may use their computers when it comes to doing homework or blogging, but when it comes to social media, it’s pretty obvious they’re on a smartphone. Constantly!
With that in mind, marketers are creating ads with as little barrier as possible between the viewer and the sale. Tom Webster, VP of Edison Research, reinforces the importance of ads being mobile friendly:
“Consider this—I’m walking around town, listening to online radio over my phone, and I hear an audio ad for a product that might interest me. In the past, were I to hear that ad, I’d have to remember the name of the company, then go home and use a search engine to learn more about the company before an eventual purchase. But the continual removal of barriers between message and action that mobile gives us will begin to restore the balance of the Force for attribution, and digital marketers can start to get away from channel-based thinking and move towards a more human behavior-centered model, with mobile serving as the unifying principle to unite offline and offline marketing.”
Let’s review young students! Staying cool with the young crowd is easier than you think. Go where they go (Instagram) and feature who they like (relatable influencers). Don’t be phony, be funny! And do it all on your phone. Class is dismissed;)
Featuring the talented Eh Bee family today. Always impressed with the stories this team can tell in 6-seconds. Can hardly tell the difference when their Vines are for advertisers.
By Alison Lukin
Type the words “the most expensive commercial ever made” into a Google search and prepare for your mind to be blown. Most of them feature high-end celebrities like Nicole Kidman, who was paid a reported $3 million dollars to appear in a Chanel ad. A British insurance company paid upwards of $13 million for celebs like Ringo Starr and Bruce Willis.
While they were power players in the past, their social presence today, for the most part, is dismal. Take Ringo Starr, for example. He has 1.9M followers on Facebook and a mere 589K on Twitter. Nicole Kidman isn’t even on Twitter, but her Facebook does boast an impressive 10M followers. Now Bruce Willis should be ashamed of himself. He’s not on Facebook, and he allegedly just began posting on Twitter as @realbrunowillis and has a measly 1.7K followers.
What does all this mean for advertisers? A heck of a lot! It means that while these celebrities were huge influencers in the past, most of them are costing advertisers HUGE money and offer nothing when it comes to consumer interaction. The payout just doesn’t add up.
As the great Bob Dylan once sang, “Times They Are A Changin’” (by the way, Bob Dylan has a whopping 6.5 million followers on Facebook. You Go Bob!)
Finally, companies are getting creative. “Influencer Creative” to be exact. Big businesses are going about selecting “influencers” in marketing campaigns in new and “creative” ways. (See what we did there?;)
To be more exact, companies are getting smart about who actually has the most influence with their customers and it’s not the same Breakfast Club as it was 10 years ago.
Online personalities like beauty guru Michelle Phan currently has over 7 million subscribers and over 1 BILLION views on YouTube, which led to major endorsements with companies like Lancome and Target. Comedian Jenna Marbles who has over 14 million subscribers and more than 1.6 BILLION views on YouTube also has more friends on Instagram than Oprah.
With numbers like these, businesses can’t help but sit up and take notice. These “new” celebrities surely don’t hold a Nicole Kidman price tag and come with a reach and level of engagement that is unparalleled. Not only do people follow them in droves, but also their followers want to be and do exactly as their favorite web celebs are.
Not only is their personal style being copied, but their style of filming as well. They do have a unique feel that is significantly different than the productions of the past. In a word, they’re simply LOW BUDGET. And people love it! So why not give ‘em what they want?
Big businesses are doing just that. Low budget, simply filmed ads starring these every day folks that have more influence and reach than you’d ever image. Even companies with the largest budgets are going “snack-sized” created six-second Vine ads that are going viral to meet the ever-shortening attention span of the masses.
Dunkin’ Donuts has been a pioneer touting great success with their mini-ads:
HP, who goes slightly higher budget in their latest ads, features a ton of latest and greatest internet celebs to create their buzz: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFSaBCW50bc]
And lastly, the candy Airheads is doing a brilliant job with attention grabbing ads that are hilarious, and look like they were filmed on somebody’s iPhone: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgN3auFczlI]
YouTube, Vine, Pinterest, Instagram, you name it, and companies are using it to reach their customers. Finally big companies are taking notice that it doesn’t take the big-budget-mega-star -filled productions of the past to reach a large audience. In fact, the tide is turning in exactly the opposite direction. Apparently nowadays people would much rather see just an average Joe and an iPhone keepin’ it real.