Ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up and you won’t get the traditional “doctor” or “teacher” answer, certainly not anymore. Those professions are now a thing of the past and most kids have different aspirations. Driven by the chance to express themselves, fame, and open-ended creativity, one in three kids will answer your question as wanting to be a YouTuber. One in five will tell you they want to be a vlogger.
Lest you believe that kids are influenced solely by videos of toys, think again. Kids watch videos of all sorts including those about food, the latest tech gadgets, humor, and even practical jokes and pranks played on others. As they learn about new gadgets, kids turn their suggestions to their parents. So where do kids draw their social media inspirations? Well, from influencers of course! While Cristiano Ronaldo and PewDiePie have tons of loyal followers, kids love Ethan Gamer, Ryan’s World, and Kairo Forbes. These kid-appealing channels happen to be run by kids themselves. These are kid influencers.
Targeting Children via Influencer Marketing
Influencers are those social media personalities that have a massive following on social media, and kid influencers are simply those who accomplish this same feat successfully at a young age. Much like their young adult or “full” adult counterparts, kid influencers generate content that is geared toward high audience engagement and garner high viewership numbers. Brands have recognized the value in establishing partnerships with kid influencers, benefiting from high viewership numbers and impressive engagement rates.
It is not lost on brands that most kid influencer accounts have content created, edited, and posted by their parents. In fact, the channel bios explicitly state it as such. The channels are even registered under the names of parents and are generally run by them as well. Brands, therefore, also incorporate teenagers into their kid influencers' relationships.
Kid influencers are undoubtedly an online powerhouse in terms of their potential for marketing prowess. This is why huge brands like CoverGirl, Heinz, Mattel, Walmart, Band-Aid, and even Disney seek out relationships with these prepubescent juggernauts. Brands that aim for a target audience that fits a younger generation who also make up the majority of the viewers of kid influencer social media channels, leverage the marketing reach of these young superstars to get their name and information about their products out to an audience they may otherwise struggle to reach.
Powers of Persuasion
There are several reasons why brands set their sites on audience groups of children to market their products. First, children are easy to intrigue and persuade. Their persuasion carries a level of influence on their parents who respond to their children’s desires for particular shopping decisions. Brands are also thinking in the long term, realizing that children of today are consumers of tomorrow, so in capturing their brand loyalty now, they are securing loyal future customers.
By partnering with kid influencers, brands can harness the power of the trust these influencers have with their young audiences, allowing them to build up the brand’s credibility. When a trusted social media figure speaks fondly of a product, they can persuade many of their viewers to purchase this product, resulting in greater revenues for the brands. Of course, there is an art form to this type of marketing as well. Attention spans of young audiences are low, so when brands partner with parents of influencers with popular social media platforms, they approach the process in a carefully arranged and plotted manner.
Kid influencers with large followings have the utter loyalty of their fan base. In fact, they are role models in a very real sense. Of course, there is a lot to capturing many followers and it is no easy feat. Creating genuine, original, and engaging content regularly is not easy. This means that the parents of the influencers have to put a lot of effort into helping their kid influencer children to create fresh, captivating material.
The word of their peers is a huge bolster in the eyes of younger children. If their contemporaries like something, it is not hard to establish credibility for this product as well. Kids influencers offer unintrusive endorsements of products that feel authentic and genuine. This, in turn, boosts the products’ credibility in the eyes of their younger viewers.
Top Kid Influencers
Kid influencers appeal to their audiences through relatively limited talent, at least by comparison to their adult counterparts. Their audience is built based on the attraction to the content they generate based on topics relatable to other kids including play, food, style, toys, and fashion. Since every kid influencer has to start somewhere, they grow their audience through honest, authentic, and creative content long before they make it big. Regardless of the topic, the effect these young influencers wield is hard to rival.
So who are some of the most well-known kid influencers out there? Let's talk about a few of the bigger names.
Mainly known for his reviews and unboxing videos the young Ryan Kaji hosts one of the hottest kid influencer channels on the internet with a stunning 30+ million subscribers. His top-performing video “Giant Lightning McQueen Egg Surprise with 100+ Disney Cars Toys” has amassed more than a billion views.
The star of both Instagram (with 5 million followers) where she posts fashion pictures and YouTube (3.5 million subs) with videos of funny videos and challenges, the young American superstar is one of the most successful influencer icons around.
Posting videos from Roblox, Slither.io, and Minecraft, the 15 year old English gamer is killing it on YouTube with over 2.5 million subscribers.
An avid advocate of lifestyle and fashion products, and the daughter of rapper AKA touts impressive million-plus followers on Instagram.
Advertising to Kids
In 1998, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was passed aiming to protect children under the age of 13 from exploitative marketing techniques online. COPPA lays out the groundwork of how brands may engage with young influencers, specifically getting the consent of their parents to partner up for marketing promotions, as well as detailing the limitations of collecting sensitive personal data about young kids.
Having access to the maximum possible data is how brands build their strategic marketing techniques, a matter complicated by the fact that they must abide by federal law. But it is not lost on them how much more kids are consuming online content as opposed to the less lucrative medium like television, so they reach out to young consumers through targeted advertising with the help of kid influencers and continue to invest in these online ventures.
Figuring out which kid influencers to partner with is no easy task either. Brands must carefully evaluate the influencer's niche audience demos. However, once the perfect candidate is found, brands reach out to establish a strategic partnership. This is especially helpful if brands are not able to generate enough advertising content for their key audience. Leveraging influencers helps their desired kid marketing that caters to the current kid trends.
Kid influencers have their finger on the pulse of what is new and fresh, and therefore are able to direct much of their fanbase’s kids purchasing behaviors and habits. By forming a bond with their audience, kid influencers help brands promote their products, in a relationship that is beneficial for both sides of the business.