Are you launching your first youth-targeted influencer marketing campaign, or optimizing an existing one?  Partnering with influential creators and internet personalities is a powerful strategy for reaching Generation Z. Influencers reach targeted audience segments unlike any other marketing channels when integrating unique user-generated content that speaks to followers authentically. It’s not enough, however, to employ influencers and anticipate that they will support your marketing goals without careful guidance. Execution of influencer marketing involves meticulous application of several key components for success.

Gen Z as a cohort have an influence of nearly $600 billion on family spending, but their interests are unique and their shopping habits are dynamic. They are fast to tune-out advertising messages that are irrelevant or inauthentic. As such, it is critical that you’re practicing the “do’s” and avoiding the “don’ts” below:

Influencer Marketing Do’s

  • Do know your segment and the underlying sub groups: Understand that there are various segments and sub segments that exist within Gen Z, including kids (5-7), tweens (8-12), teens (13-19) and young adults (20-24). They are, in fact, the most diverse generation in U.S. history. Incorporating cross-cultural and lifestyle targeting strategies in your influencer marketing campaigns is key.  Learn more about multicultural marketing.
  • Do choose relevant influencer personalities: Ideal influencers should align with your brand authentically, have a good reputation online, and fit a set of strategic selection criteria established early on. A good place to start is with a hashtag search that relates to the targeted consumer segments, their interests and lifestyles. Once you’ve selected influencers, an influencer marketing tool can be an effective way to keep your campaign outreach communications organized right from the start.
  • Do effectively partner with influencers: Don’t mistake an influencer for not having goals, needs and desires. They don’t need your brand, so do your homework to ensure your campaign is a good fit.  Not aligning your goals with the goals of the influencer will render any pitch you provide ineffective for everyone involved.  Gather an understanding for who your influencer is thoroughly before spamming them with a generic story.  Ultimately, this will also help you assure that your branded user-generated content appears consistent and native to the social channel and target audience.
  • Do select the relevant social channels: YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat remain the dominant platforms for Gen Z, with Twitter following close behind. That said, it is still worth it to consider the emerging and niche-specific platforms that are used more frequently than you might imagine. Every platform offers unique engagement opportunities, for example, Kik, Musical.ly, 9Gag, Letgo Houseparty, and YouNow have all shown substantial prevalence in youth culture.
  • Do create unique and meaningful content: Gen Z has shown preferences for short, unpolished content that entertains or adds value and empowerment to their lives. Creating purely entertaining content can catch their attention but a message that aligns with their identity and aspirations may prove to be more effective.

Influencer Marketing Don’ts

  • Don’t be mesmerized by follower count: Although its common to seek out partnerships with influencers with a large following, popularity isn’t always the indicator of promise. Experienced influencers with a smaller and more targeted following often deliver quality performance.
  • Don’t waste resources on a one-off influencer campaign: Effective influencer marketing involves planning for multi-post execution inclusive of unique and valuable content, and that is released on a frequent basis to maximize levels of engagement.
  • Don’t expect overnight results: There is the common misconception that influencer marketing will increase a brand’s following and engagement in a short timeframe. Influencer marketing should be executed over a 60 to 90 day period, at minimum, for optimal implementation.
  • Don’t use the wrong performance metrics: The number of likes and comments on an individual post are not the only indication of a successful campaign. Is your content being shared? Are followers clicking through or swiping up for your offer? Be sure to identify realistic KPI’s that align with the social channel and your campaign objectives.
  • Don’t omit paid social: Amplify influencer created content with paid social in strategic ways that fit with your campaign. As with any social or digital campaign, think of it as the blocking and tackling element.

Sources: Media Post

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