6 Things We Know About Influencer Marketing

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Brands are clamoring to make the influencer economy a part of their marketing strategy—here are six things they should know…

In 2014, we told readers about the burgeoning “Instagram Economy” allowing the online-famous to make big bucks by partnering with brands—and since then we’ve kept close tabs on the growth and evolution of influencer marketing. At this point, digital influencers’ allegiances with brands have become expected: according to 2016 data from Defy Media, 63% of Millennials agree digital celebs need ads on their channels to earn a living, and 58% don’t mind watching ads to support their favorite digital celebrities. We named online influencers as one of the stars of 2016 marketing, noting that 2016 marked the year it went from a niche tactic to a majorly mainstream industry. At the end of last year, according to analysis by Chute, 66% of marketers had an influencer marketing strategy in place, and more brands are shifting advertising dollars away from traditional media, instead partnering with influencers on multiple platforms to create #spon or #ad content.

An entire industry has been created around connecting brands across industries with the right influencers. In 2016, YouTube took a major step in supporting creators with the purchase of influencer marketing network FameBit. When we interviewed FameBit founder Agnes Kozera in March 2016 (pre-YouTube purchase) she called influencers “the next generation celebrities,” and told us:

“They created incredible shortcuts for building brand affinity and recognition as well. By working with an influencer, a brand not only gets an ambassador, they get incredible high-quality content and they also get distribution of that content to an already engaged audience. So previously those assets were very separated, you either got…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I don't drink on a typical night, but my choice when I do have a drink is often red wine.”

—Female, 34, FL

13 Reasons Why, the Netflix series about a teen girl’s suicide, has some mental health professionals worried. While some applaud the show for increasing awareness about teen suicide, others fear the series could act as suicide contagion, increasing the risk of an individual engaging in copycat behavior. School districts across the U.S. are sending letters to parents to discuss the show and red flags to watch for in teens’ behavior, while counsellors are having conversations with students and patients. The National Association of School Psychologists has recommended that at-risk youth shouldn’t watch the series, and cautions adults to help teens differentiate “between a TV drama and real life.” (CNN)

U.K. Millennials consider themselves ‘grown up’ at age 27, according to a recent survey by Nationwide Current Accounts. With shifting paradigms surrounding adulthood, Millennials are defining maturity differently, and over half surveyed feel like entrance to adulthood depends on particular milestones rather than age. One in five believe they’re mature when they have children and another one in five when they move out of their parent’s home. Interestingly, Ypulse’s Adulting trend found that paying their own bills is the top sign of adulthood for Millennials in the U.S. (Telegraph)

Millennial shoppers are re-defining retail by purchasing on mobile, returning at higher rates, and ‘showrooming’—selecting clothes in-store then purchasing online—as a part of their “normal” purchasing process.  According to Criteo, as more clothing is purchased online, retailers can expect larger cart sizes at checkout, and return rates as high as 30-50%—which could create an opportunity to get young shoppers back into stores. Successful retailers are ““moving seamlessly between” online and off by covering return shipping costs or allowing in-store returns, innovating their online experiences, and keeping a high volume of product available in both spaces. (MediaPost)

Mexican wine country is becoming a top travel destination for Millennials. Cheaper, artsier, and arguably more authentic than Napa or Sonoma, Valle de Guadelupe is quickly accruing acclaim with twenty and thirtysomethings, who Ypulse has found love their wine. The small strip of vineyards and restaurants is shifting to suit their needs with food trucks, modern art, and even Uber for wine tours, when just a decade ago, the area didn’t even have the necessary roads to facilitate tourism. One winery owner observes, “What used to happen in this part of the world was that no one had anything to do and now everyone has appointments every hour.” (NYTimes)

The restaurant industry currently employs one third of all working teenagers, thanks to a recent uptick in teen employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teens made up 35% of all restaurant workers in 2016, the highest percentage since 2009. Teen participation in the restaurant industry was above 50% until the Great Recession when it started a steep downward trend, causing staffing challenges across the industry. But it’s too early to know if the recent boost in employment signals a new trend or is just “a temporary blip.” (National Restaurant Association)

Quote of the Day: “If a brand is going to interact with a 'fandom' of any sort, they’d better either A) Know what they're talking about and have someone lead the interactions who is a fan as well, or B) Be honest in a funny way…”

—Female, 21, Virginia

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