The days of watching cartoons on TV after school and being excited about a $10 weekly allowance are over – well, at least for some kids these days. Youngsters are increasingly trading in Disney Channel and Nickelodeon for Youtube. A select few are capitalizing on this trend by swapping out their traditional “kid” lifestyle for that of a digital influencer. There’s nothing childish about it. Kid influencers are raking in the bucks.
According to a Bloomberg article, “72 percent of young Generation Z consumers said they’d be far more likely to buy a product if an influencer they follow shares a positive review or uses that product on social media.” Children are gravitating towards social media content because it isn’t scripted and involves their everyday peers who are relatable and authentic.
With the holiday season around the corner, you can expect to see a steady flow of videos from kid influencers. These videos range from unboxing and reviewing to testing the toys. Their followers crave the content so much that these videos can acquire millions of views.
Take the group of five siblings from Omaha named the KidToyTesters for example. Any toy you can think of, they probably have made a video about it for their Youtube channel. Each day, they receive two or three toy packages on their doorstep. From there, the family produces series of sponsored videos in partnership with global name brands (i.e. Nintendo, Mattel, Crayola). Companies are shelling out to collaborate with these kid influencers as sponsorships can range from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $200,000. Tapping into their loyal Youtube followings is priceless.
Sounds like a pretty sweet gig right? Eh, not so fast. Lee (father of the KidToyTesters) states, “We have 15-to-20-hour workdays, and it’s seven days a week every day of the year. Sometimes it’s three to four in the morning when we finish editing. A lot of times we don’t see sunshine, because we’ve been shooting in the basement for a couple days in a row and wonder what day of the week it is.”
Sounds like this family has turned their influencing into a lifestyle.
Whether you support the kid influencer movement or not, the future success of toy companies could be in the hands of children. This trend of kid influencers continues to gain speed and companies would be well advised to get on board with the myriad of influencer strategies.
The Ultimate Unboxing Toy. Companies are pushed to go beyond just creating a great toy because social media sharing has made the unwrapping of a toy just as important as the playing experience. MGA released L.O.L Surprise, which is simply a doll with accessories. But, the doll and accessories come concealed in colorful plastic spheres that kids have gone absolutely crazy over.
Traditional to digital. In recent years, MGA Entertainment, the company responsible for Bratz and Lalaloopsy dolls, has pushed 90% of their marketing digital and pulled away from running spots during kids’ programming. TV spots are just not cutting it anymore.
Engagement over subscribers. Of course companies do look for Youtube channels that have the big numbers, but those channels demand the big bucks. Companies are now starting to focus on engagement, including comments, likes, shares, and how long a follower watches the channel’s video.