- Almost half (44%) of Generation Z has made a purchase decision based on a recommendation from a social influencer, compared with 26% of the general population, researcher Kantar found in a consumer study shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer. Seventy percent of Gen Zers follow at least one influencer on platforms like YouTube or Instagram, the study found.
- Gen Z tends to be open-minded to a broad range of influencers, with 87% of the demographic group saying they follow at least one influencer whose race or ethnicity is different from their own, Kantar found. Gen Zers rely a wide range of social media apps, with 39% having four or more social media accounts, compared with 15% of the general population who use that many social platforms.
- The most popular social media apps among the group are Facebook (62%), Instagram (55%), YouTube (54%) and Snapchat (52%), per Kantar.
The popularity of social media among Gen Z consumers and their willingness to listen to the opinions of influencers indicate that mobile marketers should develop an influencer marketing strategy to reach the demographic group. Influencer marketing is especially important in connecting with Gen Zers, who tend to be more difficult to reach through traditional media channels like TV and print. The ability to connect with younger consumers is driving greater spending on influencer marketing, which is forecast to reach $15 billion by 2022 from $8 billion last year, Business Insider Intelligence estimates based on Mediakix data.
Kantar's research indicates that Facebook is the most popular social media app among Gen Z. Still, other research indicates that Facebook-owned Instagram is the most popular app for influencer campaigns. Almost 80% of brands using the image-sharing app most frequently for influencer campaigns, making it more popular than Facebook (46%), YouTube (36%), Twitter (24%) and LinkedIn (12%), per Influencer Marketing Hub. Instagram's role in the space has grown with its user base, which eMarketer forecasts will lift 5.4% to 112.5 million U.S. users this year.
While influencer marketing is a powerful way to reach younger demographics, brands might need to be careful about their partners. Analytics firm InfluencerDB reported last year that engagement rates for Instagram influencer content were hovering near all-time lows amid a deluge of sponsored content on the platform. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission is scrutinizing the influencer marketing industry to ensure that companies comply with laws against misleading advertising. The agency last month started seeking public comment on proposals to update its rules on the use of testimonials in advertising to reflect the growing importance of social influencers. Marketers need to ensure that influencers disclose when their posts are sponsored to avoid potential legal pitfalls.