Research predicts there will be roughly 65 million active teenage social media users across the four major platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok) by the end of 2022. It’s not the largest age group on social media, nor is it one with massive spending power. But that doesn’t make teenage consumers any less valuable. In fact, marketers spend more than $17 billion annually marketing to young audiences because they know if they can establish brand affinity early, they’ll have a customer for life.
You’re off to a good start if you have a product that appeals to teenage consumers. The challenge is marketing it to them in a language they understand. And that’s where teenage influencers come in.
Young creators know exactly how to translate your message for their peers. But collaborating with them might be a little different than the process you’re used to. Here’s a look at the top teen influencers right now and what to know before partnering with them.
Why should I partner with teenage influencers?
Young consumers trust influencer recommendations.
Kids ages 13-17 are the second most likely age group to buy a product a social media influencer recommends. In fact, over half of Generation Alpha respondents in a recent survey said they want to purchase something they see their favorite creator using or consuming and listed them as more influential in their purchase decisions than family members, celebrities, and professional athletes.
Teen social media spending is on the rise.
Roughly 98% of consumers said they made, or plan to make, a purchase on social media in 2022. The group most likely to buy? Parents with young kids. About 81% of adults with children under 18 said they were interested in social commerce, lending the perfect opportunity for brands to market to the whole family. Bonus points if you can find a creator who parents and kids both enjoy watching.
Keep up with the latest trends.
Young creators are the first to know when there’s a new social media trend on the way. They’re also the first to capitalize on it. Viral trends are fleeting, but having some young talent on your team with a finger on the pulse helps you get to the party early and jump into the conversation before it becomes oversaturated.
They have a lower average cost than adult influencers.
In our 2022 report on the strategies and effectiveness of influencer marketing, most brands we work with told us that rising pay-per-post costs were the most worrisome trends they identified the year prior. And as creators continue to up the ante, partnering with teenage influencers is one solution for influencer marketing managers looking to preserve their budget while still pulling in high returns.
Make no mistake: Most teen megastars will still charge top dollar to promote you. But the Atlantic recently reported that many brands have succeeded with young influencers charging between $5 and $20 per post. And while you should never lowball a potential partner, finding the right creator looking to build their portfolio in an affordable collaboration is a win-win.
5 tips for partnering with teen influencers
Take care of the parents, too.
If you’re partnering with teenage influencers, chances are you’re partnering with their parents too. The parents might be your main point of contact, or they might just be helping behind the scenes. Either way, communication with them should be a priority.
Always keep the parents in the loop and build a relationship with them the same way you would any of your actual creators. And if you’re sending your young partner a gift to show appreciation, it never hurts to send the parents something they might like, too.
Provide detailed briefs.
The younger the partner, the more essential providing detailed briefs becomes. On average, teenage influencers have less experience than their older counterparts and will appreciate the added guidance for producing content that gets results.
But there is a fine line between providing detailed briefs and micromanaging. Keep that in mind, and always be sure to give your influencers the freedom they need to create content that resonates best with their audience.
Don’t expect your teenage influencers to have it all figured out. Many will still be finding their voice and just beginning to uncover what it takes to succeed professionally.
Take your time with them. Don’t be afraid to spend a few extra minutes walking them through processes and educating them on best practices to help develop their skill sets. Partnering with teenage influencers is a great opportunity to teach aspiring creators how to do things the right way and set them (and your brand) up for future success.
Help them grow.
Give your young creators plenty of room to grow with your brand. If they’re providing value, consider promoting them to a higher commission tier or inviting them on as a brand ambassador. These signs of good faith will show you value their work and are committed to their career development.
And regardless of whether you’ve signed them on for a long-term partnership or seasonal campaign, make sure you’ve given your young creators some valuable knowledge they can use throughout their careers. Doing so will increase your reputation for being a good partner and help you land more quality influencers in the future.
Get to know the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA).
There could be some additional hoops to jump through if you’re looking to partner with creators younger than 18. Here’s a little rundown of some of the U.S. laws you should be familiar with before diving in:
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) – You might have to follow certain requirements if your creator has fans 13 or younger. If they do, take some time to read through COPPA guidelines to ensure everyone is compliant.
- Child labor laws – These laws differ from state to state, so you’ll have to check to see which ones apply where you’re headquartered. However, you might be exempt from some of them if your creator technically works for their parents.
- Truth in advertising – These laws state that “an ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence.” It’s an important rule to follow with any creator—especially those with less marketing experience.
Top 15 influencers for teens to model your strategy after
Teenage influencers on Instagram
Niana Guerrero is a 16-year-old social media sensation from the Philippines best known for her viral dance covers. In addition to being a prolific content creator across multiple platforms, Niana also finds time to write original music, including a few tracks with her half-brother Ranz Kyle Ongsee.
Sixteen-year-old Marley is an activist, author, and founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks. Marley has spoken at the White House’s United State of Women, The Forbes Women’s Summit, United Nation’s Girl Up, and more. She is a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award winner and appeared on the Forbes 30 under 30 and Ebony 100 lists.
Fateh Halilintar is an Indonesian creator known for his vlogs and challenge videos. Some of his most popular content involves light-hearted pranks, food challenges, and behind-the-scenes looks into his daily life.
Mari Copeny made a name for herself by helping to bring awareness to the Flint water crisis in 2016. The 15-year-old activist known as “Little Miss Flint” continues to advocate for her city and shed light on other challenges in marginalized communities. She also recently partnered with Hydroviv to produce a water filter shipped nationwide to those facing toxic drinking water.
You can also keep up with Mari’s journey on Twitter.
Hayley started her career creating vlogs with her family on the Bratayley YouTube channel. She has since pulled back on YouTube content to focus on her acting career, with her most notable role coming as Harmony on Brat TV’s “Chicken Girls.” Although Hayley has big Hollywood dreams, she keeps her social media content down-to-earth and relatable.
You can also follow her on TikTok.
Teenage influencers on TikTok
@caitsbooks i feel like i went back to 2020 booktok for this video #songsasbooks #caitsbooks #bookrecommendations #fantasybooks #bookreaders ♬ original sound – Black and proud 🤞🏽
Cait is 24, but their content is perfect for teens looking for a good page-turner. As one of the founders of BookTok, Cait loves nothing more than to share their love for reading with an equally passionate audience.
Riyaz is an Indian fashion blogger, actor, and model, but he is probably best known for his viral lip-syncing TikToks. The 19-year-old is a great follow for anyone looking for some original style inspiration or their new favorite song.
You can get more of Riyaz’s content on Instagram.
When you see the signature blue hair, you’ll recognize Liza immediately. The 15-year-old creator became popular with vlogs, comedy videos, and challenges, and she regularly sweeps through TikTok with viral dances and lip-syncs.
@noahxboa Learn More Hacks Like With Derren Browns Audible Exclusive Podcast 👀 (get it free with the free trail) #lifelesson #lifelessons #derrenbrown #exposing #lifehack #tricks #outsmart ♬ original sound – Noah Da Boa
Noah shares insights on finance, investing, and other ways to get ahead in life. Known for teaching his followers “what school doesn’t,” Noah is the perfect follow for any young people looking to nurture their entrepreneurial spirit.
She Did THIS at 64 Years Old
Andy Jiang’s moniker alone should be enough to make any influencer marketing manager’s ears perk up. “The Storyteller Guy” scours the web for the most fascinating, uplifting, and sometimes terrifying stories from all corners of the world and condenses them into quick hitters his audience loves.
Teenage influencers on YouTube
Ethan’s video game channel is about just having a good time—not being the best at gaming. The 16-year-old creator has been producing YouTube content for more than half his life and always brings his contagious positivity to the platform.
You can also follow Ethan on Instagram.
Eighteen-year-old singer Kenzie Ziegler burst onto the scene in 2014 with her debut album Mack Z, which reached #1 on the iTunes pop charts. In addition to pop hits, Kenzie treats her audience to plenty of lifestyle content, including day-in-the-life, GRWM, and makeup tutorial content.
You can also follow Kenzie on Instagram.
Lorenzo Greer, also known as Tekkerz kid, is a 13-year-old soccer sensation currently playing for the Birmingham City Football Club Academy. Young footballers and sports fans love his channel for his amazing skills compilations, in-depth shooting tutorials, and gear reviews.
Fifteen-year-old Karina Kurzawa, also known as GamerGirl, is a force to be reckoned with in the male-dominated gaming industry. She got her start posting tutorials and reviews of her favorite titles and continues to bring a fresh perspective to her audience’s favorite games.
Evan is a 16-year-old YouTuber with more than a decade of experience creating content across multiple channels. LEGO is his favorite topic, but Evan also puts out plenty of other toy reviews, reaction videos, and challenges.
Evan is also active on Instagram.
Key takeaway: With a little patience, teenage influencers could be the missing piece in your next campaign.
Teenage influencers are the perfect prospects if you’re looking for a creator to grow with your brand. But don’t expect too much at once. Take your time bringing them along and provide them with all the resources they need to be successful. If you play your cards right, you could get in early with the internet’s next social media megastar.