Social media brought with it a new form of marketing — influencer marketing. An influencer is basically a person who has a large following on social media platforms and can influence his followers to buy the products that he promotes. Since a significant portion of social media users are youngsters, it isn’t surprising that there are numerous teen influencers as well.
After influencer marketing became popular, brands started to chase celebrities in order to get them to publish positive posts. But soon, companies discovered that teens who have a sizeable number of followers are also an excellent channel for marketing. “Teenagers are more affordable to work with because of their follower count and age… They’re not doing Insta as a full-time thing; they’re just trying to make extra money, so it’s not super expensive to partner with them,” Christy Oh, an 18-year-old who handles marketing for Doux Lashes, said to The Atlantic.
Instagram celebs can charge anywhere from US$500 to US$30,000 for a sponsored post. In contrast, companies can hire teen influencers and get the job done for US$20 or so. Plus, teens only require a few thousand followers to be considered an influencer by brands.
For small companies that do not have thousands of dollars to spend to get promoted online, these teen influencers are the best option available. With a minimum budget, a brand can hire hundreds of teen influencers and get their name or product known by hundreds of thousands of people. And for the teens, this is a good opportunity to make a few hundred bucks a month doing little to no work.
Most teenagers who have 10,000 followers or more often have talent managers who help them with negotiating contracts, finding brands, and so on. It is these managers who have the most power over teen influencers. More often than not, the managers develop a good relationship with the parents, who might be worried about the safety of their children.
Many teen influencers are not naïve and understand fully well that internet exposure can bring unwanted attention. As such, they tend to only publish sponsored posts that align with their personality and do not generate any controversy. Some teen influencers lose their value when they grow up and find it difficult to get any significant contracts. However, there are also those who utilize their influencer experience to establish their own businesses.
Popular Internet celebs
In April, financial analyst Piper Sandler released its survey of American teens. The report revealed the most popular Internet celebs followed by teenagers. One such star is 23-year-old David Dobrik, a well-known YouTuber whose channel has over 18.5 million subscribers. His loyal fanbase has apparently enabled Dobrik to build a net worth of US$7 million.
Charli D’Amelio has more than 46.6 million followers on TikTok and is one of the biggest stars of the platform in the U.S. She launched her channel in 2019 and saw explosive growth in just a few months. The 15-year-old posts choreographed dance sequences on the platform. D’Amelio is so successful that she even made an appearance in a Super Bowl commercial.
Emma Chamberlain has over 9.1 million followers on Instagram. Many teens follow her because she is seen as someone relatable. Emma played a key role in popularizing the VSCO girl aesthetic in 2019.