Youth Marketing 101: How to work with teen influencers

As research shows they trust social media stars more than brands, influencer outreach is a key part of marketing to young people today. Some of the most popular and relatable influencers are teenagers themselves, which can create extra challenges for brands who want to sign them up as ambassadors.

Here are our top five tips for getting teen influencers on board and forming a successful working relationship.

1. Be a brand they want to associate with

The best influencers to work with are the ones who care about their reputation and want to offer the most interesting and relevant content to their audience. Therefore, they want to collaborate with brands who are on the same wavelength. The values of teen influencers reflect those of teens in general, which you can read more about here. The companies they typically like to work with are ethical and digitally savvy with strong visual appeal.

2. Make sure everyone’s expectations are clear

When working with teen influencers, you may find that your new ambassador doesn’t have much experience in representing brands. Therefore, it’s important to be super clear on what they’re expected to do, and anything that would be unacceptable, such as criticising the brand or promoting competitors. By making sure you’re on the same page from the start, you can avoid disagreements later, and you’ll have a better chance of building a strong ongoing relationship.

3. Trust the influencer’s instincts

This is where a lot of brands go wrong when working with influencers. When paying for an endorsement, companies want to get as much for their money as possible, which means they like to control exactly what content goes out and when. However, they’re missing a trick if they don’t listen to the influencers, who know their own audience better than anyone. According to a Crowdtap survey, creative freedom is what makes influencers most likely to want to work with a brand again.

4. It’s not all about the money

Of course, any influencer is going to expect a fair fee for their endorsement, but when it comes to working with teens there are other incentives that can help you get them on board. For example, you could offer them the chance to be first to try out a new product or service, or provide them with a discount that they can share with their followers. The model used by Uber and Airbnb, where users get free credit when their friends and contacts sign up, is particularly popular and beneficial for influencers who have a large, engaged following.

5. Work with influencer agencies

If you’re not used to working with teenagers, don’t worry! Influencer agencies such as Crowd.agency and Tailify can help you find the right ambassador for your brand and ensure that everything runs smoothly once an endorsement is agreed.

Both Crowd.agency and Tailify are among the speakers at our YMS London conference in March. Find out more about the agenda and how to get your tickets here.