Gen Z is the influencer generation

January 27, 2021

By Katherine Williams

As online shopping has exploded in popularity over the past few decades, especially in light of the recent lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online marketing strategies have never been more important. Although traditional email lists and catalogs may have worked on older generations, young people in Gen Z and Gen Alpha rely on social media influencers as their primary source of product recommendations. With that in mind, utilizing influencer channels for promoting your brand is key to connecting with Gen-Z consumers.

A key statistic to understand about young people today is that 61% of Gen Zers claim they base purchasing decisions off peers. This means that traditional channels of celebrity advertisements are not quite as effective with Gen Z, a generation that values authenticity above all else. Shifting to micro-influencer marketing and user-generated content is much more appealing to Gen Z, who looks to their peers when deciding what to spend their money on. In the eyes of Gen Z, everyone, including their friends, is an influencer, so tapping into more local channels of influence will make your brand feel more genuine and trustworthy. Additionally, 76% of Gen Z follow an influencer on social media. This makes influencers one of the most direct connections to young social media users who love to see fresh brands that their peers are supporting.

Influencers embody a more Gen-Z version of celebrity, offering a sense of fame and popularity but with a bit more connection, access, and authenticity. These values are incredibly important to members of Gen Z, who want to know that the influencers they are following are real people. It’s “celebrities...they’re just like us” brought into the social media channels of today’s celebrity culture. Building genuine trust is essential to connecting with Gen Z, who, as digital natives, can spot fake corporate language and bland advertising from a mile away. 

Reaching out to influencers, especially those on the most popular platforms like Instagram and TikTok, can be a great way to grow your brand and establish a regular Gen-Z customer base. From startups like Parade to huge fashion houses like Louis Vuitton, collaborating with influencers on sponsored posts and unique digital content is a successful and exciting way to rejuvenate your brand and use influencers to your advantage when marketing to Gen Z. Understanding how Gen Z interacts with and listens to influencers is a key insight into engaging with this young and powerful generation.

See the entire list of Adolescent creators here