The impact of influencers on Gen Z

Surge in digital platforms has democratized fame and success, making it more accessible than ever

By Sahil Chopra

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YouTube takes the lead as the most-used platform by Gen Z, offering a mix of education and entertaining content.
YouTube takes the lead as the most-used platform by Gen Z, offering a mix of education and entertaining content.

Published: Mon 29 Jan 2024, 7:41 PM

Gen Z, the most zealous digital natives, have grown up on social media platforms. It’s not merely a part of their life; it pretty much dictates their everyday decisions. But who is behind shaping their decisions, thoughts and opinions? Influencers are at the forefront of conditioning attitudes, behaviours and even career aspirations through YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.

The impact of influencers on Gen Z is reflected by the time they spend on these platforms. You’d be surprised to know approximately 38% of Gen Z consumers spend more than four hours using social networks every day. This is a considerable investment that highlights how deep-rooted these platforms are in our daily lives and the unquestionable reach that influencers have on this segment of the audience.

Influencers hold a strong sway – from the book you will read next to the restaurant you will order from tonight – over the purchasing decisions of Gen Z. In addition, Different categories – from nano-influencers to macro-influencers, play their distinct role in sculpting Gen Z’s perceptions and choices. Approximately 66% of Gen Z consumers have made a purchase based on their favourite influencer’s recommendation. This emphasizes the trust and value Gen Z puts in an influencer’s opinions, making influencer marketing an influential tool for brands targeting this demographic.

What’s more, While influencers have a strong hold on Gen Z’s choices, this generation also values uniqueness and personal style. They are more likely to purchase through digital channels like social media apps, moving away from traditional brand discovery sources.

A few years ago, nobody would have believed influencer marketing could be seen as a viable career option. The surge in digital platforms has democratized fame and success, making it more accessible than ever. Gen Z views social media not just as a hobby but as a lucrative platform for personal branding and a potential career avenue.

However, it’s important to understand that influencer marketing functions differently on different platforms and caters to the diverse aspects of Gen Z’s social media consumption:

1. YouTube takes the lead as the most-used platform by Gen Z, offering a mix of education and entertaining content.

2. Instagram and TikTok are not far behind, quite popular among Gen Z for their visually engaging, short-form video content that appeals to their preferences for quick, creative and authentic storytelling. Similarly, Snapchat has garnered users for its ephemeral content, allowing for casual interaction among Gen Z users.

Authenticity, engagement, and visually appealing content seem to be preferred mainly by Gen Z. Their inclination towards short-form videos, user-generated content, and influencers is a testament to why brands use these content types to capture the attention of their target group effectively

The influence of influencers on Gen Z is profound. It goes beyond purchasing decisions in everyday life, touching upon identity, self-expression and career aspirations. Given that Gen Z is known for its practical and realistic approach, It emphasizes dialogue and is more open to entertaining differing opinions. This openness is reflected in their engagement with influencers representing diverse perspectives and lifestyles. Brands must keep the already strong bond between Gen Z and these influencers in mind when working on their next big campaign.

The writer is Founder & CEO, iCubesWire


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