Gen Z, the elusive generation of those born between 1995 and 2010, has been a demographic that brands have struggled to market to since they first began swiping through their smartphones. It is rare to find a Gen Zer who isn’t tech-savvy, with 45% of Gen Z saying they are online “almost constantly.” Influencer marketing has never been more primed to reach a specific demographic. However, just because Gen Z lives online doesn’t mean it is easy to resonate with them there. Commonly referred to as the “online generation,” these current 11 - 25-year-olds are difficult to market to for one core reason: they were born into a digital world.
Think about it, if social media platforms are the home of this generation, then every instance of influencer marketing involves you knocking on their front door and asking to come inside for a chat. Because of their higher frequency of being online, they are also much more skilled at noticing when they are being marketed to. Let’s put it this way because they were born into a world that has become more and more tech-dependent with every passing day, Gen Zers have built up an incredible online bullsh*t detector.
So, how do we reach Gen Z? First, we get to know them by learning how and where they live online. Then, we reach them through a trusted source— Gen Z Influencers, their peers, who have become more like friends due to constant sharing.
Who are Gen Z Influencers?
Gen Z Influencers are members of Generation Z. They are incredibly social media savvy and always up to date on the latest content creation trends more often than not, not only consuming content made by their peers but also creating content themselves.
Primarily these Influencers rose to their status by growing organically through a successful content strategy that allowed them to relate to their audience in a way that felt that they were a friend who moved away. One could argue that it is easier for Gen Zers to become Influencers because they are the only generation so far to grow up in a world where “Influencer” is a career that can be worked towards. Not to be ignored, there are some Gen Z traditional TV/Movie stars who have taken their celebrity to social media and created a captive audience.
Benefits of Partnering with Gen Z Influencers
Gen Z has been on track to become the largest generation of consumers since 2018, which comes as no surprise considering they account for $29 to $143 billion in direct spending. Their existing and forthcoming impact on brand and market success is massive.
Benefits of partnering with Gen Z Influencers include:
- Gen Z consumers are more inclined to be skeptical about brands, using an Influencer they respect to promote your brand is the quickest way to win their trust
- 93% of parents say that their Gen Z child influences household purchases, if you win over the Gen Zer then you’ve won over an entire household
- Gen Z is comprised of over 2 billion people globally and they are often the first to be in the know about new apps and social media platforms, when you partner with a Gen Z Influencer you get not only their audience but their expertise as a tech-savvy member of their generation
Learn how Walmart teamed up with RhythmInfluencer to target Gen Z with a back-to-school campaign, leveraging multi-tiered Influencers across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube + how they garnered almost 2 million engagements.
Top Gen Z Influencers
As I mentioned earlier, the easiest and most effective way for brands to reach Gen Zers is by partnering with Gen Z Influencers. As always, when formulating a brand partnership it is essential not to force an unnatural connection, but to create partnerships based on cohesive values and voice. When a partnership is forced, static, or blatantly synthetic, Gen Zers will be the first to spot it and subsequently lose trust in that individual and brand being promoted. Let’s take a look at some of the top Gen Z Influencers in their industries, to see what makes them the voices of their generation.
Lifestyle Gen Z Influencers
Somewhere in between fashion and wellness are the nearly undefinable lifestyle Influencers. What is it about them that we can’t stop watching? These intuitive content creators have mastered the seemingly impossible— turning their personal lifestyle into a brand itself.
Source: @diningwithskyler on Instagram
Gen Z lifestyle/cooking Influencer Skyler Bouchard (@diningwithskyler) is a self-taught chef who is teaching Gen Z to cook with “delicious + un-intimidating recipes for everyone.” She incorporates her sunny personality into her posts + Reels and creates seemingly effortless branded posts.
Source: @victorialyn on TikTok
Popular Gen Z Influencer Victoria Lyn is a beauty, skincare, and lifestyle guru who partnered with Bliss for a fun, informative video.
Source: @melanie_locke on Instagram
Melanie Locke is another example of a Gen Z Influencer whose adaptability has allowed them to quickly rise through the influencer tiers. This multi-talented Gen Zer is big on Instagram, Twitter, VSCO, and Spotify— making her an ideal partner for your next multi-platform campaign.
Aoki Lee Simmons
Source: @aokileesimmons on Instagram
The best social campaigns have global appeal. International Gen Z Influencer and model Aoki Lee Simmons embraces her far-reaching platform, connecting with a worldwide audience, even highlighting her locations in her bio “NYC | LA | Paris.”
Celebrity Gen Z Influencers
There are two different types of celebrity Influencers, oftentimes Disney Channel stars who become Influencers, and Influencers who become celebrities. The end result is the same, but the two paths look very different. Let’s take a look at two of the most successful celebrity Gen Z Influencers to get a better picture of how they partner with brands to help create seamless, enticing branded content.
Millie Bobby Brown
Source: @milliebobbybrown on Instagram
A classic example of a celebrity who has used her platform to pivot into becoming a successful Gen Z Influencer, Millie Bobby Brown has garnered a huge following of Gen Zers and Millennials/Gen Xers alike after her standout performance as Eleven on Stranger Things.. As one of Samsung’s ambassadors, she is able to provide the tech brand with access to a newer, younger audience.
Source: @charlidamelio on TikTok
You can’t really talk about Gen Z Influencers who have reached celebrity status without mentioning Charli D’Amelio. This dancer turned TikTok influencer turned celebrity is the gold standard for Gen Zers who were born into the digital world and quickly learned how to turn social media into a career and lifestyle.
Whether you are looking to partner with Gen Z Influencers or celebrities for your next campaign, we here at RhythmInfluencer are ready to help. Contact our team of experts to get started.