Influencers and Kids

In 2011, my then four year old little sister was my responsibility to pick up from school after I was done with my prep classes.

In her class was a good number of children with a large number of ways to break your patience, your back and your wallet. Yet within this set of snotty nosed, bright eyed, noisy yet adorable little terrorists were people they listened to or at least followed their lead — even to the colour and type of lunchboxes, water bottles and school bags.

A very curious thing, it was.

Now not that they all listened to this set who had a certain hold over opinions in the class, no, it was merely a member of each separate clique that was needed to push the agenda and eventually the whole class bought the idea.

This is very similar to how social media operates and how influencers have the capacity to not only change opinions but also behaviours and even sentiment for a product or service.

Influencer marketing is a growing but strong arm of marketing that has had quite some exploration done and yet, still it is filled with so much potential. You may be well aware of the popular figures in your favourite social media platforms pushing for the use, download, view or entertainment of a product or service — like the ones in my sister’s class. A good example is Taeillo and how they used influencers to get to a sweet round of sales in 2020; how they used AR/VR (Augmented/Virtual Reality) to further amplify the experience to everyone working from home.

Sounds good right? What you will easily miss is that all the influencers tied their personal brands to the products they were campaigning for; they all had one story to tell across boards: this is a solution — be it back pain or clutter.

That is something you don’t see in every campaign.

Yet not all campaigns require popular figures to succeed because just as the rest of the kids in my sister’s class needed one person from the various cliques to push the agenda, so can influencer marketing be targeted at closed groups and communities as seen in the rave about the new Hypo products in April 2021.

Back to my sister’s class, during the Christmas that year, there was a party hosted for kids by a TV station with one of the main appearances being Ben10. My sister couldn’t make it because we had travelled to the village however upon return, about a third of her class had Ben10 themed school bags while the rest did not. Now you know what happens next — FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) ensued and my sister sang decibels of anguish in the ears of my dad until he gave in and bought her one.

Here’s the funny story: by the end of the term almost everyone had gotten a Ben10 themed school bag in various shapes and sizes all because a few “influential” persons in the class had gotten them first.

Remember the Melodia dress saga?

That right there is a great strategy for influencer marketing — selling vanity, limited quantity, a sense of belonging and even fear.

Now that we have properly learnt from a group of four year olds here is the key element that clearly says your campaign will work or flop — storytelling.

If you don’t tell the right story and carry it along these 3 steps:

  • What do we want?
  • How do we achieve it?
  • What happens next?

then i promise you that all you will have is impressions with no conversions.

…and we all know who’s getting fired afterwards…

-Kalu Arunsi

Strategy, UX and Writing. I'm the new kid who makes mistakes but learns thrice as fast. That a 100% ROI on your effort.