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The Rise of Millennial and Gen Z Micro Influencers

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Millennials are responsible for $600 billion in annual buying power. According to the Levo Institute and Adecco Work & Happiness Report, one of the main spending drivers for this demographic are customer reviews, and in this social media age that really comes down to peer to peer information.

According to Nielsen, 90 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations while only 33 percent trust ads. This is why 75 percent of marketers have turned to influencer marketing and, more specifically, micro influencers.

These digital influencers range in age from 18 to 34 and have anywhere from 10,00 to 30,000 followers.

Even though micro influencers have smaller followings, the engagement of their Instagram followers is typically higher than a macro influencer—anywhere between 8% and 60% higher.

Part of the reason for this is that social media users are micro influencers and considered more relatable to consumers—and with Instagram's recent algorithmic shift favoring authenticity, their posts have an added visibility incentive.

Enter apps like Takumi, HelloSociety and Dovetail, which pair micro influencers with brands, and afford Gen Z and Millennial social media users with cold hard cash—anywhere from $75 to $5,000 per campaign post based on engagement and followers, according to some estimates.

“Influencer marketing is still effective when they’re looked at as peers,” Kyla Brennan, the founder and CEO of HelloSociety, told Adweek earlier this year. “When it comes to celebrity accounts, who have maybe millions of followers and nobody actually believes that a celebrity is a real fan of a product they’re trying to sell.”

Meanwhile, Instagram isn't the only game in town. For Gen Z—between the ages of 14 and 21—Snapchat is becoming a viable side hustle, with startup Fanbytes targeting influencers with small but loyal bases to promote brands.

“Last month, our highest earner was a 17-year-old kid who got $7,000 through delivering ads in our network,” Timothy Armoo, CEO of Fanbytes, told Adweek. “The average person is making around $2,000 a month.”

At a time when 68% of undergrads are working up to four jobs, based on Adecco's findings, this flexible work opportunity can't be underestimated.

“With more avenues for entrepreneurship than ever before, younger generations see flexibility as an attainable — and even expected — part of their career,” said Joyce Russell, president of Adecco USA. “It makes sense that they would be drawn to a micro influencer lifestyle, where they can choose when and where to work, and ultimately, what they want to work on.”

“I initially posted lifestyle-type pictures — nice moments in my day, like a slice of cake or flowers on the windowsill,” Instagram micro influencer Sarah Tasker told the Guardian. “I noticed other people were getting free products or payments from brands and thought ‘I want some of that’.”

Liked this article? Read more about insights from The Levo Institute and Adecco here.

Photo by Annie Spratt for Unsplash

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