- On April 19, 2017
Teenagers are a mystery to most advertisers. In terms of a demographic, they couldn’t be more valuable. They’re more likely to spread the brand across their own social networks, they’re great early adopters, they have disposable income, and they can be reached across a huge variety of advertising platforms. The problem is that most advertisers don’t really know HOW to appeal to a teenage demographic. Most attempts to appear “cool” or “trendy” are more likely to end up being ridiculed than make an impression. It’s easy to appear pandering or condescending when targeting teenagers, and only the brands that can appear genuine or modern can really grab their attention.
According to Google survey results, the most popular brands among the teenage demographic are names such as YouTube, Netflix, XBOX, Playstation, Oreo and Nike. Obviously, having a business that targets younger people is going to result in them recognising your brand more, but there are more ways to appeal to teens than this. The top brands became world renowned for more than what they sell. They have a strong social media presence, stay up to date on the latest trends, and move with the market rather than against it. Here are some of the top ways to appeal to teenagers as a company:
Work with Teenagers – No one is going to know what a teenager wants more than a teenager. Hire teenage interns or part-timers and ask for their opinions and ideas. Use your own expertise and their knowledge to help forge your advertisements and direction.
Invest in Social Media – You are never going to get anywhere with teenagers without a strong social presence. This isn’t as simple as just making a Facebook or Twitter account and posting once a week. You need to look into growing social platforms like Instagram, Tumblr, SnapChat, and any other that you can see gaining momentum. Hiring a teenager to run your social media accounts could help you reach out to them more, but be sure they aren’t posting anything without your confirmation.
Focus on Parents – Though teenagers have mostly free reign on their spending, it depends on what the business they’re visiting is. They can buy food, clothing and games by themselves, but what can companies focusing on medicine or banking do to gain teenage customers? Target the parents. Use parents with teenage children as a demographic and focus on them. They have the final say in their teenagers spending habits, and are likely more interested in their child’s health and welfare than the teenagers themselves are.
Be Aware of Pop Culture – In the olden days, companies could use well-known actors, musicians or sports stars to promote their brand. Teenagers are more wary of this technique nowadays, and are less likely to buy something based on a marketable face. The figures they care about are different, and you’ll find them on different platforms. Check out popular YouTube stars and Twitters users. There are people on social media and video sites that reach thousands of teenage viewers a day who you can use to promote your brand rather than relying on an actor that they might not even know the name of.
Be Aware of Peaks – There are certain parts of the year where you’ll be reaching more teenagers than normal. Focusing on teenagers around half term or after Christmas is more likely to get a return on your investment than targeting them during the school term for example.
Ultimately, teenage habits shift and change constantly. The market always moves fast, but teenagers especially are hooked up to caffeine and move faster than most companies are prepared for. But if you can keep on top of the trends and gain a solid audience among teenagers, you’ll find a wide-ranging and free-spending customer base.