The “great influencers”, these increasingly influential seniors on social networks

Posted 24 Dec. 2022 at 9:00 am

When baby boomers become influencers, they are called “big influencers”. At the Streamy Awards in early December in Los Angeles, the annual high mass that celebrates content creators across the Atlantic, six Tiktokers came to raise the average age of an industry still dominated by the generation born around the 2000s.

Mabel, Bubbe, Eugène, Curtis and Larry, are all over 80 years old and depict their daily lives in a fictional retirement home which parodies the tendency among the youngest tiktokers to share a single villa to produce content to publish regularly. Behind the hashtag “grandfluencer”, which has more than 20 million views on Tiktok, we can thus discover the latest generation of content creators on the Internet: a generation born well before the appearance of social networks, whose representatives have at least 60 years.

“Arrived late, the seniors were welcomed with kindness and a tender eye by the public of social networks because they represent a form of authenticity” explains Thomas Van’t woot, co-founder of the marketing agency Boltinfluence. An arrival often prompted by the presence of their grandchildren on these platforms, to produce humorous content like Claude, Josette and their grandson Valérian with 1.3 million subscribers. The ideal profile to promote a video game for young and old in a sponsored publication entitled “My grandfather beats me up at Nintendo Switch Sports”.

A Community Affair

If the “great influencers” are distinguished by their age, they are on the other hand content creators like the others. For their communities as well as for advertisers. “Being cool has no age” sums up Yannick Pons, head of creative and commercial development at Reech, an agency specializing in influencer marketing .

Regardless of the target or audience you are addressing, activating an influence campaign always comes down to addressing a community. “Influence allows a brand to connect with a privileged audience. Partner with the influencer to connect with this audience in order to promote a product or service,” explains Yannick Pons.

As such, “great influencers” have the advantage of being mostly part of another category of influencers increasingly valued by brands, nano or micro-influencers. To measure an audience on social networks, it is the number of subscribers that serves as a thermometer. Micro-influencers are content creators with an audience generally below 100,000 subscribers, and nano-influencers, less than 10,000 “followers”.

A community often built around a specific center of interest whose influencer is an enthusiast or specialist such as sports, cooking, fashion or travel. “If their visibility is lower, their low audience is actually their strength in the eyes of brands. Their community is generally more committed and therefore attentive to their prescriptions,” explains Yannick Pons. Initially, the editorial line of great influencers was often linked to their age or the stereotypes associated with it. But they have diversified and today there are seniors in all segments of influence.

High purchasing power

According to the latest digital barometer established by the Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions (Credoc) in 2020, 58% of people aged 60-69 and 38% of people aged 70 and over had an account on Instagram. , Facebook or TikTok. A constantly growing category of users, which has become a valuable target for brands.

“Seniors tend to have much higher purchasing power than younger people. It is therefore lucrative for a brand to target this age group and its disposable income,” explains Florie Valton, strategic planner at We are Social. Around 79% of 60-69 year olds and 55% of people aged 70 and over validated online shopping carts in 2020, according to Credoc.

200,000 influencers in France

But there is still room and an audience to conquer: according to a study published by Reech, only 12% of marketing professionals are targeting those aged 60 and over. Seniors still remain a niche in the influence market,” explains Thomas Van’t woot, co-founder of Bolt Influence. “Yet more and more advertisers are wondering how to address this target,” observes Yannick Pons. There were only 3% of the 200,000 influencers in France over the age of 45 in 2022, according to a study by Reech. “It is very interesting for a brand to position itself on these profiles because it will be able to emerge quickly on this target, rather than launching a campaign with younger influencers but which will drown with the other partnerships” explains Thomas Van’t wout.

“With differences that tend to fade” underlines Yannick Pons. “While at the start their content was centered on issues related to their age, today there are great influencers on all subjects: fashion, humor, make-up, gaming, etc.” Enough to guarantee additional growth in a constantly growing influence market. The influencer market on Instagram is expected to reach $22.2 billion by 2025, up from $13.8 billion in 2021 (+12.6%), according to the State of Influencer Marketing study published by HypeAuditor.

The “great influencers”, these increasingly influential seniors on social networks