Over the past decade, social media influencers have become an effective and agile tool for marketers, helping to build trust with consumers and producing aesthetic & entertaining content that drives conversions💰.
Due to its effectiveness, this role has started to expand to a more diverse range of contributors; and, amongst the most popular at the moment are children – known as the kid-fluencers 👶🏻.
This can be an extremely lucrative prospect for children and their families, some of them are earning over $26 million a year from the advertising content they post online. Through these kids’ activities, marketers also benefit from greater reach and engagement, as kids harness consumers’ sense of fun, humor and empathy. This means that everyone involved in this scenario is victorious🏆- a win,win as they say.
Unfortunately, when large sums of money are at stake, there is the potential for unethical behavior. Therefore, wherever children or more vulnerable individuals are involved, there is a clear duty to ensure that strict protections are in place.
This article will show you how kid-fluencers are protected and where marketers need to be careful.
One of the most common protections against exploitation is legislation. Most states have laws limiting the number of hours children can work each day 🧑🏽⚖️. However, while traditional entertainment is highly regulated, such measures are not in place for kid-fluencers. In fact, the Coogan law – which requires that 15% of the income of child performers be placed in a protected account – often does not apply to them. They do not even have the limits given to child actors.
Creating social media and YouTube videos can seem enjoyable for kids, with their content often involving games and fun. But, there is no guarantee that parents do not overload their children to the point of mentally collapsing 🤯. As there is an involvement of money and contractual expectations, these activities are firmly within the mandate of the job.
Therefore, marketers must be more strict in examining the relationship between children and their parents, limiting kids’ working hours overload.
Children are not at an age where they can make informed decisions and consent to aspects of their lives being broadcast to the world 🌏.
While there are currently no strict privacy child regulations, marketers need to think about how their actions can provide some form of protection. For example, insist that content should not take place in children’s homes or bedrooms to preserve their personal space and privacy.
Quality of Life
One danger regarding kid-fluencers is the fact that they spend so much time in media companies that it could impede their healthy development. Many adult influencers find that the pressure to keep creating viral content negatively impacts their stress levels and self-esteem😥, meaning that there should be added attention to this issue when it comes to children in order to prevent burnout.
While there are no formal regulations in place to help children avoid this, to some extent, undue pressure and negative actions by parents may fall under child abuse legislation- but this is often difficult to establish and rectify.
This is where marketers need to step-up take some responsibility such as insisting for kid-fluencers to take a break from social media to help maintain their mental well-being 😌. In fact, marketers can help strategize this break in a way that ensures they don’t negatively impact the target audience or the child’s source of income.
In conclusion, kid-fluencers 👶🏻 are becoming a common feature of our contemporary digital landscape. While their content can be entertaining and engaging, they are also vulnerable to exploitation. Their are existing basic child labor laws, but in many cases, their are not sufficient formal regulations or standards to recognize when kid-fluencers are subject to the negative issues surrounding their activities. Be the marketer that steps up and minimizes the potential for exploitation and harm 😇.