Are you thinking of hiring an apprentice to your marketing team? Digital marketer, freelancer and entrepreneur Kelly Culver writes about teenagers of today and how their skills in digital will make them the marketers of tomorrow. Here’s a few things you should know before you make that hire.
Teenagers have grown up with technology at their beck and call, having iPads from the age of 10, smartphones are being given earlier and earlier and the internet has more content than ever before. They have grown up being able to find out anything they want from the Internet and have become accustomed to having it in their everyday lives.
That is where the teenagers of today have the benefit over old school marketers. They understand social media in a way that the generation before never could because they started off using technology young.
Children As Young As 7 Are Learning Code
Honestly, it’s true. I have attempted to learn code but I physically can’t get my head round it, and there are 9 year olds that know a lot more than I do. They’re taught code as if it is another language ( I know, I know, that’s what it is classed as) and where they are starting so young, as they get to my age they can easily become a web designer or developer without going to a university or college to study it.
Not only are they learning to code websites, they are also creating applications, coding toys to do certain things. Having this education so early in their lives will completely change the digital world. In ten years when these children become of working age and will eradicate some of us “old fogies” due to the skills that they will have.
Teenagers Create Huge Fan Bases
I am more of a spectator on social media, and over the years I have noticed that a lot of teenagers are now making income from Facebook pages that they created two or three years ago and now have over a million likes.
They have found what their audience loves, and though they may not realise, they are doing some phenomenal marketing efforts to get their page more likes. They are delivering steady streams of relevant content, but as a passion. Whether it’s because they love the attention or it’s a sense of pride hitting 100,000+ likes, they do it well because they are passionate about the page.
For instance, “site modelling” (Where people take selfies or rarely, professional shots, and post them onto a page) reached an all-time high in 2007 with Myspace and then quickly died down due to trolls and styles changing. However, there are still new site modelling sites popping up every day and still making a success. At one point site modelling was for a few styles of person, punk, scene, Goth and emo, yet even though this went “out of fashion” years ago, many pages are still gaining hundreds of likes each day and are still going strong. Nowadays there is a variety of different pages for people to post their images to and these site models create an avid following. You may think that it’s simply because these people are good looking and whatnot, but that’s not always the case. The way that the teenagers who run the “agency” post engaging content and create conversations, people like the page because they can relate to it. Teenagers can end up creating such a large fan base they get advertisers approaching them to promote their product or website and get paid for it. Now how often do you hear about this? Not often, because they don’t shout about it.
Teenagers Are Image Conscious
They always have been, we love making ourselves look good online and we can do it with ease. It’s second nature, we know what people expect of us and can make our own lives look much more interesting than they are (I’m talking to you Instagrammers!)
If they have something embarrassing put up about them, they quickly rectify the problem so other people don’t see. They like to keep their reputation up to scratch.
If you put these image-conscious teens in a marketing team for a brand they can channel the energy they put into their own social media accounts into your brand. They can pull you away from the darkest depths of the internet and throw you into the limelight. And if something tarnishes your image, no problem, they’ve had this problem for themselves so they will find a way to get your company image back to being squeaky clean.
They Don’t Socialise Face To Face Anymore
Usually seen as a bad thing by many people who think that teens are becoming less social and engrossed in technology. But are they?
Not really. They may not be social in person, but I can bet your bottom dollar that these teens are talking to people online, keeping up to date with news (whether they realise it or not) and are well, being social. Somebody who’s natural way of communication through social media makes a perfect social media executive.
Because they have adapted to getting their point across without sounding stand off-ish. Many marketers struggle to make something come across a certain way, yet teens have had to do this from a young age. How many of us have nearly sent an email but think we seem to blunt? Again, I can bet your bottom dollar quite a few of you agree with me.
How Can You Take Advantage of This
The “economically active” teen population has a rate of around 15%, it sounds low but don’t forget teens now have to stay in education (or work) until 18. However, even though some of these teens are staying in education, you can still take advantage of this. There are plenty of apprenticeship schemes that are for Social Media or Digital Marketing, and I highly recommend you think about taking this route when next hiring somebody for your marketing team. I started out as an apprentice, however after 6 months I was offered a full time job at a different company because I was more than capable, and there are plenty of other teenagers who are the same, they just don’t know it yet.
Digital is the way forward, and teenagers are the answer to businesses marketing needs. Not only are they naturals when it comes to the digital world and social media, there are also grants available for businesses who hire apprentices. The apprenticeship route is definitely the way forward for any business, and start-ups can benefit from this too. Not only is the minimum wage lower, but you are putting a teenager into a relaxed further education, giving them skills and watching them blossom.
What do you think of hiring teenagers to work in your business? Do they have the skills you need to make your business grow or are you hesitant to hire them? Tell us in the comments below or on @liveandsocial
Digital marketer, freelancer and entrepreneur Kelly Culver writes about teenagers of today and how their skills in digital will make them the marketers of tomorrow.