Youth Insights, Expert Commentary, & Agency Culture
5 Valuable Tween Marketing Lessons From YouNow: The Live Streaming Social Network

5 Valuable Tween Marketing Lessons From YouNow: The Live Streaming Social Network

Let's get right to the point:

  • Take down the corporate veil, humanize your brand, and start socializing in ways that are peer-to-peer.

  • Celebrate and show appreciation for young people who support your brand whenever possible.

  • Spend more time building an authentic fan base within each social channel, and set realistic expectations for engagement.

  • Partner with influential, brand-appropriate young people who are most “relatable” to your target audience segments. Influencers who express genuine interest in your content are the only ones you want to work with.

  • Ease off the controls a little, and experiment with in-the-moment content and social apps that are most relevant to your brand.

Just in case you haven’t heard, tweens are steadily migrating to the live streaming social network, YouNow. In addition to Instagram and Snapchat, YouNow is becoming the place where tweens hang out, broadcast their daily routines and interact through video chat with thousands of young people from around the world. The platform now has over 100 million monthly users and is becoming a top entertainment choice for Generation Z. Its real-time features, category hashtags, ease-of-use, and growing user base—make it a golden opportunity for authentic brand engagement.

YouNow allows members to broadcast just about anything—from musicians to dancers, to comedians, and yes, even the #sleepingsquad! It’s a growing community that epitomizes Generation Z with a convergence of diverse interests and a much lower “adult factor” than other popular live streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat.

Video Chat Broadcasting

Within moments of experiencing YouNow, tweens can quickly capture the attention of audiences with similar interests ranging from hundreds to tens of thousands. Creative young tweens are broadcasting their own music, humoring audiences, conducting Q&A sessions, and hosting their own dance-offs and singing competitions. Fans frequently make requests of the broadcaster and do what tweens do best—socialize. These experiences are what tweens love about YouNow: the engaging content, relatable conversations, and an incredible sense of community.

“I don’t have to worry about looking perfect on YouNow. Viewers give me the thumbs up just being me.” –Mariane, Age 13

Immersive Youth commentary on tween and teen engagement

Online Currency: Tipping to Show Appreciation

YouNow generates revenue with in app-purchases, similar to mobile games, but uniquely executed as fan-based tips. Fans can purchase YouNow bars, which range from $2.99 for a stack of bars, they get a truckload for $9.99, and it goes up to $49.99 for a Rocket (the highest amount). Tweens LOVE the tipping feature, for example: one fan tipped a truckload of bars to watch an amateur musician perform a cover of Shawn Mendes’s “Stitches.” Another popular broadcaster does fan shout outs for 2,000 bars, and on one occasion a musician received 10,000 bars by surprise from an appreciative fan! YouNow’s business model is successful because it eliminates ads and creates a three-way win for fans, broadcasters and the company. It works because broadcasters want to become popular, fans want recognition from the host, and are willing to pay.

“I saved up my allowance to buy new shoes, but I ended up spending it on YouNow. So then I asked my sister to borrow her allowance, but she spent it on YouNow too.
–Zach, Age 15

Gamified Collaboration

YouNow gamifies live streaming and allows the viewers to determine which tween broadcaster becomes a celebrity. This experience provides tweens an opportunity to interact and chat with their favorite broadcasters, and broadcasters can develop a closer relationship with fans through collaboration. For example, one fan tipped an artist 500 bars and was invited to be part of their video. YouNow’s currency system allows broadcasters to ascend the popularity chain resulting in a larger audience while enabling fans to show their admiration in a more interactive manner. At the heart of YouNow is a nurturing community for all users, regardless of their status, to collaborate together and create content that resonates with their generation.

“I try to connect with my audience and include them in all my broadcasts. Something as simple as giving fans a shout-out will make them smile. Seeing my fans happy, that is the best part of it. –Brianna, Age 15

YouNow demonstrates authentic tween and teen engagement

Influencers Who Keep It Real (Time)

Some YouTube stars and Viners have been quick to jump on this live streaming app, yet the real sign of it’s growing stability and influence is the rise of young people who are not as famous on other platforms and are making names for themselves as broadcasters.

“I purchased a $1,000 keyboard and a new camera so that I can broadcast with better quality.” –Chris, Age 16

Notable Influencers on YouNow:
1.   BruhItsZach, 17k viewers per video, 456k fans
2.   99goonsquad, 6k viewers per video, 69.9k fans
3.   Hunterrowland22, 9k viewers per video, 132k fans
4.   Rudanc, 20k viewers per video, 334k fans
5.   Ayexmadeline, 4k viewers per video, 82.5k fans

The Secret of YouNow

It’s not about the number of fans a broadcaster has during one broadcast, but rather the depth of real-time engagement with fans over the days, weeks, and months broadcasters can place on the “Trending Now” list. That’s the ultimate goal for broadcasters, knowing they’ve kept fans interested.

How can your brand apply these lessons to your youth insights and marketing initiatives?

Written by Gregg Witt

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The Tween Commandments of Youth Marketing

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