Understanding how to Market to the Gen Z Audience
Understanding and marketing effectively to a Gen Z audience can feel like a challenging venture. Generation Z, colloquially also known as zoomers, is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials. They include those who were born in the early and mid-’90s with the ending birth years of this generation considered as the early 2010s. As more data is generated about this generation, the more marketers understand what zoomers expect from the businesses they support.
Here are some things to know about the notorious Gen Z generation:
- Gen Z’s have grown up with the internet and social media. Gen Zs are an extremely technologically advanced and digitally literate generation.
- They have access to a lot of information and through their familiarity with the internet, they can access information about concepts they do not know, making them a hyper-aware generation.
- Forbes has reported that Gen Z’s trust in larger organizations both commercially and politically is in decline.
- The same article also reported that almost half of Gen Zs get their news from social media.
- According to Facebook IQ, 61% of Gen Zs are willing to pay more for products that are produced ethically and sustainably.
With all of that information considered, you might be wondering, what does that mean about marketing to Gen Zs?
Here are three things you can take away from the data above:
1. Short-form Visuals
The preferred platforms for Gen Zs are YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. They get both their entertainment and news from these platforms. However, one commonality between these three is their emphasis on videos. The format of short-form visual content works across these platforms due largely to the success of TikTok. YouTube has since seen success with its Shorts and Instagram with Reels.
This ‘snappy’ video content is the perfect formula to not only capture the attention of Gen Z’s but also get your message across in more time than a post. Keeping these videos between 30-60 seconds, with visual effects, overlays and music can assure you not only reach your Gen Z audience but also gather engagement.
It is important, however, like any other generation to ensure that you are providing some sort of value or valuable information. While they may click, you still want to ensure they take action online (save, like, comment or click a link).
Tags are one of the best ways to engage with Gen Z audiences. This isn’t limited to the business using tags but rather how both the business and its audience can interact through tags. This includes:
- Location tags
- User-generated content (by tagging the company in the post)
The manner in which Gen Zs use social media means that tags are a way for them to engage with your brand and help increase your general reach and engagement. Brands do this with designated hashtags to encourage user-generated content, share users videos and pictures on their stories or on posts that were under certain hashtags. In some cases, physical stores make “snappable” places to let their customers take photos and tag the company and its location to share with their friends.
Essentially, tags aid in encouraging customers to engage with the brand on social media.
A great example of this is Kazza Pot and Kettle:
3. Showcase Your Brands Values & Personality
To stand out to Gen Zs you have to be willing to show what your business stands for. Growing up in a digital world means that they have been overexposed to advertising and can be turned off by noticeable marketing. To counter this, brands have to show their authenticity.
It's been said many times but that is what Gen Zs crave from the brands they support. Giving insight into the company, how it is run and what it stands for, is an important element of engaging with this generation and most importantly meeting their needs. For businesses that aren't too sure about their authenticity, ask yourself what is your brand's personality?
Brands like Wendy’s have gained a lot of social media success by positioning themselves as humorous and trendy online, specifically through Twitter. A simple marketing plan with generic wording is not going to cut it for Gen Zs. They want to know exactly who they are supporting: brands that align with their beliefs and provide relevance to their lives.
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