Don’t Ignore These New Age Tactics for Marketing to Generation Z

Generation Z is the youngest generation and are born during the late 1990s (born in 1996 or later) and is usually a growing challenge for most marketers. By some, Gen Z is considered to be the toughest and most skeptical and demanding audience they have encountered so far. They usually have little patience for traditional marketing and institutions. They never lived in a time when the internet did not exist and are not familiar with the barrier to real-time communication and information, and they grew up on social media. By 2020, Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers, which will force marketers to learn how to connect and engage with them in order to create customers and lifelong relationships.

Gen Z has a shorter attention span than a goldfish and is because they have a very fast and highly selective filter for things that will catch and hold their attention, which is totally different from things that marketers encountered before. But at the same time, when they find something that really interests them, they can easily become very engaged and committed.

This is a unique opportunity and marketers should think how they can approach it. The way you should think about ROI when dealing with Gen Z is that you should put your resources and effort toward engagement and developing a relationship with them, and this will mean far more for your business than other forms of traditional marketing and communication that you are currently doing. You basically need to unlearn traditional marketing principles when dealing with Gen Z.

Gen Z feels like brands aren’t even trying to understand them, which is a shame because it isn’t that hard. The root of the problem is that companies aren’t talking to their users. Companies are neglecting a very important factor when building their social media marketing strategy, and that is the fact that they should be collecting real and honest feedback from their customers. So the best thing you can do when trying to reach Gen Z is to simply ask them what they do and don’t like. You should be creating a feedback loop via a consistent conversation with them so you learn more about them.

There are many digital channels that you can utilize to your advantage and start a conversation with Gen Z in a very convenient and affordable way. Active social media channels are one of the easiest ways you can build a credibility with while also get valuable feedback from your audience.

Generation Z Wants Marketing From Real People

There was a survey conducted last year that showed that 63% of Generation Z wants to see real people in ads while the rest of them prefers celebrities. The majority of them also responds better to content that has a realistic ending rather than very unlikely narrative. Winning over Gen Z is important because they can have a big influence on household purchases. One way to get started and avoid being “unreal” is to work with social media influencers which will help you connect with Gen Z. Research has also shown that one-third of social media users in the U.S. between ages of 16 and 34 are social influencers.

Find A Way To Overcome Their Short Attention Span

Younger people have short attention spans so you have to keep in mind they probably won’t sit and watch your 1-minute-long ad as they are always on the lookout for new stimulus. The best way to overcome this is to present it to them in micro-bite blocks or entertainment and if you don’t, they’ll just move on to the next thing. YouTube is thinking of an idea to implement ads that are 6 seconds long as a way to keep this kind of watchers engaged.

Gen Z has an eight-second filter for content but it doesn’t mean that if you present worthwhile content that they won’t pay attention. If you are creating content that you want to be shared, then you have to keep in mind that Gen Z will tune out if you don’t catch their attention as fast as possible. You can experiment with animated GIFs and video to grab their attention but you still have to create something worthwhile to keep them watching.

Leverage Visuals Over The Text

Gen Z consumers can quickly decipher what matters since they see, on average, 200,000 marketing messages before they are 15. To deal with this, you need to make content that makes them feel comfortable. They would rather record a short Snapchat video or use emoji to communicate with each other than write a standard message on Facebook. GIFs are a great example of things you can use since they are really short so it aligns with their super short attention span. Other ways include memes and short videos and don’t try to connect with them in a way that you think are correct but rather in a way that they are used to communicating.

Gen Z regularly shares images among their friends and they expect that brands and companies they interact with to be more than just a logo. Great way to connect with Gen Z and show them what you are about is to show behind the scene images, real pictures of people doing work and candid images of your company. You can include unboxing product videos which are really popular or record yourself reorganizing a major piece of your workflow. They will enjoy the fact that they are participating in some way and that they know what’s happening.

Be Social!

Facebook is constantly bringing new innovations and new reasons for users to keep using it. Research has shown that 67% of older Gen Z users use Facebook on a regular basis and 50% of Gen Z uses Instagram. Let’s not forget Snapchat which is used by 51% of Gen Z users. The teens use Facebook as their main social media platform because it’s a comprehensive directory of brands and people. You might also try to utilize the Facebook Live feature to drive engagement with Gen Z.

Gen Z has an intuitive understanding of how social media platforms work and they’ve watched people in their household use it and they probably started using it from a young age. Center for Generational Kinetics found out that 40% of Gen Z says social media has a real direct impact on their level of happiness. Brands should find a way to lift up their Gen Z customers and consumers to make them feel like heroes.

Gen Z users will never see your content if you are not sharing it consistently on social media, no matter how good it is. You can still create long-form content on your blog but be sure to distil it down and make it more suitable for social media while presenting it with a short video or an image so it’s appealing to Gen Z.

Recently, Facebook has been losing a portion of its users under 18 and they are going to Instagram instead. Consider running Instagram specific promotions and advertising because it might be a great way to reach those Gen Z users. Instagram now has a support for 15-second videos which presents a new opportunity for promotional video campaigns.

To really capture the attention of Gen Z, your campaigns should be on multiple social networks and other mediums because the majority of Gen Z are multitasking all the time. They like to experiment with new technologies and social networks often. Think of using combos like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and influencer endorsements to really engage with Gen Z.

Gen Z Values Authenticity

One of the main mistakes that brands make when trying to market to Gen Z is that they don’t use their social media properly and create an ingenious character that represents their image. This is a mistake because Gen Z wants originality and transparency. The best businesses on Snapchat talk to their audience in the authentic and fresh way. One example is Taco Bell and their launch of the Taco Snapchat filter which provided users a fun feature that also raised awareness of their brand.

Here’s another tip: don’t try too hard. You should try to be more relatable. And no, we are not implying that you should start using acronyms like “lol” and “omg” in your content and ads because it can come off as fake. Gen Z tries to act and behave like adults and they expect from older people to treat them as such. You should be following trends that have a great chance to become viral at that moment. Find those trends and incorporate them in your strategy and you will connect with your Gen Z consumers. Here’s example from Taco Bell’s Twitter and how they connect with their fans in a creative way:

Gen Z views marketing with a great dose of scepticism and if you want to engage with them, you’ll have to make sure that your advertising and messages come off as authentic. Kids will ignore brands that try too hard to be more like them and they will make fun of those brands among their friends on social media as well, so be careful. If you think that you are talking down to Gen Z, then you can use brand ambassador that will get in a conversation with them more easily.

Explain to Gen Z How You’re Changing the World

Gen Z has grown up in a world that they feel is really corrupted. They’ve seen a lot of wars, recessions and other bad things happen so they are worried about their future but are also ready to take action. They are not waiting for someone else to change the world and are ready to get their hands dirty. They are passionate, volunteers and entrepreneurs.

Trends have shown that 60% of Gen Z want to have a job later on that will have a meaningful impact on the world and 80% or more of them will buy a product if it has an environmental impact. They expect brands to have an impact and they should be showing it regularly.

To reach them, you’ll have to be as passionate as they are. Embrace your brand, create campaigns that are not self-centred and show Gen Z how you’re changing the world in a good way because they will not settle for less.

 

Take Notes From Gen Z’s Snapchat Experience

When you launch the Snapchat app on your mobile phone, it’s already on so it has literally no steps to create a new content. Snapchat stories last for a day and snaps are time-sensitive which force users to open the app throughout the day. The images on Snapchat disappears once it has been received which removes some of the risk associated with posting an embarrassing picture. Everything is created in the moment and no one scrolls through filters for an hour to create a perfect image like they do on Instagram.

There are many media companies that are trying to create a Snapchat presence. On Snapchat, if you don’t check your story or create one, then you are possibly missing out on all activity. Snapchat is fuelled by fear of missing out and it drives creation and consumption of videos.

You should follow some rules, such as:

  • Customize
  • Broadcast
  • Reply
  • Re-Broadcast

You should interact with your followers directly while making sure that you create and consume repeatedly. Snapchat features like calls to action, the integration of a customer’s personal story into your brand story, and others, can help you to reinforce the customer experience. Using it, you can create personal connections and exclusive clubs between the brand and its customers.

CONCLUSION

Gen Z is the youngest generation and they will define the future of consumer behaviour. Companies and brands need to learn how to market to these individuals by monitoring Gen Z’s habits if they want to remain on the forefront of social media. Gen Z loves going love and seeing what other people are doing at the moment. Experiment with using influencers but make sure that it remains personal as Gen Z doesn’t like when it sounds scripted and they will love to buy a product that is tried out by them.

Facebook isn’t enough and it’s not where all the action is. Gen Z looks for platforms they are less likely to be seen as most people who are older than they know how to use Facebook. Instagram is huge among Gen Z users, as well as Snapchat.

  • ronnen

    What a great article. Thanks so much