As a follow up to our last series, when we analyzed the diversity of Generation Z, this article will focus on how to market to Generation Z. Here are the top three tips:
Keep it Short and Engaging
Generation Z is on pace to become the most educated generation in history…but don’t expect them to read your content or maintain a long attention span. Short, visually engaging videos with graphics, overlays, and music are the way to go. Generation Z spends ample time on YouTube (77% usage rate), Instagram (67%), TikTok (64%), and Snapchat (60%), which are all visually based mediums. You will find ample opportunity to connect with them online, as Generation Z spends a nauseating four hours per day on social media.
What may be more intriguing than what is on this list of preferred platforms for Generation Z, is what is NOT on the list. Facebook only ranks 5th for this generation, with a user rate of just 42%. This means the majority of Generation Z did not use Facebook at all in the most recent month data was collected for this study, October 2021. This is a huge shift from Millennials, for which Facebook ranks number one with a 75% user rate. Facebook Messenger also ranks in the top four for Millennials, with a 62% user rate. In comparison, Facebook Messenger ranks 8th for Generation Z, with a 31% user rate, which is exactly half that of their elder generation.
Facebook has traditionally been a platform for reading posts and viewing photos, with far less video content than the other mediums listed here. Perhaps the decline in Facebook usage best illustrates the sharpness of this trend to video/visual first platforms among Generation Z users.
Include Values Based Marketing
Generation Z researches options and makes purchasing decisions based largely on a combination of price and the perceived social values of the company. To understand the social values this generation seeks, look no further than those that have been trumpeted via the mass media through the previous decade. Sustainability, “green” products, social justice messaging, and inclusiveness are a few examples. When a “progressive” cause comes to the forefront, expect Generation Z to jump in more readily, and in greater numbers, than other generations.
Focus on Authentic Marketing Techniques
Generation Z is not impressed by the carefully staged, “perfect” advertisements of marketing past. They are looking for sincere and authentic demonstrations, overviews, and testimonials of products. Off-the-cuff videos of real customers and situations will have a stronger impact than a traditional style TV-type ad. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be real.
Partnering with Influencers, which are social media users with lots of followers, is an effective approach to reaching the Generation Z demographic. This may seem contrary to “authentic” marketing, since the Influencers are obviously being paid to promote the product or service. However, these Influencers engage on a more personal level, showing how they use the product in their actual everyday lives. This differs from the traditional spokesperson, who would read from a script while wearing a plastic smile and standing on a carefully staged set. The traditional spokesperson approach is the opposite of what resonates with Generation Z.
When hiring an Influencer, it is important to find someone who is a good fit for the product and who genuinely supports it. If not, this generation will sniff it out, and the result will be poor for both your company and the Influencer´s reputations.
If you are able to successfully implement the above three items, then you’ll be well on your way to a successful marketing campaign. Perhaps the toughest adjustment will be learning the new social media platforms. Just as companies were starting to understand Facebook and Twitter marketing, this new generation has swept in with a different set of preferred platforms. There´s a good reason why they say the only constant in digital marketing is change.