It’s the big question that all marketing professionals are asking and is one that we ask every 10-20 years: how do I market to the next generation? Generation Z, the generation following Millennials, includes those born in the late nineties to 2012 and has a lot of variances between those born during the beginning few years to those just recently born towards the end of the generation. Ask anyone who was born before 2002 and they still use Facebook, or at least regularly check it, but ask any current middle-schooler if they have a Facebook and they’ll look at you like you are speaking a different language. But don’t let their young age fool you; by the end of this year, it is estimated Gen-Z will make up 40% of the population and have more than $44 billion worth of buying power. Generation Z is tough to nail down and the use of sweeping blanket statements to characterize the entire generation just won’t do, but here are a few general rules of thumb when it comes to marketing to Gen-Z.
Social media can be your best friend if you know how to utilize it.
Social media should be valued above all else when it comes to Generation Z, but it is important to know how to use it and how this generation uses it. According to Hootsuite, Instagram is the most popular app for brand discovery. This platform is also key for branding your company or product. Facebook is another key player but will only reach the first half of Generation Z, as many of the younger individuals in this group don’t even have a Facebook. Twitter is the place where Generation Z gets their news – if your brand has an important announcement or anything newsworthy to say, Twitter should be the first place you go. As for platforms such as Snapchat and Tik Tok, it is important to have a presence on both, but research is inconsistent about what kind of content works best.
Micro-Influencers are valuable.
According to WordStream, micro-influencers drive higher engagement and lead to more conversions per week than celebrities. Micro-influencers, anyone between 1,000 to 10,000 followers, create more engagement because Gen-Z users can relate to these individuals more than someone like Selena Gomez.
Generation Z wants experiences.
Generation Z is all about the experience using a product can create. Look at Asos’ Instagram; they market the idea that you can look great and look great all over the world. From the beach, to the mountain, to a city center, these clothes demonstrate the ability to travel, and to Gen-Z, this experience is what makes the brand so popular, and why they are doing so well. Converse’s Instagram does the same; their photos don’t focus on the shoes, but rather the story around the shoes and the lifestyle portrayed in each image. The idea with this is to show how your product would fit into customer’s lives.
Keep content quick because Gen-Z has a short attention span.
The last thing to remember, and arguably the most important, is that Gen-Z has an attention span of eight seconds. Short videos or Boomerangs that inform but still catch the eye, are the best route with this generation. This, coupled with everything else about Gen-Z, makes this group one of the hardest to successfully market to. But there is good news. Once you catch their attention, they will spend countless hours researching and reading reviews.