- Effective marketing strategies to reach Gen Z
- How does Gen Z differ from older generations?
- Importance of visually appealing content post-2021
- Engaging with the younger generation and encouraging feedback
How to reach Gen Z: 10 marketing strategiesHistorically, marketing to a younger demographic has been challenging as they tend to fall into niche markets that are harder to reach with conventional marketing strategies. However, since iGen’s are approaching their spending prime, marketers need to learn their buying behaviour and bridge the gap between Gen Z and other generations. While Gen Z and Millennials are similar, the former’s more pragmatic approach makes them more value-oriented. In addition, Gen Z’s are believed to be hypercognitive, meaning they are happy to cross-referencing many sources of information and thrive off instant gratification. Here are ten strategies you could implement to tap into Generation Z.
Graphics over textIn today’s digital age, video content is more important than ever before. Gen Z has fuelled a rise in video content, understandably, given that this audience is more connected to the internet than previous generations.
According to recent statistics, 81% of Gen Z say that Instagram and YouTube are their preferred social media platforms for entertainment and information gathering purposes, including learning about new brands or products.Given Gen Z’s appetite for video content, marketers should consider incorporating visual storytelling content into their marketing strategy and bite-sized content displayable for short periods on platforms such as Instagram Stories and Snapchat. Snapchat became a cornerstone of marketing to iGen, propelled by artificial intelligence (AI) as the app’s use of filters, visual effects, and music has proven to be liquid gold for influencers and brands. TikTok is another social phenomenon that has rewritten the rules of engagement with younger generations. With 689 million active monthly users worldwide, it’s become one of the most popular apps of this generation and one of the most direct ways to market to Gen Z. The appeal of TikTok is heavily aligned with Gen Z’s desire for less “manufactured” content. If you want to target Gen Z, you should familiarise yourself with the platform and consider collaborating with influencers on the social network to boost brand awareness.
Experiment with interactive contentAside from engaging with brands on social media, research suggests that Gen Z enjoys interacting with content. According to a study conducted by Cognizant, more than 50% of survey respondents said that they enjoy virtual reality content and are interested in creating customised entertainment packages, indicating how marketers can better serve this demographic. When crafting content, think about ways to encourage your audience to interact with your post, whether that be to swipe, like, share or comment. For example, could you incorporate polls, questions and quizzes into your strategy? These types of practices will help you learn about your consumers while simultaneously winning their attention by encouraging engagement.
Create FOMO with time-sensitive postsTap into your audience’s fear of missing out (FOMO), which is a great technique to employ when trying to appeal to your consumer’s desires to make the most of an opportunity before it disappears.
FOMO is a psychological trigger, humans can’t help but respond to, and data suggests that over 60% of social media users suffer from this type of social anxiety.Marketing examples of FOMO include:
- Displaying best selling or low in-stock items
- Showing live information on sales
- Exclusive offers
- One-shot discounts with exit intent
- Limit free shipping
Leverage tags for engagementMarketers should take full advantage of the powerful role tags play when marketing to Generation Z, as they influence how we navigate the social media landscape. Tags could increase your audience reach by:
- Encouraging current followers to share content
- Allow customers to tag their posts when they’ve attended a brand event, using or wearing one of your products
- Asking followers to tag their friends and family to invite new potential customers
Showcase your brand’s sense of humourGeneration Z tends to support brands that appear “fun” and “cool”, explaining why memes and other humorous content are popular among the younger demographic. Memes have fast become a popular form of communication and entertainment, especially among young people. What’s more, memes make up 85% of content on online platforms and social media – however, the challenge for brands is how to appeal to that group and keep up with the speed of the internet. Most brands are entirely disenfranchised from the younger generation on a cultural level and risk coming off as out of touch if they can’t show this audience that they understand them. Brands have traditionally failed to appeal to younger audiences when trying to be humorous as it tends to feel forced. When creating “fun” or “cool” content, ensure that your brand has a distinct voice and showcase the human side of your business by striving to produce content that appears organic rather than scripted.
Engage with social media followersBeing responsive has always been a crucial factor of social media strategies as it goes hand-in-hand with boosting brand awareness and loyalty. According to a recent Sprout Social survey, nearly 50% of respondents said that they rate brands that offer vital customer service highly. Gen Z’s also look out for how well brands respond to comments and reviews, with increased levels of engagement translating into higher levels of trust. Meanwhile, 41% of survey participants said they would rather buy from a brand that delivers timely responses than a competitor – hence the need to prioritise this aspect of content marketing.
Reinforce your business’s beliefs and valuesAccording to a recent Brands Get Real report, Gen Z consumers are three times more likely than older consumers to say that a brand’s purpose is to serve communities and society. Younger people tend to care deeply about critical issues such as global warming, mental health, gun reform, inclusivity and poverty. Most iGen’s also believe it is a brand’s responsibility to address these issues and advocate change. As a result, businesses now need to prove they are community-minded and develop social impact initiatives to show they are committed to the causes Gen Z care deeply about.
The key is to be authentic rather than aspirational, as Gen Z wants brands that represent real and diverse people rather than glossy depictions of unrealistic lifestyles.
Excited to share learnings on how businesses can help tackle Covid-19 & reach #SDG6. Our brands @lifebuoysoap & @domestos are stepping up, & we’re working with @FCDOGovUK to reach a billion people through the Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition. https://t.co/FOgFkbvnCO— Unilever #StaySafe (@Unilever) August 25, 2021