Remember when brands were trying to figure out how to market to Millennials? Well Generation Z are beginning to take the spotlight and influence a complete restructure.

Generation Z refers to the group of people that were born between 1995 and 2015. This group was born into the age of the internet and grew up using social media. Generation Z is more adept in technology than any other generation, and as such is changing the way businesses execute their marketing campaigns.

As Gen-Z’ers continue to form their own product preferences and develop personal buying behaviours. This new group of consumers will have a strong influence on the market direction, making it necessary for brands to be at the forefront of their expectations.

Where and how do they consume media?

To entice this audience, marketers need to be on top of major digital trends and keep their social media strategy relevant to the likes of this demographic.

Gen Z’ers typically consume information from their mobile devices and are very much engaged with social media. Before they do some shopping, they look for inspiration online, on platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. According to statistics compiled by Fast Company, generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020. Brands that are not adapting to the way this new group consumes messages will lose market share.

When it comes to communicating with these consumers, social media managers and marketing professionals need to know which platforms to leverage and ensure that messages are consistent across all spaces. Beyond that, to reach this demographic effectively, it is essential to understand the world they live in, their likes and dislikes, social platforms they use and how they feel about various social and cultural issues.

Create relevant content

There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to the younger consumer. Studies have shown that Gen Z have an 8 second attention span. Brands need to communicate their message and value proposition clearly and quickly, or run the risk of losing this audience and their loyalty.

Create more visuals than text

Embracing the visual aspect of brand storytelling is very important. To succeed, marketers can align their brand to a greater purpose with a narrative that captures the attention and imaginations of this upcoming demographic.

Visual content is a powerful force and a direct highway to the hearts of young consumers. Digital natives spend more time watching online videos than television. Today, YouTube remains the most-viewed video platform in the social media space, therefore, strategic marketers can take advantage of the emotional power that video possesses.

Images are also a corner stone of generation Z culture. Social image-sharing platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are high traffic sites that are ideal for a variety of visual marketing tactics.

Use mobile technology

Generation Z is far more focused on mobile content than any other generation. As Google stated in their report: “Millennials were mobile pioneers, teens are mobile natives”. That is one of the reasons why companies are increasing their spend on designing exceptional mobile experiences.

For example, larger brands like Starbucks have led the way in this regard, offering the ability to place a mobile order ahead of time and then walk into the store for pickup. Such options are highly appealing to Gen Z consumers who favour brands that prioritize memorable experiences.

Work with Influencers

Marketing expert Andie Read agrees that the best way to capture this generation is to feature a social media influencer they can relate to.

Consumers generally trust people they relate to, and generation Z is no exception. Influencer marketing is a powerful way to build your brand and with this cohort, the potential is huge. They view influencers as more than just online personalities, but as peers. Affiliating your products with popular ‘YouTubers’ or ‘Instagrammers’ can be a smart move when looking to impress this audience.

Provide Value

If you are looking to engage this generation, make sure your marketing campaigns provide value, such as offering free items or discounts for taking surveys. This is a generation that wants quality products, perfect online experiences and to be entertained.

Gen Z cares about improving the world and actively chooses brands that work to make the world a better place. Like their Millennial friends, Gen Z would like to see social responsibility from brands they associate with. It is important to post stories about activities that showcase sustainable business practices.

Final thoughts

Despite Gen Z’s complexities and countless interests, their needs can be seamlessly integrated into existing marketing strategies, enabling brands to successfully engage with them. When properly marketed to, this powerful consumer base is the next group of customers that can help your business grow its revenue exponentially.

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