Insights to Nail Your Gen Z MarketingApril 12th, 2022 by Socially Powerful
A few years ago, the big question was “how do we advertise to millennials?” Nowadays, it’s all about marketing to Gen Z. But who are Gen Z and why is Gen Z advertising so important?
The digital natives
Gen Z, also known as the digital natives, are those born between 1996 and 2010. Gen Z have been exposed to the internet, social media and mobile systems from a very young age. They are digitally savvy and are open to trying new social platforms, content styles and aesthetics in a hope to find the best way to express themselves.
Gen Z are comfortable with collecting and cross-referencing sources of information, and thrive in the integration of virtual and offline experiences. Gen Z are the main driving force behind meme culture and social media trends. Gen Z marketing trends change as frequently—the best way to stay connected to Gen Z is to constantly monitor the platforms they are most active on.
As a cohort, their spending power currently stands at an estimated $323 billion, and this is only set to grow. Despite their digital nature, Gen Z still enjoy shopping in stores, but are also the first adaptors for the growing social commerce channels.
Gen Z do not have a set identity—they enjoy experimenting with aesthetics and looks. Being constantly connected online, they are exposed to different lifestyles and information, meaning their sense of self is constantly changing. While this may present a challenge to Gen Z marketing, it also opens new doors and opportunities for brands to make the most of.
Marketing strategies for Gen Z
Marketing to millennials and Gen Z requires similar strategies, but there are a few key differences. So, how can you succeed in your Gen Z advertising strategies?
Throw traditional marketing methods out the window
Gen Z are proud of their unique identities, so your social media marketing strategy needs to be just as unique as they are. Paid actors do nothing for Gen Z; they want to see real people, real reviews, and real stories.
Gen Z want relatable marketing campaigns. The people in your ads need to share the same beliefs and understand the struggles of your Gen Z audience. This is why a storytelling approach is so important.
Gen Z don’t want a product for the sake of having a product. They want to know the story behind the product and how it will provide genuine value to them. There are various ways you can do this, but one of the most effective for Gen Z marketing is using influencers.
82% of Gen Z say that peer reviews are important to them when shopping online, and 21% are directly driven by influencer recommendations.
Master quick, ephemeral content
As a result of endless scrolling and an abundance of new content, attention spans are dwindling, currently standing at a meagre 8 seconds. This has only been driven by the rise of TikTok-style content, including Reels and Shorts. This means you need to engage Gen Z quickly and efficiently. The best way to do this? Ephemeral content.
Most platforms offer some form of Stories—TikTok has even joined the bandwagon with TikTok Stories. Only available for 24 hours, Stories give brands the chance to inform and engage Gen Z quickly. The best part? Setting this content up is easy to do.
Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and Facebook Stories allow you to share content, whether it’s a video or image, to your profile for 24 hours. Only appearing for a few seconds, you need to make sure you create a Story that has all the information you want Gen Z to know, but is exciting and engaging too.
Make the most of social commerce
Social commerce is still a developing commerce channel, but it is being quickly adopted by Gen Z. Alongside millennials, Gen Z are open to trying new technology for online shopping. 40% are willing to try livestream shopping, and 24% are excited by the premise of trying on clothes with augmented reality.
Generation Z marketing gives brands the chance to be out-there and creative with their marketing strategies. Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok all offer AR filters that brands can use and promote as part of a social media campaign.
Livestream shopping has boomed in recent months, largely due to platforms such as TikTok offering easy access to a shoppable live stream. These streams can be hosted by employees at a brand or by chosen influencers. Viewers can see the products in action, ask questions in the moment and have immediate feedback from hosts.
Stand for something meaningful
Gen Z are very politically and socially conscious; 60% of Gen Z want to positively change the world through their work and they want to support brands that think the same.
However, growing up online, Gen Z know when a brand is partaking in performative activism. You need to be genuine and authentic in your Gen Z marketing and in your general business operations. Gen Z are known to not only boycott unethical brands, but to start social-media manhunts for brands caught lying about their practices.
Why is Gen Z important to marketers?
Gen Z is a crucial audience base to marketers. Gen Z are soon to be the largest cohort and are the generation with the most spending power. However, their core values differ from previous generational cohorts.
Gen Z marketing will be a key focus for brands of all industries for the best part of the next decade. Gen Z marketing will ensure key Gen Z audiences remain loyal and interested in your brand, something that is vital in an overcrowded social media landscape.
How do I target my Gen Z audience?
The best way to implement Gen Z marketing is to target them natively. Gen Z don’t trust brands, but they do trust influencers. Using influencer marketing on platforms they are most active bypasses the distrust, as Gen Z have a pre-existing trusting relationship with influencers. To find the best influencers, you should consider working with an influencer marketing agency.
Gen Z also crave authenticity and entertainment. Your Gen Z marketing strategy needs to be relevant and authentic to each social platform and content type—you need different content for TikTok, Reels and Instagram posts, for example.
What social media platforms do Gen Z use the most?
Gen Z are also known as the digital natives as the majority of the cohort has grown up with the internet and social media at their fingertips. The most used platforms by Gen Z are TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube. You should focus your Gen Z marketing efforts on these platforms, and make use of all content types these platforms offer.
However, they are also very quick to test new social media platforms—for example, BeReal. So make sure you keep your ear to the social ground to be the first to jump on new Gen Z marketing opportunities.
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