Sometimes we’re certain Gen Z are cooler than all of us, and it’s not hard to see why. Born roughly between 1996 and 2012, Zers make up approx 30% of the world’s population.
Gen Z are known to be incredibly smart, carefully considered in their approach to media consumption and for their willingness to take initiative and self-educate. They’re driven by the need to stay up to date, so what matters to Gen Z (among other important things) is that they are able to voice an opinion and contribute meaningfully in discussions. We love that!
The thought of marketing to a younger generation can be daunting. So this one goes out to our fellow Millennials, our Gen Xers and, yes, to our Boomers too. Put your thinking caps on and pull up a chair…
All About Gen Z
Write down these buzzwords:
INDIVIDUALITY and IDENTITY.
Gen Z are more likely to advocate for specific causes they have thoroughly researched online, and when it comes to open discussion, they’re far more willing to have a healthy conversation with people who have differing values and beliefs (when compared to other generations).
^ Barack gets it.
Gen Zers are interested in the why behind your business. If it’s obvious you’re just pushing sales, they’ll think it’s a bit suss. And you can’t really blame them for wanting more than the occasional promotional sale.
They’re the ones heading to the transparency tab on your website, seeing who makes your products, what’s happening on the supply chain etc. They’re the ones holding the rest of us accountable, and more honesty and transparency can only be a good thing in business, we reckon.
So, what should marketers consider when developing campaigns for Gen Z?
Forget about everything you know! Kidding. There are a few things you can try before hitting Ctrl Alt Dlt.
1. THINK VISUAL
Marketers should consider incorporating visual platforms into their strategies and developing bite-sized content like Instagram Stories, Reels and TikTok videos. Short-form video content is king here. Overlays, visual effects and music have also proved successful.
2. PLAY AROUND WITH INTERACTIVE CONTENT
Research shows younger audiences want to have a say – so try things like polls or question boxes.
3. EMBRACE THE ENTERTAINMENT FACTOR
Allow your brand to have a sense of humour, if appropriate. It’s no secret Gen Z loves relatable, funny content. If humour doesn’t feel right for your brand, that’s okay! Opt for some more relatable content instead. Gen Z just wants to be able to see the human side of brands, and who can blame them? We love to see it, too.
4. SHORT FORM IS IN
Leave the fancy editing to the big ad agencies, thanks. Social media is all about keeping it real these days, uploading blurry pics, witty captions and being totally unfiltered. It’s not a bad way to be.
Okay, all this info is great, but what should my business do differently if our target audience is Gen Z?
1. GET ON TIKTOK
Seasoned platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are great, but your best bet is to get started with TikTok marketing. If you need any help, our sister agency The Content CliQ are at your service.
2. ALIGN YOURSELF WITH CAUSES
Align your brand with important causes that Gen Z cares about. Think: environmental, political, socio-economical and more. Lend your voice and your platform to others to create change.
3. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
Back these actions with honest and transparent initiatives all year-round. People want to see long-lasting change, and this comes from consistency, rather than a few fundraisers or donations here and there.
4. BE INCLUSIVE
Think about inclusivity when selecting models and brand ambassadors. Don’t just hire people who look and think like you. Audiences want to see all kinds of people represented, so look to hire people of different backgrounds, races, sizes and gender identities.
To summarise – in order for Gen Z to care about your business or brand, it’s important to carefully consider every aspect of it. So when it comes to the content you’re putting out there and the people who are associated with your brand, complete regular audits and check-ins – because all of this will be closely watched by Gen Z. As it should be.
As is the case with social media, everything is constantly changing. So if you feel like you’re stumbling around in the dark, you’re most certainly not the only one. That’s where the reinforcements come in – aka marketing professionals - aka yours truly.