Millennials may have disrupted the marketing landscape, but there’s a new generation set to change things all over again. Generation Z is more connected and tech savvy than the generations that came before it. They’re comfortable working with all devices and they demand a seamless experience across the board. More than half of Gen Zers are swayed more by influencers than other marketing methods, according to Forbes.

You can’t treat Gen Z like millennials. Before you try to market to this group, it helps to understand what makes it so unique.

students holding signs protesting for the climate

Who Is Gen Z?

It may have the final letter of the alphabet in its moniker, but Generation Z is proving to be a mighty force. This generation of consumers was born between 1997 and 2015. It has purchasing power worth more than $140 billion, according to Business Insider.

In addition to a flawless customer experience, members of Gen Z also expect authentic interactions with the brands they’re loyal to. Despite the reputation as a generation easily swayed by social media trends, Gen Zers care deeply about community and connections.

To market successfully, you should also keep in mind that Gen Z has grown up during decades of struggle for many families. The ripple effects of 9/11 and 2008’s Great Recession shaped its views and made it less willing to take the risks of its older counterparts.

What Makes Gen Z Stand Out

Why should brands pay attention to Gen Z? These consumers aren’t just a younger version of those born before them. And the differences go beyond this generation’s tech savviness and risk-averse attitudes.

  • It’s More Diverse: Gen Z is more ethnically and racially diverse than any generation before it, according to Pew Research Center.
  • It’s More Educated: Experts predict that Gen Z will be the most educated generation yet. One in two Gen Zers will likely get a college education, compared to one in four millennials, reports Inc.
  • It Views Social Change as a Plus: Another view that sets Gen Z apart is its commitment to social change and an openness in what constitutes family.
  • It’s Comfortable with Gender-Neutral Pronouns: Gen Z is leading the charge of changing the rules of gender identity. It’s the most likely generation to support including gender-neutral pronouns on official documents and online profiles.

Gen Z’s Social Media Presence

Gen Z is a generation that loves social media. A survey conducted by Business Insider revealed some of Gen Z’s social media habits. According to the percentage of respondents who check the platform every day, Gen Z’s favorite platforms (in order of preference) include:

Instagram

YouTube

Snapchat

Facebook

This is also a generation that’s unafraid of hopping on the newest social platforms, often before older generations have heard about them. Gen Zers use social media to communicate. They harness the power of social to fight for inclusivity and individuality. And they peruse their favorite platforms to see what their role models are doing.

How can brands reach out to Gen Z? To engage this demographic, consider how Gen Z influencers are using their clout. For example, actress Hailee Steinfeld (@haileesteinfeld) inspires her followers to stay true to their personal fashion style. Model Barbie Ferreira works to help others embrace body positivity and promotes inclusivity.

How to Reach GEN Z

Older Millennials might have grown up in a time 1 before widespread Internet use, but Gen Z has always been immersed in the digital age. So how can brands and marketers meet the demands of this social media-savvy generation? We have seven tips on how to reach the Gen Z audience online.

Three young people standing outside talking

Be Mobile Friendly

A 2018 survey by Pew Research Center found that 95 percent of teens either have a smartphone or access to one. Members of Gen Z aren’t just widely plugged into the Web; they’re often accessing it via mobile devices. From short paragraphs to quick-loading images, your content should be optimized for mobile viewers.

Use the Right Social Media Platforms

For years, Facebook has remained the dominant social media platform. But when you’re reaching out to Gen Z, you might want to focus on other platforms as well.

A 2019 Business Insider survey found that members of Gen Z are particularly fond of Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. TikTok, which has enjoyed rapid growth in 2019 and 2020, is also popular with Gen Z. Work with influencers who understand how these platforms work and have experience using them to build an audience.

Be Socially and Environmentally Conscious

When it comes to social viewpoints and priorities, Gen Z has a lot in common with millennials. Both generations are more likely to prioritize environmental issues than older generations. Gen Z is also shaping up to be more racially and ethnically diverse than other generations, and they see that diversity as a positive.

Gen Z will gravitate toward brands that share their own values. So, use your brand’s platform to promote values that important to you, whether those values encompass inclusivity or environmental awareness.

Know That You’re Competing for Attention

Gen Z is used to scrolling through lengthy social media feeds and filtering out the dull content from the exciting. If you want their attention, you’ll have to really work for it. Prioritize the use of stylized videos and imagery that’s hard to ignore.

You’ll also want to offer them informative yet bite-sized content that doesn’t feel like too much of a time investment. If you plan to incorporate long-form articles or videos as part of your marketing strategy, create condensed or abridged versions to share on social media.

Offer Personalized Content

Another way to catch attention in a crowded feed is to offer Gen Z consumers a personalized experience. Target your ads to ensure the audience is interested in what you’re offering. Dedicate some of your resources toward responding to your followers’ comments on social media. Reply in a timely manner with a personalized message. Your younger followers will appreciate your willingness to be digitally engaging.

Offer Discounts

Members of Gen Z are aware that the Internet affords them plenty of shopping options. Why go to the movie theater when cheap, streaming options are available? Why buy an expensive new gadget when you can find a cheaper, refurbished version on Amazon? Keep young consumers happy with frequent discounts and an emphasis on convenient services.

Be Authentic

Shout-outs from celebrities may not hurt your brand, but authentic recommendations from relatable influencers will help you reach Gen Z. When searching for influencers to power your campaign , start with social media users who express a genuine interest in your products and services. Tool such as IZEA’s BrandGraph can help you hone in on organic influencers.

Don’t stress too much about audience size. Micro- and nano-influencers can be extremely effective, because the authenticity of the endorsement is what resonates with Gen Z.

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