If you’ve ever found yourself saying the sentence, “Kids these days!” when trying to put together a marketing campaign for younger audiences, this article is for you. Besides their rejection of millennial life staples of side parts, skinny jeans, and laugh-cry emojis, Gen Z also responds entirely differently to advertising than their older counterparts.
Here are some key characteristics of how this new generation responds to marketing, as well as some recommendations to improve the ROI of your campaigns aimed at Gen Z audiences.
Chances are, if you’re currently a few years into a career in marketing you’re not a member of “Gen Z”, those born between the years of 1997-2015 (from 6 to 24 years old in 2021). Here are a few things to keep in mind when building your strategies…
The first thing to understand about Gen Z is that they’ve always had access to technology. Whether it was in school, at home, or with friends, most Gen Z-ers have always had access to a phone or personal tech device. This has produced a few side effects when it comes to what they respond positively to…
First, people in the Gen Z population are extremely comfortable with mobile technology and are confident that they can quickly learn how to use a new app or app feature. This is in harsh contrast to Millenials and Gen X who tend to favour certain platforms because they’re accustomed to and comfortable with that platform’s features. Gen Z isn’t afraid to experiment, so neither should you be! Try that new app feature (or encourage the influencers you hire to try it!), do an A/B test across different, alternative platforms, and don’t be afraid to push the boundaries with the content itself.
Next, Gen Z doesn’t have a lot of patience for content that isn’t entertaining or valuable in some way. If it’s not making them laugh or helping them learn a new life hack, they’re onto the next post. Keep that shorter attention span in mind when crafting content and social strategy; you want to make an impact quickly, then leave them wanting more, not keep them waiting for a punchline.
It’s also important to realise that because Gen Z grew up with the internet (and therefore had access to any information they could possibly want at their fingertips), they’re used to doing research online before making a purchase. In fact, 86% of Gen Z reads online reviews before making a first-time purchase. When a generation has lived their entire lives with social media, Influencer Marketing is simply their digitised version of “word of mouth”.
Gen Z also places high importance on values and taking a public stance on social justice issues. They are the most racially diverse generation as well as the generation most likely to identify as LGBTQ+. It’s important for Gen Z-ers to see a wide variety of people reflected in the content they consume; from ethnicity to socio-economic status to gender identity. That’s why it’s imperative to make sure the influencers you partner with reflect diverse experiences and align with your brand values when marketing to Gen Z.
Gen Z hates being sold to and prefers to follow creators who feel like friends rather than “aspirational” bloggers. Influencers who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable, to talk about subjects that matter, and who create content that feels unfiltered (versus color-coordinated, highly-branded feeds) are going to resonate more with Gen Z audiences.
Nano influencers are creators with 1K-10K followers and micro-influencers are creators with between 10K-50K followers. The reason creators with smaller audiences resonate more with Gen Z is because they feel more real; again, it’s that rejection of “celebrity” in favour of authenticity and accessibility. Chances are, Nano & Micro influencers aren’t going to be running lots of big brand campaigns back to back; a social media practice that bothers Gen Z-ers.
When it comes to content format, Gen Z responds best to short videos. The preference for this type of content started with the rapid rise in popularity of Snapchat at the beginning of the last decade. Since then, short video has become the #1 way younger demographics access content, especially after the arrival of Instagram and Facebook stories and the eventual explosion of TikTok in 2020. When choosing between video or photo content, video is a much better bet for reaching Gen Z. Keep your video campaigns under 30 seconds, though under 15 is even better.
Want to learn more about using the world’s best influencer marketing platform to identify creators who speak to Gen Z audiences? Contact us for a Tagger demo and we’ll show you how!
This article was originally featured on TaggerMedia.com on March 22, 2021.