For the past few years, businesses have shifted social media marketing tactics to accommodate the Millennial generation. They have made efforts to better understand and relate to this generation, and many feel confident about their social media approach.
We’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there are new kids in town: Generation Z. And they have strong opinions on what they expect from businesses on social media.
This group of 2.1 billion individuals born between 1995 and 2010 is the next big market for brands- and they are quickly taking over most markets and industries. With this shift in major market focus, many businesses and brands are unsure of how to move with these changes and are worried that if they don’t step up their marketing efforts, their business will get left in the dust.
With a spending power of over $143 billion in the United States alone, if you haven’t already started shifting your marketing efforts – now is the time.
And we have some tips to help you get started.
First, let’s break down who Gen Z is so you can better understand this group as a whole.
Unlike Millennials who remember a time in their lives when technology wasn’t as common – Gen Z’er’s have grown up in an age of advanced technology at their fingertips. They are great at multitasking, expect brands to be loyal to them, are quick to change allegiance, and want technology integrated into every aspect of their lives. They care deeply about the future and the environment and are in the position to have an immense impact on everything from the economy to climate change.
Here are a few ways to focus your marketing efforts on this powerhouse generation and keep your business relevant.
Be Authentically Human
Gen Z’ers value authenticity and transparency over most everything else. They are natural-born detectives and can easily sniff out insincerity. They have no problem deep-diving into a brand’s website, history, values, etc. Look at companies like American Eagle, Dove, Patagonia, Victoria’s Secret, and many more who are beginning to be more transparent in their marketing tactics, company culture, and impact on society. Gen Z’ers are more likely to respect, follow, and engage with your company when you stop trying to show off your “airbrushed-self” and instead show up as imperfectly and authentically human.
Showcase A Sense Of Humor
The majority of Gen Z’ers prefer supporting brands they see as “funny” and “Cool.” Humor and meme-centric content are at the top of their list for preferred branding. This can create a challenge for brands who try to keep up with the speed of the internet. Posting a months-old meme trend can make them appear out of touch. While not every industry is set up to play the role of comedian, the thing that matters the most is that brands have a distinct voice, showcase their human side, and offer authentic interactions that don’t always sound perfectly edited and polished. Brands need to strive to be more organic and unpredicted with their online presence rather than calculated and refined.
Skip Traditional Advertisements Tactics
Gen Z’ers do not want to be told what to do by businesses. Traditional advertisement strategies that have worked previously no longer work for this generation. Overall – they are incredibly patient and want to learn the ins and outs of something, how to use it, and how to incorporate it into their own lives and have a personal connection to a product. This is why Gen Z’ers love influencers – influencers appeal to them and speak directly to them without being too “in your face” about it. Show off your product or services without telling or forcing the benefits on viewers – instead, show real people using it, utilize interactive features, and allow the benefits of your product and services to speak for themselves.
Prioritize Eye-Catching Visuals
By far, Gen Z’ers favor social media platforms that contain less messaging and are more visual-focused. 81% of Gen Z say that Instagram and YouTube are their preferred social media networks. Compare that to only 51% of them using Facebook – which is more of a traditional long-form social platform. Gen Z’ers choose platforms that are visually-oriented over anything else, every single time. Because of this, brands need to prioritize crafting unique and eye-catching visuals for their marketing campaigns. This can include designed graphics, high-quality photos, and engaging videos.
Video, Video, Video
Speaking of visuals – video content is key to attracting Gen Z’ers. Instagram stories, TikTok, Youtube, Snapchat, and many more social platforms are set up for quick, simple marketing videos that will catch this generation’s eye like no other marketing content can. Video has come to rule the social landscape. It’s richer, more versatile, and offers more engagement opportunities than traditional photo/copy posts. You can expect your engagement, awareness, and success to begin to vanish if you don’t incorporate video into your marketing strategies.
Show people utilizing your products, make quick tip videos, introduce team members; the options are endless for creating fun and engaging videos.
Now that you know some tips about marketing to Generation Z, you’re ready to take steps to switch up your social media strategy. By taking time to really learn and understand Gen Z’ers’ preferences and how they differ from other generations, you will be in an excellent place to build valuable relationships and formulate a solid social media marketing strategy.