Marketing Strategies to Reach Gen Z 

As the younger end of millennials begin to reach their late 20s, a new generation moves in to become the next anomaly: Generation Z. Gen Zers, as they’re commonly referred to, are defined by several sources such as BBC, Business Insider, and Forbes as those born between 1996 and 2010, making the oldest of them about 24 years old and the youngest about 9 years old. Because the eldest of them are now entering the workforce and thus becoming independent consumers, it’s time your business adapted its marketing strategy to cater to them. 

More than half of this generation is spending 10 hours a day on their electronic devices, so why is it so difficult to reach them? The most common mistake businesses make when marketing to Generation Z is assuming they’ll respond to the same strategies as millennials, an age group referring to those born between 1981 and 1995. In actuality, however, there are many key differences between Gen Zers and their predecessors – the most notable being that they are the first generation that has never known a world without the internet. Millennials may have grown up with a computer in their house, but Gen Z grew up with a computer in their pocket. 

The 61 million “zoomers” in the United States already account for 40% of consumers, an astounding statistic considering most of them are still teenagers. To tap into this seemingly endless resource of buyers, your marketing strategies probably need an update. Here are our expert marketing strategies to reach Gen Z.

What to Do to Reach Generation Z in Marketing

Adopt these strategies to better reach Gen Zers:

Operate with a real purpose

First things first, your business needs a purpose (other than turning a profit, of course). Companies that are solely out to make money without considering their impact on society will instantly turn off Gen Zers, who are markedly more conscious of environmental, political, and socio-economic issues than any previous generations. In essence, they care about the world. They want to believe that their participation in consumerism is positive, humane, and responsible — which is why we see such success in campaigns from companies like Toms, whose objective is to provide children in need with proper footwear. Operating your marketing strategies with clear, authentic values will attract those who share your ideals and increase customer loyalty

Make your campaigns a must-see event 

To really grab the attention of Gen Zers, make your ad campaigns an event. This generation is not impressed with the traditional promotions like “buy one, get one 50% off!” — they want to be engaged. Focus on selling an experience, not just a product. For example, take a look at the Popeye’s phenomena of last summer: the fast-food restaurant launched their new chicken sandwich in 2019 and sent the internet into a frenzy — they literally ran out of sandwiches in a matter of days. Drive-thru lines were so long that people were registering drivers to vote while they waited to order. This is a great example of marketing that appeals to Gen Z.

How did they do this? They created an “us versus them” debate with their competitors on the internet for the whole world to see. On social media, Popeye’s boasted that their chicken sandwich was superior. This sparked a nation-wide debate that everyone wanted to join. This online argument boosted their organic promotions astronomically: people around the country were rushing out to the nearest Popeye’s to taste and review the sandwich so they could join the discourse on their Twitter timelines. In fact, between August 12th and August 31st, there was one tweet per second about Popeye’s chicken sandwich. 

Make your advertising campaigns an experience that Gen Zers won’t want to miss out on. Pose questions that they can’t help but answer and spark debates that make everyone want to pick a side. Make it a must-see event! 

Show them the ins and outs of your business

According to a study done by Millennial Branding, 72% of high school students and 64% of college students plan to start their own business someday, and would rather be an entrepreneur than someone else’s employee. Why is that relevant to you? If Gen Zers are so business-minded, giving them a behind-the-scenes look at your company helps you to bond with the consumers and promote interest in your brand. 

Post videos, videos, and more videos

When creating marketing strategies to reach Gen Z, you must take into account the short attention span. Gen Zers have an average attention span of 8 seconds. This means you have 8 seconds to hook them before they’ll look elsewhere for the content they’re seeking. Aggressive sales tactics and pushy undertones are a thing of the past. Now, you want to draw them in by posting relevant yet entertaining content that catches their eye. The key to this? Videos! 

Cisco states that in 2020, video traffic will account for 82% of all IP traffic. Lucky for you, there are plenty of ways to catch up if you’re lagging in this department. Consider in-feed videos on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, YouTube, IGTV, Snapchat, and the most recent Gen Z phenomena, Tik Tok. Videos are extremely share-friendly, giving you free promotion as people post your content to their social media platforms and engage with their friends and followers. This interactivity between content creators and their audiences can immerse even the laziest of consumers, organically boosting your brand in the process. 

Read our blog, Marketing 101: How to Create High-Quality Video on a Limited Budget. Learn additional ways to create videos for your brand.

Keeps your ads short and sweet

Members of Gen Z loathe pop-ups and ads, so you need to get your point across immediately in your marketing. As soon as the “skip ad now” button appears on their screen, they’re clicking it. Because of this, it’s important to avoid lengthy introductions. Therefore, just cut to the chase, or the audience won’t even linger long enough to know what’s being advertised.  

Take advantage of influencers

There’s a reason the Kardashians are paid upwards of $1 million just to post a photo holding a product: influencer marketing actually works. Influencer marketing isn’t necessarily a new concept — we’ve always known endorsements from our favorite celebrities and athletes tends to grab people’s attention. We also know this can build a sense of trust between the audience and the brand. 

When a consumer sees a figure they admire using a product, they’re more likely to try it out themselves. This concept is hardly innovative, but the platforms in which we can utilize it are. Digital creators, or people who are solely famous because of their online content, are the future of endorsements (44% of Gen Zers have tried something that was recommended by a digital creator while only 36% tried something recommended by a traditional celebrity!) Move away from typical endorsements and find influencers that share the same values

Get Started with Your Marketing Strategies to Reach Gen Z

When adapting your marketing strategy for Gen Z, keep these tips in mind and stay true to your brand. Zoomers can see through the bullsh*t, so be authentic and get to the point. If you need help getting your campaign off the ground, give us a call. We’d be happy to help!

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