The New “Kids” in Town: Marketing to Gen Z

For the past decade or so, most businesses shifted marketing tactics to accommodate the Millennial Generation. Feeling good about your business’ efforts to do the same? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there are new kids in town: Generation Z.

Not actual “kids” anymore, Gen Zers are quickly taking over most markets and industries, and if you don’t step up your game and shift your marketing focus to them, you and your business may get left behind. (Queue “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen.)

Before you start scrambling for a new marketing plan, posting on social media and panicking over the future of your business, take a breath. We’ve got some advice for you.

First, let’s breakdown who Gen Z is so you can better understand this group as a whole.

Gen Z is the generation born between 1995-2012. They have grown up in an age of advanced technology at their fingertips – unlike Millennials who remember a time in their lives when technology wasn’t as common. They are great at multitasking, expect brands to be loyal to them, are quick to change allegiance and want technology to be integrated into most 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.

Now that you have a basic idea of the Gen Z group – let’s talk about marketing strategies.

Create engaging content – skip traditional advertisements tactics

Gen Zers do not want to be told what to do by businesses. Traditional advertisement strategies don’t work for this generation. They want to consume content and make their own decision about whether they want to buy or not. Overall – they are patient and want to learn the ins and outs of something, how to use it, how to incorporate it into their own lives and want a personal connection to a product. This is why Gen Zers 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 – rather, show real people using it, utilize interactive features and allow the benefits of your product and services speak for themselves.

Optimize your mobile experience

Is your website mobile friendly? Do you create content geared for social media platforms? According to a survey by IBM, 75% of Generation Z selected mobile phone or smartphone as the device they use the most. While older generations are still frequenting desktop and iPads, Gen Z is spending most of their time on their mobile devices.

From how to connect with customers to incorporating online shopping experiences, you need to make sure your entire marketing strategies at every touchpoint are mobile-friendly. Mobile-optimize your website, simplify your checkout process, offer multiple payment forms and create content with mobile devices in mind, to name a few.

Email marketing is still a thing

We bet you didn’t expect that. Email marketing continues to be a powerful tool to engage and connect with your audience in a personal and meaningful way. Because most businesses target Gen Zers through social media, that leaves their email inboxes pretty empty compared to those of prior generations. Use that to your advantage and add on branded, engaging email marketing campaigns to your social marketing strategies.

An important note: Make sure to set preferences and expectations from the start. Set up an automatic welcome email that immediately sets the tone for being considerate of their time and interests and offers a chance for them to choose their email preferences. This will show that you respect them and want to make their experience with your business as personalized as you can.

Be authentic and transparent

Gen Zers value authenticity and transparency. We’re seeing more and more companies who still utilize extreme airbrushing both literally and figuratively for their marketing strategies becoming less and less relevant to this current generation. Gen Zers are natural-born detectives and have no problem deep-diving into a brand’s website, history, values, etc. Look at companies like American Eagle, Parade, Dove, Patagonia and many more who are beginning to be more transparent in their marketing tactics, company culture and impact on society. Gen Z will be 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 authentically you.

Video, video, video

Did we mention video? Video content is KEY to attracting Gen Zers. Instagram stories, TikTok, YouTube 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. According to a Google Survey, the platform that Gen Z uses the most is YouTube. After that, TikTok and Instagram follow. The one thing that all three of those platforms have in common is they are built for video. Video has come to rule the social landscape. It’s richer and more versatile. You can expect your engagement, awareness and success begin to vanish if you don’t incorporate video into your marketing strategies.

Don’t know what kind of videos to create? Show people utilizing your products, make quick tip videos, introduce team members…the options are basically endless for creating fun and engaging videos!

Now that you know these facts about marketing to Generation Z, you’re ready to take steps to switch up your business strategies and grow as a company.

Feel more overwhelmed than inspired? We have your back! Our team of designers, photographers, branding experts, digital marketing strategies and SEO geeks are ready to help bring your business to new audiences – and new heights! Chat with us today!

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