Oh, Hello Branding Group
Gen-Z is the new generation of consumers, and as marketers, it is essential that we know the best ways to reach them. It’s not always easy for brands to keep up with the odd trends, lingo, and humor of Gen-Z, but if your target audience consists of the younger generation, it's important to stay on top of it in order to keep them engaged with your brand. If you’re looking to learn some of the best ways that your brand can reach Gen-Z, keep reading and we’ll give you everything you need to know!
Cater to Short Attention Spans
Gen-Z has the shortest attention span of any generation, coming in at about 8 seconds. For marketers trying to reach Gen-Z, this could be seen as somewhat of a challenge, because they are constantly being pulled in many different directions and have trouble focusing on just one thing at a time. They are consuming countless messages at any given time, so how can you possibly get your message across to Gen-Z?
The best way to go about marketing to Gen-Z is to cater your strategy to fit into their lens. This generation just doesn’t have the attention span to consume your messaging if they think it’s too long. After a few seconds, they are already ready to move on to the next thing on their feed. If you're a marketer that’s trying to reach Gen-Z, you need to make your messaging impactful, and you need to do it quickly. Using articles or blogs as marketing outlets may not be as impactful with Gen-Z as social posts containing visual, video, or interactive content in bite-sized pieces. Do some experimenting and see what type of content is getting the most engagement from your Gen-Z audience.
Gen-Z doesn’t just want to hear about what causes a brand stands for — they want to see it in action. They want to buy from businesses that they know are actively supporting change rather than staying complicit. A few important causes that Gen-Z wants to see brands actively supporting are: environmental issues, racial justice, income inequality, and gender discrimination.
It’s also important that a brand's actions align directly with their messaging, because Gen-Z is able to spot inauthenticity from a mile away. Gen-Z is not quick to trust a brand, so when they can see that a company is committed to a certain issue and consistently follow through with their support and actions, they are much more likely to trust and engage with that brand.
Use Your Sense of Humor
One thing that Gen-Z is well-known for is its very distinct and unique sense of humor. For someone that is not from this younger generation, some of the humor can seem random, edgy, or even bizarre. If a brand decides that they want to reach Gen-Z by incorporating humor, it's important to stay up to date with current trends to ensure it lands with their audience and doesn’t come across as cringy and outdated. You don’t want to come off as the “cool aunt” who is desperate to fit it with a younger crowd, so it's very important to be aware of what works and what doesn’t.
While it may be difficult for some brands to incorporate Gen-Z humor into their marketing, if your brand can get it right, it can make a great impact on getting Gen-Z to engage with your content. If you can make them laugh using a mix of the current trends and their pessimistic and edgy humor, your brand will have a great advantage.
Check out this example from the brand Nandos using a fun and lighthearted Gen-Z trend to promote a new product.
Partner with Micro-Influencers
Using influencer marketing is a highly effective way to reach Gen-Z, however, it may not be the type of influencer marketing that we’re necessarily used to seeing. We’ve seen a lot of brands partnering with celebrities that have large audiences and will get a lot of attention regardless of their relevance in the industry. Gen-Z would rather see a brand partner with a micro-influencer who is relatable and relevant to the brand, because they can sense when a partnership is authentic.
Gen-Z is very likely to be following at least one if not many micro-influencers, and they are more likely to make a purchase if it has been recommended to them by an influencer they trust. Partnering with a micro-influencer can be a great way to reach Gen-Z, especially since it can sometimes be difficult to reach them through other channels. If your brand can find a micro-influencer in your industry that is trustworthy and aligns with your brand's values, it can really help you to reach Gen-Z and get them engaging with your brand.
Be Receptive to Criticism
If you know Gen-Z at all, you probably have learned that they are not afraid to voice their opinions. Especially with as many outlets and social channels that they have access to, they don’t have a hard time when it comes to having their voice heard. That also means that if they see something about your brand that they don’t like or agree with, you will most definitely hear about it. It’s very important that if you see negative feedback or criticism of your brand to respond quickly and appropriately.
Gen-Z is not as likely to be brand loyal as previous generations, and they will quickly replace your brand if they feel that their needs are not being met. For this reason, it's crucial that when responding to negative feedback, you do so in a polite and understanding manner that shows you are willing to listen to your customers and are receptive to criticism. Gen-Z wants to know that your brand is willing to make the steps to change and become better, or else they will quickly find another brand that can better serve them.
Marketing to Gen-Z isn’t as difficult of a task as many might think. This generation is very transparent with what they are looking for in a brand, and it’s important to always be aware and listen to what they want. As long as you are staying authentic to your brand, having fun with your content, and taking action on important causes, you are on the right track to reaching Gen-Z and getting them to engage with your brand.
If you’re having trouble reaching Gez-Z through your marketing efforts, don’t worry. We’re here to help. Contact us to see how we can help make sure you have a killer strategy to engage Gen-Z with your brand for 2022!