Oh, Hello Branding Group
Millennials are not the only generation marketers need to be focusing on. While millennials are still the majority of the population, making up 72.12% of the US population, Gen Z is a close second, making up 67.17% of the population, according to Statista. There is some debate as to where millennials end and Gen Z begins, and there are even "Zillennials" who are sort of part of both groups. Millennials and Gen Z may even seem similar at first glance, but there are key differences that marketers should take into consideration.
Who Is Generation Z?
Again, there is still some inconsistency around the start/end of millennials, but the general consensus is that Generation Z is anyone who was born after 1996 is part of Generation Z. The key difference between millennials and Gen Z is that while millennials were the pioneers of the online world and technology, Gen Z doesn't remember a time without it. Gen Z also has a much shorter attention span than other generations, according to MediaKix, at just 8 seconds. This is crucial for marketers to be aware of and understand, so if you're having a hard time marketing long form content to Gen Z, it's not bad content - it's just too long. Another characteristic of Gen Z is that although they may have a short attention span, they have an amazing ability to multi-task that comes from growing up in a world where information was constantly thrown at them. Now that you know who Gen Z is, here are 5 strategies to effectively target them in your marketing campaigns.
1. Use Creative Sales Strategies
Like we mentioned before, Gen Z grew up with information coming at them from all mediums, TV, billboards, YouTube, the news, and the entire internet. They see through the stereotypical sales and marketing strategies, and they value authenticity. Gen Z sometimes gets a bad rap for "cancel culture" and being "too sensitive". However, Gen Z much more inclusive and open-minded than previous generations. They're sick of seeing the same models, actresses, influencers, etc. that all look exactly the same. If you're running an influencer or spokesperson marketing campaign, consider using a model that doesn't fit the stereotypical "model" look. Gen Z wants to see people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations, etc. represented. Gen Z also wants to see real people in campaigns as well. In fact, the razor company, Billie, was the first ad campaign to actually show the razor fulfilling its purpose: shaving hair. Before, it was brought to consumer's attention that razor commercials showed the product shaving an already bare leg - completely defeating the purpose, and Gen Z saw right through it.
2. Utilize Videos
Video content works well to market to Gen Z. Whether it's YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or even Facebook, video content captivates consumers. 85% of teenagers use YouTube, whether it's for educational or leisure purposes. In recent years, YouTube has become an incredible free resource to learn all sorts of skills, from writing code to baking cookies, there is a diverse audience consuming video content. Marketers can use video content to reach Gen Z by either partnering with content creators to feature their content, or create their own channels to get the word out. Either way, remember, authenticity is key!
3. Don't Go Overboard with Sponsorships
If you have listened to any podcast, you have heard ads for HelloFresh, honey, Fabletics, etc. These companies may have great products, but when consumers hear the same ad across multiple platforms, used by every single content creator out there, they begin to question the legitimacy of the ad. Sponsorships and partnerships with influencers are not bad necessarily, in fact they can have an incredible ROI, but make sure you use them sparingly. If you were a consumer, would you be more convinced to buy a product that was endorsed by a few of your favorite creators, or a product that was endorsed by creators across industries and on various channels of communication? Using fewer influencers makes it special, and your consumers will listen to the people they look up to and trust.
4. Spice Up Your Social Strategies
Gen Z is more likely to have every type of social media platform, and if they follow their favorite brands on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc. they won't want to see the same post across every platform. Use each social media platform to target Gen Z in a unique way, and it doesn't have to be an entirely new campaign, but using the same exact post across all platforms definitely won't be as effective with this group.
5. Make Concise Content
Remember that 8 second attention span we were talking about earlier? Now, don't let this scare you away from targeting this generation. Sometimes marketers put so much emphasis on social posts that stay on the feed, and don't put as much focus on stories, highlights, or video ads. Whether you're using Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or even Snapchat, you can utilize the stories and video features to share content that is sure to catch Gen Z's attention.
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