In recent years, the emergence of Gen Z as a potential customer-base has caused a stir in the marketing sector. With their strong opinions, embedded sense of freedom and expression, and their unique online behavioural traits, this digitally native group have revolutionised the way that brands attract and engage with prospective customers. But what does a successful Gen Z marketing strategy look like? Here, we look at four crucial tactics for successfully marketing to Gen Z, helping businesses capitalise on this expanding consumer powerhouse.
Embrace Authenticity and Transparency
A non-negotiable when brands are marketing to Gen Z: authenticity. Having grown up in a world saturated with content, the average Gen Z has a natural ‘knack’ for filtering rhetoric or jargon-filled content. Businesses should aim to be upfront and honest in their communications, opting for value-based or educational content rather than promotional lingo.
Notably, Gen Z prefers brands that are transparent about their views – favouring those that operate in a socially responsible and environmentally-conscious way. They also want to know that your brand supports diversity and inclusion – something which the Gen Z demographic has grown up with at the forefront of their conscience. They admire firms that take a stand on vital issues and support causes close to their hearts, and brands that can express their principles via authentic narratives and activities are more likely to convert the Gen Z demographic into loyal customers.
Leverage the Power of Social Media
Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up in a wholly digital age, and social media is an integral part of their daily lives. As with any demographic, businesses that want to win over this consumer-base, must venture to wherever their target audience likes to ‘hang out’. This, of course, means that brands must be active on social media, and more specifically: TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram.
Beyond churning out sales-y or promotional content, brands must work hard to deliver engaging content that sparks dialogue and encourages participation to win over this opinionated audience (check out our blog on driving engagement here!)
With dwindling attention spans and a mass of content to chew through, short-form videos have also proven crucial for attracting and retaining the Gen Z user base, and no doubt this has fuelled the growth and success of platforms such as TikTok. This has provided an opportunity for brands though. Far from the days of heavily edited and curated Instagram feeds, TikTok and Snapchat have championed the use of authentic content – allowing brands that are willing to shoot regular ‘BTS’ content an easy and quick way to pump out content to an engaged audience (without the need for hours of editing & approvals!).
Embrace Search-First Social Media Marketing
Ever heard or said the phrase ‘Google it’? You’re getting old. Today’s generation of youth prefers ‘TikTok it’. When we turn to Google for website recommendations, product reviews or ‘how to change a lightbulb… Our younger counterparts are opening up TikTok for short videos that answer their questions. So much so that Google has recently been in talks with TikTok to strike up a partnership that integrates Google’s search capabilities within TikTok (if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – sort of thing).
But what does this mean for brands? Well, alongside copious hours of website optimisation and digital PR to optimise your website for search result pages, brands now need to commit the same time and resources to their social media content. When developing content plans, they should include content pieces that aim to answer common FAQs around your product and service, with captions that clearly include the search query and any relevant keywords.
Want to learn more – check out our blog on search-first social media marketing here.
Engage with Memes and Micro-Content
Last but not least, in recent years, marketers have seen a shift from users engaging within public areas (i.e. post comments / stories) to DMs and private groups. Whilst there are a myriad of factors contributing to this, it’s no secret that Gen Z-ers love to share memes, GIFs and other bitesize relatable content pieces with their peers. Brands that infuse humour and pop culture references in their content marketing are more likely to capture the attention of Gen Z and position themselves as ‘relatable’.
Marketing targeted at Gen Z necessitates a distinct approach that takes into account their digital upbringing, attitudes, and interests. To connect with this generation, brands must prioritise honesty, transparency, and be committed to social and environmental problems. A presence on relative platforms, a search-first content strategy (plus a sprinkling of humour!) are all key factors for reaching and engaging the Gen Z user base.
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