Marketing to Gen Z
Marketing to Gen Z has been made to feel like an impossible task of an audience with niche interests, when the reality is that Gen Z is a unique group of individuals that have spent their entire lives online. They have spent all of their years experiencing YouTube Video Ads, Facebook Carousels, and have even learned and somewhat paved the way for Influencer Marketing. It’s never been about Gen Z being difficult to market to — it has always been about making advertisements more human and realistic than ever before.
This perspective may seem tricky when you're focused on your product, but there is a lot of opportunity to tackle fun advertising approaches for our next class of young adults. After all, their buying power is $44 billion and expands to $600 billion when considering the influence they have on their parents’ spending.” (Campaign Monitor)
1. START BEING AN EARLY ADOPTER
- When TikTok first landed on the market, no marketer wanted to touch the platform. Now TikTok is the largest platform for Gen Z users with over 800 million users across the globe, and they show no signs of slowing down or losing favor with this new generation.
- With the ability for pre-roll ads, in-feed ads, and a number of resources to ensure your success in creating content and advertising on the platform, TikTok is strategizing to build stronger ad potential for advertisers across industries.
- The lesson here? In the golden age of social media, if we want to keep building new audiences and new streams of revenue for our brands, we have to be open to learning new platforms and new advertising strategies.
2. EMBRACE VIDEO
- It’s no secret that Gen Z has some of the shortest attention spans to date. Who can blame them? When you grow up on YouTube getting ads targeted towards your parents’ Ikea shopping habits, you’ll learn to tune out the things that don’t matter really quickly. And this is exactly the case with Gen Z. It’s not that they can’t focus, it’s that they focus on what really matters and feels relevant to their lives.
- Video offers an opportune format to capture viewers within seconds to decide if they’ll watch your ads or keep scrolling. Gen Z’s consciously narrow attention means you get to save advertising dollars for the people that align with your brand best, while also providing a chance to entice new users that will be captured by your great brand. If you’re not comfortable with tackling video on your own, your marketing team can hire a small production team. The Moran Group has full scale production options in-house to make your brand video-friendly and to fit your budget.
3. STAY RELEVANT, STAY AUTHENTIC
- As noted before, Gen Z is a group of selective individuals with short attention spans. They’ve been filtering out ads and other online content that isn’t relevant to their interests for their entire lives. They’re full-on selective attention pros now.
- This means that even if you follow the rules, the trends, the challenges, Gen Z may or may not engage. So what now? You get selective too. Maybe your business can’t show off in the latest TikTok dance trend like a clothing company can. However, you can make fond humor of your target demographic or yourselves. You can take well-angled snaps of your latest releases paired to the latest music. It will require absolute trust in your current marketing team, but trust, they’re here to be the masters of engagement, affinity, and conversion and effectively apply that to your business needs and challenges.
4. SHOW THEM AN EXPERIENCE AND FEELING, NOT (NECESSARILY) YOUR PRODUCT
- With a generation that’s spent their entire lives seeing traditional ads, Gen Z needs to see something unique and refreshing if they’re going to spend their money. This has prompted a new wave of emotive and experiential marketing that has never been seen before. Gen Z knows they’re being marketed to and prompted to spend money, now it’s up to you to show them how it’ll make them feel and why the experience is worth their time. Gen Z isn’t here to just buy a brand, they’re here to join it.
- As noted by Marketing Dive, “Generation Z has high expectations for digital experiences, shaping how they feel about brands, shopping and technology. ... Gen Z has a favorable view of technology, with 66% saying they believe the internet will bring people closer together, while 56% said they are friends with someone they only know online.” (Marketing Dive)
5. ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE
- Being authentic does not just mean showing real customers and real experiences in the day to day. It also means interacting with comments, DM’s, and messaging in real ways. For Gen Z, print advertising and traditional commercials can feel inauthentic in the same way that Hollywood celebrities seem unrelatable. The best course of action is humanizing your brand in ways that may not have been done before. If your company was the popular friend at the party, what would they say? How would they act? Are they the life of the party or the caring friend that offers a ride? It takes time to build your brand’s voice, tone, and communication style, but your trusted marketers can create quality content and guidance for managing this new way of engaging.
6. DON'T BE PUSHY OR SPAMMY
- Gen Z knows they’re being marketed to. They also know that their personal data and technology is a contributing factor in how they receive ads. They actively and consciously trust in technology every day to serve them the ads that fit their interests and needs best. As any company knows, misusing that trust can really damage our reputations and brand quality. The advice may be simple and well-known, but the rule is golden — always respect the privacy of your audiences and consumers.