You may have heard some intimidating things about Gen Z, like the fact that they can sniff out an inauthentic marketing campaign from a mile away, that they have an attention span shorter than your dog’s, or they distrust brands by default. And while all of this may be more-or-less true, as a digital marketer, you probably have no choice but to learn how to engage with this generation of young whippersnappers who have an estimated $29-$143 billion in spending power.
Marketing to the first generation of digital natives doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, it can be incredibly fun! (But you also don’t want to get it wrong and risk appearing out of touch—or worse, being canceled.) The first step is to get to know Gen Z a little bit better. Members of Gen Z were born between 1997 and 2012, so the oldest Gen Zers are approaching their mid-20s. These teens and young adults tend to have strong opinions about the world around them, and they gravitate toward brands that seek to uplift people and communities.
Gen Z is leery of brands in general and may be more likely to listen to an influencer’s take on your brand than your own take on yourself. For that reason and others, definitely keep influencer marketing in mind when designing digital marketing strategies for Gen Z.
More top tips for marketing to Gen Z:
Engage and be funny. Gen Z expects brands to be present wherever they have a digital presence. Reply to comments and reviews (good AND bad), retweet/share user-generated content, and have a sense of humor. Funny, witty marketing content is more likely to win Gen Z over. It’s also more shareable! Win-win!
Give a f*@k. Yeah, we said it. Silence = complacence as far as Gen Z is concerned, so if you give a f*@k about something—be it climate change, social equality, or something else—you should speak up on your socials and in your marketing campaigns. And pleeeeease be genuine. (Don’t even try fake; it’s just not a good look.)
Meet Gen Z where they’re at. (That’d be Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter.) They spend up to 8 hours a day online (!!). But don’t assume a content or marketing strategy for one platform will work just as well on another. Familiarize yourself with what Gen Z is looking for out of each platform they use, and tailor your content/campaign accordingly.
Create interactive, visual marketing content. Polls, quizzes, links, visuals and text overlaid on videos … this is the sort of interactive content Gen Zers crave. Oh, and that short-form video trend thing? It’s a bandwagon worth hopping on. Just make sure your core message makes it onscreen in the first several seconds of a video or story.
Remember, Gen Z is a group of digital natives that is diverse, inclusive, and progressive. They expect a lot from brands, but you can live up to their expectations! Put in the effort and show some guts and you’re on your way.
We can help you reach Gen Z in a meaningful way. Get started here!