Marketing To Gen Z: How To Do It The Right Way
𝐃𝐢𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰? 𝐀𝐜𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐 𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐭 𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭, 𝐆𝐞𝐧 𝐙 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬 𝐮𝐩 𝟒𝟎% 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐥𝐨𝐛𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐩𝐨𝐩𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐬 $𝟔𝟎𝟎 𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫.
Furthermore, the report also states that 72% of Gen Zs think brands need to do a much better job marketing to them—especially if they want to win their loyalty. With the Gen Z population growing to become the dominant consumer group, it is certainly crucial for brands to learn how to effectively target and engage with this demographic. To do that requires a deep understanding of their behaviour, values and preferences and adapting marketing strategies accordingly.
📌 A Recap On Gen Zs Consumer Behaviour & Characteristics
As covered in one of our earlier social media posts on the difference between Gen Zs and Millennials, Gen Zs:
Usually stay focused for eight seconds and enjoys quick or short-form video content, like that of Tiktok or Instagram Stories.
More likely to make a mobile purchase and use social shopping apps such as Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms to browse and make purchases.
Prefer to learn about products through social media-based videos and influencer marketing.
Place high importance on brand ethics and corporate responsibility.
Value product quality, authenticity & value.
Tend to be much less attached to specific brands. They prefer to shop for the best deals and focus on savings and value products.
Hence, to effectively engage with Gen Zs, brands must understand and adapt to the unique characteristics and behaviours of this generation. This includes utilizing new and updated tactics and gaining a deep understanding of what drives their purchasing decisions. In this blog, we will be showing you tips to best target them based on their consumer behaviour and characteristics.
📌 4 Tips On Marketing Gen Z: How To Do It The Right Way
So how exactly should you market to Gen Zs? Consider the following tips:
1️⃣ Be More Engaging
Growing up with the internet, Gen Zs are not swayed by traditional hard-selling tactics. They are adept in filtering out unwanted advertising and even using ad-blocking software. Hence for brands to effectively engage these consumers, it is important to focus on building emotional connections through storytelling. A study by Mention showed that only 25% of what a business sells is the physical product, while the remaining 75% is composed of the emotions and feelings associated with that product. Hence, it is a good idea to make storytelling a major component of your marketing efforts. Emphasize the benefits and experiences that your products offer, rather than just highlighting their features.
Brands can also use provide valuable, educational, and interactive content that shifts the focus away from the business and towards the consumer. This will help to capture their attention and encourage them to actively seek out, interact with, and form meaningful connections with your brand.
2️⃣Post More Short Form Video Content on Social Media Platforms
Did you know? According to Google, Gen Zs primarily turn to YouTube for entertainment, learning, gaining new skills, and also for stress relief. Hence, the best way to effectively engage with Gen Z consumers is by creating and distributing video content on platforms that they commonly use, such as TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
Gen Z's purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by information they gather on social media, with over 85% discovering new products and services through social media apps on their smartphones. Hence, churning out the right video content is crucial. Instead of focusing your video content on the products you offer, try showing how your products offer real value in the form of lifestyle videos, podcasts and many more.
Done right, short-form videos can cater to Gen Z's increasingly short attention spans, while removing deliberation amongst viewers about whether they should keep watching or not. Hence brands should certainly consider churning out creative and authentic short-form videos to fully capture Gen Zs attention and drive results. However, be sure to leverage short-form video formatting and mobile-optimized content in your campaigns.
3️⃣Focus On Being Authentic & Building Trust
Gone are the days of deceitful advertising tactics, thanks to platforms like Yelp and an increasingly savvy Gen Z population. Businesses can no longer rely on false marketing and exaggerations to gain trust. Studies have shown that Gen Zs trust companies more when they use unedited images and real customers in their ads, and will even boycott brands that have been caught being dishonest. In a study by 5WPR, 45% of Gen Zers have boycotted a business that was not transparent.
However, authenticity in marketing goes beyond the content itself and extends to the way it is presented on social media platforms. Gen Z consumers are drawn to content that feels authentic, such as videos and images that appear to be shot on a smartphone and popped straight onto the platform. Brands that use overly polished or highly branded assets may not resonate as well on platforms like TikTok. Hence, to effectively connect with Gen Z, brands can collaborate with influencers who have aligned values to help them create authentic and engaging content that drives engagement and power conversions. After all, studies show that influencers are deemed more authentic, relatable, and trustworthy than traditional celebrity partnerships.
Overall, to truly connect with this generation, companies must focus on authenticity and transparency in all aspects of their marketing, from the content they create to the platforms they use to share it.
4️⃣Incorporating Social Inclusion & Corporate Responsibility Into Your Brand
In today's world, where environmental crises and social injustices are at the forefront of public consciousness, businesses that prioritize product and profit alone will struggle to gain the support of Gen Zs. According to a study done by Google, it showed that Gen Zs support companies that have opinions on issues they’re passionate about. Gen Z wants brands to be “a representation of their values, their expectations of themselves, and their peers.”
Gen Z consumers want businesses to actively lead the way in addressing and solving environmental, political and socioeconomic problems, and not just post occasionally about the current trends on social media. They value genuine commitment to social responsibility and are more likely to support companies that prioritize it in their business models, like TOMS, Nike and Patagonia. These companies are advocates for a cause and have transformed their company culture In fact, a report from YPulse revealed that Patagonia is one of the top 15 favourite brands for Gen Zs. This is mainly due to its complete transparency about its suppliers, waste, and goals to eliminate the company’s negative environmental impact.
With Gen Z placing such a high importance on brand ethics and corporate social responsibility, they are more likely to support and champion companies that prioritize making a positive impact on the world in their business models. Hence brands should be thinking of ways to become more responsible by trying to invest in initiatives that benefit the local community, the environment and important causes. By doing so, they will have higher chances of appealing to Gen Zs.
To build a lifetime of loyalty, brands must tailor each interaction to be personalized and unique for Gen Zs. This means providing them with products, services, promotions and marketing to them in a way that aligns with their characteristics and shopping habits. Targeting Gen Zs is certainly not easy, but those who know how to are the ones who will find success. It’s time for you to reinvent the old playbook and experiment with more creative, human-centric marketing. Good luck!
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