We know how much you’ve loved marketing to Millennials, but now it’s time to start marketing to the next generation: Generation Z.
You may be asking: who is Generation Z and what makes them so different from Millennials?
We’ll get into that a little later, but as an introduction, you should know the following: one, they were born between 1996 and 2014, and two, they’re the first generation who’s had easy access to technology most of their lives.
Unfortunately, if you think that it’s going to be any easier marketing to Generation Z than it was to Millennials, you have a lot in store. But, don’t worry, we’re here to help! Here are five marketing strategies to help you reach and engage with Generation Z!
1. Get ready to meet Generation Z's significant buying power.
Let's start with one statistic: Generation Z will have $44 billion in buying power.
And no, that's not a typo. That's 44 billion dollars with a B.
On top of that, it's expected that Generation Z will make up 40 percent of the population by 2020.
With that many people and that much money being spent, you'll want to get a headstart on marketing to Generation Z. But, just as much, you can't abandon your customers from previous generations just to sell to Generation Z.
For example, if most of your customers are baby boomers, it won't help your business to fully embrace selling to the next generation.
However, if you believe that your business will eventually cater to Generation Z, you'll want to start adjusting your business and marketing strategy as soon as possible.
Which leads us to our next strategy:
2. You'll have to drop traditional marketing methods for Generation Z.
Say goodbye to paid actors in your commercials.
In all seriousness, Gen-Zers want to see real, relatable people in marketing campaigns. The people in your ads need to share the same struggles or have the same beliefs as your Generation Z audience.
Author, Deep Patel, from Forbes says:
They have made it clear that what they care about more than anything is feeling like they know the brand or the person behind the camera. They don’t want to feel marketed to—they want to feel like they’re part of something. Source
They also want your products and services to provide value to them and meet their needs. If you try to sell something to Gen-Zers for the sake of making a sale, you just won't make it. Period.
As with marketing to Millennials, we recommend that you adopt a storytelling approach. Explain to your Gen Z customers how your product or service can help them. Make your sales pitch relevant and easy to understand.
3. Create quick, effective content to market to Generation Z.
This is where things get tricky.
You've come up with a good storytelling approach to sell to your customers, but can you do it in eight seconds or less? For Generation Z, the average attention span is exactly that, eight seconds.
Author, Josh Perlstein, of Adweek states:
You might have only a few seconds to grab a Gen-Zer’s attention, after all: While a millennial or Gen-Xer might stop for a moment to read a longer post, Gen-Zers want to get straight to the point and move along to the next post. Source
I understand this is difficult, but there's no need to worry. The good news is that if you have an Instagram or Snapchat account, (or even Facebook!) you can start making quick advertisements with ephemeral content.
Instagram Stories, Snapchat Stories and Facebook Stories all allow you to share content, whether it's a video or image, that appears for a few seconds and stays on your profile for up to 24 hours.
If you can practice creating video or photo advertisements that last eight seconds or less and, more importantly, speak to your Gen Z audience, it'll become easier to engage with Generation Z.
4. Use each social media platform differently.
Unlike Millennials, Generation Z has had quick, easy access to the Internet and social media for most of their lives. Because of that, they rely on social media for a number of reasons, so much that they check their accounts as much as 100 times per day.
Whether it's using Facebook to get information or Instagram to showcase their aspirational selves, one thing is for certain: you can't advertise to Generation Z the same way across all platforms.
For example, since Gen-Zers use Instagram to showcase their aspirational self, you'll want to create content that speaks to their aspirations and nothing more. The same goes for Facebook; you'll only want to publish informative content.
5. Be a business that they can look up to.
Remember how popular TOMS shoes were with Millennials? In case you're unfamiliar, the company provided a pair of shoes to those in need for every pair of shoes purchased from them.
Millennials loved TOMS because not only were their shoes were popular, but they stood for a great cause.
It's not much different with Generation Z. In fact, 60 percent of Gen-Zers want to positively change the world through their work, so they want to shop brands that can do the same.
Marketing to Generation Z is going to be completely different, in many ways, from marketing to other generations. It will definitely be a challenge and a lot of hard work. However, if you're willing to put the work in to understand your new customers, they'll reward you for taking the time to get to know them.
And, if you're still feeling overwhelmed, we can create a digital marketing plan that works for you!
This is part three of our consumer behavior blog series and we have more subjects ahead. Check out parts one and two below, and stay tuned for our next topic!