Gen Z is here to stay! There is a new audience in town, born between the mid 90s to mid 2000s, who, despite being young and fresh off the boat, no doubt spends the most time online alongside millennials and baby boomers.
Today’s Gen Zers have come of age in a fully connected world. They are digital natives who see no distinction between online and offline reality. Gen Zers are the first generation to grow up with social media as a primary means of communication, which means they also have unprecedented access to information about virtually anyone and anything.
With the rapid growth of Gen Z, businesses are paying more attention to this emerging segment than ever before. This generation is extremely tech-savvy, sophisticated, independent and collaborative. These young people prefer experiences over things, collaboration over competition, and authenticity over artificiality. When it comes to marketing to Gen Z consumers, you need a solid strategy that goes beyond the traditional tactics. With the right marketing strategies for Gen Z, you can reach this group in an authentic and convincing way that benefits your business while also supporting their needs as customers. Here are some ideas on how to market to Gen Z effectively.
Act like a digital native
Gen Z audiences gravitate towards brands with a fresh perspective and who can think outside of the box. To do this, your brand must embrace the digital native culture and be at home on digital platforms. Gen Z are digital natives so marketers must act that way too. Gen Z expects brands to move as seamlessly around digital devices as they do, and therefore, they feel that brand engagement should be constant, not one-off. They want to get information when needed, in the right place, and at the right time. No matter the device, Gen Zers have a constant expectation of smooth interactions with brands.
Utilize emerging marketing channels
Social media can be a powerful tool in the marketing mix. It allows both companies to reach potential customers directly, as well as allow customers to interact with brands and provide valuable feedback. Social media platforms offer a way for brands to reach an audience that is specifically interested in your messaging. By using these platforms, you can reach this audience in a very targeted way. This allows you to establish a connection with them that they may not have had before. When done right, social media can be a powerful tool for any type of business.
However, it’s also important to know which platform is best suited for each type of business. You need to know whether your target audience uses a certain social media platform, as well as if a particular platform is right for your campaign. Gen Z are likely to use Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, so you should start there.
Authenticity over artificiality
Marketers and experts tend to throw the word “authenticity” around a lot when it comes to Gen Z – without really elaborating on what it means. Gen Z is all about authenticity — they want brands that they can trust. This means being honest about what your brand has to offer, even if it’s not yet perfect or complete. Be honest about how you’re going about fixing any problems within your brand and show them how it makes a difference in their lives by showing them results from your product or service.
Gen Z also want the brands they shop with, the organizations they frequent, and the people they surround themselves with to reflect their way of viewing the world. Marketing to Gen Z means matching their values and beliefs. You need to be able to engage them on their terms, and show them that your brand understands who they are. That said, if you can master the right way to reach out to Gen Z, they can be loyal and passionate customers—just remember that being genuine is more important than being flashy.
Trust matters to Gen Z
For every brand aiming to create and build relationships with Gen Z, a good place to start is by building trust on and off of your platform. In an increasingly fast-paced world, businesses need to pull double duty in order to keep Gen Z’s attention. They need to instill in this generation a sense of stability and trust, while at the same time providing them with opportunities to feel more empowered on their own turf. Your business needs to be more than just a usable utility for those in Gen Z—it needs to be reliable, an inspiration, and something cool for them if you want your brand to really make a splash. If you want to connect with Gen Z, then you must be a trustworthy brand. The current generation wants to feel connected and affirmed by the brands that they choose to follow.
Gen Z consumers appreciate honest marketing and advertising and are not as easily swayed by false or exaggerated advertising. Therefore, when marketing to this group, it’s important that you’re honest about what your product or service does and how it benefits them directly instead of trying to make them believe something that isn’t true about your brand.
Personalize your brand for a diverse audience
When marketing to a Gen Z audience, you have to be open to diversity. Gen Z is a highly diverse generation that encompasses many different types of people, with various goals and aspirations, and when it comes to marketing to this audience, one size does not fit all. There are a number of different ways to sell to Gen Z, and being able to easily adapt your marketing campaign based on the way that they prefer to be marketed to will pay off in the long run. To reach them, you’ll need to be able to adjust your strategy to accommodate that. Gen Z is a large group of people with different tastes, and they will not be swayed easily. The more personal a brand can make its marketing efforts seem, the better chance they have at winning over this demographic of consumers. As long as you’re willing to meet them on their playing field, you’ll find them a receptive audience—and they just might help turn your business into the next big thing.
Be straight to the point
There are countless ways in which Gen Zers communicate. They’re talkers, texters, FaceTimers, Snapchatters, direct messengers and so on. This can be taken positively or negatively when it comes to advertising – they are very reachable on nearly all platforms, but marketers also have to compete with the constant information being pushed their way, along with their short attention spans. Gen Z appreciates straightforward communication and want to be served information this way.
The average Gen Zer has an attention span of about eight seconds. They’ve grown up constantly being served enormous amounts information, and are accustomed to quickly filtering through it. When marketing to Gen Z they prefer to be addressed in a straightforward way in a manner that they can understand, they are a generation looking for real answers and fast.
Transparency is critical
Today’s Gen Zers have grown up in a world of perfect information. They have been able to find answers to most of life’s questions at the push of a button. They have grown accustomed to having everything at their fingertips, from directions to restaurant, reviews and even the best price on products they want to buy. As a result, they expect that same level of ease when it comes to making purchase decisions. This generation has grown up with technology and understands how quickly things change and is already used to having instant access to information, so do not try to hide anything from them.
Gen Z is a generation that demands transparency in everything they do. They want to know what they’re getting into, how much it will cost, and what exactly they’ll be getting out of it, they want to have a clear understanding of the job before they take it. Gen-Z dislikes hidden agendas. They want to know the game plan, and they don’t like surprises. This generation is not only the most cynical but also the most skeptical. If you want to market to Gen Z, you need to be transparent about what you’re offering because they want the freedom to make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for them.
Add some flavour to your brand
Gen Zers have a very clear idea of what they want in the brands they buy from. They don’t want bland or boring, but rather something that is interesting to them and their friends. Gen Zers want brands that are bold, have a strong voice and personality — and they will push back if a company doesn’t live up to their expectations. Here are four attributes that Gen Zers want from brands:
Gen Z has grown up in an environment where companies were bold and took risks. They aren’t afraid of having opinions or sharing them publicly on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. They expect brands to be just as bold as they are. Take a look at Honey’s collaboration with Mr. Beast to see how providing a space to share opinions and experiences freely opens brands up to new audiences.
Gen Z want brands that stand for something beyond just selling products or services. They want companies that speak out on issues related to society and the planet we live on. Check out Absolut Vodka’s collaboration with Jess Bowen to see an example of how to align your brand’s values with influencers that share a similar vision.
Gen Zers don’t like blandness; they want companies with personalities that they can relate to while still being relatable to other people in general. If a brand comes off as too boring or stiff, then it won’t stick out among all the other options out.
For a good example of bringing personality to influencer marketing, check out Dunkin’s long-term sponsorship with Charli D’ Amelio — one of the biggest stars on TikTok. Alongside content from Charli which showcased products from Dunkin with Charli’s signature flair, Dunkin launched a campaign under the hashtag #CharliXDunkinContest, and released a new beverage named “The Charli.”
If you want to market effectively to Gen Z, it’s important to understand who they are and what they want from their brands. To do this, you need data on their preferences, behaviors and attitudes — which is why building a community is so valuable. By collecting information from members of your community, you can learn more about them than ever before. This kind of insight will help shape your future campaigns and content offerings for Gen Zers.
A digital community also helps build trust between brands and consumers through authenticity. Gen Z aren’t interested in being marketed to; they want real connections with real people who understand them. Building an authentic relationship with Gen Zers is essential to getting them on board with your brand or product.
If you’re excited about your brand reaching out to a younger audience, what better way than to use influencer marketing? With CreatorDB, connecting with the right influencers is a breeze. Make the most of our ever-growing influencer database and platform, advanced data packages, and dedicated influencer marketing agency to connect with the influencers that Gen Z follow on a daily basis.