Move over Millennials, a new generation is coming of age and traditional advertising won’t do. Generation Z holds different values and spends money differently than generations past, and traditional marketing tactics are falling flat. While Millennials and Baby Boomers have long been the predominant marketing target, brands now must evolve marketing strategies to build trust and brand loyalty among Gen Z, as their buying power increases. Here are a few key points for marketers to keep in mind when trying to appeal to Generation Z.
1. Follow the Rules of the Road
Don’t fall into the trap of using the same content across all social media platforms. Generation Z uses each platform uniquely, and so should brands hoping to appeal to this demographic. When creating successful content, consider the platform where it will be shared. For example, news-worthy content belongs on Twitter. TikTok is the best platform for participating in trendy challenges, and career-oriented content should live on LinkedIn.
2. Short and Sweet
The average attention span of Zoomers is approximately eight seconds. For marketers competing for the attention of Gen Z, it’s imperative to create original content that is palatable for short attention spans, and optimized for mobile devices.
3. Video, Video, Video
Thanks to YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram Reels, video is quickly becoming the primary way we consume information. For young adults that grew up with smartphones, it’s the way to consume information. The best strategy for capturing the attention of Generation Z is to use lots and lots of video when promoting a product or service. Brands should also be sure to take advantage of user-generated video content as well. Product reviews and testimonial videos are essentially word-of-mouth marketing in the digital age.
4. Value Transparency
A study, published by McKinsey & Company, examined the main driver for each generation. While Gen X is preoccupied with status, and Millennials are experience-oriented, Gen Z’s primary motivation for consumption is their quest for truth. Keep in mind, those born between 1997 and 2012 have never known a world without the Internet. As digital natives, Gen Z is more than comfortable consuming and collecting large amounts of information from various sources and cross-referencing data.
What does this mean for your brand? Gen Z’s quest for truth means that they value brands that prioritize transparency and accountability. Companies that embrace transparency at all levels of business, rather than shy away from it, will resonate the most with Zoomers.
5. Keep It Real
In addition to transparency, members of this generation gravitate towards brands that are authentic. Lean into your brand voice, highlight the faces within your company, and don’t be afraid to reiterate your mission and values to your audience. More importantly, avoid performative activism at all costs. A study from The Center of Generational Kinetics found that 72% of Zoomers were more likely to purchase from brands that contributed to social causes than those that did not. Real, authentic concern for people, the community, and environment goes a long way for Zoomers.
While Generation Z may be different from previous generations, Zoomers are not an enigma. As the buying power of Gen Z increases, this certainly is not a generation to overlook. By using smart and purposeful marketing tactics to cater to this group, marketers can effectively build brand loyalty among Generation Z.