The world of marketing used to have one mode of working: what worked, worked—you didn’t have to reinvent the wheel to sell your products and brand. But the introduction of technology really broke that wheel, requiring serious reinvention.
In the past few decades, we have seen marketing go through a number of trends, from the rise of television to the birth of social media to the ubiquity of smart-home technology. But even as technology has greatly evolved, there is an aspect that requires more consideration: The people that make up your company’s customer base have gotten older.
While you once felt fine marketing to the Baby Boomer generation through Sirius XM, you now have to learn how to market through TikTok to Gen Z. But who is Gen Z and how can your business effectively market to them?
Who Is Gen Z?
Gen Z consists of anyone born between 1995 to the mid-2000s. This generation of adults and young adults currently makes up 20.3% of the U.S. population. They are digitally savvy, having grown up with technology that can still befuddle Baby Boomers, such as flip phones to smartphones, iPods to iPads, Myspace to TikTok, Xbox to virtual reality gaming.
Existing studies show that the attention span of Gen Zers is about eight seconds long—a significant decrease from millennials and the generations before them. This means it’s imperative to capture their attention in a moment’s notice. If you want to target them, you’ll want to do it through the right channels; otherwise, you run the risk of losing them.
Tips on Marketing to Gen Z Consumers
Video Content Rules
85% of teens actively use YouTube, whether as a source of education, to sharpen their skills, or to find something entertaining to watch. So, it’s a source of information while a refuge for Gen Zers trying to escape reality. This is a great place for a brand to establish itself, whether it decides to establish itself as an educator or an entertainer. Or, if it fits your brand, you could choose to be both.
Think of a YouTube channel like Red Bull, which features videos on outdoor adventurism, death-defying stunts, interview series with musicians, and much more. Its endless trove of content, under its slogan “Red Bull gives you wings” allows viewers of all ages to learn and live through the trailblazing spirit that their content focuses on.
Micro-Influencers Matter More Than You Think
Influencer marketing is a phrase thrown around often nowadays, but when marketing departments talk about influencers they tend to talk about the big names: Kylie Jenner, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian West, etc. But thinking that big is an issue, especially if you’re a small-to-medium business—truth is? You might not be able to afford them if you’re not a global enterprise business.
So, where do you aim? The benefit of performance marketing is that you don’t need a massive influencer to develop a successful campaign. Rather than aiming for the clouds with massive, global influencers, you can rely on micro-influencers: social media influencers who have anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 followers on their social accounts. The benefit to aiming smaller is that smaller accounts are shown to have higher rates of engagement:
- People with 1,000 followers or less have an average engagement rate of around10%
- People with 1,000 to 10,000 followers have a rate around 5%
- Accounts with over 100,000 followers see a drop to 1.7%
Micro-influencers can be an incredible asset to your business, as they can spread your brand via word-of-mouth marketing while directing your audience to your website. It’s a great way to increase engagement with your brand, especially if you’re using micro-influencers that are either a part of Gen Z or which make up the audience of a content creator. Once you have a campaign started, you can move on to tracking your stats with affiliate marketing software. This will allow you to track the progress of your campaign, allowing you to monitor the effectiveness of your influencers and tactics and make adjustments to maintain a successful approach.
They Value Privacy More Than You Think
An NGen survey found over 80% of Gen Z respondents agreed with the following sentiment: “Protecting my privacy is very important to me.” How can your business market with this sentiment in mind? By being transparent at all costs. With most of Gen Z being tech-savvy, you can be more direct about what your company does with their personal information and why it matters. That can include encryption methods to protect their passwords and payment information or security measures you have installed within your company’s servers.
Moreover, you can openly discuss how their information is used once it is in your hands. Do you keep their private information completely private, not sharing it with any other business or selling it to another agency? Mention that! Gen Zers want the comfort of knowing their personal information is protected on the internet, free from hackers and free from data farms.
Gen Z Seeks Engagement
Above all else, what Gen Z really values is engagement, especially on social media. They want to see businesses responding to their comments, reacting to posts they’ve tagged them in, stories they’ve shared that include their products, and feedback they’ve left on a brand’s website or Twitter.
That brand-to-consumer engagement is a sign of authenticity to them. It shows that a brand doesn’t see itself as being above its customers; rather, it is made up of its customers, and the brand treats them as one and the same. Interacting with their customers can be enough to maintain their attention span, as well as earn their trust, potentially making them lifelong customers.
There’s no perfect method of marketing to Gen Z consumers, but it can be done with ease. Similar to most things nowadays, there is no one-size-fits-all solution or approach. To succeed, your business needs to adopt a multi-channel, performance-focused approach.