How To Target Gen Z 

Generation Z is the newest demographic to enter the global consumer market – at least the newest generation that are old enough to make purchase decisions.  

There is a marked difference in the attitudes, behaviours and expectations of this generation compared to their predecessors. As such, it is critical to understand these factors, along with their needs, wants and preferences, in order to effectively reach and engage them.  

In this article, I’ll provide an overview of the characteristics of Gen Z along with strategies on how to target and market to them. With the right approach, businesses can build successful relationships with this demographic and create a loyal customer base.  

Who Are Gen Z?

The term “Gen Z” refers to the demographic group born between 1995 and 2010. They are the first truly digital generation; while millennials grew up in a world where computers were just starting to become mainstream, Gen Z never knew a world without the internet. They are digital natives who are fluent in new technologies and prefer convenience over everything else. Gen Z may also be the most charitable generation, with 90% of them willing to continue donating the same amount of money or more to charitable causes, despite inflation. 

Gen Z are also more likely to spend money on experiences than on material items. More of them have gone on to pursue higher education compared to millennials, and they tend to be less price-sensitive than their predecessors. These three factors combined makes them a lucrative demographic.   

Targeting Tactics

Personalise Your Content

Gen Z craves human connection, and they expect businesses to respond to their needs and expectations. To ensure that your marketing efforts appeal to them, make sure your content is personalised as much as possible. Make sure you segment your email marketing campaigns accordingly and personalise ad campaigns.  

Review Your Social Media Strategy

To effectively reach this demographic, you need to use the right platforms. 60% of TikTok users are genZ (more than 600M users worldwide), making TikTok a no-brainer when targeting Gen Z.

Instagram is also a must; 31% of all users are 18-24 years old, 31.2% are 25-34 years old, and this platform also has more than one billion monthly active users.  

YouTube is another top priority, with some sources stating that it’s actually the most used platform among teenagers, with 95% of them using it daily. 

Data on social trends indicates that this demographic still uses Facebook, but not as much as the platforms above. You should also consider Snapchat, as it comes fourth on the list of most used platforms by Gen Z-ers. Also note that teen boys are more likely to use YouTube than teen girls, who prefer to use TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat instead.  

Make sure you are using these platforms and keep an eye on the data to see which ones are performing best for your specific audience; and as always, make sure your brand identity is consistent across social media channels. Post content that has catchy headlines and engaging captions, and always make use of hashtags. 

Use Visual Content

Gen Z are highly visual, and this is reflected in their preference for the platforms discussed above. That’s not to say they won’t choose to read blogs or listen to podcasts; however, there’s a good chance they’d choose short-form visual content over long-form if they can get the same value from it. So, make sure you prioritise video marketing and the use of these platforms.  

High-quality, colourful images and video that appeals to the senses, vibrant brand colours, and virtual reality experiences are all types of shareable content that will entice this audience visually and keep them engaged. Use features such as Instagram stories, reels, and YouTube Shorts, and make use of plenty of emojis in your posts. You can establish rules about this in a brand guidelines document.

Develop Your Brand Identity and Voice

As you know, your brand identity is the personality conveyed by your business or products, and is expressed through your brand voice. Since Gen Z crave authenticity in their purchases and experiences, it is critical to master the two, ensuring they create the impression you need this segment to have of your brand.  

Your brand voice should be consistent on your website copy, social media posts, product descriptions, and all other channels.   

It’s also important to speak to Gen Z in their own language. You can get a feel for this by checking out user generated content from people of this age group, as well as the language used by influencers that are popular among them.

Showcase Your Values

As mentioned, Gen Z is all about authenticity and corporate social responsibility. They want to support brands that align with their values. Make it clear how your products help the world and how they support social causes, and be transparent about your values and business practices. In fact, 45% of Gen Z are motivated to engage with a brand who they perceive as trustworthy and transparent.  

Gen Z are more than willing to block and cancel brands that put on a façade about such issues so you must back up your claims and demonstrate what your company is actually doing to benefit society. If your products are manufactured in an ethical way, prove it. If your data is stored on servers powered by green energy, communicate this to your audience. Most importantly of all, don’t make false claims and pretend to be doing things that you’re not – this generation won’t be fooled.  

Use Influencer Marketing

Gen Z is highly influenced by online personalities and is more likely to purchase a product or service from a social media star than a traditional celebrity. And since Gen Z is extremely loyal to its favorite brands and is engaged with social causes, making use of influencer marketing is a vital strategy. 

Work with relevant and high-quality influencers that represent your business’ values; for example, if you were selling eco-friendly clothing, you should partner with an influencer that is an environmentalist. Seeking these partnerships will help you to reach a wider audience and will increase your credibility among this audience.  

Choosing the right influencer is not just about their values – look for those with a strong following and engagement.  

All in all, you want to ensure that the influencer resonates with your audience so that you can increase the likelihood of positive outcomes, such as more brand awareness and sales. 

Create Immersive and Interactive Experiences

If you want to reach Gen Z, you need to create interactive experiences that engage your customers and help them learn more about your brand. As alluded to above, virtual reality is a great way to do this, and the use of music and visual and visual effects in your videos will help. 

You can also create interactive campaigns by offering products and services that allow your customers to get involved and become a part of your brand, such as competitions like the Twitter branded hashtag challenge. Another option is online events, such as webinars and workshops. These events need to be fun, engaging, and allow your customers to get to know your brand and products. 

Keep Your Content Fresh

Gen Z love novelty. Keeping your marketing efforts fresh and new by mixing up your content will ensure your audience doesn’t get bored.  A simple way to do this is to repurpose content, changing up the formats you use – for example, posting a blog series in video format or vice versa. The unexpected changes will get their attention, and will also keep your content production costs down.  

Get to the Point – Fast

Gen Z has a short attention span. This demographic expects quick and efficient results and if they do not receive them, they move onto the next thing. For this reason, it’s important to get to the core message quickly in any marketing material. Perhaps the one exception is if your content is highly engaging and entertaining – in this case, the users may pay attention for longer, simply because of the entertainment value. A concrete example would be a funny advertisement the key message may come at the end but viewers will be watching until they end, so they won’t miss it or stop watching early. 

Offer Incentives

Gen Z is all about instant gratification and they expect companies to respond quickly to their needs.  

Offer incentives such as free samples, discounts, free shipping, and giveaways – this will help you not only build relationships, but it will also help you collect data and generate leads. You should be doing this for any demographic – the point is, Gen Z expect this type of engagement more.  

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Gen Z is extremely vocal when dissatisfied, and when they have a positive experience, they are likely to share it with others. So, whilst customer service should always be a top priority, it is especially important for this generation if you want to prevent reputation damage. In addition, make sure you keep a close eye on customer reviews so that you can address any concerns as soon as possible.  

Wrapping Up

Whilst Gen Z may not be the easiest audience to please, they will be loyal once you’ve proven yourself to them. That means proving your authenticity and your ability to entertain. 

To sum up the main points to remember – personalise your marketing efforts, make sure you’re targeting them on the right platforms (TikTok and YouTube for video marketing, as well as Instagram), and use high quality visual content. Make sure you express your values, and always back up your claims about any corporate social responsibility initiatives you are involved with. Be transparent.  

Finally, use influencer marketing, focus on novelty, offer incentives, and get your point across quickly. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll have the full attention of this audience.  

If you need help building a strategy to target Gen Z – or any other strategy – don’t hesitate to get in contact. My team and I would be delighted to assist.  

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