What Brands Need to Know About Marketing to Generation Z

Public Relations
gen z marketing 02.05.16

Today, many forward-looking marketers are shifting their focus from millennials to Generation Z. While experts disagree on what defines this next wave of young adult spenders, it’s easy to see how this “always connected” generation will have a huge influence on the market as it becomes increasingly digitized.

As technology continues to advance, more and more people around the world are becoming connected. Thanks to the widespread adoption of social media, apps and mobile technology, brands now have even greater opportunities to reach and engage their target audiences.

As a result, many brands are turning to innovative marketing strategies that focus on authenticity and transparency, and celebrate Gen Z values to reach and engage new, younger audiences in a more meaningful way.

If marketers want to successfully connect with Generation Z, they must move away from the millennial mindset. By conducting research and creating two-way conversations of the social web, marketers can connect with this new generation of consumers in key moments across multiple devices.

Authenticity is Foundation for Building Trust and Loyalty

Generation Z members grew up with high-speed internet and social media. Unlike millennials, this generation was born at the height of The Great Recession and experienced the ripple effect of the dot.com and real-estate bubble bursts, making them more pragmatic than their millennial counterparts.

To reach this group of increasingly influential consumers, brands must learn how to genuinely connect with Gen Z audiences. By gaining a deep understanding of their values and behaviors, marketers can begin to own social conversations on the web, and can set the foundation to effectively build trust and long-term loyalty.

Empower Gen Z Influencers to Grow Your Brand

Today, top online influencers are not only content creators, but are also social media entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their personal brands. Forging partnerships with Gen Z influencers is key to authentic brand building and forming deeper relationships with Gen Z audiences.

Unlike millennials, Gen Z consumers are much more informed and less likely to make purchasing decisions based on overt marketing techniques.

Traditional advertising which heavily relies on celebrity and athlete brand advocates is less effective with Gen Z consumers than with previous generations.

Since many Gen Z members are active on a wide variety of social networks including Twitter, Vine, Snapchat and YouTube, brands that are looking to stay ahead of the curve must integrate Gen Z influencers into their overall marketing strategy.

Gen Z is more easily moved by real people. Social media gives them the unique opportunity to engage with influencers and a spark a genuine two-way conversation. That’s why it is crucial for brands to find the right influencers to sway the opinions of their target audiences in their favor.

Create Killer Content Across Social Channels and Devices

Marketers will have to develop a deeper understanding of their Gen Z target audiences in order to create new content for them. Instead of recycling old marketing approaches, brands will have to conduct social listening and engage in two-way conversations to learn what matters to this new generation of consumers.

One additional advantage of forming connections with Gen Z influencers is user-generated content. User-generated content benefits brands in a number of ways which include building consumer trust and engaging experiences. Forward-thinking marketers are not only looking into integrating Gen Z user-generated content into their digital and social media marketing strategies, but they’re also repurposing great pieces of content into multiple formats to appeal to create engagement across social channels and multiple devices.

Marketers must also think about diversifying the types of content they create for their target Gen Z audiences. From microblogs to Vine videos to listicles, brands must create killer content that allows Gen Z consumers to experience a range of exciting experiences.

As technology becomes even more advanced, brands will have to go beyond dynamic websites, static images and mundane video to immersive virtual reality, multisensory experience. Looking forward, marketers will have to find new storytelling approaches and content formats to engage Gen Z audiences and stay relevant in today’s ever-changing digital landscapes.

How to Engage Generation Z on Social

Smart marketers are already experimenting with cutting-edge technologies, platforms, and creative content formats to effectively reach Gen Z audiences. Many brands are already harnessing insights from Gen Z conversations across the web through social listening, which has allowed them to cultivate relationships with consumers.

As marketers gain deeper insights into Gen Z attitudes, behaviors, and preferences, they will be better able to create custom content that appeals to their target demographic. As technology continues to evolve and more and more people become connected on social media, brands will have even more opportunities to build trust and compel this generation of hyper-discerning consumers to make purchases.


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