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5 Ways to Market to Gen Z

As we all know, with each new generation comes a different mindset, behaviors, and attitudes. For those in the role of marketer, it’s important to keep these differences in mind when trying to reach our intended audience. If you’re trying to advertise a product or service to Generation X, the strategies should look completely different when trying to advertise the same product or service to Generation Z.

Who is Generation Z?

Generation Z includes those born in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. More specifically, Gen Z includes today’s teenagers and those in their early 20s. That means the oldest members of Generation Z are in college or just graduating, thus entering the workforce, and starting to make their own buying decisions.

How to Market to Gen Z

Marketing to Gen Z is unique in the way they find ads and connect with messaging. Here’s how you can reach the Gen Z audience through five key marketing strategies:

1. Video Content

The best performing content on any social media platform is video. Visual content is easier for all audiences to digest, but Gen Z is more likely to watch a video than to read a post or article. According to Think With Google, surveys show that a majority of teenagers and young adults turn to YouTube videos to expand their knowledge on a subject, learn a new life skill, as well as for entertainment.

2. Influencers

In the beginning of influencer marketing, well-known celebrities were the goal. Fast forward to today and Gen Z responds best to micro-influencers. Micro-influencers typically refers to content creators with a smaller following of between 1,000 and 100,000 users. These influencers typically have a niche based around visual appeal such as food, fashion, consumer goods, and travel. Micro-influencers are more likely to engage with users, another important aspect of marketing to Gen Z. Teenagers and twenty-somethings find these influencers more relatable and are more likely to buy what they’re selling. 

3. Customer Engagement

As mentioned earlier, Gen Z expects brands to engage with their customers. Brands that acknowledge and reply to Twitter and Instagram mentions from customers perform best with this generation. This level of engagement and customer service is essential to Gen Z determining the authenticity of a brand and building brand trust.

4. Social and Environmental Responsibility

Gen Z is careful about the companies they choose to support. 55 percent of Generation Z choose brands that are socially responsible or environmentally-friendly. Companies making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, contribute to charitable organizations, or provide benefits to support their employees are all looked at favorably by Gen Zers.

5. Sell Experiences

One trait Gen Z (and Millenials) is known for is favoring experiences or making memories rather than owning material goods. For brands who are selling material goods, your strategy should make owning the product seem like an experience. For example, clothing brands like Chanel and stores like Bloomingdale’s are creating pop-up shops based out of trucks and vans, putting a spin on the food truck trend. 

Ultimately, Generation Z is a group that researches brands as a whole before investing or purchasing. They are searching for a company that they can trust. Gen Z seeks companies trying to make the world a better place, and will hear their voice when needed. The best way to get their attention is with short, entertaining video on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

To get started on your Gen Z marketing campaign, download our free guide to planning an inbound marketing strategy.

Inbound Marketing Campaign Launch Guide

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Olivia Tagye

By Olivia Tagye

Olivia Tagye is an Account Manager and Social Media Strategist for SMA. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Central Florida. Olivia loves the ever-changing rules and strategies in the world of digital marketing and social media. She enjoys working for SMA because everyone works together as a team, and they make an effort to give back.

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