How to market to Gen Z customers

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market to Gen Z customers

Dubbed the ‘social generation’, Gen Z, or the current 13 – 24 year age bracket, has a potential spending power which dwarfs that of their Millennial predecessors; not just through their own income but through their ‘spending influence’ – read, the bank of mom and dad. Practically born with smartphones in hand, the internet is their first port of call for anything they want to research or buy, and many of them do the vast majority of their socializing online too.

By 2020, they will account for around 40% of the total consumer market. If your business wants to be ready to cater for their needs and start taking advantage of that massive spending power, now is the time to start aligning your marketing practices with them in mind. Here’s what you need to know.

Start with mobile and social – but not the social you might be used to


Just when you were getting familiar with Facebook ads, it seems Gen Z, especially the younger members of the demographic, are moving away from “traditional” social media sites like Facebook. So, what are they using? Among the 13 – 17 year old group, 85% use YouTube, 72% use Instagram and 69% of participants use Snapchat. If your product or service is targeted at the younger demographic, then you may need to rethink your social media campaigns, or at least start building a presence on sites like Instagram. If your product is aimed at the older members of Gen Z and the millennial generation, Facebook is still a good enough bet for now, although you’ll need to remain open to this changing.

Keep it snappy


Long-winded sales pitches just don’t work with Gen Z, there are simply too many other posts vying for their attention. What does work is snappy content that gets to the point and delivers a clear, concise message that’s instantly recognizable and relatable. With their short attention span and impatience with posts that require them to do all the work, it’s vital to grab their attention and say what you have to say quickly. If you do this well, they’ll be eager to hear more from you.

They’re not easily fooled by fake news


Because they’ve grown up in a digital world, Gen Z knows they can’t trust everything they read online. They’re immediately able to pick up on anything that seems put there just to sell something or isn’t backed up by credible sources. It might sound surprising, but they will frequently turn to trusted newspapers and magazines (at least, the online versions of such) as reliable sources of information.

For marketers, that makes advertising on trusted sites like established newspapers and informational sites a pretty good bet when it comes to allocating your marketing spend. It also means that when you’re creating content, more focus than ever should be on providing quality, useful information first, and selling second. If you’re not sure how to accomplish this, then partnering with an established SEO firm like Ruby Digital is a good bet.

Like Millennials, they love a good cause


Like their older counterparts, Gen Z wants to make a positive impact the world, and they use social media to find and explore their ‘aspirational selves’. One of the easiest ways to get them interested in what you’re selling is to support a good cause. They’re willing to pay more for something that makes the world a better place. Getting involved with a charity, donating a proportion of your proceeds to further a noble cause, or even better, starting your own charitable venture within your organization that has your brand attached to it is a great way to get their attention. Even if they can’t participate themselves, they’re far more likely to share your campaign on social media and help get the word out for free!

Keep it visual


An eye-catching graphic coupled with a short one to three-minute video seems to be the sweet spot when it comes to Gen Z. Your website should provide a fast and clean insight into what you do (and why) and provide an exceptional user experience if you want them to buy from you. What they don’t want, however, is a tired old rehashing of your standard sales pitch. They want content that tells a story and gets them engaged. If you can couple this kind of media with a campaign that appeals to their socially conscious natures, even better.

Appeal to their individuality


Gen Z doesn’t like labels, they like experiences and products that they can customize and make their own. If your product allows them to express their individuality, they’re more likely to connect with it and with you as brand.

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