When it comes to marketing to the youth, millennials are no longer the new kids in town. We have moved into the post-millennial era – also known as “Generation Z,” “Gen Z,” or “igeneration,” and marketers should take the time to understand the mindset of this young group if they want to take advantage of their buying power.
Post-millennials – born between the mid-1990’s and the mid-2000’s and are the first generation of digital natives. This means that they grew up alongside technology and are completely accustomed to using it. A world without likes, follows, views, clicks or status updates is foreign to them.
Gen Z makes up 25% of the U.S population and currently has a spending power of $143 billion, which makes them not only a main driver of our economy, but also one of our biggest target consumers. In order to successfully market to them, it is important to understand how this technology-driven lifestyle has made them different than past generations. Traditional methods that worked just a few years ago (commercials, billboards, newspapers, and online ads) no longer have an impact. It has been noted that Gen Z skip online ads an average of three seconds faster than millennials do, and 51% of them use ad-blockers.
So, businesses out there should start adjusting marketing efforts to better speak to Gen Z, because one-way messaging will no longer work with this generation.
- Get to the point, fast!
A recent study by Microsoft Canada suggests that teens’ attention spans have shrunk to all-time lows. Bombarded by a constant stream of online information, this group has learned how to sort through and assess information in mere seconds. Take any more than eight seconds, and you’ve lost your chance to relay your message effectively.
This has proven to be a challenge for marketers. To keep the attention of Gen Z, you need to provide them with engaging content that offers something more – immediately beneficial experiences. Aim to create personalized content and provides something unique and special.
- Become Pro Instagram and Snapchat Users
By far, this generation’s favorite social media networks are Instagram and Snapchat. A 2015 study by the Pew Research Center showed that 72% of teens use Instagram and 69% use Snapchat. Those numbers have only increased since. Using them to market to teens will surely yield results, since 80% of Gen Z purchases are influenced by social media. Both platforms allow for shorter snippet-length videos, which work perfectly for this generation’s shorter attention spans. Begin by creating authentic content, build a following, then engage with your followers! You’ll build momentum in no time.
- Build a Business YouTube Channel
Post-millennials are constantly browsing the Internet for both entertaining and useful videos, and most of the time, they end up on YouTube. According to Adweek, 50 percent of post-millennials can’t live without YouTube. Consider increasing your social media presence by creating a YouTube Channel for your business and regularly posting engaging content which will attract interest from Gen Z.
- Use Influencers to Make an Impact
Consider working with smaller influencers instead of trying to garner celebrity endorsements. Gen Z is adept at filtering through what’s fake to get to what’s real. Influencers tend to give them exactly that – the “real thing.” Most teens feel that influencers are more relatable because they tend to be closer in age and interact with them in real time. They are real people with raw emotions and honest opinions. They are fully transparent and have a love for sharing their knowledge about their favorite products. Influencers post short videos and photos on Instagram and Snapchat, and build a connection with their followers by personally interacting with them. This builds trust with influencers, which leads to sales. A product endorsement from a relatable influencer is as effective, if not more, as getting one from a friend, which is why it has become such a highly effective strategy.
- Take Advantage of GIFs
Gen Z love to communicate via images. They often replace text with emojis and GIFS. It’s a part of their everyday language. As a business trying to successfully market to Gen Z, you need to understand this language to better reach your target. These “byte-sized” animated graphics a perfect attention grabber that can visually cut through the abundance of text. Get creative and make the GIFs funny and memorable, your audiences will be more likely to stop and listen to what you have to say.
- Be Mobile-Friendly
These days, having a beautiful website alone isn’t enough. Businesses need to make sure that their websites are responsive and easily accessible on all devices including laptops, desktops, tablets and especially phones. A site that loads slowly or is too hard to navigate will quickly lose attention. Gen Z expects things, not only to work, but to work instantly, so bear this in mind when designing your mobile website.
There is no doubt that post-millennials are significantly different when it comes to their social media consumption, attention spans, and mindset. These factors surely influence their buying habits, but by better understanding their differences, businesses can effectively reach them by tailoring their messaging and marketing efforts to better fit the generation’s technology-driven lifestyle. Follow the steps outlined above and you will definitely appeal to Gen Zs and successfully put your business on their radar.
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