Understanding Gen Z: Everyone 4 to 24 Years Of Age In 2019
Millennials may be receiving the most marketing attention from businesses at the moment, but they should also be paying attention to the up and coming Gen-Z'ers. As a rapidly growing market sector projected to represent 40 percent of all American consumers by 2020, it's time for brands to them it seriously. They currently have over $44 billion in buying power, and when factoring in parent influenced buying and house purchases, $200 billion.
This generation, while they are the youngest to be making purchases independent from their parents, are unique as they are the first generation to have known technology their entire life. This makes them such a new challenge to businesses, because marketing effectively to Gen Z doesn't involve traditional tactics. In this blog, Hollywood Branded provides 6 tips for brands to better reach Gen Z and explains why it is so important to start marketing towards them.
1. If It's Not On Social Media, It Doesn't Exist
Gen Z qualifies as those born generally after 1996, and are currently teenagers and young adults. Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1996. And Gen Xers are from 1965 to 1979. Just for any of you who need a quick catch up on the generations!
Growing up with technology in their hands, Gen Z lives on their phone and more specifically, social media. The big three in social media right now are Instagram, Twitter and Youtube, however Facebook is still relevant to the older Gen Z'ers. When it comes to finding a product or service, there's just as big of a chance, if not greater, that they will look it up on social media before googling it.
An Instagram and Twitter feed can speak volumes to brand culture and their level of professionalism. For example, if one peanut butter company has higher quality pictures of products and recipes than another, that's what people want to follow. There's also the element of trust, that people are willing to accredit businesses that are actively updating their socials with great content.
Being active on social media is equivalent to being relevant in real life now. This segues to social engagement, utilizing tools to engage consumers like stories, highlights, polls and giving Q&A opportunities are all things that Gen Z live for and value highly.
To reiterate this point, if your brand or website cannot be found easily on Instagram or Twitter, it doesn't exist as far as Gen Z is concerned.
2. User Generated Content Means A Lot
When Coca-Cola released their ingenious #ShareACoke campaign where popular names were printed on every can, the entire world went nuts. They were encouraged to post a picture with their cans, and people did. Why? It was actually cool to see your name on a bottle or can, and now suddenly consumers have become the advertisers.
For Gen Z, UGC is taken more seriously than ads coming straight from a company because it feels like a friend is referring it to you.
A defining characteristic of Gen Z (as well as millennials) is skepticism of large, corporate, mass-generated content, and a favoring of smaller, more genuine feeling brands.
This, however, doesn't translate to a dislike of behemoth companies like Chipotle and Starbucks. These companies actually thrive amongst this generation because of their cult following, another attractive aspect to Gen Z'ers. This cult following is sparked by all the UGC posted by consumers of their burritos and coffee cups that make their followers want to be a part of the hype. In an online world of mass following, being on trend with what the majority of people love is a definitive characteristic of what matters to younger generations.
3. Sell The End Game
Modern day marketing has become a game of persuading a potential customer rather than simply spitting out an advertisement. The art of persuasion specifically to Gen Z has to do a lot with showing them the future they can have with the use of your product or service. Buying has become more of a strategic practice with Gen Z, and they don't want a product for just simply, being the product.
To paint a picture let's use Wix.com, a free website builder that is doing extremely well right now. The software is also one of the most popular website builders among both Gen X and millennials. It's highly attractive for young professionals because it invests its marketing on Youtube and social media perfectly.
It does everything right; they use Karlie Kloss as their spokesperson who is an a successful young model and entrepreneur (and influencer). She shows users how they can build a business and a website for free, quickly and easily. Being 26, she is exactly at an age Gen Z looks up to and she subsequently gives them a dream for when they reach that age. It doesn't just show them wix.com, it shows the future you can have as a result with Wix.
4. The Age Of Hyper-Convenience: Optimize Your Tech ASAP
The key to automation is to do it correctly. Faster, more tech-advanced websites are not just pleasing to Gen Z, but absolutely necessary. At the first instance of inconvenience, they're getting off the website and going somewhere faster and more organized.
Prioritize being mobile friendly over optimizing desktop layouts. Linking products to Instagram is such a useful shopping tool to utilize. Businesses can input prices and easy links to the exact item on their website within a post that consumers can see with a simple tap. They can also talk about or show a picture/video of a product on their story with an option to swipe up which will take them to a specific link without having to look anything up.
Revisiting Gen Z's trust with other fellow members of their generation over corporate ads, reviews go a very long way into persuading a purchase to be made. The more reviews that can be found online about your business, the better. Gen Z is doing their research and will take time to ensure they are making the right purchase because they are a financially conservative generation. This translates to making reviews easily viewable on your website, with the option of photo and video review.
5. Video, Video, Video
Let's start off with the facts:
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. (Insivia)
- 72% of consumers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video. (Hubspot)
- 92% of users watching video on mobile will share it with others. (Wordstream)
- Marketers who use videos grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. (Wordstream)
- Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs. (Wordstream)
- Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. (Wordstream)
These are just a small selection of hundreds of statistics relating to the outstanding effectiveness and importance that video holds in the world of marketing and consumer behavior. 2019 is the year for video content, and this means everywhere. Whether it's your businesses' landing page, homepage, social media post, anything. It is proven that people engage better with video, and who better to respond to this than the generation that has grown up watching thousands of hours of videos.
As exciting as this news may be, don't whip out your iPhone camera quite yet. As if this needs any clarification, consumers respond more advantageously the higher quality the video is. That means quality in both production and concept. 62% of consumers are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that published a poor quality video. (Adelie Studios)
6. Entertain And Get To The Point
We are currently living in the era of six second ads. Six seconds is generally recognized as the average Gen Z attention span. This correlates well with point #5 about videos as something to take into consideration when designing the concept of your ad. Storytelling, something so sacred to advertising, is unfortunately reduced to capturing attention within the first 2-5 seconds. As a guideline, the shorter your advertisement is, while still effectively getting the point across, the better response you can expect.
As aforementioned, a generation so veteran to online content is immune to traditional advertising and often tunes out uninteresting ads automatically. An easy way to grab attention is to open with an celebrity or influencer appearance. This is where creative advertising and marketing specialists really come into play into creating clever ads.
On the right is an example of an advertisement from calm.com shown between Instagram stories that realistically only has 2-3 seconds to grab attention before it is swiped to the next story.
This is a great ad because it grabs your attention immediately by asking consumers a question. It's relevant because so many people regardless of age struggle with sleep and the high quality, beautiful visual of the fire are calming. While this is just a screenshot, the real ad is accompanied with soft sounds of a flickering fire and the moving flames. Viewers instantaneously understand the feel of the brand, and have the opportunity to easily swipe up and install and learn more.
The Next Step
Interested in doing a little further reading on influencers and the impact they can have on your brand? We've written many other blog posts on the subject based on our own experience working with them!
- 4 Ways To Drive Sales Using Influencers
- 3 Brands Show How To Market Mobile Apps Using Influencers
- 4 Reasons To Choose An Influencer Agency Versus Influencer Platform
- How Much Money Should A Brand Spend On Influencer Advertising
- The Power Of Influence In Youtube Endorsements
Or maybe you'll want some more data from our 2018 influencer marketing survey report. Check it out!