6 Things to Help Your Content Marketing Strategies Target Gen Z Audiences
First things first, How is this blog relevant to you?
B2C Brands, read if:
- You are targeting consumers below the age of 23yrs (born after 1996).
- Your organisation hires talent from a similar age group.
B2B Brands, read if:
- You provide services to B2C companies targeting Gen Z.
- Your organisation hires talent between 18-23yrs age.
Let’s start. Gone are the days where everything could be blamed on the millennials, because there’s a new generation that people just seem to love to hate – Gen Z!
They’re young, impatient, whimsical, and like every new generation, have an air of mystery around them that intrigues older generations.
Despite all these things, there’s no denying that they’re the face of the future and that from a business perspective, they’re an important target audience.
In fact, it is estimated that in 2019, Gen Z will make up about 32% of the world population, surpassing millennials.
In India, especially, there is an extremely high youth population. Gen Z has been estimated to rise to 472 million in 2019. Hence, it is clear that customising your content marketing strategies to cater to Gen Z will give you a very large customer base, and it is increasingly becoming the need for marketers across the globe.
But how do businesses go about reaching Gen Z?
They seem so far off as a generation that it appears impossible. All the things mentioned before about their restiveness are not exactly conducive to sales and it makes them difficult customers.
Targeting a Gen-Z audience is no walk in the park. It is difficult to hold their attention for long and they’re most likely not brand-loyal and would move on to the next best thing as soon as the opportunity rises. However, there’s no denying that they’re an important target audience. They’ve got strength in numbers and if you can get that on your side, you’re golden.
So, how can you keep an ever-moving generation still long enough to listen to your pitch, and what can you do on your part to get them to invest?
Here are 6 things you should keep in mind while formulating Gen Z marketing strategies:
1. Be Where Gen Z’s Are
The best way to reach this demographic is through online platforms, especially those that are primarily or entirely best accessible through mobile devices such as smart phones. It’s no secret that Gen Z makes the most use of mobile devices. In fact, even social media sites that are equally accessible through computers, as well as cell phones, get a lot more mobile traffic, not just from the under-21s but also from the general populace. For example, Youtube gets a large amount of traffic from mobile users.
Similar apps include Whatsapp, Instagram, and Snapchat that are very mobile-oriented. While marketing content online, these easy-access platforms should be prioritised.
2. Prioritize Micro influencers
Unlike big influencers who are unable to make an impact, micro influencers are the ones who are the most genuine and trustworthy source of information about a product, technology, or service. Here’s an example of an influencer with 2 million followersg who couldn’t sell 36 t-shirts!
Micro influencers are more authentic which leads to higher conversions and better rapport with their followers. And when I say influencers, they are not restricted to Instagram. Trending apps or channels like TikTok, Snapchat, Ecommerce communities, and micro-video apps are redefining the role of influencers.
2. What Content to Create?
When you target Gen Z audiences, your marketing strategy should involve creating content that overcomes the hurdle of low attention span of potential Gen Z customers.
Lengthy blog posts and descriptions won’t work like they did on previous generations. This generation is all about images, videos, and colourful graphics. The same information that is usually conveyed in a paragraph is much more likely to be noticed by your target audience if it’s in the form of a picture or a flyer.
Similarly, with videos, less is more. Good graphics and animations will help, but brevity is key (it’s ironic that this is a 1500 word article about a target audience that can’t tolerate lengthy or drawn out content, then).
3. So, should you stop writing blog posts?
85% of Gen Z say they are aware of ads in Google and most of them prefer ad-blockers.
But at the same time, 71% say they discover new products using Google, which means they search and prefer authentic content that ranks on top.
So, here’s the thing, attracting Gen Z and taking care of SEO can be done by adding relevant visuals in your long form content and enhancing the overall experience on the platform.
Gen Z do not have a purchasing power like millennials but they surely have influence and as brand you should tap into it.
4. Be Creative on Social Media
A good way to engage a Gen Z target audience is to post a video or photo to Instagram stories and add a call to action (CTA), usually ‘swipe up’. The content of the video or the picture caption should spark the curiosity of viewers and make them want to swipe up to get more details.
One person who uses this effectively is Matthew Hussey (@thematthewhussey) who is a popular relationship and dating coach.
He adds a ‘swipe up’ CTA which leads to either his blog or his instagram feed, where he puts up lenghthier posts giving relationship advice. The captions on his Instagram stories incite curiosity. Take the following example:
As you can see, the story uses:
- An eye-catching image.
- A topic that is interesting to Gen Z (relationships and relationship myths)
- Attention grabbing words like ‘it’s time to get really honest’ and ‘blow apart relationship myths’.
- A clear call to action ‘swipe up’.
- Effective use of gated content, i.e., he makes sure they don’t have access to the material unless they swipe up and go to his Instagram post.
Another option could be memes, and since they are all the rage among the youth, it doesn’t hurt to tap into one’s humorous side and add memes and other jokes into the mix of Gen Z marketing strategies.
Try not to look like you’re trying too hard though, because that could drive them away rather than spark their interest.
5. Make it Friendly, Human, and Humorous
You need to be authentic and have a two-way conversation if you want to attract Gen Z. If they relate with your persona, it is only then that they will follow you and buy from you.
The two-way communication isn’t limited to the online experience only. Extend it to your offline interactions making it a seamless brand experience. With seamless, comes the word consistency. As a marketer, you might have come across the word “omnichannel”, and this is what works for the Gen Z.
Gen Z are more expressive emotionally then earlier generations and that makes it more important for you to make your brand more human. They trust the face more than they trust the name!
And while you are making it more human, you can’t miss humour!
Gen Z has a different and quirky form of humour and your brand needs to understand that. But how do you do that? Find an 18yr old around you and spend some time asking him to show his favourite content on Youtube, Instagram, and other platforms. You’ll be amazed to see the content they watch.
When it comes to language, the content that is marketed to Gen Z should be brief, concise, and capture the gist of your business and what it does in as few words as possible.
6. What’s in It for Them?
A common question with any target audience when they are marketed a product is, “What’s in it for us?” and Gen Z is no different. Being the most difficult of the generations to be convinced by a brand to commit to a product or service, you need to have a good reason to sway their opinions in your favour.
Customer testimonials and genuine product reviews are a good way to convince a Gen Z audience about the authenticity of what you have to offer.
If you can strike a brand deal with a celebrity, social media influencer, or Youtuber, it’s even better. Unboxing videos are very popular among youngsters and brands targeting Gen Z should take note of this.
Another thing that acts as an incentive is brand ideals and values. Gen Z is the most socially conscious generation. If brands promote and stick to ideals such as cruelty-free production and eco-friendly practices, they are more likely to be loyal and continue to use the products and services. These ideals are what makes a brand different in a market where several companies are offering the same thing, with a plethora of cheaper alternatives.
Like the millenials before them, they are very socially conscious and will not hesitate to take a stand and stop supporting organizations if they aren’t ethically sound. Recently, the American fast food chain, Chic-Fil-A faced heat for donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations. It is the younger generation that has taken note of this and boycotted this restaurant chain.
There is an overwhelming need among the Gen Z to be able to relate to the brands and businesses that they choose to support. In a cutthroat economy where they are spoiled for choice, tapping into this element is what will make you stand out to this fast-paced generation.
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