Marketing To Gen Z | Tips and Strategies to Appeal to Generation Z
Welcome Millennials and Gen X-ers – the generations that grew up with Disco, The Breakfast Club, and Payphones but still have no idea what ‘cheugy’ means.
This blog is for you.
Growth and evolution go hand in hand, especially in marketing. Thus, every brand needs to understand how to appeal to perhaps the most elusive generation to date; Generation Z.
With strong opinions, a vast amount of different interests, and a deep quest for social justice, Generation Z can be a tough market. But don’t worry; in this guide, we will go over who Gen Z is and our top strategies to gain their support.
Who is Gen Z?
Gen Z is the most unprecedented generation to date. Born between 1997 and 2012, these ‘zoomers,’ as often referred to, have been raised by the internet and Disney Channel, allowing them to be independent thinkers and tech-savvy individuals.
Despite what previous generations have to say, Gen Zers are not ‘lazy’ or ‘entitled.’ In fact, they are on track to be the most entrepreneurial and educated generation in America. Historically, they are also the most racially diverse, as only 52% are non-Hispanic white, which is significantly lower than statistics reported in 2002 (61%).
Even though they have a lot of similarities to Millenials (people born between 1981 -1996), they stand out in many major categories. For example, Gen Z is more practical and self-focused than the idealistic, community-oriented Millennials. Additionally, Gen Z is more likely to be politically engaged than Millennials, with a greater emphasis on activism and social change (more on this later).
These characteristics are key to understanding how to directly market to this population, which, according to research, has about $360 billion in disposable income.
So, how do you appeal to Gen Z? Let’s get into it.
Tap Into Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is the newest wave of marketing that has quickly become one of the most successful. What started on Youtube with OG influencers like Jackie Aina and PewDiePie, has slid over to platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
About 62% of Gen Z make purchases through social media. Social media purchases are so powerful that there’s even a trend on Tiktok where content creators show things “TikTok made them buy”. Gen Z is nothing if not self-aware.
This effective mode of ethos even translates to the Tourism and Adventure Activities Industry. Forbes reported that “Millennials and Generation Z are more likely to pick a travel destination and activities based on what their peers share online over branded travel ads.”
But how can you apply influencer marketing to your business? Glad you asked.
While macro-influencers like Emma Chamberlain and Charli D’Amelio may be a bit out of budget and, quite frankly, hard to reach, there are plenty of micro-influencers who may be easier to work with. We recommend contacting your local niche micro-influencers in your area first. But remember, just because they have a nice-sized following doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your business. Be sure to assess aspects such as their values and current audience before implementing them in your campaign.
Start Practicing Those TikTok Dances
We are kidding. Kinda.
There’s absolutely no way around it. If you want to appeal to Gen Z, you will need to join the other 1.4 Billion users on TikTok. It is estimated that Gen Z and Millennials spend an average of 24-48 hours a month on the formally Musical.ly platform.
While you don’t have to stay up to date with the latest dance trends (though it’s hard not to), video content is the best form of media to capture Gen Zers, especially short-form video content. This is because this generation wants information, and they want it fast.
We know video content can be overwhelming to try to navigate. If you are not sure where to even begin, get in contact with us. We’d love to discuss and strategize a social media plan that will work for your organization.
To Talk The Talk, You Gotta Walk The Walk
To reach someone, you’ve got to be able to speak their language. Or at least know key phrases like “please and thank you” and “where’s the bathroom.” Nevertheless, with everything regarding Gen Z, authenticity is crucial. They can spot a fake quickly, so don’t jump the gun and start utilizing random words you don’t understand.
We encourage you to study your audience as best you can; we guarantee you’ll catch the lingo over time. But perhaps the best way to speak Gen Z is to hire someone who’s fluent. Consider hiring a Gen Z marketer who can likely help you “big slay.”
Allyship Over Performative Activism
If you take nothing else from this post (which we sure hope isn’t the case), please listen, and listen closely. At their core, Gen Zers are “self-driver [s] who deeply care about others, strive for a diverse community, [and] are highly collaborative and social, valu[ing] flexibility, relevance, authenticity” (Standford). Meaning they value allyship over performative activism.
This generation cares about social issues ranging from climate control to gun reform and everything in between. They want to align themselves with brands that care about the world as they do and are quick to block organizations that fail to make a stance or are tone-deaf. To avoid having to crawl out of the pits of cancel culture, make sure to always be authentic. We go a bit further into depth on this in one of our latest whitepapers, which you can download for free, so be sure to check it out.
And That’s A Wrap
Gen Z is a diverse and socially conscious generation that values authenticity, inclusivity, and individuality. So, the best way to reach them is to, overall, try to relate to them as humans. By adapting your strategies to the preferences and needs of this generation, you’ll capture their attention in no time.
At AAMP, we are a full-service marketing agency dedicated to helping you and your business grow. We aim to boost the foot traffic to your establishment, and we have the expertise to achieve it. Our team aims to promote your brand by devising tailored marketing strategies, crafting a website that generates leads effortlessly, and providing a range of additional services. We are committed to narrating your unique story to attract potential customers. If you are ready to take your business to the next level, we’d love to chat– we’ll even send you some sweet swag for investing your time with us!