Teens always get a bad rap, and the newest set, ‘Gen Z’ are growing up and are newly armed with purchasing power. Although we shouldn’t forget our millennial and Gen X customers, is it time we tweaked our content marketing to also appeal to a Gen Z frame of mind? In this article we look at some of the assumptions made about Gen Z, and what is actually important to them.
‘They spend all their time on social media’
Generation Z spends an average of three hours per day on social media, according to the Global Web Index. We know that Gen Z favours Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube, so how can we harness all this screen-time?
Social media is more to Gen Z than just liking friends photos or sharing funny cat videos (we’re all guilty of it), it’s a source of information. Here’s what we know:
- 46% of Generation Z-ers research a product on their mobile devices before making an in-store purchase.
- 73% of Generation Z-ers also say they would make a purchase based on a social media recommendation.
Statistics from Alabamamediagroup.com
Tip 1: Keep your online presence fresh
This tells us that Gen Z do their research before making a purchase—and social media is likely their first port of call. It goes without saying that you should ensure your social media pages are frequently updated, with clear calls-to-action through to your website, or even better, consider enabling purchasing directly through social media (see great examples here).
Although it’s talked about a lot, social media is not the only effective marketing tool for Gen Z. Email is still highly used with 81% saying they check their email at least once a day.
‘They have no attention span’
We’ve all heard the claims that our attention span is dwindling, and in response, video marketing has become a priority for marketing managers and small-business owners across all industries over the past couple of years. Video continues to be an important element in any content marketing plan, but it feels as though this is now a well-established approach, so what’s the next big thing to capture the attention of Gen Z?
Gamification. We’re talking quizzes, surveys, and mini-games.
In a report by Reflect Digital, it was revealed that 60% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy from a brand if they enjoyed playing a game with it. In the same report, 84% of 16 to 24-year-olds said they would buy from a brand they enjoyed playing a game with.
Tip 2: Make it fun!
Quizzes and surveys (check out Typeform) are an easy way of implementing a bit of fun into your marketing without needing to contract a whole development team. They can be used cleverly to not only showcase your products and provide a personalized approach to your marketing that Gen Z love, but it can also be a great way to get data from your customers to help you shape your future offering or marketing approach.
‘They’re glued to their phones’
It should be no surprise that reports find Gen Z are frequently online throughout their day. A survey by Pew Research Centre says 45% of teens say they’re online ‘almost constantly’ and 44% say that they’re online multiple times per day. In the same survey, it was revealed that 95% of teens have a smartphone or have access to one, so we can assume mobile use makes up for a lot of this time.
Tip 3: Create a great mobile experience
Firstly, your website and marketing content must be mobile optimized. In 2019, there’s no excuse for a wonky webpage or poorly formatted email. Most email and web design tools now allow you to preview in mobile mode and have built-in mobile optimization.
If you are producing content for social media, consider using ‘vertical content’. This means producing content with a portrait layout, without requiring the viewer to rotate their screen. There are great examples in this article.
Phones don’t leave our sides, so tap into this and understand when your audience is using their devices the most. Gen Z’s phones don’t switch off at the end of a working day, so neither should your marketing approach. Consider carefully when to schedule your content (for social media check out Hootsuite or Later, for emails try Mailchimp), and update your offering online to appeal to a Gen Z mobile user.
‘Gen Z are eco-warriors’
Well, shouldn’t we all be? Greta Thunberg the eco-champion is part of Gen Z, and her peer group cares about the planet more than ever before. A UNiDAYS x Ad Age survey showed that 82% of Gen Z students are more likely to buy a product if it’s environmentally friendly.
It’s clear that caring about the environment will help Gen Z consumers care about you. This article isn’t going to tackle helping you make your offering more eco-friendly, but we can give you a few tips on shining a light on this in your content marketing:
Tip 4: Avoid physical collateral
Remember those email footers asking ‘Do you really need to print this?’, if you are still a company producing a lot of physical collateral, perhaps it’s time to reconsider. Would a Gen Z-er really appreciate items that have used resources to be printed, and shipped out to them? Not only is it easier to measure ROI on digital campaigns, but you avoid potential waste and production and shipping costs.
If you can’t avoid physical collateral, consider ways to make this as sustainable as possible. Creating ‘swag’ for an event or as a giveaway? Look at options that appeal to a green consumer, like reusable shopping bags or coffee cups.
Tip 5: Highlight the good you are doing
Do you do anything to support eco-friendly charities? Is your business making a big deal out of recycling and reusable items? Are you partnered with an eco organization? Don’t forget to make your audience aware.
So, don’t join the droves who complain about ‘youngsters with their heads buried in their phones’, instead, take time to understand this behaviour and use it to your advantage.