Gen Z is one of the leading demographics with some serious purchasing power. They know what they want and they are not ready to compromise on their expectations. Brands across the globe are constantly having to adjust their marketing strategies to connect with this elusive generation.
The big question facing all brands is – how to effectively connect and engage with their Gen Z customers.
The one thing you need to know straight off is this, your Gen Z demographic is notorious for staying ahead of whatever marketing strategies that most brands come up with. So right now, it’s mostly a case of having to play catch-up.
Influencer marketing is great and it’s a hit. Will it be so for long? Well, you really cannot put up all your marketing dollars into that space exclusively. Trends work – but only to a point. This generation is fractured in the sense that there is so much individualism within this demographic and personal identity is something that they take seriously.
So “generalization” just won’t work. What will work is “Personalization.”
The best way to achieve that right now is to invest in robust customer data platforms, AI tech, marketing clouds, and social commerce. Diversify marketing tech and invest in automation to deliver the prized “personalized” brand experience that this generation craves and expects. It’s the only way forward for brands that want to make a dent in the Gen Z market group.
3 Strategies to Connect with Gen Z’s Customers
If ever there was a time for the saying “one size does not fit all” to be 100% true, then that time would be now. Your Gen Z customer does not want to just hear all your marketing – they want to see and feel it. What’s more, they don’t want the same old regurgitated stuff – they want original and fresh ideas that make a positive difference to their idea of self.
Here are three strategies that you can follow when engaging with Gen Zs.
1. Engage with them in the Space of their Choosing
It’s vitally important that you first identify where your younger audience spends their time. So as much as your content matters, where you connect with them, the platform, well that matters just as much.
Sure Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube are the famous hangouts of this generation. But a substantial chunk of Gen Z’s might prefer TikTok or even Twitter. So don’t assume that one sweeping ad on any of these platforms will connect you with all of your Gen Z customers.
So what do you?
A good place to start would be by identifying top influencers and content creators who are popular with Gen Z’s and the platforms they use to connect with their audience. Once you know where your audience hangs out, you will be able to create content and marketing messages that can get their attention.
2. Offer Authentic and Value-driven Brand Engagement
Gen Z’s are notorious for being smart and extremely picky when it comes to choosing a brand they want to associate themselves with.
Just so you know, they don’t care about big brand names – it’s all about value with this generation. So if you thought big brand names have it easy with all their marketing power, you couldn’t be more wrong.
If you want to connect and engage with Gen Zs, then you need to ensure that your brand engagement comes first before expecting them to engage with your products or services. They like brands that align with their sense of value.
They also crave authentic brand engagement and experiences.
YouTube offers authentic and value-driven engagement to its Gen Z audience base. It is one of the reasons why YouTube is popular among Gen Z. The channel offers customized and highly engaging content – there is something for everyone. Gen Z is all about experiences and YouTube’s massive list of original content creators has something that appeals to different sub-groups of Gen Z.
Encourage conversations with your Gen Z customers. So go all out with your social media posts, or you can even use your communities, and anywhere else that your Gen Z hangs out and uses for communication.
Experiment with different types of CTA’s – try something funny or snappier. This will indicate how your intended audience likes to communicate. Even if your conversations don’t lead to an outpouring of sales, they will open up a channel of communication and help your build rapport with your potential customers.
3. Keep your Marketing Short, Sweet, and Simple
It’s an open secret that Gen Zs abhor typical ads and in-your-face marketing. They have grown up being exposed to all sorts of traditional advertising gimmicks and so they will ignore brands that use that as their marketing strategy. This is also the generation that probably uses ad blockers the most and happily skips through ads.
Remember, Gen Zs grew up with constant and easy access to the internet. They are also the generation that has grown up with a wide choice of device types. So they are used to finding what they want, whenever, and wherever they want it. So traditional marketing strategies don’t work with them. They find traditional marketing tactics old, redundant, and highly impersonal.
This is why brands are now focusing on creating marketing content and ads that deliver some emotional value relevant to this generation. Storytelling works – as long as it’s authentic, original, and comes across as sincere.
When it comes to marketing to Gen Z’s here’s the thing – they want brands to communicate with them and they want open and transparent conversations with the brand of their choice. The conversation, however, has to be on their terms and in their language. And through it all, they expect a high level of personalized engagement.
As digital natives, Gen Z’s have been exposed to digital channels and marketing since they were in the cradle. While Gen Y’s are seen as a generation notorious for their sense of entitlement, Gen Z’s are a generation with higher expectations and a greater sense of self-worth.
So if you are going to engage and connect with this generation then you need to get out of the generalization mindset and start thinking about marketing to sub-groups within one big demographic. Think personalized content for different sub-groups as opposed to simply going with broad targeting of all your consumers.
The more you focus on the personalization of your marketing, the better the results.