If your business is targeting Gen Z consumers, you likely already know that what might work for most consumers won’t necessarily work for this audience group.
Roughly speaking, Gen Z includes individuals who were born between 1997 and 2012 and make up about 20 percent of the U.S. population.
Gen Z consumers are true digital natives with their own distinct perspectives and behaviors. They especially take time to evaluate all of their options before committing to a purchase. Because of all of that, you have to consider them specifically within your digital marketing strategy. And it’s worth doing because they are a fast-growing consumer segment that you don’t want to miss engaging with.
The following are 11 ways to better engage with Gen Z consumers.
Focus on conversations
Gen Z is very focused on having authentic conversations rather than growing their friend count. Seeking personal connections through social media, they largely lean toward such platforms as TikTok, Twitter and Instagram.
Whether your brand is on any or all of these social media platforms or not, it’s important to not only fully understand how each one works (which can be very different) but how Gen Z users are using them. Think about how you can have authentic conversations as a brand on these platforms. Each platform could require its own strategy.
Focus more on helping than selling
Similar to the idea of having conversations with instead of just broadcasting and talking at your Gen Z audience, prioritize the goal of helping consumers with your content. It can’t all be about selling. Gen Z consumers will simply tune that out.
How can your brand itself (as well as your products or services) help these Gen Z consumers in their everyday lives? What challenges are they facing? What interests do they have? Leaning on whatever data you have on your current Gen Z customers can help you with this.
For content marketing, think about creating guides, tutorials and tip-based blogs and social media posts that directly relate to helping rather than selling.
Prioritize mobile marketing to reach Gen Z consumers
Gen Z consumers account for about 40 percent of all mobile users. In fact, many even rely on mobile wallets and social payments, so they expect to have a seamless mobile experience when making purchases.
You’ll want to take a look at whether your website loading speed is fast enough, whether your mobile website view is responsive and easy to navigate and whether you offer secure payment options. As far as your strategy is concerned, consider including push notifications if you have a mobile app that your customers use.
Regularly freshen up your website
Because Gen Z consumers are native digital users, they can tell when/if your website looks dated. If it does, they might not end up purchasing from you and opt for one of your competitors.
You don’t have to overhaul your website every quarter or anything drastic like that. But even the smallest aesthetic tweaks or improvements for user experience can go a long way. Always seek feedback from your customers on the look and utility of your website so that you can incorporate those improvements as well.
Adjust your wording and voice as needed
We are definitely not suggesting that you start using slang that makes you look like the wannabe-cool parent type.
Beyond that, remember that you’ll likely need to incorporate language regarding mobile payments since this is a top method of purchasing for Gen Z. Example phrases include “on-demand orders” and “tap to pay.” (Of course, you want to make sure that your systems are set up to support these methods as well. Don’t just talk about them.)
Be as visual as possible
Gen Z consumers are all about visuals, especially videos. Just consider the nature of TikTok and Instagram Reels. Even YouTube. In fact, about 81 percent of Gen Z consumers consider Instagram or YouTube as their preferred social networks of choice.
The bonus of more visuals is that they help convey your branding and message that much more powerfully. Experiment with the short-form vertical video that fits into Instagram and TikTok.
Beyond reaching Gen Z consumers, check out our five reasons why your business should create more videos. Also, these 10 types of videos that you can use in your marketing strategy can help inspire you to get started if you haven’t already.
Experiment with interactive content
To capture the attention of Gen Z consumers, you need a mix of creativity and interactivity. Enter interactive content.
Younger consumers want to tap, swipe, click, etc. when they see your posts. Give them something to do. Using polls, for example, not only gets attention from Gen Z but also helps you learn about your audience.
Other features that can help make your content interactive include stickers and sliders. But the key is to experiment as much as possible. See what works for you and your targeted Gen Z consumers.
Tags can help engagement
Tagging is important to Gen Z consumers. This includes:
- Enabling customers to tag themselves at your physical location.
- Asking customers to tag their friends and family to invite new potential followers to your social feed.
- Encouraging followers to share user-generated content with a branded hashtag.
Gen Z consumers want to get involved with the brands they support. Tagging (and hashtagging) helps with this.
Leverage FOMO with time-sensitive posts
Tapping into your audience’s fear of missing out (FOMO) can be particularly compelling for Gen Z consumers.
It’s about leveraging the fear we all have of losing out on amazing opportunities, experiences and so on, no matter what they might be.
FOMO taps into our human nature. As a species, we are typically risk-averse, especially when it comes to our purchases. We don’t want to spend money on a product or service that doesn’t measure up to our standards and expectations.
However, on the flip side, it’s this same risk-avoidance tendency that leads to the possibility of regret in the future for not having taken an opportunity.
One way to do this is to make your content (or even promotional offers) time-sensitive. Instagram Stories is a great platform feature to use for this purpose.
This might sound simple, but it’s important to note: Gen Z consumers appreciate positive experiences and supporting social causes. The more your brand not only embraces that but shares it as well, the better.
Feel-good moments that you can share go a long way with Gen Z consumers, who can feel more connected to your brand as a result.
Show off your humor
Of course, leveraging humor into your digital marketing strategy is easier said then done, and it might not be right for your brand personality and voice anyway.
But if it is, humor can be an incredible part of your campaign because:
- It helps your audience lower their defenses against ads
- Helps you connect with your audience
- Encourages social sharing of your content
It’s important to think through when humor is appropriate in your marketing. Check out our tips for when humor can be the right tactic to use.
Don’t overthink your efforts to engage with Gen Z consumers. When you sit down to plan out your approach, remember that you want to find the connection between what Gen Z is looking for and what your brand has to offer.
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