Marketing & Advertising to Generation Z
So why Generation Z? Generation Z birth years range between 1995 and 2015, making them between the ages of three years old, and twenty-three years old. This is a huge timeline, and the freshest generation that is going to be, and already is, actively paying attention to the media and the marketing, and advertising that comes with it. So let us dive into exactly how to catch the attention, and hopefully the business of Generation Z.
Let us first start with the most important tool in the modern day and age of marketing; social media. Marketing to a generation that was essentially born with technology thrown into their hands has proven to be a difficult task that not many have been able to master quite yet.
Marketers and advertisers tend to forget that all of Generation Z is already their own personal social media guru, without even gathering any actual professional training. It’s important that your social media posts, campaigns, etc. are as appealing and aesthetically pleasing as they can possibly be. There is no room for error here. At first glance, a poor website or social media post is often likely to steer away from a Generation Z viewer entirely. Leading them to believe that your company or brand has no clue what they are doing, therefore, making them untrustworthy for business. Not only is the look of your social media important for Generation Z, but so is the usage. Older generations may not understand this, but each social media outlet has it own very tailored set of instructions and uses, and Generation Z have in some way created their own personal usage guidelines for social media.
Generation Z uses each social media outlet in a specific way, that differs from all other past generations. For example, we see that millennial’s are still actively using their Facebook pages, while many people that fall into the Generation Z category might not even have a Facebook page at all. And if they are to use a Facebook page, it is often more family oriented, or professionally related. Therefore, it’s safe to say that no one should be aiming to reach the Generation Z crowd through a Facebook advertisement or promotion. The two most important social media networks to Generation Z have become, Instagram and Snapchat. Each of these is used in entirely different ways, creating for exponential amounts of marketing strategy.
Snapchat for example, features short videos that one can send, and view, to their friends. However, Snapchat has most recently introduced short, under 15- second ads that no one is able to physically remove off of their app. Since Generation Z is so overly active on the Snapchat app, this becomes the perfect moment to quickly slide in a promotion or ad. Next comes Instagram, Instagram is to Generation Z as to what Facebook is to all other generations. Instagram has become the central hotspot for just about everything and anything these days. Here, by creating a memorable company Instagram page, businesses can directly show off their brand or products through this fun and extremely interactive app.
Instagram also houses a plethora of “Instagram bloggers” that are followed by millions. These bloggers are famous for sharing reviews, and posting links to their favorite things, in hopes that their followers will follow suit. Since Generation Z is a generation that is more likely to purchase something when someone who in their eyes is seen as trustworthy is recommending it, Instagram bloggers are a great tool to get your product out there. If you can’t tell by now, your online footprint and presence are of the utmost importance for Generation Z. This generation is a lot more interested in what is to be discovered online, rather than what can be found in a brick and mortar setting.
Generation Z is one of, if not, the most open-minded generation of our time. And advertisements and marketing campaigns must reflect these same ideals, or else Generation Z will never give you the time of day. Brands of the past have been exiled by Generation Z for releasing advertisements that include social and cultural views of the past. For example, majorly playing up old school gender roles like including elements within your campaign that feature either an overly masculine or overly feminine theme is likely to have the opposite marketing effect and most often is going to lead to Generation Z boycotting your brand entirely. The same ideas should be followed when using any element within your marketing or advertising strategy that may be considered socially controversial.
Show, Don’t Tell:
With the internet at generation Z’s fingertips their entire existence, they have become all too familiar with online reviews, and how to conduct research about a company or brand on the internet. Generation Z, unlike any other past generation, is more likely to bite into your marketing and advertisements if they can take comfort in the fact that they know your or your product is reliable, and actually worth the money. Physically show off your product, or show actual statistics proving why Generation Z should use this brand, product, whatever it may be that you are promoting. Simply just instructing Generation Z on what to do is not going to get you anywhere, they crave something revolutionary and life-changing, not just another info commercial.
It can often become dangerous for an individual, or company to assume that marketing and advertising are going to work the same way across various generations. Even those generations that seem to have a lot in common like Millennial’s and Generation Z, there is a great deal of difference in what they think of as important in an advertisement. This all too common mistake made by company after company is what makes knowing how to market to Generation Z all the more important for marketing success. Those companies’ that reach success with Generation Z and their needs, are the ones that are familiar with these two vital marketing and advertising strategies.