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How To Market To Gen Z: Understanding & Engaging the Next Generation of Consumers

A split-screen image with a business owner pitching on stage to disinterested young adults on one side, and the same group engaging happily with a brand’s social media post on their phones on the other, all set against a yellow background

Ever feel like you are constantly one step behind when it comes to reaching younger customers? It is natural to feel that way because a new segment of customers has opened up with the increased use of social media in marketing. Gone are the days of catchy jingles (although, some of those were iconic).

This blog is your one-stop shop for cracking the Gen Z code. We will look into unique Gen Z consumer behaviour, explore the platforms they frequently use and equip you with the tools to craft Gen Z marketing campaigns.

Table of Contents

  1. Let’s Understand Gen Z
  2. Where Can You Reach Gen Z
  3. Digital Marketing Strategies to Reach Gen Z
  4. 7 Additional Tips to Market To Gen Z
  5. Conclusion
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s Understand Gen Z

Gen Z ( the segment between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s) are called digital natives. They grew up with smartphones glued to their hands, so forget interrupting their Saturday morning cartoons with your advertisement about your new breakfast cereal. They scroll, they swipe, they filter – and if your brand does not resonate, they will ghost you.

Gen Z has seen it all, economic uncertainty, social unrest and a looming climate crisis. This has made them into a fiercely independent, socially conscious bunch.

Here is the thing: Gen Z can smell inauthenticity a mile off. They want brands that stand for something, for the causes they care about. Maybe sustainability, social justice, diversity and inclusion. They are not afraid to boycott companies that don’t walk the walk, so make sure your brand values align with theirs.

Transparency is necessary for Gen Z. Don’t just talk about how sustainable your brand is, show them what you are doing to minimise your footprint.

Where Can You Reach Gen Z

Now, let’s talk about where Gen Z hangs out online. Forget Facebook. These folks are all about the new and the next big thing. Here are a few platforms to keep a check on:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

Gen Z communication is all about keeping it casual and authentic. Don’t use any corporate jargon. Speak their language: Memes, humour and a healthy dose of self-deprecation will go a long way.

Digital Marketing Strategies to Reach Gen Z

Alright, you have got their attention, now what? Here is where your Gen Z marketing strategy comes into play. Forget the sales pitches disguised as blog posts. Gen Z craves content that’s informative, entertaining and visually appealing. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Meme Marketing (Done Right)

Memes are a universal language for Gen Z. Partner with meme creators to develop humorous content that subtly integrates your brand. The key is to be authentic and avoid feeling forced. Collaborate with a meme marketing agency who are updated with the latest meme trends. They can create humorous and relevant memes for your brand.

Short-form video content

Tutorials, behind-the-scenes glimpses, funny skits related to your brand – the possibilities are endless (as long as they are short and sweet!). Think of challenges in Instagram stories or Twitter that creatively showcase your product.

User-generated content

Encourage your audience to create content around your brand using a specific hashtag. This not only boosts engagement but also shows you care about what your customers have to say.

Interactive content

Quizzes, polls and interactive games can be a great way to boost engagement and collect valuable data about your Gen Z audience.

Influencer marketing for Gen Z is a whole different ball game. Forget the A-list celebrities (unless they are super relatable, of course). Gen Z trusts micro-influencers – everyday people with a dedicated following who share similar values and interests. Partnering with these micro-influencers allows you to tap into a highly engaged audience and build trust organically.

7 Additional Tips to Market To Gen Z

Building brand loyalty with Gen Z requires a two-way conversation. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

Be responsive

Respond to comments on social media, answer questions promptly, and show them you care about what they have to say. A delayed response can feel dismissive in the fast-paced world of Gen Z communication.

Don’t try to SELL to Gen Z

Selling everything at once is the worst thing you can do. Prioritising sales on social media will degrade your content. Before you start pitching, you need to establish your authority and entertain value.

Some people may find it difficult to receive this advice. But this strategy doesn’t require giving up on all bottom-funnel strategies. You might try alternative organic social media strategies, instead of flooding your page with salesy content.

Give them FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Think about how you might capitalise on your Gen Z audience’s FOMO (fear of missing out) when doing marketing. Brands may promote time-sensitive engagement on platforms like Instagram while creating an ongoing presence through alerts in their followers’ feeds.

Focus on Gen Z shopping habits

This generation researches everything online before making a purchase. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and provides detailed product information, reviews, and high-quality visuals.

Be transparent

Gen Z values honesty. If you make mistakes, you own it and apologise genuinely. They appreciate brands that are real and willing to learn from their mistakes.

Embrace social responsibility

Partner with charities or causes that Gen Z cares about. This demonstrates your brand’s commitment to making a positive impact on the world.

Think outside the box

Experiment with different marketing channels and strategies. Gen Z has a short attention span, so keep things fresh and engaging.

Conclusion

Don’t just speak their language, speak to their hearts. Marketing to Gen Z requires more than just trendy slang and viral challenges. It’s about understanding their values, their passions, and the causes they care about. By creating content that’s informative, entertaining and socially conscious, you will build trust and forge genuine connections with this influential generation.

We get it. Marketing to this savvy bunch can be a challenge. That’s where we come in. At our digital marketing agency, we are a team of Gen Z whisperers (and a few millennials who are pretty good at keeping up too!).

Contact us today at hello@florafountain.com and let’s get started on crafting a Gen Z marketing strategy that will have them talking – and buying – in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Social media is a powerful tool, but it’s not the only one. Consider influencer marketing partnerships with YouTubers or Twitch streamers who align with your brand. Additionally, explore cause-marketing opportunities that resonate with Gen Z values. Sponsoring a sustainability event or partnering with a charity they care about can boost brand awareness and loyalty.
You don’t need to be a meme encyclopedia to connect with Gen Z. Focus on clear, concise communication and a casual tone. Show your brand personality with a touch of humour and self-awareness. Authenticity is key.
Absolutely! Partnering with micro-influencers is a fantastic option. These everyday people with dedicated followings can be just as effective (and sometimes more so) than big-name celebrities. Look for influencers who share your brand values and create content that resonates with your target audience.
Keep your content short, sweet, and visually engaging. Think snackable video content, interactive quizzes, or user-generated content challenges. The key is to deliver value quickly and keep them wanting more.
Not necessarily! Consider offering product collaborations or early access to new launches in exchange for promotion. You can also build relationships with potential influencers by genuinely engaging with their content and offering thoughtful feedback. Remember, building trust and authenticity goes a long way with Gen Z.

Vasim Samadji is a partner at Flora Fountain, where he leads the Business and Marketing Strategy divisions. He is a seasoned professional with an MBA in marketing and over a decade of experience working with multiple MNCs. Vasim is a firm believer in the power of creation and he is...

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