Numbering nearly 2.5 billion and representing $44 billion in buying power, Generation Z is the next consumer group you’ll need to know how to interact with. If you haven’t thought about who Gen Z is, where to reach them, and how to talk to them, it’s time to start. Here are eight tips to help you do that.
Know Who They Are.
Half of this generation hasn’t even reached 18 yet. The other half is just starting to think about major life changes like choosing whether to attend post-secondary school, finding a career, getting married, and deciding where to live once they move out of their parents’ house. They also come from mixed families and a broad range of cultural and social backgrounds. They’re open-minded, they care about diversity and equality, and 60% of them want to change the world for the better.
Understand Their Buying Power.
Gen Zers are careful with their money and more likely than previous generations to have started working as teenagers. Younger Gen Zers may not be working full-time yet, so money comes from gifts, allowances, or part-time jobs. Over half of this disposable income goes toward clothes, books, music, apps, and entertainment. But don’t discount Gen Zers’ buying power—93% of Gen Z’s parents say their kids influence their family spending by researching the best products.
Earn Their Trust.
Gen Zers are wary of advertising (69% think ads are disruptive) and careful about sharing personal information online, and they value privacy and security. The key to reaching Gen Z is authenticity. When you’re advertising, be human. Tell followers what you stand for and what matters to you. Start a conversation and look for ways to include real people and human diversity.
Speed up Your Website.
People are impatient, no matter what generation they belong to, but it’s especially true for Gen Zers. They were raised with modern technology, so they’re used to a seamless experience. They’ve never known a world without the internet, so they’re more easily frustrated by technical glitches or delays. Make sure your site works fast and that visitors can find what they’re looking for.
Spend Time Where They Do.
Gen Z tends to spend their time on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. Over half use Snapchat at least 11 times per day, and 21% say that Snapchat affects their buying decisions. However, because Gen Zers don’t trust advertising, focus on starting conversations and telling stories instead of going for the direct sell—on whichever social media platform you’re using.
Keep It Visual.
Gen Zers would rather watch a short video than read long-form content. On social media, you need to attract attention quickly while people are scrolling through their feeds. If your video doesn’t hook them immediately, they’ll move on. Keep it short, about 6–15 seconds. And don’t forget to think about the size difference between mobile and desktop screens.
Create a Great Mobile Experience.
Gen Z is the first fully digital generation. They grew up with tablets, smartphones, and a high-speed internet connection. 75% of Gen Zers prefer using mobile to desktop, and they spend more than five hours on their phone each day. They use it for everything from texting, email, and social media, to games, shopping, and entertainment. That’s why it’s essential to have a mobile-enhanced experience on your digital platforms, especially if you’re selling through your website.
Team up with Influencers.
In the past, marketers used celebrity spokespeople to influence people’s perceptions. Today, the concept of “celebrity” has a new definition. Micro-influencers (people with over 2,000 highly engaged followers) have emerged on digital platforms as opportunities for brands to collaborate. If you ask an influencer to talk about your product or service, their followers will listen. The trick is to find an influencer who fits with your brand. If you have regular customers, especially young ones, look for them on social media. Your influencers might be right under your nose!
Gen Z represents change, and change is constant. New platforms, social networks, algorithms, and technologies are emerging every day. Even Gen Z itself is changing over time: as they grow up, their values and behaviours will evolve. It’s hard to stay current, but we hope this article will help you do that!
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