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Marketing to Gen Z - who are they and why should you care?
Brands Marketing 23.07.2021

Marketing to Gen Z - who are they and why should you care?

Do you sometimes wonder how marketing to Gen Z actually works? Don’t worry, we got you. Check our generation Z characteristics list and get your advertising on another level!

  1. Who are Gen Z?
  2. Why should you care?
  3. Gen Z and technology
  4. Marketing to Gen Z: why so elusive?
  5. What’s important to Gen Z?
  6. Gen Z language 
  7. Gen Z influencers
  8. How to market to Gen Z?
  9. How can we help?

1. Who are Gen Z?

Born approximately between 1995-2005, the Gen Z cohort are today’s teenagers, college students, and at the highest end of the spectrum – just graduating. 

As opposed to Millenials (born between 1980-1995 approx), who watched the world turn from analogue to digital, Gen Z have been digital natives from the very beginning. Most of them don’t remember a time without Google, eBay, Facebook or Instagram. 

Marketing to Gen Z - Food

Gen Z trends show that they really care. FinanceOnline posted a report about their preferences and the outcomes are unbelievable. They are the first generation to truly care about diversity, mental health and the concept of gender-fluidity. They teach other generations how to communicate with them and show what true respect to other people looks like.

Generation Z is more eco-friendly

2. Why should you care?

A Co Exist report from 2016 stated that by 2020 Gen Z will account for 40% of all consumers. An updated report from late 2021, put their buying power at $143 billion, equating it with the exact 40% predicted in 2016.

marketing to gen z - their favourite online stores

3. Gen Z and technology 

They are quick to integrate and accept new technologies, but are also quick to discard those that aren’t working or fitting the current purpose. They are more likely to communicate using Instagram stories rather than traditional posts, and have no issues about recording videos in response to a friend, rather than text.

This allows them to bond online quicker than any other cohort – Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok are their favourite means of communicating with their friend groups, while perceiving Facebook as an unfortunate must-have – something quite passĂ©, or worse – something that their parents use.

Generation Z social media trends

All this technology would make it seem as if marketing to generation Z would be easy. They’re constantly on their devices, switching seamlessly between apps and platforms, making it seem as if they are easy to access. In reality, they are one of the most elusive cohorts for advertisers, making the process of Gen Z marketing a little bit more involved.

As a generation, they are diverse, defy stereotypes, don’t enjoy putting labels on things and have a fluctuating and fluid notion of self, and each other. 

4. Marketing to Gen Z: why so elusive?

One of the biggest factors to consider when marketing to Gen Z is their rejection of traditional media (at twice the rate of Millennials) with the majority using ad blockers on all their devices and any relevant applications. It’s not easy to access them in the traditional in-your-face way that advertisers and marketers have been using for years.

They believe in authenticity and can smell a company’s bullshit a mile away. They want the businesses they buy from to be ethical, authentic, environmentally friendly and socially responsible – or at the very least, have a mission. And they will see right through you if what you are doing is posturing or virtue signalling and they aren’t afraid to proverbially burn you at the stake for it. That is exactly what Gen Z brands do. They have a mission and they don’t show as something else than what they are.

Marketing to Gen Z requires more than just having a product – it’s not enough to have a popular Gen Z influencer with millions of followers showcasing your product.

Gen z most loved brands

5. What’s important to Gen Z?

So once you have established that you’re coming from a base of authenticity, the following topics that matter to Gen Z include: 

  • LGBTQ+ rights: 60% of Gen Zers believe same-sex couples should be able to adopt children
  • Diversity: 60% of Gen Zers say increased racial and ethnic diversity is good for society
  • Social responsibility: 70% of Gen Zers try to purchase from companies they consider ethical
  • Learning: They believe that the things they learn outside of systematic education are of a lot more value and important to their futures.
  • And of course the environment and sustainability.

6. Gen Z language 

It can be tempting to learn some Gen Z slang and pepper it throughout your campaigns. This can absolutely backfire if you or your business are not actually using Gen Z words in your day to day life – they will be able to see that it’s forced. One way to get around this is to actually have Gen Z staffers or consultants on hand to make sure you don’t step outside your lane.

7. Gen Z influencers

One of the misconceptions you can let go of is using super famous people for your campaigns. Say goodbye to paid actors in your commercials. Gen Z are the masters of micro-communities. They often follow educators and creators online who offer some kind of value and are more than happy to support them financially by buying products they create or the products they recommend via sponsorships.

These micro-influencers can have anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 followers and have a click-through rate significantly higher than someone with a million followers.

8. How to market to Gen Z?

What doesn’t work:

  • email
  • celebrities/big name influencers
  • traditional media (TV, radio)
  • advertising online

What works:

  • Insta Stories
  • TikTok
  • in-stream advertising
  • micro influencers

9. How can we help?

With inSTREAMLY you use the fastest growing marketing medium popular amongst Gen Z – live streaming channels. With us, you can emit creative, unobtrusive content that catches the audience’s attention without annoying them or interrupting the show. inSTREAMLY provides tailored artwork that integrates perfectly with the stream, as well as allowing you to run chat campaigns that give your promotion that desirable interactive twist. And the best part for people who love numbers (the question is, who doesn’t?) – the high CTRs of our campaigns are between 1,5% and 5% in contrast to other formats.

Marketing to gen z - inSTREAMLY

So if you want to reach Gen Z, that’s not a challenge for us. Check our case studies to see examples of successful campaigns we ran with global brands on live streams.

Start your own marketing campaign targeting Gen Z!

Do you want to make your brand popular among Gen Z and run marketing campaigns with high ROI? Contact us now!

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