If you’re running a business, then you are probably facing the negative consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic. Globally, spending has slowed down and consumers and businesses alike are getting more cautious.
How does one stay afloat – and profitable – at a time like this? Turns out, catering to the younger consumers may be a smart tool to employ. Various Gen Z marketing strategies – like video marketing, influencer marketing, or social media could help you win new customers.
Why You Need To Market To Gen Z
Right now, consumers have changed their everyday behavior (not just buying behavior) in many ways, from where they work to the way they dress to what they’re doing in their downtime. And the demographic that stands out is Gen Z (as well as Millennials) since they are the most adventurous and least set in their ways (compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers). The fact is, they are young, they are impressionable, they have purchasing power and they hold the key to longer-term buying behaviors and loyalties.
Disruptions like the ones we are currently experiencing (thanks to the pandemic) can spark dramatic – and even permanent- changes in consumer behaviors, giving brands a unique opportunity to cash in. Investing in the right marketing tactics and tools now, to capture a slice of the Gen-Z pie, will lead to immediate and lasting benefits.
Gen Z is of particular interest – they will have increased spending power as they come into adulthood, along with an ability to influence older generations. They will increase their spending in the coming decade, while the opposite will happen for Gen X and Baby Boomers.
Brands need to develop a deeper understanding of Gen Z and millennial consumers, anticipate their shifts, and reframe their marketing campaigns to tap into their buying power as their behaviors are in a state of flux. The pandemic has brought about a dramatic shift in the way people are fulfilling their needs – whether it’s shopping or entertainment or eating – with a combination of traditional approaches (cooking more at home) and technology-driven tools (learning and shopping online).
How To Cater To Gen Z
Gen Z-ers are digital natives: they were born into a world driven by digital technology, and have never known life without mobile apps, smartphones, and social media. All of these technologies have transformed the way we communicate and connect – and your marketing strategy needs to be in sync with that. Here are a few things to keep in mind when marketing to Gen Z-ers.
Optimize social media activity:
Gen Z is empowered, active social media users. So NOT being on social media isn’t an option. From communicating and networking to shopping and discovery, this generation turns to social media first. So draw up a snappy social media strategy that is tailored to each platform. (You can’t take a blanket approach and post the same things in the same manner across Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter.) It is also important to make it a two-way conversation and keep it interactive.
Authenticity is important:
Gen Z has access to more information than any generation past, so they can spot a marketing gimmick from a mile away. Instead of buying an email database and shooting off a generic blast, go where your customers are (social media) and speak to them directly, in a voice they understand. This is one of the reasons why influencer marketing is so popular and pays rich dividends.
The shorter, the better:
Attention spans are getting shorter. Millennials’ attention spans average 12 seconds, and with Gen Z, it’s even shorter at 8 seconds. Which means as a marketer, you need to get to the point, stat. Short-form writing is a handy tool to use, interspersed with visual elements like GIFs, emojis, and memes. Long-form text? Save it for another day. Whether it’s an email newsletter or a social media post, make it a good balance of text and imagery.
Be bigger than the brand:
What we mean is, there has to be more to you. Embrace a cause. Stand for something. You need to move beyond just your product or service and invest in something that adds value – because the Gen Z customer expects it. Studies indicate that 77% of Gen Z-ers have taken some sort of action for a cause they believe in, while 23% have boycotted brands that are not aligned with their vision and values. This is a generation inspired by young activists like Greta Thunberg, so you need to engage with them and think beyond the bottom line.
Increased engagement is what is important – Gen Z wants to have an interactive experience with a brand, and they expect a response to comments and feedback on social media and other platforms. To maintain a healthy relationship with the Gen-Z consumer, make an effort to be present and be responsive. Reply with a genuine message to positive comments, and if you receive a negative review or feedback, take the time to acknowledge and let them know you will work on it. Impressions matter!