brand marketing, gen z, social media marketing

How to effectively target Gen Z

The Gen Z demographic encompasses people who were born between 1997 and 2012. This means the youngest Gen Z member would be 10 years old, while the oldest would be 25. This is a very broad age range, with some already existing as established consumers and others in line to be the next generation of customers.

Targeting Gen Z is a top priority for many brands. However, with rapid developments in technology and an ever-shifting, dynamic social and digital media landscape, what is the best way to do so? We’ve put together some stats on Gen Z and we’ll use these to discuss the best way to effectively market to this demographic. Keep reading to find out more.

Social media is the key

Social media has revolutionized modern business, marketing, and advertising. Brands have long begun shifting focus from traditional marketing channels to put more emphasis on social platforms, with results speaking for themselves. The rise of influencer culture has only bolstered social media’s power as a marketing tool.

According to research, 83% of Gen Z shops on social media, with 73% doing so on a mobile device. This deviation from traditional shopping methods represents a significant shift in consumer behavior, and for a business to succeed it must strive to address this change in their marketing strategy. Using creative content is an effective way of targeting the Gen Z demographic, with young people reporting that content creators have a major influence on their decision to buy.

Short-form is in, long-form is out

After the advent of major online video sharing platforms, like YouTube, long-form video content was soon the most popular type of video available. People were happy to invest time into this novel media, with YouTube and other platforms prioritizing longer videos on their platforms.

However, this seems to be changing with younger generations, studies indicate that a majority of younger people prefer shorter videos, with 61% of both Gen Z and Millennials saying they prefer videos that are under one minute long. This can be attributed to the meteoric rise of platforms like TikTok, which have popularized short, punchy, and impactful videos with its slick interface and engaging algorithm. Speaking of TikTok…

TikTok takes the crown

In what seems to have been a relatively short period of time, TikTok has established itself as the number one app and social platform for Gen Z, with the demographic reportedly spending between 24 and 48 hours per month on the app, representing around 5% of all waking hours.

These numbers are impossible to ignore. If a business is looking to effectively target Gen Z, it is imperative that it focuses on its TikTok presence and optimizes its content for the platform. Check out our guide for you to ensure you are making the very best TikTok video content, check it out here.

Embrace inclusivity

Inclusivity is a hot topic at the moment, with social media one of the main battlegrounds for a range of social issues. It will come as no surprise then that Gen Z hold strong opinions on inclusivity, given how much time they spend on social platforms.

According to Pew Research Center, Gen Z are far more supportive of issues including gender and trans rights than their predecessors, with 50% of the demographic reporting that they believe society is not doing enough to accept those who don’t adhere to traditional gender roles and expectations, compared to 39% of Gen Z and 36% of Baby Boomers.

To successfully appeal to Gen Z, brands must ensure they are promoting inclusivity in their methods and approach. They should try to use inclusive language, and both demonstrate and promote awareness of current social issues.

Cost of living is a major concern

The cost-of-living crisis is affecting a number of countries worldwide. Skyrocketing fuel and energy bills coupled with inflation on basic goods and services is putting extreme pressure on individuals and families, with activists calling for urgent action from the authorities.

It would appear that Gen Z are well aware of this issue, with 29% of the age group ranking cost of living as their number one concern, followed by climate change at 24%, unemployment at 20%, and mental health at 19%.

While these concerns may have an impact on customer spending, being aware of the issues felt by consumers can offer brands the opportunity to connect with their audiences on a deeper level, further bolstering brand reputation and loyalty.

Conclusion

Successfully targeting any demographic can be a difficult task. Making sweeping generalizations can often be unhelpful and can work to alienate some potential customers in an effort to distract others.

Research is an important tool that can be harnessed to assess the preferences and behaviors of particular age groups, from then we can tailor and optimize our approach to maximize results in the long-term.

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