• GUEST AUTHOR: Elle Pollicott

Gen Z: Promote experiences, not products

Millennials are no longer the “next big thing”. We already know how to market to millennials, but do you know how to appeal to Generation Z? They’ve got a lot of buying power, but how do you stand out from the thousands of other brands already targeting them? Most importantly, how do you make them want to buy into your brand?


Generation Z is the post-millennial cohort of people born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s. Unlike millennials who adapted to technology as they grew older, Gen Zers were born with digital knowledge and grew up on mobile phones and iPads - they don’t remember a time without the Internet.

The average attention span of a Gen Zer? A mere eight seconds. It’s therefore crucial that along with capturing their attention, you also keep them interested. If you don’t, they will quickly forget about your brand.

In 2019, 32% of the global population will fall into the Gen Z bracket, overtaking millennials for the first time. To survive in such a competitive market, it’s time your brand starts capturing the attention of Gen Z. How? Read on...

Video is non-negotiable

YouTube is the number one platform that the generation have said they use when they want to relax or cheer up. In fact, 85% of teenagers turn to YouTube, with a recent Google report finding that 80% of teens use the video sharing site to expand their knowledge across a variety of different sectors. Success is also a big reason for their love of the site: 68% said that YouTube is helping them to gain skills that they need to become successful in the future.

Deepening their real-life connections and taking a break from life’s stresses were also mentioned in the Google study.

With Gen Zers active on YouTube daily, it is the perfect place to showcase your brand and hook them in - but you must get it right.

Red Bull, for example, has a great video content marketing strategy and its 8 million+ YouTube subscribers reflect this. For instance, its Travel Vlogs segment involves the collaboration with popular vloggers to post inspiring active and adventurous lifestyle videos that Gen Z viewers can aspire to. Vloggers have an impressive pull on Gen Zers and their content can go viral overnight, so it’s important to leverage this.

Red Bull also takes it one step further and has created Red Bull TV which has several channels such as adventure, culture and dance - they’re making sure that they tap into all interests!

To reiterate, if your target market is Gen Z, then you can’t afford not to invest in video. Remember: it’s about engaging, aspirational content that sells the lifestyle your brand embodies; which leads nicely into the next point…

Experiences are more valuable than products

Generation Z are smart, and they can see right through your marketing strategy - they’re not interested in a hard sell. It’s not the product they want, but the experience you offer which will bring them. Rather than focusing all of your efforts on the product, focus on the lifestyle that you want to portray. How is it going to benefit them? Why would they want to spend their money on your product or service?

Micro-influencers are a great way of successfully selling this experience, and e.l.f. Cosmetics is doing a particularly good job of tapping into this market. Its micro- influencer initiative, Beautyscape, hosts events that give influencers the chance to build their networking base, try out the latest e.l.f. products and learn how to apply them. This alone turns e.l.f.’s products into an experience for the micro-influencers, which is then funnelled down through social media to the target audience of Generation Z.

By nature, micro-influencers have higher engagement rates than celebrities, despite the fact that the latter has more followers. In fact, studies have shown that the more

followers an account has, the lower the engagement. Kim Kardashian, one of the most followed Instagram celebrities, has an engagement rate of just 1.72% per post.

That’s why brands should consider the benefits of a network of micro-influencers promoting the experience their product can provide. It’s more relatable, they better represent what your Gen Z customers are looking at, and they will help to create an experience as opposed to the hard sell of a product, which can look overly advertorial.

Communicate with customers

I’m sure you know the importance of reviews in building brand trust, but I can’t reiterate just how important this is if you’re targeting Gen Zers.

76% of Gen Zers have said that they want brands to respond to their voices and feedback and view responsiveness of key importance when determining a brand’s “authenticity”.

Reviews are important, now arguably more so than ever before. With 41% of Gen Zers reading at least five online reviews before purchasing, they have never been more important. Reviews often signify doom and gloom, with brands picturing bad reviews. But it’s not, it’s good news, as this demographic share twice as much positive feedback compared to negative - they want to share their positive experiences.

So what now?

Gen Z and Millennials seem very similar on the surface. But dig a little deeper and you’ll soon see the differences which are key to developing your digital marketing strategy at Gen Z.

Described as altruistic and entrepreneurial, they are all about the experience.

"I mean, if it’s not on Instagram, did it even happen?"

If you do one thing to your marketing strategy, it should be developing and creating a closer bond between your brand and your customers. Immerse them in that experience, and they will want to become part of your brand.

Read Gen Z Are Burning Down The House?

By Elle Pollicott, Owned Media Consultant at Hallam


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