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Why you need to promote experiences, not products to Generation Z

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?


Who?


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.

 

By Elle Pollicott, Owned Media Consultant at Hallam

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