The basic do’s & dont’s of Gen-Z marketing.
Learning how to connect with the newest generation has always been a struggle for those that have become before them.
The teens that wanted peace in the 70s were called hippies, kids that started wearing black and listening to grunge rock in the 80’s and 90’s were disregarded as punk.
Time and time again, there seems to be a disconnect between the youngest generation and almost everyone older than them. Millennials were scoffed at by boomers, and now GenZ are too.
But GenZ are not kids anymore – nor are they lazy, or entitled or incapable of making connections beyond their phones like everyone else seems to assume.
Building a house on shaky foundations is going to lead to a sinking house further down the line. Similarly building a social strategy when you don’t understand the larger guiding principles for attracting Gen Z is going to lead to little engagement and a lot of disappointment.
So, let’s look at a few general tips you should keep in mind:
Do produce genuine, people-led content
Gen Z responds to people and they respond to authenticity.
These are points that have been brought up a hundred times, but it is going to be said a thousand more – because it should be the guiding principle for all the content that you create.
There is a reason why brands are focusing more on influencer marketing, with around 66% of brands spending more on creator marketing in the past year. It is because GenZ responds to everyday creators and influencers because their content feels more authentic, and less like a tactic.
While using influencers is one way to do this, there are a number of ways to make your brand feel more genuine. This can range from being more outspoken about current issues, making your brand more inclusive, using a more casual tone for your socials and engaging in trends. Basically, don’t take your brand too seriously and focus on creating connections to your followers – the rest will follow.
Don’t bombard them with soulless advertising
The best way to market to GenZ – is to make it look like you’re not really marketing at all.
Gen Z can recognise marketing gimmicks from a mile away. They have grown up as digital natives, and they have seen every old-school digital marketing tactic you can think of – so they don’t tend to do well with them.
In fact, gimmicky marketing tends to be the target of attack and comedy by younger generations on social media. An example that jumps to mind was the advert that Peleton ran for the festive season in 2019. It followed the story of a woman who was so glad that her husband bought her an exercise bike as a christmas gift. The general response? In what world would that be true?
A lot of people said it was sexist, and that the woman looked like she was in a hostage video. It was likened to an episode of dystopian TV drama Black Mirror and the target of jokes, parody videos and everything else the internet could think of.
At the core of it: the advert felt out of touch and manufactured – and everyone saw through it immediately.
Do keep up to date with trends
Trends are essential because they tell you what people are talking about, and what they care about.
Because of this, they’re also a brilliant way to engage with a large and captivated audience. If all the kids are sitting together on one side of the playground, it’s easier to go over and join them rather than try and call them over to you. That’s why joining in on the trends makes sense for reaching Gen Z.
Don’t hop on old trends or one that don’t make sense for your brand
That being said – you shouldn’t eagerly jump on every trend that comes zooming past, or wait too long to join the conversation.
You know when your dad starts throwing around a slang word that hasn’t been used in about 5 years? That’s the vibe you’re giving off when you hop on a trend even a few weeks late. So to avoid looking like a boomer that has just learnt about the word ‘yeet,’ make sure the trends you are choosing to hop on are still trends.
Furthermore, when you’re not selective about the trends you are participating with, it seems disingenuous. Think of it like this: your brand has a personality, just like every other individual does. And no one jumps on every social trend that comes along. Someone who tends towards humorous content isn’t going to jump up and do every TikTok dance that gains traction.
These few tips are the broader guidelines you should use when creating a content strategy for your socials if you’re aiming to reach a wider Gen Z audience. Without this as a good starting point, you’re bound to get hopelessly lost.
But if you’re looking for more in-depth advice, you can always get in contact with us!
Or just ignore that shameless plug and keep up to date with our blog – where we continue to post tips and tricks to understand and reach the elusive Zoomer generation.