Ideas for Marketing to Gen Z

7 Tips to Get You Noticed by this “Cool” and Powerful Generation

Gen Z is about more than just dance and lip sync videos on TikTok; they are a key demographic for many brands and have a lot of sway in trends and purchasing power. 

This generation is known as “digital natives” because they have known nothing but an online and connected world. They are also more racially and ethnically diverse than previous generations.

While they have many similarities to Millennials, they also have many qualities that make them unique. 

Here are 7 tips for effectively marketing to this up and coming generation. 

What Makes Gen Z Tick

Before we get into those tips, it’s important to understand what makes this generation tick in order to more effectively use these tips and tricks.

First off, this generation avoids labeling themselves. Part of this is because of their diversity and radically inclusive nature. But it’s not just labels; they don’t box themselves in on style either and you’ll see this generation is quite creative and experimental. 

Beyond their ethnic demographics playing a part in what makes them tick, their life experiences also play a huge part. This generation has grown up with one crisis after another. They have seen their parents knocked down by the 2008-2009 recession, have grown up with an increase in mass shootings and domestic terrorism, and are dealing with the consequences of climate change. They’ve also only known political polarization, but at the same time, are unafraid to get out into the streets to protest for their values. 

All of these experiences form their values and what is important to them. These experiences have made them hard working, resilient, and resourceful. They are motivated to make change and are more interested in standing out than fitting in. They value diversity and equity, and encourage others to take a stand as well.  

1 | Platforms to Use

If one of your key demographics is Gen Z, you need to meet them where they are, which means utilizing the platforms they are on. While some do use older platforms such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, the platform they love is TikTok. This platform is known for fun, casual videos that create a personable style and atmosphere. Brands have found great traction using this platform to reach this key demographic, particularly by using livestreams to support their business goals. When using some of the older platforms, be sure to utilize video and other engaging content to reach this generation. 

2 | What Catches Their Eye

Speaking of video, this generation is all about eye-catching visuals. To create content that catches Gen Z’s eye, your best bet is short-form video with overlays such as visual effects, text, and music. To point out just how powerful this generation is, the short-form phenomenon started on TikTok but has spread to other platforms, with other generations starting to crave this content too!

For more on eye-catching visuals, check out our guide on creating images and graphics that demand attention in the digital world. 

3 | Interactive Content for the Win

Research suggests that using a combination of creativity and interactivity is what can really capture Gen Z’s attention on social media. Interactivity means Gen Z wants to not only engage with your brand through comments, but also to tap, swipe, and click. 

Try interactive elements such as polls. These not only get your audience engaged and interacting, but can also help you gather important feedback on what your customers want. Content that lends itself well to this include Twitter polls or Instagram Stories stickers (like the quiz and poll stickers). 

Interactive content can be helpful in encouraging customers to make purchasing decisions. For example, a style quiz on your site can help shoppers identify what speaks to their personality. This combination of interactivity and personalization is a win for you and your audience!

4 | Tap Into FOMO

FOMO stands for “fear of missing out.” While using FOMO is great to get all generations checking out your content, Gen Z really enjoys this type of content. So play up your TikTok and Instagram stories and other types of disappearing content. Share behind-the-scenes peeks, exclusive tips or discount codes, and other important information they may want to know. 

5 | Showcase Your Sense of Humor

Gen Z likes to support brands that are fun and cool, so don’t be afraid to showcase your fun side and your sense of humor. Case in point, this crowd loves memes. However, not all industries and brands have the benefit of being a comedian on the internet, and there is also the risk that a brand may use a months-old meme and risk coming off as out of touch. 

So rather than trying to keep up with trends, just remember that what this generation loves most is for brands to have their own distinct voice and to showcase the human side of their brand online. More than anything, Gen Z loves brands that are authentic to themselves and don’t always sound like they are in a suit and tie. Be organic and a bit unpredictable, rather than always following a template. 

6 | Amplify Your Brand’s Values

Because Gen Z has many of their own strongly held values and beliefs, they also like brands that are willing to take a stance on social issues. In fact, Gen Z is three times more likely than other generations to say that a brand’s purpose is to serve communities and society, not just serve their bottom line. Some of the values they like include championing diversity, raising awareness for social issues, caring about the environment, and much more. 

If you are worried about taking a stance on an issue, just know that companies taking a bold stance on issues is becoming more of an expectation, rather than an exception. So don’t be afraid to be bold and authentic to your values and beliefs. Even if Gen Z may not agree with you, they will still respect you for being authentic. 

7 | Show You Know What They Really Want

This should go without saying, but it’s always worth the reminder. Always, give your audience what they want, not what you think they want. Gen Z in particular looks for brands that understand their customer’s wants and needs. In fact, this generation is 50% more likely to buy from brands that communicate this understanding over their competitors. 

This understanding not only includes the products or services they want, but even showing that you are listening to feedback. Make sure that you are listening to not only the comments they may leave on your posts, but analyzing the data behind your posts as well. When you create content that your audience craves, they’ll come back time and again!

Final Thoughts

Gen Z is all about authenticity, interaction, engagement, and standing up for values. This generation likes to have fun while also making some change in their world. They are movers and shakers, both on the dance floor and in other arenas. Always be authentic in your brand positioning and provide rich content that allows them to engage with you on a personal level. When you demonstrate these qualities and values, you’ll find that Gen Z will naturally gravitate toward your brand.