Contrary to popular belief, Gen Z are in a league of their own when it comes to youth marketing, and marketing in general. Grouping them in with millennials can yield varying results, and this is because they are actually remarkably different. Gen Z have an even shorter attention span to their slightly older counterparts, just eight seconds compared to millennials (a tad higher at 12 seconds).
They’ve learnt to adapt a filter to tune out excess information, due to the constant overload they’ve been subjected to their entire lives. But don’t be fooled, this is not necessarily all bad when it comes to marketing towards them, as this generation have the ability to closely focus once something does captivate their interest. The only hitch is that you need to figure out how to penetrate their radar – slide into their DMs if you will – and that’s what we’re here to help with. So here are a few of our top tips to help break through to any Gen Z audience.
#1 Be Real
Let’s be honest (no pun), we can all tell when someone is using words they don’t really understand to try and connect with young people. Don’t throw in a yeet or a stan if you actually don’t have any idea what it means. This one of the easiest (and quickest) ways to get Gen Z to keep scrolling – and you don’t want that. So, what’s best way to avoid this? Ask them. Get help from young people, brands and groups who specialise in youth marketing in youth marketing – or actually ask the audience yourself. If you’re selling a lipstick, round up a group of 17-23 year olds and actually see if your brand, content and ads resonate with them. Or use them from the start and get them to essentially help design your marketing – 44% of Gen Zs say that, if given the chance, they would like to submit ideas for product design. So take advantage of that eagerness. If you don’t, another brand will.
We really vibe the VOXI Creators series as an example of this. VOXI is a youth-focused mobile network by Vodafone, available in the UK. As part of their Creators series, they got young people to literally create all the content the brand created in 2018. It provided an amazing opportunity for young people, and meant the content they created was super on-brand and relevant.
#2 Cut Down On Online Ads
You can put as much money as you want into embedded desktop ads, pop-ups, programmatic ad buys and display, but the reality is that a strong majority of Gen Zs are unlikely to ever see them. In fact, 51% of them are already using add-blocking software, and you wouldn’t be surprised to see that number increase in the future. So if your audience never actually see them, that’s a whole bunch of budget wasted. Instead focus your strategy on content. Whether it’s created yourself/by your brand or in collaboration with influencers/publishers in native format, content is the way to find your way into the newsfeeds of Aussie youth – and actually get your brand out to the masses.
#3 Use Your Ads Smarter
Now don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying you should get rid of your MRECs and Leaderboards altogether, we’re just saying be smarter about how you use them. Ensure the ads you are promoting are on a platform which is occupied by mobile users, as they are less likely to have the ad-blocking software we mentioned earlier (hello, Instagram). Ads are still effective for Gen Zs, you just have to be smart tactically about where they go.
#4 Make Your Content (Actually) Meaningful
This one is no secret, Gen Z love meaningful engagement as a whole. In this era of students marching for climate change, or protesting cuts to education, today’s wider youth demo are tuned in and ready to put their money where their mouth is. In fact, 72% of Gen Z is willing to spend more on goods or services produced in a sustainable way. So make sure your brand marketing strategy has a purpose, is meaningful and let Gen Z know quickly to help draw them in. Think about how you can collaborate with charities, tug on an emotional heartstrings or provide a deeper message with your youth marketing and advertising.
#5 Don’t Neglect More Traditional Marketing
Believe it or not, email is not actually a dead form of communication for young people as 81% of Gen Z still check their emails at least once a day. But this shouldn’t be excluded to just email – billboards, LED screens and simple posters can also be useful tools – just make sure you’re putting in the effort to find out where Gen Z are most likely to see them. Ultimately the goal is to run marketing campaigns with various channels and vehicles. Even though this generation lives online, you should be using multiple touch points to reach them (and re-market to them).