Marketing has changed exponentially over the years, and with a new generation of young, forward-thinking individuals to capitalise on, luxury brands and businesses are now clamouring to find a way to connect and resonate with them. ‘Gen Z’ might not seem all that dissimilar to the Millennial generation, and it would be tempting to assume that the same channels and techniques might work just as well with both – but the truth is that there are several differences that marketers should be aware off to ensure they remain a step ahead of the game.
Gen Z-ers – in other words, anyone born between 1997 and 2012 and thus currently aged between 10 and 25 – currently make up 32 per cent of the global population and have grown up with the digital world, the internet and smartphones playing a central role in their lives from a young age. With an increasingly forward-thinking attitude to issues like sustainability and equality compared with older generations, they also look for different attributes when deciding which products and services to buy, scrutinising brands and businesses carefully to ensure they align with their values. And, when you consider the vast differences between those at the older and younger ends of this particular cohort, it stands to reason that one size does not, in fact, fit all.
So, how exactly can marketers effectively reach, engage and convert Gen Z? Here are some tried and tested strategies that industry experts rely on.
Sell the lifestyle – not just the product
Having grown up using the internet for everything from completing work activities to socialising and gaming, the most obvious place to find the Gen Z population is online – and social media platforms like Instagram and Ticktock are key to getting your brand or business in front of them. Thanks to detailed demographic targeting capabilities, they can quickly help you to zero in on your target audience – but if your message isn’t right and you fail to understand what truly speaks to them, then even the largest marketing budget won’t get you results.
Gen Z-ers don’t just want to buy products because they look good or offer a host of great features, and the most effective way to appeal to them is to sell them the lifestyle that comes with your offering. Storytelling and using visual aids can help to paint a picture of what their life could look like if they splurge on that designer watch or invest in that car, persuading them to buy not just products and services that solve a problem or need, but ones that fulfil their wants and desires, too.
Video content is key
Video content is king when it comes to online marketing, and is on average, 12 times more effective than imagery alone. In 2022, 96 percent of consumers have increased their consumption of video content online, and you can be sure that the lion’s share of them fall into the Gen Z category – so if you’re not creating engaging and inspiring content as part of your marketing strategy to showcase your product or service in all its glory, then you’re missing a vital trick.
YouTube is one of the best digital platforms for reaching your target demographic, but getting it right can be tricky. Seek help from an experienced Google PPC agency, who will know how to create effective campaigns that garner quick results. Also make sure you’re leveraging video content where possible across your social media platforms – from targeted adverts to reels and livestreams – as all of these can help you to build and retain your customer base.
Leverage influencer campaigns
Influencer marketing has emerged as one of the most effective means of reaching the younger generations over recent years. Collaborating with social media influencers – from celebrities to simply individuals who are well-respected and have amassed a large and highly-engaged following within your specific niche – can help to dramatically enhance brand recognition, grow your reputation and help you to build a more engaged audience of your own for your brand.
If you’re struggling to reach Gen Z in a way that resonates currently, then it might be time to rethink your campaign strategy. Choosing individuals who align with your brand values and agreeing a collaborative relationship is an intriguing tactic because it means in part, handing your marketing efforts as a brand over to those who have already successfully engaged your target audience, and allowing them to do the hard work for you. You might be surprised at the difference taking a punt on influencer marketing can make, and although you might need to assign a significant amount of budget towards it if you’re hoping to work with celebrities, the return on investment is often well worth it.
If your business is a new start-up and you currently have only a small budget to play with, then consider working with micro-influencers. With an engaged audience of between 1,000 and 10,000, they might not have the same wide reach as those with much larger followings, but because they still have time to reply to comments and messages and build a relationship with their communities, their campaigns can sometimes garner even better results.
Prioritise engagement and interaction
Once you’ve started to win over your target demographic, the next challenge is keeping them interested and building loyalty. One of the best ways to achieve this is by prioritising engagement and interaction with them across all touchpoints – whether that’s having conversations with them via your social media posts and platforms or reaching out to them to request feedback or a product review. Ensuring they are the first to know about your latest new product launch or any exciting promotions or dates for their diaries is another great way to make them feel special – and ultimately, keep them coming back for more.