How to Market to Gen-Z

According to Pew Research Center, Generation Z includes people born 1997 and onward, meaning, for better or for worse, I am a “Zoomer.” Gen-Z is really coming on strong with their social media and TikTok obsession, but I promise you there’s more to us. 

As a generation, we make up 27% of the population and have about $44 billion in buying power (that’s a lot) so you definitely don’t want to leave us out of your marketing strategy. If you want to get and keep some Gen-Z eyeballs on your brand, keep these tips in mind for your next campaign.

1. Absolutely No B.S.

If there’s anything that Gen-Zers are good at, it’s spotting bullshit. The best way to market your brand is to use authentic storytelling. Tell us why we should care about your product and, even more importantly, why we should care about you. We simply aren’t going to be sold on products that don’t serve us any value. We will see right through promotions and advertisements that try too hard, even when (and sometimes, because) they’re using the biggest celebrity influencers out there. Here in Gen-Z land, it’s all about the micro-influencer. Micro-influencers are those who have anywhere from 5k to 20k followers and come with a loyal following and high engagement—and a low B.S. rating.

2. Highlight Your Mission

Gen-Zers have grown up in tumultuous times. Therefore, we care about brands that are doing good in one way or another. We make mission-driven purchase decisions. Your product may be awesome, but if you have to destroy the rainforest to make it, consider yourself cancelled. Or, if the team behind the product clearly isn’t as awesome as the product, you could be in trouble. At the end of the day, a brand is only as good as the team behind it, so showcase your values and highlight your mission. It’s sure to go a long way with Gen-Z.

3. Pull Out the Camera (or the latest iPhone) 

Gen-Z has a short attention span (around 8 seconds to be exact). You have to capture our attention quickly, and nowadays our attention is largely on video content. Your brand needs to be on Youtube, TikTok or Instagram Stories, or even newer up-and-coming platforms like Hyprr. Get familiar with popular content creators such as David Dobrik, Addison Rae and James Henry. When you film content, remember to be authentic. You don’t need to go into full production mode to get our attention, especially during the current times of COVID-19. We want to see the real you. So whether that’s taking a selfie video or showing off the company pets, don’t feel like you need to be perfect. Again, we can smell B.S. from a mile away. 

4. Be Open to Criticism 

Gen-Z has grown up with access to anyone and anything at any time. If there’s something we want to say, we’ll find a way to say it. We’re not afraid. If you have an ad about how your company values diversity, yet your CEO liked a tweet suggesting otherwise, be prepared to get reamed. We are watching your every move to make sure that things add up, and if they don’t, we’ll surely be sharing our opinions on TikTok, Instagram or Twitter. Don’t let this scare you, though. Just be open to hearing what we have to say and be prepared to make some adjustments. Our watchdog mentality comes with good intentions.

Marketing to Gen-Z might be different than what you’re used to, but don’t worry. Times are changing, and if you want to stay relevant, your marketing strategy should be changing with them. Don’t know where to start? We’re experts who know how to keep your brand “woke.” Schedule your consultation today!

Carly Steinberg, Public Relations Coordinator
Elevate My Brand

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