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What You Need to Know About for Marketing to Gen Z

Learn some of the best ways to reach the youngest generation now entering the workforce with all of your marketing messages.

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Gen Tech, the iGeneration, Gen Wii. Whatever you know them as, the history books will officially brand them as Generation Z. Presently the youngest generation (aside from Gen Alpha who are still learning to read) and the successors to Millennials, Gen Z is made up of anyone born between 1995 and 2015.

The consulting firm BridgeWorks estimates that Gen Z accounts for 61 million people in the U.S., a number that’s already larger than Generation X and two-thirds the size of the baby boomers!

So, as the spending power of Gen Z grows, what do you need to know in order to effectively reach them as marketers?

Gen Z Trends

The average age of a Gen Z’er is around 13.5. An impressionable age that makes you old enough to spend money, but young enough that you’re still living under your parent’s roof.

To understand the generation as a whole, look at these stats from the researchers at Concordia University:

  • 48% of Gen Z is non-caucasian making them the most diverse generation to date
  • Gen Z uses, on average, 5 screens (phone, tv, laptop, desktop, iPod, and iPad)
  • 96% of Gen Z owns a smartphone, and more than half spend 10+ hours on their devices a day
  • Having grown up amidst a recession and movements like Occupy Wall Street, Gen Z is known for frugality and a distrust of big brands and corporations
  • By 2020, Generation Z will make up 40% of all US consumers
  • Instagram and YouTube are the most popular social media platforms for Gen Z
  • Aesthetics are the number one thing Generation Z shoppers look for in the products they buy
  • The average Gen Zer’s attention span for an ad is approximately eight seconds

Generation Z Marketing

In 2018, 65% of marketers shifted more spending toward social media, video production, and text marketing in order to target Gen Z.

Gen Z Social Media Marketing

Unlike the older generations, Generation Z is connected to fewer social media platforms overall. Currently, the top three apps include: YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.

  • YouTube is preferred for its clean user experience, ad preference capabilities, and the wealth of material available. Gen Z uses this platform for everything from streaming live TV to learning new tricks and trades.
  • Instagram is the top photo-sharing social platform where Gen Z typically showcases their lives in photos as well as interacts with their favorite brands and celebrities. For many companies, this is the most accessible space to reach a Gen Z audience.
  • Snapchat combines the functionality of a social media platform with the kind of video entertainment you’d find on YouTube. Snapchat sponsored mini-shows, news pages, and meme accounts are watched by thousands daily.

Gen Z is also more likely than any other generation to interact with brands through social media. One study found that Gen Z ranks social media as the number one way they prefer to communicate with companies.

In addition, 33% of survey respondents indicated they made a purchase after seeing something on social media in the past month.

Photo Credit: Campaign Monitor

💡Social Media Tips Directly From a Gen Z’er

  • Utilize influencers. A distrust of big brands can be softened by opinions and promos of public figures. Let influencers become your advertisers.
  • Prioritize social responsibility and engage with content outside of your own brand’s interests or bottom line in order to make your profile more appealing.
  • Have mobile friendly material. Nothing is worse than clicking on a form or website linked to a profile and getting to a page that’s hard to navigate on your cell.

Generation Z & Video Marketing

For Gen Z, online videos are a key brand discovery platform, behind social media and websites.

For this reason, it’s essential that brands produce high-quality video to feature across their website and social media pages.

Cisco estimates that video will account for 82% of internet traffic globally by 2022, up from 75% in 2017.

Photo Credit: Meltwater

💡Video Marketing Tips Directly From a Gen Z’er

  • Include subtitles for people who want to watch without sound.
  • When possible, make your videos interactive to include gamification elements.
  • Short-form comedic content is king. If a brand themselves can’t be funny, recruiting a funny online personality or vlogger is the best way to keep our attention.

Generation Z Text Marketing

25% of Gen Z had their own smartphone before the age of 10. Texting is one of the easiest and most familiar ways to connect with this generation. With a 99% open rate and an average response time of 90 seconds, SMS is one of the fastest digital communication channels in the game.

Texting is the ultimate way to reach Gen Z exactly where they are. And because bulk SMS is a subscription-based service, this skeptical generation gets the degree of control they prefer.

When your Gen Z consumers communicate with you via text message, you integrate yourself well into their network of close friends and family. And for a generation known for their brand loyalty, this a sweet spot for any organization.

Due to the nature of our business, you may think we’re being biased. But the data has been here for years backing us up:

Photo Credit: Marketing Charts

Final Thoughts on How to Market to Generation Z

Not unlike our evaluation of millennial marketing trends, Gen Z is full of surprises. Their large numbers and tech-savviness opens up a world of opportunity to marketers when it comes to showcasing their brand.

A heavy emphasis on strong visuals, clear morals and intentions, and storytelling are staples for this generation.

And of course, ensuring your content, texts or not, is optimized for mobile is a must.

As long as your businesses aims for authentic presentations and, you’re quite alright by Gen Z standards.

And, as the kids are saying these days, that’s the tea ☕️.

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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