Ladies And Gen Z, Welcome To The Future!
“The future is now! Soon every American home will integrate their television, phone, and computer. You’ll be able to visit the Louvre on one channel, or watch female wrestling on another. You can do your shopping at home, or play Mortal Kombat with a friend from Vietnam. There’s no end to the possibilities!”
Those were the words of Chip Douglas, an oddball cable TV installer played by Jim Carrey in the 1996 movie The Cable Guy. While Chip was wrong about what the television could do in that year, he was right to say that the future is now in 1996.
Because in 2019, babies born in and after the year 1996 will make up Gen Z, also known as Zillennials – a cooler term that you can already find in Urban Dictionary. The zillennial entry in Urban Dictionary also included an example – most likely by a terrified and disgruntled millennial such as this writer – of how you can use the word in a sentence, which goes: Those zillennials really don’t know how good they have it.
From a content marketer’s point of view, there is indeed much truth to that claim.
According to Forbes, the zillennial demographic is approximately 80 million strong and is expected to become the largest generation on record. What this tells us is that, zillennials are tomorrow’s target audience and that as content marketers, we have no choice but to create content that engages them. No pressure.
So, how do we get the Gen Z audience to pay attention? Here are some noteworthy insights…
Get online and on mobile
Regardless of the type of content you intend to publish, it is plain to see that everything needs to be online and optimised for mobile. The other ingredients for success, according to senior vice president of brand partnerships of Awesomeness (now part of Viacom) are content that are platform-specific, direct, and entertaining.
As for the type of content that resonates with Gen Z, video is high on the list averaging 68 videos per day across platforms such as Instagram stories, Snapchat stories, Tiktok vids, and YouTube channels. YouTube content alone accounts for 34% of their daily video intake.
Get loud, relevant, and social
Even without the statistics to confirm it, you’ve probably already guessed that zillennials are extremely online and social. But what comes as a bit of surprise is that they are also increasingly jaded with social media platforms with research pointing towards “waste of time”, “overwhelmed by negativity”, and simply “losing interest” as top reasons for their flight away from their social media accounts.
That being said however, social media remains to be the best way for brands to reach and engage their audience with Instagram (41%) being Gen Z’s preferred social media platform for following brands, followed by Facebook (16%), and Twitter (11%), according to a survey by Center for Generational Kinetics.
Gen Z also loves to share publicly and are unafraid of speaking their minds. According to CrowdTwist, Gen Z is almost 50% more likely than millennials to write a product review in exchange for loyalty points from a brand.
It appears then that it is still important for brands to get loud and relevant on social. Doing that boils down to getting three things right:
- Identify your niche because when you try to market to everyone, you market to no one. Rather than stretching yourself thin by creating content for every platform, tailor your content creation efforts to the platform that engages your audience the most.
- Speak to the identities of your audience. Social media users adopt a different persona depending on the social media platform they are on which means it’s important that your message aligns with the different personas they identify with. For Gen Z, a study by Response Media revealed that this generation “Gets its news primarily from Twitter and almost never on Facebook. They post their aspirational selves on Instagram and save less filtered content for Snapchat.”
- Use influencers! With Instagram being the preferred platform for Gen Z to follow brands as well as the ultimate favourite of influencers as we
- Influencers are more than just trendsetters, they are also perceived as peers and a trustworthy source of information that can make or break your brand. Influencer marketing and Instagram also goes hand-in-hand with 87% of influencers in a Hashoff study choosing it as their number one platform in 2018.
Care for a cause
Gen Z are highly accustomed to seeing ads everywhere and, according to Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Growth Officer at Publicis Groupe, are willing to take a little pain through short ads to get to the pleasure.
But while they are desensitised towards branding, this generation has a deep-seated passion for social and environmental issues. By having an authentic and purpose-driven approach that resonates with a cause that they hold dear, you are setting up your brand for success as your audience align and respond to your messaging.
With such differing mindsets and online behaviours, it’s easy to see how marketing to Gen Z can be a daunting task. But as with all generations, the key is understanding who they are, where they are at, what makes them get up and pay attention. Welcome to the future.