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We've been hearing so much about millennials in the past few years, but have you considered the importance of reaching even younger audiences? Generation Z, defined as anyone ages 7 to 22 in 2018, collectively has more than $143 billion in buying power, according to Business Insider. To attract and retain this valuable audience, which comprises more than 2 billion Americans according to the National Retail Foundation, you may need to transition from tried-and-true techniques to new marketing methods. Consider these key strategies when planning to connect with members of Gen Z.

Adapt to digital expectations

Generation Z shoppers are still under 25, so they've been tech natives for even longer than your millennial audience. As these tweens become teens and then young adults, their spending power will continue to grow, underscoring the need for a strong digital strategy that keeps up with this group's rapid rate of adoption. The NRF reports that 54% of Gen Z wants to control how brands can contact them, so you'll need to strategize about keeping those lines of communication open through preferred platforms.

Build an aura of authenticity

The Gen Z audience considers values and beliefs more than most demographic groups when they purchase products and services. Contributing to causes that are important to this generation can drive engagement when your brand reflects authenticity. Media, creative, and commerce strategies should fall in line with your stated objectives. We recommend taking part in these initiatives when catering to younger audiences. After all, 60% of surveyed Gen Z audience members said they want brands to value their opinions.

Reaching younger audiences where they are

To connect with Gen Z, you need to be on their favorite platforms. Statistically, the under-25 group spends the most time on Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, so brands need to go beyond the basic Facebook page and update their social strategies. According to a 2018 study from the Pew Research Center, video content is non-negotiable for this generation. Of the surveyed teens:

  • 85% reported they were active YouTube users
  • 80% said they use the platform to expand their knowledge
  • 68% said they use the platform to learn or improve skills

Replicating a social media strategy across a range of popular platforms can pay dividends for your brand. For example, data from Hootsuite shows that Snapchat users are 60% more likely than other shoppers to make impulse buys thanks to the site's social commerce tools. 

Add value that entertains

To understand this concept, think about what makes TikTok so popular. Engaging with the app's short video clips feels like a natural, intuitive user experience that fits into the average viewer's 8-second attention span for online content.

Rather than leading with the product or service, your messaging should emphasize the experience your brand provides to pique this group's interest. Consider adding music, humor, captions, and other elements that feel organic. Tutorials and product reviews are a natural fit for this type of content. For example, we worked with a major cosmetics company to create foundation tutorials featuring micro-influencers with a range of skin tones. 

Analyze generational shopping habits

Gen Z prefers shopping while scrolling social media without leaving their feeds. Social algorithms have learned their preferences and suggest products they actually want and need, solving problems they might not have even known they had. Ease of navigation and entertainment value (see above) also appeal to these digital natives who require a seamless shopping cart and checkout experience for successful conversion.

If your brand hasn't yet experimented with social commerce tools, learn how to incorporate these valuable interactive features with our webinar series. We can help your products appear on your Gen Z prospects' Snaps, Pinterest pages, and Facebook feeds.

You don't have to reinvent the wheel for successful brand engagement with Generation Z. With Code3 as your strategic partner, you can take advantage of our platform and audience-specific knowledge to revolutionize your approach to reaching younger audiences. Learn more about our work by reviewing our partnership with Tractor Beverage Co., then schedule your own consultation to guide your Generation Z marketing strategy.


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