When it comes to marketing to a much younger audience, older business owners who are set in their ways might find it hard to connect to them. Just as different strategies work for different people, the same tired old marketing schemes that might have worked for millennials or Gen-Xers might not work quite as effectively in Gen-Zers. Gen-Zers distinguish themselves from other consumers on the market for being raised in an entirely technological age. Meaning that they have access to a ton of information right in their own pocket, information that previous generations didn’t have.
Because of this, marketing your business to a Gen Z audience can be difficult, but it can also present an advantage. Whether you do your marketing yourself or you hire a fractional CMO, here are some tips you should know when you’re selling something to Gen Z consumers:
Curate your social media presence
On average, Gen Z-ers spend most of their time on their phones, usually on social media. Now before you go and complain about how this generation is always glued to their phone screens, here’s why it’s actually a good thing for your business. Social media and the internet, in general, have made communication so much easier for everyone, and that includes marketing. Now, with the right use of content and social media marketing, you can get your brand or shop noticed by millions of people all over the world with just the tap of a button.
You might want to take advantage of the huge amount of time Gen-Zers spend on social media by focusing your efforts there. In particular, try aiming for sites that most Gen-Zers use, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok. Abandon Facebook altogether.
However, just having a social media presence to speak of isn’t enough. You’ll need to curate a very particular social media presence to appeal to the hearts and minds of Gen-Zers. Due in part to the benefit of having accessible technology and knowledge, Gen-Zers are very discerning when it comes to brands and shops they choose to patronize.
In fact, they may very well be one of, if not the most critical generation of consumers yet. They’re not afraid to get very vocal about things they dislike or issues they might have with a particular brand. It’s also worth taking note that they’re very tech-savvy and if you yourself aren’t a Gen-Zer, then they probably know more about algorithms than you.
So how do you get them to notice your brand? Simple. You just need to talk their language.
Be authentic and socially responsible
“But how?!” we hear you cry. How do you “speak” Generation Z? Well, in general, Gen-Z consumers tend to respond well to brands that they see as more authentic, more consumer-friendly, and less corporate-like. Trust in big institutions, monopolies, and corporations are falling fast among Generation Z consumers, so they’re less likely to trust your business if you seem like one. They won’t fall for anything that’s obviously manufactured or mass-produced for nothing more than capital gain. They want something personalized and authentic.
Furthermore, they want a brand that takes a firm stance on social issues. Gone are the days when big brands don’t have to worry about social issues, let alone take a stand on them. Gen-Zers are constantly calling for action and accountability and that’s especially true about the brands they buy. They want a brand that they can trust and which supports the same political causes that they do. As well as being socially aware and responsible, Gen-Zers also values a brand that’s eco-friendly.
And because Gen Zers are so tech-savvy and discerning, it’s relatively quick and easy for them to find out all they need to know about a brand in a matter of minutes. As much as possible, appeal to their senses and needs and gain their trust by being as authentic, socially responsible, and eco-friendly as possible, among other things.
Who better to speak to Gen-Z consumers for you than the micro-influencers they follow on social media? Among Gen-Zers, micro-influencers do hold a significant amount of power even with their relatively small following compared to macro-influencers. Gen-Zers feel like they can relate to them and their content is just personalized enough to give that impression. If you’ve never tried influencer marketing before, now might be the most opportune time. A significant percentage of Gen-Zers put a lot of trust in influencers they like or follow and getting one to agree to a sponsorship deal for your brand could make all the difference.
It’s a lot more affordable for small businesses to pay micro-influencers and the good thing about having a smaller following is that the fans they do have are incredibly loyal and dedicated. Remember, Gen Z values authenticity, and they know they won’t get that from rich celebrities and corporations. If you’re looking to target a specific niche, find an influencer who specializes in that niche. Platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Tiktok are usually where you can find a lot of Gen-Z micro-influencers who would be willing to promote your brand in their content.
If you want your business to succeed for a long time yet, then you need to adapt to the times and market for the next generation of consumers. While most of them are still in their teenage years, remember that the oldest of them are now 25 and most likely already have stable jobs and incomes, meaning that pretty soon, they’ll be the main consumers in the market. If you need to overhaul your marketing strategy completely to adapt to this new change, it’s best to do it now than to be sorry that you didn’t later.