Generation Z includes those born between 1996 and 2010. Growing up with the internet, social media, and smartphones, this generation is used to constant visual stimulation. Getting the attention of a Gen Zer takes a different approach than what has worked for the generations before them. These digital-savvy individuals are more likely to buy from brands that are inclusive, clearly demonstrate their values, and develop online communities.
It is now understood that people in this age bracket have an attention span of around eight seconds. Because Generation Z brains have adapted to quickly process information and to juggle more content at one time, their attention spans have gotten smaller. This means you really have about eight seconds to grab their attention and to make sure your idea is understood. Let’s look at the important things to keep in mind when marketing to a Gen Z audience.
A Killer Hook
Both your product and its demonstrated value need to stand out to a Generation Zer. Carefully consider the copy – will it appeal to a younger generation or turn them off? What particular problems do they face? What are you offering that other brands can not?
If you are not a Generation Zer yourself, it is probably best not to assume that you know how the younger purchasing generation speaks or feels about certain issues. This is why age diversity is important on any marketing team. Have someone from the Z generation look over any ad or marketing material before you launch it.
Visual Content is King
Growing up in a digital world, Generation Z is drawn to visual input. When asked what they would like to see brands use more of, Instagram and YouTube were the top responses. This generation loves compelling imagery and short-form video.
While Millennials read long blog posts, love lists, tables, and graphs, Generation Z won’t spend the time. This is why incorporating visual platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube is important.
If your target audience is of the Z generation, put your marketing dollars and focus on videos, photography, infographics, quizzes, and other interactive tools and games. With their eight-second attention span, Gen Z hates pop-ups that can not be skipped and long commercials. Instead, try to involve your audience. Consider developing online games or putting together quizzes to be taken and shared. QR codes also really resonate with this generation.
Not only does the type of content matter, but style is key as well. While Millennials are drawn to minimalism, Gen Z wants a bold and exciting look. Cohesive design can build brand loyalty in a Generation Z audience. Poor design and complicated functionality will immediately turn them away, possibly forever. This generation is looking for a seamless experience. Keep copy strong, but to the point. Imagery should be bold and beautiful, and functionality simple and straightforward.
What Do You Stand For?
Brands that give back to communities, stand up for societal issues, and contribute to the protection of the environment have a greater appeal to Generation Z. This generation believes that brands inherently have social responsibilities. Specifically, brands that are racial, gender, and size-inclusive and those that are open about their stance on justice will attract more brand loyalty. So will brands that advocate for mental health and climate change.
Generation Z wants to positively change the world around them, and they will shop brands that aim to do the same. To resonate with Gen Z, your brand needs to establish clear values and to be transparent and accountable to your audience. Trust is important to this age bracket. Gen Zers will make their purchases based on trust in high product quality, yes, but also trust in a company’s ethics.
Gen Z is not looking for perfect, curated content. They don’t want sleek and minimalist; they want real life and real personality. Generation Z is attracted to bold brands with strong voices.
Having been saturated with digital marketing campaigns their entire lives, this generation is critical of brands that sell to them. Instead, they want authenticity. Show the human element behind the company. They want to see behind-the-scenes content, as well as user-generated photos, reviews and videos.
Working with influencers can be extremely beneficial when marketing to Generation Z, but instead of the mega-influencers, stick to those with 100,000 followers or less. These influencers will have a more engaged audience. The younger generations relate much more to influencers and content creators they feel they could be friends with than to big-name celebs.
Infographics, which combine copy, imagery, and very often data in an easy-to-understand format can work well for capturing the short attention span of Generation Z. The key is getting them right. As we’ve learned, Gen Z is attracted to bold design. Consider adding video content and interactive elements. Reach out to local or industry-specific influencers to post infographics to their social media platforms.
In creating an infographic, remember to keep a few things in mind. Can the information you’re trying to get across be understood in eight seconds or less? Does it represent the values that your brand stands for? Does it accurately portray the value of your company or products?
Generation Z is a digital savvy demographic. They have high expectations and high purchasing power. Earn their trust, and they will reward your brand with loyalty.