7 tips for marketing to Generation Z

Editorial Team

4 min read
Two people looking at smartphones

One of the challenges of growing a small business is knowing how to speak to the wants and needs of the different age groups you serve. This includes your Gen Z customers, who were born between 1997 and 2012. They now range in age from 10 to 25 years old and make up a little over 20 percent of the U.S. population.

These true digital natives turned 18 in 2015, which means they have started taking on bigger decisions related to attending college, voting, entering the workforce, and other life issues.  Some Gen Zers may now even have mortgages and kids.

This demographic has its own distinct perspectives and behaviors, which require a specific marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy may primarily target millennials and other generations, but consider adding tactics and strategies that also serve this fast-growing consumer segment. Here are some insights on how to market to Gen Z. 

1. Focus on conversations, not mass communication on social media channels

In many ways, Gen Z is returning to the philosophy of generations that existed prior to social media and mobile devices. They are more focused on having authentic conversations rather than growing their friend count.

Gen Z is looking for personal connections through anything they do on social media, even opting to use newer social media options like TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s important to be aware of these platforms, understand how they work, and add them to your list of outreach channels when marketing to Generation Z customers.

2. Sell less, help more

Your Gen Z marketing strategies should not focus on the product or service you offer. This demographic group doesn’t respond to sales pitches. Instead, they want a brand to help them, or, they want to collaborate with a brand. Either way, it’s a different approach to how you interact with them.

Focus on their problems and feelings, acknowledging and explaining how you understand them. You can create guides, tutorials, and tip-based articles that are directly related to the problems and concerns of this generation.

3. Deepen your mobile marketing efforts

Despite wanting to deepen the meaning of each online interaction, Generation Zers account for 40% of all mobile users. Many of them rely heavily on mobile wallets and social payments. Therefore, they expect to be able to make purchases in a seamless manner. 

That means you have to ensure that your mobile outreach responds to those expectations. Provide ways to get an instantaneous page load, responsive mobile view, and secure payment options. Also, consider using push notifications to enhance the mobile experience for the average Gen Z customer.

4. Keep your website looking fresh

Gen Z is full of consumers who are tech-savvy, thanks to their digital connection since birth. When they visit your website, this younger audience can instantly tell if your website looks dated, and this could affect their decision to purchase from you. Instead, they might go with a brand that offers current content, valuable advice, and continually updated information directed at their interests.

5. Change your language

Although you shouldn’t try to act like the parent who tries to use all the same slang words their kids use in an attempt to connect, you can adapt the language you use in your marketing so that it resonates with the Gen Z persona.

For example, Gen Z doesn’t necessarily use a checking account anymore since they are mainly accustomed to debit and credit cards and contactless payment methods. Instead, you’ll need to focus on language for mobile payments. Likewise, you’ll be using phrases like “on-demand orders” and “tap to pay.”

6. Be more visual

It also helps to be more visual when marketing to Generation Z customers. This is a way to acknowledge their preference for the social channels, while addressing language differences. Both images and video content can achieve this Gen Z marketing objective. There’s a lot you can accomplish, messaging-wise, in the eight seconds that TikToks and Instagram Reels offer. Deliver information that is detailed and relevant to their problems through video.

Use these social media mechanisms to share more information and educate your Gen Z audience. Also, create a YouTube channel if you don’t already have one. This is another good place to share video content.

7. Focus on the positive

Gen Z likes collaboration, focusing on positive experiences, and supporting social causes. If they choose a particular brand, it’s because that company does an exceptional job of doing positive things that help a group of individuals in need. That’s why brands like Bombas do so well. For every pair of socks or apparel item purchased, one is donated to help those in need. Those feel-good moments are important and create a connection and bond to the brand.

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