You’ve all heard of millennials – the young and trendy group that form today’s youth, right?
Not quite. Whilst millennials are still somewhat young and trendy, they’re not quite as young and as trendy as Generation Z, the newest wave of young, tech-savvy consumers.
What defines Generation Z?
Generally, the term ‘millennial’ is applied to those born between 1981 and 1996. This means those who fall into this category are between ages 22 and 36, with most embracing technology such as social media in their childhood or teenage years.
Gen Z is different – those who fall into their age category were born between 1995 and 2010, and therefore most do not remember a time without Facebook or Twitter, let alone the now widespread availability of the internet. If they were taken back in time to the world millennials grew up in, old tech such as dial-up internet would likely cause them to have a meltdown, before wanting to Snapchat how bad it is to their friends. Only to realise it takes an hour to send a picture.
Gen Z grew up immersed in this connected world, and naturally, they have begun to master it. Many marketers who advertise online are now shifting their efforts towards targeting Gen Z, and with good reason. Their purchasing power is predicted to be worth more than $44 billion in the U.S. alone, and they make up an estimated 26% of the U.S. population. These are huge figures, and anyone willing to ignore this large part of the market is seriously cutting their audience short.
When advertising online to this market, there are a few key rules to keep in mind.
Keep it snappy
Notice how ‘stories’ have become so popular lately? Facebook stories, Instagram stories, Snapchat stories – these have mostly stemmed from Snapchat, one of the social media sites most popular with Generation Z.
Research has shown that Gen Z has an attention span of roughly eight seconds, compared to twelve for millennials. This is what makes Snapchat and other ‘story’ focused services so appealing to them – they have access to a wealth of information they can tap through quickly. The same needs to apply to your marketing, be it global or local online advertising.
A big plus here is to focus your ads around imagery rather than text. What would stand out more to you – a bright, eye-catching image or a plain wall of text? Exactly. Make it quick, convenient and easy for your audience.
Content is still key
Social media influencers are on the rise, and there is no sign of them slowing down any time soon. 63% of Gen Z customers said they prefer seeing ‘real people’ in advertising online, whereas only 37% of millennials said they felt the same.
When advertising online, if you are going to use influencers make sure you get ones Gen Z can easily relate to. They are savvy, and generally, realise that celebrities who are being paid upwards of a million pounds per post probably aren’t the best metric for authenticity.
Whilst Gen Z may still follow celebrities, smaller scale influencers (known as nano-influencers) command up to four times the engagement rate from their followers than social media royalty. This is because they are real, relatable people who are responsive to their friends. For advertisers, using nano-influencers correctly can yield up to 11 times the ROI you’d get from a digital advertising campaign. Remember, influencing campaigns work best on Gen Z heavy platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
Generation Z 101
Advertising online isn’t easy when it comes to targeting Generation Z. It is worth recognising that however clever you think you are on the internet, there are always millions more Gen Z’ers who are more tech-savvy and hyper-connected than you’ll ever be.
By keeping it simple and leveraging the tips above, your local online advertising campaign can reach this ever-expanding generation with great results.