After all the attention, importance and research that the millennials have enjoyed, it is now the turn of Generation Z to take over. Defined as the people born between 1996 to 2012, this lot is wholly different from their earlier generations. When compared to millennials, this generation cares about completely different things. They need to be communicated to in an entirely different fashion. These people had access to digital information and content their whole life. So, click bait stories aren’t something that is going to sell anymore.
This generation hasn’t known a world without internet. It consumes all of their news, knowledge and entertainment through internet. Also referred to as centennials, iGen or millennials on steroids, this lot is becoming quite famous for its short attention span which is estimated to be 8 seconds, even lower than that of millennials, which stands at 12 seconds. Gen Z is the first truly digital generation that has not spent even a single day in the absence of internet, smartphones or computers. This is the generation that has seen their parents get through the recession and have also witnessed people like Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel become billionaires at a very young age, all with the help of technology.
According to Forbes, GenZ spends 74% of their free time online and have an annual purchasing power of $44 billion. This number will only get bigger as these people move into the workforce. It is being predicted by 2020, the centennials will account for 40% of all the online consumers. People from this generation are just becoming of age and are currently developing their shopping habits and buying nature, which makes it all the more sensible for marketers to account this lot in their marketing strategies before their brand becomes ‘outdated.’
So, how can you achieve that? A closer look at the habits of the new ‘young’ can teach us a lot about their behaviour, buying patterns and what captures their short-spanned attention.
Make mobiles your priority Gen Z can be easily described as the ‘mobile-first’ generation. This is the lot that had access to mobiles from an early age and spends most of their digital lives, tapping and scrolling on their mobiles. This means that all your social media content should be optimised according to the mobile screen resolution. In fact, given the current scenario, it would make more sense if the content is created for mobiles first and then optimised for desktops.
This also indicates that if you are trying to redirect the iGen to your company’s website, it should be optimised for mobile viewing. Keep in mind that these are the people that grew up having a flawless mobile experience with apps like Snapchat and Instagram that are accessible only on phones and if your website isn’t optimised for smartphones, you are going to lose trust and customers.
Don’t ignore influencer marketing With the changing times, the one thing that has gained the most popularity is influencer marketing. The new celebrities now are not the ones that do the best movies or series, these days they are the ones with hundreds of millions of followers and fans on social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and Vine.
The celebrities that appeal to this generation might not be the ones that you would know of, but that does not take their popularity with the Gen Zers away from them. These social media ‘celebrities’ have a large influence on this new generation, using which can definitely help your brand gain some brownie points.
Pay attention to visual content Visual content generates way more traffic than written content, 313% more to be precise. Images generate more interactions than any other type of content and if your social media strategy is void of them, time to change your strategy. The popularity of live streaming stories on platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp is a valid example of how engaging visual content can be.
According to SXSW, Gen Z spends two to four hours every day watching videos, so, it might be a bright idea, after all, to put out some visually compelling content for your business.
Aim to be cool What attracts these centennials the most is cool and what this generation finds cool or as they frequently say is “lit” varies highly from the stereotypical cool. Google recently conducted a survey to find out what was “lit” and what was not and it turns out that companies and business that do great things for their employees, needy people and customers is the new cool. Unusual products that solve a problem or have the latest technology also find themselves a sweet spot with the iGen.
With that, also make sure that you are using the right platform to communicate the right message. This new group is quite different from the millennials and hence, there social media habits and preferences vary widely. The Gen Z uses Instagram to curate a personal image, Snapchat for ‘in the moment’ updates and Twitter for brand interactions. While Facebook holds a dear spot with the millennials, centennials don’t favour the network as much and only use it to acquire passive information.
Social media marketers should put forth a human side of their business by showing the positive impact that it has on its employees and customers. They can also showcase any new technologies and technological advancements that their company is adopting to take a step into the future.