Use these tips to help develop Gen Z marketing messages that resonate with this unique consumer base.
One of the things that I love…and dread…about marketing is that it’s always changing. I’m sure most marketers would agree that it’s fun to learn new ideas and implement creative strategies. On the other hand, having to keep constantly up to speed on the latest trends can be difficult, and constantly testing new ideas can be time-consuming and even frustrating.
I recently had the opportunity to attend the virtual Inbound 2020 marketing conference, where I heard, De’Havia Stewart, business strategist for Accenture, speak about the uniqueness of the Gen Z audience. This sparked the idea to share these seven tips that any marketer can use to connect to this audience in more meaningful ways.
No. 1: Know your audience.
Generation Z (Gen Z) refers to the demographic born mid-to-late 1990s to the early 2010s. Most of their parents are from Generation X, though some are Millennials. You know them as being digital natives, the first social generation, and as having more of an entrepreneurial spirit than the previous generation. It’s also important to understand that Gen Z values transparency, individuality, and diversity. They represent 27% of the US population and are already major consumers. Keep all that in mind when developing your facility’s approach to this powerful group.
No. 2: Be authentic.
The idea of authenticity in marketing isn’t new but the way you display yours with Gen Z might be. During De’Havia’s presentation at Inbound 2020, I noticed a few key differences from other presentations. A Gen Z herself, she did not present an hour-long PowerPoint seminar. Instead, she conducted what looked like an impromptu live chat – even though it was pre-recorded. It was quick, impactful, and real, and that’s where the session’s true magic lay.
With the growing democratization of content over the last few years, made even more prevalent as companies have begun producing a lot of “at-home” content during COVID-19, there’s an even bigger market for less-polished, authentic video content aimed at connecting with audiences. Develop and share video content and messages that are quick, impactful, and real, and you will have a better chance at them resonating with your Gen Z audience.
No. 3: Be entertaining.
Don’t be afraid to show your zany side. According to PRZM founder, Larry Milstein, Gen Z love to support brands that show personality in a “light-hearted and silly way” on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. The fast-food chain, Wendy’s, does a good job of showing personality on Twitter, as does Chipotle. No matter what age group you’re trying to approach, use the platforms that make the most sense for that audience, find your facility’s unique voice, and have fun with it.
No. 4: Show diversity.
Your Gen Z audience needs to see themselves in your ads if you want them to patronize your facility. Did you know that 48% of Gen Z are from minority groups? This means ads and other content need to depict people from different racial and cultural backgrounds in order for this audience to relate.
No. 5: Create an engaging community.
I follow several food bloggers and authors online and while I consume a lot of all of their content, I only share, review, and engage with the creators who interact with their fans directly. Why? Because I feel like if they take the time to make readers and viewers feel important, the least I can do is help them by sharing their content.
Almost 95% of Gen Z use a smartphone, according to De’Havia, and that makes them a powerful marketing force for you – IF you’re taking the time to show you care about them. She recommends engaging with them directly by reposting and liking their content at your facility, and indirectly by posting interactive, sharable content that keeps you top of mind. The more you do this, the more likely they’ll engage with your brand onsite and in their own social media.
No. 6: Promote experiences not products.
Gen Z buyers want to interact with brands they trust. In our industry, it’s a no-brainer to focus on experiences instead of just on deals or packages. With every ad, email, or post, consider what experience you’re creating, or what story you’re telling. Be clear about the message you’re sending about your brand.
You most likely have a lot of Gen Z on staff so don’t be afraid to solicit feedback and input as you develop your marketing strategy and content. They often have a lot of untapped creativity and would probably love to share their insights. Not only could this result in better promotions, but it could also improve team member engagement – a win all the way around.
No. 7: Dig into the data.
Customer and spending data most likely influences a lot of your marketing efforts already. In addition to those data points, be sure you’re regularly reviewing marketing and social media analytics as well to gauge the impact of your marketing. To learn more about various social media analytics tools, check out this article from Sprout Social, 10 of the Best Social Media Marketing Analytics Tools for Marketers.
Even though the Gen Z market is unique in many ways, they still have a lot of the same needs as the generations before them. They want to interact with brands that understand and value them, and with the marketers who take the time to tailor content to prove it.
What are your tips for marketing to this generation? Share them with us in the comments or on Twitter.
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