By 2020, Generation Z - those born between 1998 and 2008, also known as “digital natives” - will make up 40 percent of consumers.
Think about what that means: In just three years, 40 percent of all consumers will have lived nearly their entire lives using social media.
If you want your brand to succeed among Gen Z, you’ve got to understand social media from this generation’s perspective. Here are 5 vital things you need to know about marketing to Gen Z:
1. Gen Zers almost universally use social media - but much more selectively than Millennials.
Many brands that are new to marketing to Gen Z will begin by blasting brand messages on every social network, because they assume that Gen Z lives on social media.
This is true in a sense; 74 percent of Gen Z spends between 1 to 3 hours per day on social media, but they’re also being highly selective about what they post, where they post, and who can see it. They’re masters at filtering out what they don’t want to be bothered with.
2. Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook are the most popular networks among Gen Z.
Even though Facebook has a reputation for attracting users from Millennials, Gen X, and older generations, Gen Z still classifies it as their “most important” social network, according to creative agency Swift. It’s the one Gen Z is more likely to say they use constantly.
Instagram and Snapchat, however, are the platforms most used by the largest number of Gen Zers.
3. 63 percent of Gen Z wants to see “real people,” rather than celebrities, in marketing messaging.
For Gen Z, an endorsement of your product from an influencer or YouTube star will almost always be worth more than one by a traditional celebrity.
Related article: 7 Ways to Boost Engagement from Your Social Media Posts
In fact, a Deep Focus survey of Gen Zers found that 67 percent of respondents preferred non-celebrities in ads, versus 37 percent that did prefer celebrities.
4. Gen Zers want useful or valuable content, not ads.
Gen Zers not only possess highly selective, fast-moving filters, but they’re also voracious consumers of content, and are just as likely to watch a full 25-minute video as they are to scroll past an ad.
This means you have a huge opportunity to connect with Gen Z via your content marketing. If you can create something of real value that truly reflects your brand values, you’ll likely find yourself with plenty of loyal Gen Z followers.
5. If you want to reach Gen Z, you have to gain their attention within 8 seconds.
Gen Z has an attention span about 4 seconds shorter than the average attention span in the year 2000, so your messaging must be concise, quick, and relevant. If they like what you’ve got to offer, they’ll stick with you. If not, you’ll become another brand that gets blocked, scrolled through, or filtered out.
Brands that want to succeed today and into the future can’t afford to ignore Gen Z. By embracing honesty, transparency, and authenticity, brands can begin to win over this important demographic.
About Shama Hyder
Shama Hyder is a visionary strategist for the digital age, a web and TV personality, a bestselling author, and the award-winning CEO of The Marketing Zen Group – a global online marketing and digital PR company. She has aptly been dubbed the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by FastCompany.com. Shama has also been honored at both the White House and The United Nations as one of the top 100 young entrepreneurs in the country. Shama has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Technology Titan Emerging Company CEO award. She was named one of the “Top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25” by Business Week in 2009, one of the “Top 30 Under 30” Entrepreneurs in America in 2014 by Inc. Magazine, and to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list of movers and shakers for 2015. LinkedIn named Hyder one of its “Top Voices” in Marketing & Social Media. Her web show Shama TV was awarded the “Hermes Gold award for Educational Programming in Electronic Media” and most recently she was awarded the “Excellence in Social Media Entrepreneurship” award for 2016 by Anokhi Media.
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