Gen Z, the generation born between the late nineties and mid-2010s, makes up more than one-quarter of the world’s population, and their buying power exceeds $140 billion. With so much competition on the horizon, how can small businesses leverage their brands with this socially conscious, diverse demographic of up-and-coming decision-makers?
Increasing Engagement with Gen Z
Gen Z likes to support brands with beliefs and value systems that genuinely align with their own. However, promoting values like sustainability, DE&I, and others must be done in a truly authentic way and not just clever marketing to drive sales. Small businesses can show commitment to significant issues by focusing on the human element behind their brands and building transparency by going “behind the scenes” or sharing where and how products are sourced to promote sustainability.
Include User-Generated Content
Another way to effectively demonstrate authenticity is with user-generated content. Showcase positive customer experiences and reviews, or ask current customers to upload DIY videos and share what they love about a particular product. Gen Z thrives on experiences, so seeing a real person use, enjoy, and demonstrate how a product looks, feels, and works can help your potential customers imagine what their own experiences will be like!
Offer Sales and Promotions
Capture Gen Z’s attention with a sale or promotion. According to Campaign Monitor, nearly 83 percent like to receive promotions. HootSuite reported similar findings, with “discounts offered” cited as the number one motivator for getting Gen Z to engage with a new brand.
Collab with Influencers
Twenty-four percent of Gen Z women say that they are most likely to turn to influencers when learning about new products to buy. The reason is simple: they like to buy from brands they trust, and they hear about brands they trust from influencers they trust. Successful influencers share information in a manner that captures attention and forms connections; they are interesting, often funny, and always personally engaging.
Choose the Right Social Media Channels
As the first generation to fully grow up in the digital age, Gen Z’s lives have almost always included social media, and they prefer to connect with brands this way. However, not all channels are created equal, and each brand needs its own unique mix of social media channels.
For Gen Z, Facebook is for gleaning information, X is for news, Instagram is for showcasing an aspirational aesthetic, and Snapchat is for connecting with friends daily. But TikTok is the best bet for selling brands and products, with Gen Z women ranking its influence on purchasing decisions second only to “recommendations from family and friends.”
Connect with Emails and Newsletters
We know social media works with Gen Z, but what about email? A report by Campaign Monitor shared that email is Gen Z’s second-most preferred channel for brand engagement. Gen Z is constantly online, and many check their email multiple times per day. However, most receive less than 20 emails a day. This means there is less competition in an inbox than on social media. Moreover, Gen Z indicated they want to hear from brands up to a couple of times a week.
Keep in mind that Gen Z has an average attention span of eight seconds, so strong copywriting will be key for maximum results. While you should engage with potential customers on multiple channels, including email and social media, you’ll want to change up your messaging across platforms to keep things fresh.
Strategize with Green Apple
When it comes to building a successful marketing plan, our team at Green Apple understands that marketing does not operate in silos. We will take time to understand your business and your needs to develop an engagement strategy for Gen Z—and all the generations you serve. Contact us today, and let’s get the conversation started.