Let’s cut to the chase. How on earth can we reach Gen Z through social media advertising? We’re already halfway through 2022 and approaching that generation seems like the toughest task.
Gen Z knows the ins and outs of the latest trends, is super digital-focused, and undeniably has the shortest attention span of any other generation. With the rise of short-form video in TikTok and IG Reels — and we also hate to say it but, AUTHENTICITY — it’s no surprise that some brands are becoming obsessed with Gen-Z because they live in this space more than anyone.
If that’s not surprising enough, taking the time to understand what makes this generation click is a must if marketers are to leverage their massive buying power. Young, tech-savvy and socially invested, Generation Z is by far the most racially and ethnically diverse generation never with more purchasing power $140 billion and $360 billion in disposable income.
So while implementing them into your strategy might seem difficult, let’s dive into some tips to help target Gen Z with social media advertising.
Make Gen-Z feel included
This means abandoning traditional advertising. We’re not saying it doesn’t work, but it’s probably not the best approach for Gen-Z.
Gen Zers don’t like to feel commercialized. There’s a difference between us as brands picking them to market versus them feeling that way. They want to feel like they’re part of something bigger than what you’re selling. What is it about your brand that can resonate with them? What values does your brand advocate and have a passion for that you can use to create a niche?
This generation is known for being proactive within their digital communities. So we strongly suggest you find a way to focus on a specific Gen Z “community” that resonates with your brand and start there. Whether it’s a passion for mental health, gaming or avocado toast, you can choose from an unlimited number of sectors.
If your brand wants to go further, count on the help of micro-influencers because they are specialized in niches. People speak to people better than words in an advertisement do. If you want to reach Gen-Z, there’s nothing better than using a human they can connect with.
Grab their attention, FAST
With an attention span of only 8 seconds, the content you run in your campaigns needs to work as quickly as it loses interest. It’s no surprise that short video content has become the number one tool that almost every social media platform has implemented and prioritized.
Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram have revolutionized the world of short video content. In fact, by 2023, the number of Gen Z users in the US on TikTok is expected to be around 43 millionwith Instagram getting closer after to 41 million.
If you’re working on using short video content, here are three key things to keep in mind:
Whatever you’re trying to sell, focus on the benefits and the experience they’ll get from it. You don’t have to spend half your video explaining to Gen-Z who your brand is. They will likely research your brand themselves if they are interested in your product. Remember, for Gen-Z, its experience > product.
Using humor, audio trends, and influencers are great ways to add more depth and life to your short videos. Think of it as a conversation with your teenage children. If you can’t imagine them listening to you without getting bored, then you want to change your approach.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to sell everything all at once. It’s a huge advantage to use short videos because you can make every little aspect of what you’re selling shine. Think of it this way: take every advantage of your brand or product and use every short video you make as a teaser or trailer.
Optimize mobile experiences for Gen Z
With 98% of Gen-Z with a smartphone, it is imperative that your campaigns are mobile-friendly. Most of them have grown up surrounded by the evolution of our mobile devices, making it one of the most effective ways to reach them through online advertising.
Here are some important things to consider:
Gen-Z likes to use GIFs and emojis as a means of communication. It can easily be used as a way to talk to them without using any words at all.
Make your content interactive
It’s important that your campaign is shareable so they can show it to their peers. This fuels their desire to interact with brands they like or are interested in.
Remember online user experience
They like having quick access to almost everything online, which means they have high expectations for anything digital. Your campaign, website or ad must be clear and responsive to meet these expectations.
How to do it right when advertising to Gen Z
With massive buying power that will only grow as Gen Z matures in the workplace, don’t overlook them. No matter what industry your brand belongs to, be it food and beverage, health, or tech, there’s no doubt that a large group of Gen-Z’ ers already has a passion and interest in it.
Gen-Z just wants to be understood, not defined. Once you recognize this difference, your social media advertising initiatives will take to the next level.