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For years, marketing to millennials was the sole focus for many brands–and rightfully so. They were once the largest generation with some of the biggest spending power. That is until Gen Z came around. As of 2019, they became the largest generation, making up 32% of the total population. With those numbers comes great economic power, which is why marketing to Gen Z should be high on your radar these days.

As the generation that is glued to their phone, you’d think that marketing to these 13 to 26-year-olds would be a piece of cake. Just create a mass amount of online content and hope for the best. But it’s not that simple. The generation prides itself on authenticity, diversity, and inclusivity. Not to mention they also happen to be a little chaotic in their preferences. But fret not. Creating a marketing strategy for this younger generation can be extremely easy when done correctly. There are just a few things to keep in mind.

Who is Gen Z?

Before you can create a marketing strategy tailored to the Gen Z market, it’s imperative that you know who they are and what they stand for. While there is some debate about the years in which this generation was born, the overall consensus appears to be that they are between 1996 and 2010. They have quickly become the face of social media platforms, taking TikTok and Instagram by storm.

They’re known to be all about keeping it real, embracing inclusivity, and doing the research to form their own opinions. That explains why they’re set up to be one of the most educated generations thus far. They also happen to be the first generation to be digitally native, having grown up with cell phones, computers, and the internet. This makes them one of the most important generations to market to, as they hold an estimated spending power of over $360 billion.

Gen Z girls sitting together in front of bookshelves looking at a phone and smiling.

How You Should Be Marketing to Gen Z

Since it’s apparent that marketing to Gen Z is important, we’re helping you create a marketing strategy to ensure that you grab their attention and convince them to invest in your product or service.

Use User-Generated Content

Gen Zers love to see real people using and enjoying products and services. They can spot a fake from a mile away. They want to see real, authentic content from brands, so they are likelier to trust recommendations from friends, family, and people their age rather than traditional advertising, making influencer marketing an extremely useful resource. Not only will they find these influencers relatable, but they’ll also appreciate watching someone who understands their slang, trends, etc. This should come as no surprise, considering that over 1 in 4 Gen Zers plan on becoming influencers themselves.

Put an Emphasis on Video Content

TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users, and Instagram followed suit with the creation of Reels. If it wasn’t clear before that video content is king, it is now. And with 37 million of those TikTok users being Gen Zers, creating video content is more important than ever when marketing to the generation. Because of their short attention spans, they appreciate quick, witty videos meant to be informational yet entertaining. Lean into trends, and don’t be afraid to be silly in the videos, either. They have great senses of humor and can appreciate a good joke.

One of the best parts about the Gen Z generation is the fact that a good portion of them have entered the workforce by now, and many of them are pursuing a career in social media. That means you 1. don’t have to train them to create video content that their generation will appreciate and 2. can find Gen Z influencers for specific campaigns fairly easily.

Focus on Social Responsibility

Gen Z is arguably one of the most empathetic, caring generations out there. They have stronger opinions on the environment, social justice, politics, and other important issues than the older generations. This means that if you want to convince them to spend money on your products or services, you need to make it clear that your mission and beliefs align with theirs. Whether this means including LGBTQ+ or BIPOC influencers in your campaigns, emphasizing how eco-friendly you are, or speaking up about political issues plaguing our country, they want you to take a stand for your values.

However, it is crucial that you are authentic in sharing your values. If they even catch a whiff that you are promoting a cause to win them over, they will not hesitate to boycott your brand and convince all of their friends to do the same. And let’s just say word travels fast within the generation. They’re quite the force to be reckoned with.

Create a Community

One of the most fascinating things about Gen Z is their willingness to create a community amongst strangers. With BookTok, Skincare TikTok, WitchTok, and more, they develop small pockets of online friends who appreciate the same things they do. Don’t shy away from embedding yourself into these communities depending on your niche.

Reply to comments, make conversation, and make them feel as if you are friends rather than a brand trying to push a product onto them. Influencers can be beneficial in this aspect because they humanize your brand and give it a face that they feel they can befriend.

Stay on Top of Trends

This one is probably a given, but it’s important to stay on top of what is relevant. As algorithms are constantly changing, it can be hard to pinpoint what may or may not go viral. However, Gen Zers can’t get enough of trends. Some of these may seem absurd, but that’s exactly what makes them enjoyable. Think about how you can showcase your brand and values within these trends. If you’re unsure how to stay on top of these ever-evolving trends, consider partnering closely with Gen Z influencers,social media managers, or agencies who see this type of content on a daily basis.

Be Mobile-Friendly

Once you convince a Gen Zer to visit your site through your TikToks or Reels, it’s vital to ensure that it’s mobile-friendly. As a generation that is always on their phone, they average about 7.5 hours of screen time a day. From scrolling on social media to researching products to shopping to texting, most of their day is spent on their devices. If they have difficulty using your site or finding what they’re looking for, they will likely bounce pretty quickly and move on to one of your competitors.

The Final Word on Marketing to Gen Z

Marketing to Gen Z can be challenging at times, but it’s also gratifying. If you can connect with Gen Z, you’ll have a loyal customer base for years to come. These tips are just a few things you can do to help build that audience for your brand. If you’re ready to get started with influencer marketing for the Gen Zers, Sway Group can help. We’re here to deliver genuine yet persuasive campaign content to all generations, regardless of your end goal.

Ready to create a marketing strategy to maximize your brand’s potential? Contact us today!