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4 Unconventional Ways to Better Market to Generation Z

Gen Z loves micro-influencers, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram. What more do you need to know?
4 Unconventional Ways to Better Market to Generation Z
Image credit: Franek Strzeszewski | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Entrepreneur, Growth Hacker and Marketer
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Move over, millennials: It's all about Generation Z now. Members of Gen Z, meaning those born after 1995, have grown up with the world at their fingertips -- via the internet, of course. And members of this young set prefer to get their information through digital channels and technologies.

Related: 7 Ways Marketers Can Reach Gen Z

This means that traditional marketing typically fails to move them and that it can be difficult to capture their attention.

But just because Generation Z's members may be hard to reach doesn’t mean you should ignore them. In fact, by 2020, Generation Z will account for 40 percent of all consumers in the United States. It’s essential, then, that your business optimize its marketing efforts to better connect with the spending power of this cohort.

So, how do you adapt your marketing to attract them? Here are our unconventional ways to better market to Generation Z.

Work with influencers.

Generation Z has redefined the word “celebrity.” Young people today are influenced less by traditional celebrities, actors and singers, for instance, and instead favor internet “celebrities” who are closer to their age, and (in their view) more relatable. These internet influencers have become super-popular on social media, making influencer marketing a highly effective strategy to reach the Gen Z audience.

For young buyers, spotting a recommendation from a relatable influencer has a huge impact on purchasing decisions; it’s comparable to a recommendation from a friend, which is why it works so well.

An example? To show off its latest collection, H&M partnered with Instagram influencer Sincerely Jules, who has 5 million followers. 

Image Credit: Sincerely Jules Instagram 

You may be thinking that you can’t afford to pay an influencer with millions of followers, but that’s where micro-influencers come in. Micro-influencers have 10,000 followers on average and are not only less expensive but more authentic; usually, they have higher engagement than their mega-influencer peers, too.

So, look for micro-influencers to get your product in front of a ton of very loyal followers.

Related: 5 Ways Businesses Can Reach 'Generation Z'

Create content for YouTube.

Listen to this unbelievable statistic: 50 percent of Generation Z “can’t live without YouTube.” If that doesn’t convince you that your company should use YouTube for marketing, I don’t know what will. Creating a YouTube channel for your brand will allow you to reach thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of the young people constantly browsing and searching for entertaining, useful videos. With video, you can get Gen Zers to develop a genuine interest in your business.

An example? Lush Cosmetics does this well with its successful YouTube channel where it shares behind-the-scenes videos on how its products are are made, as well as routines that feature the use of its products.

Image Credit: Lush Cosmetics Youtube channel.

Building a YouTube channel for your brand will help with your content marketing because it’s so easy to repurpose your videos. You can use your videos on your website, share them on social media and incorporate them into your email marketing campaigns to get more mileage out of your marketing.

Focus on Snapchat and Instagram stories.

Generation Z has a short attention span; members are constantly on mobile, switching back and forth among different apps and social media channels, which means that telling bite-size stories can be a big win for your marketing. In fact, according to a Yes Lifecycle Marketing study, 80 percent of Gen Z purchases are influenced by social media. Snapchat and Instagram stories are the perfect social media mediums to attract and convert a younger audience which wants to consume interesting and entertaining content quickly.

An example? AriZona Iced Tea knows that its Gen Z audience loves extreme sports, so instead of advertising its product directly, the company enlisted pro skateboarder Brandon Bonner to take over its Snapchat account to promote the AriZona lifestyle and entertain followers.

Image Credit: Ad Espresso blog

So, do as AriZona did: Don’t just advertise your product on social media; tell a story or provide a solution. Convenience is key to Gen Z, so its members often turn to social media to find answers and solve their problems quickly. Make it obvious what your content is about, why your audience should care and how it could help or entertain them; after all, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention.

Encourage entrepreneurship.

Members of Generation Z are 55 percent more likely than millennials to start a business, according to research reported on Small Business Trends. So, if your company wants to capture the hearts of Gen Zers, play to their entrepreneurial spirit. Generation Z wants companies to understand who they are; and they’re more likely to follow and buy from a brand that shares a similar mindset to theirs. Therefore, in your marketing campaigns, inspire and encourage Gen Z's entrepreneurial side.

An example? City Girl Coffee Co. attracts a Generation Z audience and promotes entrepreneurship by utilizing hashtags on Instagram like #girlboss, #femaleentrepreneur, #femaleowned and #womenempowerment.

Image Credit: City Girl Coffee Instagram  

You could share your own story of how you started your business to inspire Gen Zers: Create social media images showcasing young entrepreneurs, or choose young business owners as brand ambassadors. Cater your marketing messages to aspiring Gen Z entrepreneurs and you’ll be sure to capture their attention.

Related: Two Influential Gen Zers Explain How to Market to Young Consumers

Over to you

Now that you have some fresh new marketing tips to help you better connect with Generation Z, you can start turning all those young consumers into loyal customers for your business. By standing out in competitive social media feeds and immersing yourself in the digital world where Gen Zers spend their time, you’ll become a top brand in their minds.

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