Date Posted: July 26, 2019Reading time: 4 minutes
… We’re not in Kansas anymore.
Generation Z is the new Americana, they’re young, educated, probably vegan, and know what they want. And it ain’t generic ads.
This new generation is a collection of people born between the late 1990s and early 2000s. They’re currently late teens – early twenties, and they’re nothing like their older sibling, the millenial generation. Gen Z kids are true digital natives. They were exposed to the internet, social networks, and mobile phones as youngsters. This gives them a digitally superior understanding of basic to advanced tech.
Think Office 365, the version you probably have on your computer, released in 2011. Gen Z was typing up their school science fair projects and making PowerPoints while you were using the same tools. Except they were 11. And you had a mortgage. Having strong grasps with online tools then gives them the power to quickly understand new technology today.
Gen Z is captivated with creating their individualism, especially on social media. And they spend a lot of time on it. Everyone is an influencer on some sort of social media. Whether it’s modelling streetwear, making music, fighting social battles, or simply voicing their opinions, they have a strong social presence. There’s even one who’s a robot. Being so connected, they are exposed to very generic ads on Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Reddit, etc. As a Gen Z myself (surprise!) I also hate these generic ads.
If you think millennials are easily distracted, always flipping between texts and emails, meet Gen Z. Living in a highly connected world, they’re used to constant flipping between social media platforms. Switching between different tasks and paying simultaneous attention to a wide range of stimuli comes naturally to them. Multitasking is no difficult challenge for Gen Z, but they also have the attention span of a goldfish: 8 seconds. So you better grasp their attention in 3 seconds.
To effectively target Gen Z, approach with a lot of thought.
By the year 2020, advertisers are expected to spend $500 million on podcast ads. Why you might ask? Well, according to Apple statistics, there are 525,000 active podcasts with 18.5 million+ episodes. And Spotify announced that 20% of the time on Spotify is people consuming podcasts.
Gen Z is not likely to turn on the radio, but they still consume a lot of audio content. With half of the podcast listeners coming from this young audience, podcast advertising is a great way to target this demographic. Listeners also pay more attention to ads in podcasts. This is because of tone and topic changes, which is attention-grabbing.
That’s cool-kid for social media.
Anyway, social media marketing is a very applicable tactic if done correctly. See above where I mock generic ads. Gen Z needs a unique, emotion-grabbing, scroll-stopping, don’t-even-know-it’s-an-ad, ad. On Instagram, there are more than 60 million photos posted each day, and 1.6 billion daily ‘likes’ are given. Getting content lost with the algorithm that moves sub-par posts to the bottom of feeds is pretty inevitable if it doesn’t shape up to your targeted Gen Z audience. Not to mention this group is also more resistant towards ads.
So, don’t use content that’s ad-y and generic. Sorry, @gap.
Instead, use content that flows with more of a lifestyle approach.
See the difference?
Or better yet, use UGC.
This is also, like, the easiest kind of content acquisition. UGC simply uses content posted by a general user who tagged or hashtagged your brand in a post and gives you permission to use it.
UGC is a win-win situation. It allows you, the brand, to access free content and makes the user whose content you’re using to feel important and cool. Gen Z wants to be that influencer that made it onto @urbanoutfitters‘ Instagram page and you just got some great content.
When sharing UGC, it gives an incentive for more users to post with the hope of being reposted by your brand. This doubles as (micro) influencer marketing, as the users are sharing their photos of your product/service to their followers it reaches more people who may not even follow you.
Okay, moving on. Gen Z is so ~complicated~
Being highly creative and using ads that are unique is more effective than using a safe ad. Whether it’s emotional like the recent Nike ad or funny like the No Name Brand’s Twitter or just plain weird like the Subway ad. They’re all ads that Gen Z watches until the end. And whether they have positive or negative connotations towards them, they’re still talking about it.
Get weird. Be organic. Don’t be too generic. And UGC is your friend.
Okay, bye. *sips iced coffee with reusable straw* ✌🏼
Leigha Henderson is an Agency Coordinator at Trampoline. Want to get her help on an upcoming project? Get in touch at [email protected].