Gen Z refers to people born between 1997 and 2012. This generation has distinct consumer characteristics that businesses need to learn about to thrive in today’s market—including knowing what to avoid when marketing to Gen Z.
Here’s a glimpse of the five major points we’ll highlight today:
- Outdated images and graphics
- Non-interactive content
- Ignoring social causes
- Unauthentic content
- Long-form content
As a Gen Zer myself, I’m excited to dive into this topic!
Nailing Gen Z’s Graphic Aesthetics
Gen Z has a serious preference for visually appealing content, especially high-quality content. As a business, it’s important to avoid outdated or low-quality visuals. No one wants to stare at a blurry screen. Gen Z has so much exposure to different social media platforms; they know what’s top-notch—and what’s not.
Gen Z has expectations when it comes to visuals:
- Eye-catchy images
- Graphics that reflect authenticity
- Candid and unfiltered type content
It’s also important to incorporate diversity in images. Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, so they appreciate wide representation. Your Gen Z audience will remember inclusivity positively, which can help your brand build a stronger connection with this demographic.
Another quick note is the importance of updating your content, which includes more than just images. At Interact, we refresh our pillar blogs every 12-18 months to ensure great content for our audience!
Shifting to engaging content
Gen Zers want active participation and engagement when buying products. They want to know that your products or company works and has something that will continually engage them. Traditional ways of selling products or services don’t resonate with Gen Z; they want something new that speaks directly to them.
Engaging Gen Z in a two-way conversation will encourage them to buy products from your brand. The same old boring content will simply no longer cut it with this innovative generation.
Below is a list of interactive content ideas to engage Gen Z:
- Host a Q&A on your favorite social media platform where customers can ask questions about your brand or products.
- Create interactive quizzes about your brand to direct customers to the right products or services.
- Share behind-the-scenes videos about your brand so Gen Z viewers can see the dedication that goes into creating your product or service.
Tracing Gen Z’s Social Causes Content
Gen Zers care deeply about social issues and activism. They like their voice to be heard and reflected in the brands they support. Ignoring these issues will dim your appeal, often getting you overlooked by this socially conscious generation.
Personally, I keep sustainable brands in mind when shopping. When I’m browsing online and come across a company that donates a portion of its profits to a societal cause that aligns with my beliefs, it leaves a mark. I am much more likely to rationalize a purchase if I know a part of it will help others. Overlooking social issues won’t influence my consumer choices the same way.
No room for fake content
Avoiding ingenuine content should be crucial to your Gen Z marketing strategies. This generation is talented in identifying and rejecting content that lacks authenticity—one may say they have detective-like skills when it comes to digital content.
Try your best to promote genuine brand values and express them authentically within your content strategy. This could mean going beyond, also including why they resonate with you. Your content will be more authentic and personal, and Gen Z will connect with your brand on a deeper level.
Actions speak louder than words to Gen Z, so show why your content is genuine rather than just saying it. Share authentic stories and experiences that align with your brand. When I see ingenuine, or rather, “fake” content, as Gen Z refers to it, I immediately move on to content from another brand that better suits what I’m looking for.
Why long-content isn’t Gen Z’s cup of tea
Gen Z loves quick, easily digestible information. They are drawn toward quick, concise, and consumable information. Steer away from lengthy content that could overwhelm your viewers. Short content tailored to your viewers is the best way to grab Gen Z’s attention and keep them hooked.
Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram are perfect for promoting shorter content. A quick 15-second video with a catchy introduction and a couple of key points are all Gen Z needs to decide whether they want to purchase a product or service. The shorter it is, the better. If you successfully execute short-form content, you will surely gain more of the Gen Z market.
Long-form content just doesn’t resonate with the Gen Z audience. If they can’t quickly find what they’re after, they’ll just move on to someone else’s shorter post. So, keep it brief and to the point for a better chance to successfully target the Gen Z market.
To sum it up, businesses need to respect what Gen Z values: brief and engaging content, sincerity, appealing visuals, and social responsibility. Stay away from the top five no-nos: outdated visuals, dull content, ignoring social topics, fake stuff, and lengthy content.
Stick to these tips, and you’ll get Gen Z’s attention.