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  • Melanie Balke

How to Market to Gen Z in 2020



Gen Z, those born between 1996 and 2010, are the very first generation to grow up entirely in the online space. When thinking about marketing strategies and how to best reach any targeted demographic, you have to consider the forms of media that they consume. When discussing how to market to Gen Z in 2020, it should be taken into consideration that this generation of consumers is particularly tech-savvy and stays informed mostly by way of the online world.

Today, I will be giving you my top tips on how to market to Gen Z in 2020. Considering the fact that it is estimated that Gen Z will make up a whopping 40% of consumers in the United States this year, this isn’t a demographic to skip when forming your marketing strategy. Let’s talk more in-depth about how to market to this up and coming demographic of young American consumers.


The Importance of Mobile-Friendliness

It’s a simple fact: Gen Z grew up with mobile devices. From Snapchat and Instagram to streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, Gen Z consumes media almost entirely through mobile technology. For this reason, you will want to focus your marketing efforts on mobile technology when forming your marketing campaign. So what can you do to better reach Gen Z through mobile-friendly applications?

The first step in successfully marketing to Gen Z by way of mobile-friendly devices and applications is to make sure that your site and web pages are mobile-friendly. With Gen Zers using their smartphones 15.4 hours per week on average, a business without a mobile-friendly site is unlikely to reach Gen Z. The best way to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly is to not overload your webpages with too much content. Also be sure to keep navigation easy to use.

Another way to use Gen Z’s preference for mobile devices to your advantage is by way of marketing on social media apps. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have become hugely important in the world of marketing. Instagram alone pulls in over 1 billion monthly active users and 500 million daily active users so if you aren’t running ads on the platform, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to market to Gen Z in 2020. If your business doesn’t have a social media presence in 2020, you can’t possibly hope to market to Gen Z successfully.

Focus on Driving Gen Z to Physical Store Locations

Although Gen Z prefers to surf the web online by way of mobile devices, they still prefer brick-and-mortar stores when shopping. Why? For Gen Z, shopping for products in a physical store ensures that the product is of good value. When taking this into consideration in terms of marketing to Gen Z, it is essential that your online marketing strategies are based around driving Gen Z to physical store locations. While Gen Z may find out about your business online, they are unlikely to make a purchase there. Instead, you must motivate them to visit your store in person. But how?

The best way to focus on driving Gen Z to your physical store locations is by offering exclusive in-store offers. This could be anything ranging from exclusive in-store discounts and sale offers to in-store activities. Aside from offering the usual in-store discounts and deals, your marketing efforts need to be focused around creating trust. This is because before Gen Z will set out to visit your store, they have to have trust in your brand. Again, we look to mobile-friendly marketing efforts to accomplish this.

Responding to comments and direct messages on social media is a great way to get the conversation started with Gen Z and establish your brand as a trustworthy entity. The more quickly you can see and respond to customer inquiries and overall communications from Gen Z, the more favorably they will view your company as a result. Gen Z is all about having their demands met in the most rapid way possible and attention to this need on your behalf is key to marketing and developing a good relationship with Gen Z consumers. Once they view your business favorably, they are sure to visit your physical store as is common amongst Gen Z.


Marketing Through Story-Telling

One thing to remember in your efforts to market to Gen Z effectively is the idea that Gen Z is constantly exposed to content. This is due primarily to how interconnected and up with the times that they are through mobile phone usage and social media. For this reason, content marketing should be a primary concern in your marketing efforts. In order to break through the barrier of all the content that Gen Zers consume on a daily basis, you’ll have to be able to stand out from the pack. Marketing through story-telling is the best way to accomplish this goal.

Story-driven marketing campaigns have been proven to capture the attention of Gen Z. As Gen Zers sift through a seemingly never-ending stream of content, it takes something special to grab their attention for long enough to market a product or service. Considering the fact that Gen Z prefers visual formats of content, harnessing the power of platforms like YouTube and Snapchat are great ways to market to Gen Z.

Create video marketing content that can be uploaded to these social media platforms and use it to leverage the attention of Gen Z. This content should be focused around telling a story that is quick, concise, and easy to consume quickly. After all, as you will see in our next tip, getting to the point is important when marketing to Gen Z.


Getting to the Point

It is a common stereotype that Gen Z has a short attention span. While this is a bit of a misconception, it is true that Gen Z has grown up in an age of media and, for this reason, are adept at consuming media quickly. It is a simple fact that Gen Zers decide whether or not something is worth their attention much more rapidly than other generations. Studies have shown that the average Gen Zer decides whether or not to continue watching content or scroll past it in as little as 8 seconds, meaning your marketing efforts should be focused around creating content that is straight to the point.

This is yet another reason that marketing through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are essential to reaching Gen Z. Using a short 10 second Instagram story to advertise your business, for example, is a powerful way to get your message across. Though short, you have to remember that your content still has to be engaging enough to warrant the attention of Gen Z. It is still important to focus your content around story-telling and brand authenticity.

Another great way to get straight to the point in terms of marketing your business is by engaging with your audience in a quick and simple format. Social media platforms like Instagram offer ways to engage with your audience through polls and questions. This is a great way to advertise your business’s products and services while offering Gen Z a way to interact with your company message.

Watch a livestream of a conference covering Gen Z, email marketing and 2020 trends here.

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© 2019 Melanie Balke