The business world has been all over millennials for the past few years. You often hear slurs like, they’re entitled, and love to job hop as employees.
As customers, they can be incredibly meticulous but also prudent.
Sure, being in-tune with the voices in your market is an excellent business practice. But there’s only one problem — it’s 2018 and the Generation Z, also known as the centennials and post-millennials, are soon taking over.
According to statistics, the Gen Z will be 40% of all consumers or 33% of the entire US population by the year 2020.
The Gen Z is a hyper-connected generation that most likely never knew life without Google and social media. They are also unafraid to speak out and “roast” any brand in front of their peers. And given their activity and reach in the social space, their truthfulness can mean the difference between success and failure.
The bottom line is, the need for businesses to become digitally accessible and authoritative is higher than ever. And without further ado, here are the top five strategies that can help you:
1. Social will Be Your Bread and Butter
For the most part, your brand’s social media presence will be your frontline when catering to Gen Z customers.
You probably have existing social media pages as we speak. However, Gen Z consumers want more than just businesses that continuously churn and share content such as blog posts, news articles, or videos — they require interactions. This pertains to polls, comments, or even private messages.
In other words, businesses need to capitalize the Gen Z’s affinity with online communications to win their trust. Stop marketing your brand as a faceless business that’s void of any personality whatsoever. Start putting the team, especially the executive-level members, under the spotlight to create a more approachable social media presence.
2. Encourage Reviews
If there’s one thing Gen Z customers trust more than their judgment, it’s the recommendations of their online peers.
It doesn’t even matter if they know the person or not. In fact, 63% of Gen Z customers prefer to see real people in ads than Hollywood celebrities.
That said, be sure to give them the tools to share their reviews and opinions of your brand. Take note that posting a simple question on social media can go a long way regarding engagement:
For e-commerce stores, consider inserting CTAs or pop-ups that request for reviews after checkout. You can also automate follow-up emails that ask Gen Z customers what they think about their experience.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect a rain of praises and positive remarks even if you think you delivered well. Whenever you receive negative feedback, the least you can do is use their insights as the basis for your next area of improvement.
3. Get In The News
Newsjacking may come in all shapes and sizes. When it comes to Gen Z members, it’s about being present in the channels they care about.
Thankfully, you don’t need to target traditional media channels to get into the Gen Z’s radar. That would’ve been devastating to small businesses with even more modest budgets. Instead, you can leverage their warm spot for social media stars, specifically from visual outlets like Snapchat and YouTube. Tech startups, for example, have been utilizing review and “unboxing” channels to gain some exposure.
Of course, it’ll be a challenge to get ahold of these popular influencers, which is why you should start with those who’ve already shown their interest. Using a social media listening tool like Brand24 or SentiOne can help you kickstart your digging.
4. Speak Their Language
As you wait for a response from your target influencers, you can leap into conversations yourself by sharing your views on relevant issues. And if you want to pique the Gen Z’s interest, make sure to embrace their language and incorporate the type of content they love.
Memes, emojis, and animated GIFs must be part of your content strategy if you want them to listen. These elements can spice up any piece of content, regardless if its published on your blog or social media page.
Remember, the attention span of Gen Z consumers is measured at only 8 seconds on average — much more astonishing than the Millennial’s 12 seconds. This is when looking at brands that they have no clue about.
By sprinkling your content with visual elements, you have higher chances of grabbing their attention and keeping them focused until you convey your value propositions.
5. Be Multi-Platform
Finally, optimizing your digital presence for multiple platforms is the key to raising brand awareness.
As far as Gen Z consumers are concerned, they are sometimes considered as the only mobile-first generation in history. As such, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets should be the focal point of your brand’s digital front.
To get the ball rolling, here’s a quick checklist of being a multi-platform brand:
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly — both in appearance and performance
- Launch a newsletter campaign to take advantage of mobile push notifications
- If applicable, invest in a mobile app for your services
- Consider SMS marketing only with personalized and non-spammy messages
.You might also like:
- Managing Conflict Between Generations
- Uncensored Guide to Creating an Environment that Engages Millennials
Preparing for Gen Z consumers can be a daunting challenge. But as long as you keep up with their tech-savvy ways, you can always maintain your brand’s relevance by the time they take over.