Born between the mid-90s and the early 2010s, Generation Z is starting to flex its purchasing power, and businesses need to start paying attention – if they aren’t already.
As a basic rule of thumb, you can think of Millennials as the first generation to grow up with the internet and Gen Z as the first generation to grow up with social media and mobile devices. The youngest Gen Zers probably can’t even remember a world without touchscreens. Raised with The Scroll, Gen Zers tend to have shorter attention spans and place more value on quick visual scans.
In addition to technological differences, there are broad cultural differences. By and large, Millennials tend to be aspirational and idealistic. They came of age in the 90s and early 2000s, when the internet made anything seem possible. Gen Z, on the other hand, were shaped by the 2008 economic collapse and following recession. They tend to prefer keep-it-100 authenticity over you-can-do-anything-you-want platitudes.
Obviously, these are broad strokes and all generations are tapestries of different personalities and sub-cultures. For businesses looking to market to a young audience, this can make for a daunting challenge. At Step Out Buffalo, we have some experience when it comes to getting a business in from of a young audience. Below are a few recommended tips.
Be on TikTok and Instagram
Let’s get this out of the way: Every business needs to have a strong digital presence. Millennials and Gen Z view the world through the prism of a smart phone. If it can’t be found on Google, Facebook and Instagram, your business may as well not exist.
That said, there’s definitely an age divide when it comes to social media. Older generations tend to prefer Facebook, while Millennials and Gen Z show a much stronger preference for Tiktok and Instagram.
If you’re looking to appeal to the younger set, these two platforms are a must. Each one has its own set of unspoken rules, so go slowly if you’re a noob. A pro move is to get someone with solid TikTok and Insta skills to run these accounts for your business.
Jump on Trends
Trends spread like wildfire these days and if your company ignores trends, you run the risk of seeming out of touch, especially to younger audiences.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t jump on every trend that comes along. Try to jump on trends that appear to have real staying power. For instance, switching away from plastic bags and containers was once a trend, but now it’s an expectation for most customers.
Use Organic Micro Influencer Campaigns
Considered to be anybody who has between 1,000 and 100,000 followers on any social platform, “micro-influencers” have been found to drive more engagement on social media than celebrities, likely because they are more relatable. Research has indicated that once someone has more than 100,000 followers, their engagement levels have a tendency to drop off.
On top of driving more engagement, micro influencers are almost seven times more cost efficient than influencers with bigger social followings.
If you are going the micro influencer route, authenticity is key. It helps to think of a campaign more in terms of a collaboration or partnership. While Millennials and Gen Xers may have bought into clever product placements and staged photos, Gen Z seem to be savvier, and campaigns that feel unnatural or underhanded run the risk of backfiring with younger audiences.
Engage, Engage, Engage
Genuine engagement is critical when targeting younger audiences. Studies have indicated that an overwhelming majority of Gen Zers want companies to respond to questions and feedback. They view responsiveness as a main driver of their opinion on a brand.
When receiving positive feedback, try to respond in a way that doesn’t feel a one-size-fits-all reply, as this can seem inauthentic. For negative feedback, your response should acknowledge the issue and mention the step you are taking to resolve it.
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At Step Out Buffalo, we help businesses promote themselves and their events on our website, email, and social media channels. Our team is comprised of experts who know exactly how to make your business or event stand out, and we’ll put you in all the right places so you get noticed by all the right people. Hit us up if you’d like to learn more about our business and/or events-based promotions – there’s a reason 94% of our readers go places they’ve seen on StepOutBuffalo.com