Gen-Z is the rising generation of socially and environmentally aware consumers, so understanding how to engage them is key to growing your business into the future.
How much of the market is Gen Z?
The size of the generation is what gives it cultural influence and buying power. In fact, Gen Z makes up 20% of Australia’s population and almost 30% globally, positioning them as the largest generation ever.
Not sure where to begin? Read this guide for our top tips for optimising your marketing strategy to reach a younger audience.
Who is Gen Z?
The general consensus if that Gen Z refers to the generation born between 1997-2012, following the Millennials and preceding Gen Alpha.
With Facebook launching in 2004 and Instagram in 2010, Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up with social media and the internet. As a result, Gen Z utilises social media as a one-stop shop for all things regarding socialising, shopping and engaging with pop culture. They also use social media platforms to stay informed about news and headlines from around the world.
What are Gen Z buying the most?
What does all this mean for small businesses? As the most educated generation yet, the combined intellect and digital savviness of Gen Z means they are concerned about the business values of those they interact with. In fact, 6 in 10 Australian Gen Z consumers are willing to pay more for brands with a positive social impact. This means that characteristics such as inclusivity, authenticity and social responsibility are key to engaging a younger audience.
Another consideration for SMBs is the way in which Gen Zers value trust. Seventy-one percent stay loyal to businesses they trust and 59% will stop buying from a businesses they don’t trust. Trust can be established by prioritising customer satisfaction through a quality product or service, responding to queries in a timely manner and actively applying customer feedback.
Tips to capture the younger generation.
Over 95% of Gen Zers learn about new products and services via social media platforms, making it the ideal place to market your business and capture this audience. That also means putting your business on the platforms that Gen-Z engages with, such as TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.
When determining what content you will create to target Gen Z on these platforms, follow these rules for success:
1. Remain authentic and personable.
Gen Z’s digital savviness means they have a highly tuned radar for what’s real and what’s fake in news, culture and marketing. As a result, research suggests Gen Z prefers brands, companies and products that are authentic and trustworthy.
Eighty-two percent of this generation say they trust a business more if the content used in their marketing campaigns feature quotes or images from real-life customers. Small businesses can therefore benefit from being transparent and open through their online content, leveraging customer reviews or content created by customers to build trust.
Content that fosters human connection can also work to make your business appear more authentic, so get creative with a people-first approach to your marketing. Some content ideas include:
- Behind-the-scenes videos
- Interviews with staff/customers
- Influencer content
2. Be accountable.
Accountability also plays a part in the brand trust that is so important to Gen Zers. In the case of any missteps, it’s crucial to hold your hands up and publicly address what is being done to rectify the situation.
This follows through to how you approach customer service as a whole. Forty-one percent of Gen Z consumers say they would buy from a brand that delivers timely, responsive customer service.
Whether you respond to queries privately via email or publicly via social media and customer reviews, it’s important that customers feel like they’re being heard and their respective issues addressed.
Understandably, replying to negative commentary can sometimes be daunting. The key to handling a bad review is to acknowledge the customer’s feedback, apologise for the misstep, and share the steps that have been taken to address the issue. Read more on getting the most out of online reviews.
3. Show your fun side.
With 65% of Gen Z accessing the Internet for entertainment, this is the perfect place to show the fun side to your business. Think of humorous and light-hearted ways to capture the attention of your younger audience, such as:
- Jumping on song and audio trends
- Creating memes
- Responding to relevant tweets
- Running contests or giveaways
- Using emojis
- Humanising your captions
4. Uphold brand values.
Gen Z is a value-conscious generation that expects the brands they engage with to be showing social and corporate responsibility.
In fact, 55% of the Gen Z population choose socially responsible and eco-friendly brands.
One way to address this is to talk about your ethical, environmentally-conscious and social values in your marketing content. It provides a platform for you to shout about any great work you are participating in, such as fundraising or a shift towards more ethical and sustainable ways of working: i.e. using local suppliers. It also gives your audience a deeper insight into who you are at your core.
Now you have a good idea of the type of content that will engage your younger audience, it’s time to think about how you might promote it.