5 Ways to Reach Gen Z Audiences

Believe it or not, Millennials are no longer the youngest generation of “real adults.” Gen Z, or those born during or after 1996, now have real purchasing power as the oldest among them have spent a couple of years in the workforce. For marketers, this group presents a new challenge as their media habits aren’t quite the same as their generational predecessors.


1. Find an Influencer

When you hear the words “social media influencer,” the natural reaction is to think of those 18-20 year-olds who are bringing in million of dollars on an annual basis, just for pushing a few different cosmetic or health and nutrition products on their social channels. Chances are these YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok celebrities aren’t going to be affordable with your current marketing budget. The good news? You can still use influencers effectively without spending a fortune.

Smaller brands have been using micro-influencers to get their message in front of their ideal audience. This strategy isn’t just effective when it comes to selling makeup or weight-loss teas. A number of platforms can help you get connected with influencers of all ages and interests. You’re able to view their profiles, get detailed explanations of their follower demographics, and most importantly, negotiate a price that you can afford.

Don’t think that social media influencing is only for the big brands. If you take the time to find the right person for the job, it could be the part of your marketing strategy with the highest ROI.

2. Ditch Facebook, Take Up TikTok

First and foremost, I’m not trying to disparage the giant that is Facebook. The platform still has plenty of utility for brands who have customers that cross different demographic gaps. Not to mention, the cost-effectiveness of a Facebook ad campaign (if you know what you’re doing) is as good as it gets. With all that being said, if you’re trying to get in front of 18-22 year-olds, you might want to consider another social media platform…you guessed it, TikTok.

There’s no denying that the short-form video app has taken over, and that the age of its core user-base makes Instagram users feel like they’re getting old. Advertisers who want to maximize the full potential of TikTok need to create content that feels native to the platform, with a focus on being entertaining or at the very least, instructional and informative.

If you don’t feel confident in your ability to put together TikTok creative that you feel is up to the standard of other brands in your industry, there are an endless number of micro influencers who will be more than happy to do it for you.

3. Incorporate Humor

Brands should have a personality. Generic marketing copy might be enough to get by, but if you really want to stand out in your industry, scratching your funny bone once in awhile can go a long way into not only getting attention from users, but getting committed to memory. Consumers want to buy from brands with which they relate, and the more like a “real person” your messaging sounds, the better response you’ll get from your audience.

Instead of thinking of copywriting as writing for a brand, think of it as if you are the brand, personified. If you need some inspiration, look no further than Wendy’s legendary Twitter feed. There’s no question that the amount of engagement and positive brand feelings they’ve generated with their snarky, light-hearted, and undeniably fun content is immeasurable. It might feel like you’re taking a risk when you wade into the world of “edgier content,” but this strategy should be effective with younger audiences.

4. Get Into Podcasts

It’s hard to point to one moment in time when the enthusiasm for podcasts started to build, but there’s no denying that their popularity has reached an all-time high. If you’re like most, you have a handful of go-to shows that you visit on a regular basis. Whether you’re into sports, comedy, pop culture, or literally anything at all, there’s a podcast that discusses your interests. And that’s exactly why podcast advertising has become such an effective component of the digital marketer’s playbook.

Whether it’s via Spotify’s ad platform or an actual deal with a podcast in which the host reads your spot, reaching your audience is can be as simple as identifying which podcasts they’re interested in. Making a post on social in which you ask your followers to comment with their favorite podcasts can be a valuable case study that can help shape your marketing plan in the future.

5. Be Socially Aware

Throughout the past few years we’ve seen brands take strong positions on everything from racial equality, police reform, environmental concerns, and several other “causes” of our time. For some, the effort has paid off (Nike’s use of Colin Kaepernick certainly did), but the fear of pushback is enough to keep less-established brands from taking a stance. Now, I’m not suggesting that you nee to get political – in fact, it’s probably best not to alienate anyone in your potential customer base. However, when there’s an issue that just about everyone can get behind (the environment, for example), younger audiences prefer brands that amplify the message.

Now more than ever, consumers are making purchasing decisions with a conscience. They want to support brands that they feel are doing positive things in their communities, and part of this includes bringing light to important topics that might have been ignored by companies a decade ago.


Wrapping Up

The main advantage of advertising to younger generations is that just about all of them are using some form of social media. All you need to do is put together a strategy that finds them where they’re already spending time. Combine that with compelling creative that doesn’t feel like advertising (i.e. influencers), and the potential is limitless.

If your brand needs help putting together a creative strategy or developing a marketing plan that reaches your potential customers, get in touch today to find solutions.