The up and coming generation – the Gen Zs. As more of them are stepping into the workforce and enjoying increasing earning powers, marketers are interested in this new demographic.
Who are the Gen Zs? Generally, those who are born between 1997 and 2015 are considered Generation Z. This means that as of 2021, Gen Z consists of consumers ages 6-24.
What makes them different? | Gen Z influencer marketing
Gen Z is a distinct demographic group. While many might find them similar to the millennials, there are certain characteristics that are unique to Gen Zs. They are people who were born in a digital age.
They are highly adaptable to new technology. From the latest gadgets to new trends on social media, Gen Zs have been at the forefront of them all. Instead of traditional media like books and magazines, Gen Zs thrive on new and interesting forms of media.
This generation is no stranger to short catchy TikTok videos and aesthetic Instagram posts. The large digital consumption and their short attention span online have made them a distinct demographic. They are unlike their counterparts who may not have grown up in the digital age. In fact, statistics show that Gen Zs spend more than 10 hours online in a day. Among these 10 hours, close to 3 hours are spent on social media.
Gen Zs are used to accessing the plethora of information available on the internet. With a quick swipe of a few fingers, they are able to tune into events all around the world. Take for instance the recent military coup in Myanmar. Before traditional media outlets could report on the precise situation, many received information through online sources. From personal anecdotes of the citizens of Myanmar to real-time updates, information was widely shared on social media.
Therefore, what we have before us is an educated and informed generation. Gen Zs are comfortable with expressing their opinions and thoughts online. Gen Zs are apt at using their online to champion change. This can be seen from Greta Thurnberg the Swedish climate change activist, and closer to home, the environmental activist Ang Zyn Yee who started the straw-free movement. Gen Zs are opinionated despite their relative youth and are actively using digital media to advocate for causes close to their hearts.
How does Gen Z marketing work | Gen Z influencer marketing
Now that the distinct characteristics of Gen Z have been laid out, what implications do they have on our marketing campaigns?
Given their heavy use of the internet, it should not come as a surprise that 85% of Gen Zs hear and learn about new products through social media.
Now you might think, given Gen Zs heavy internet usage, should my brand tap into online advertisements then? Well, while the tech-savvy Gen Zs can be found online, many of them have installed ad-blockers. In fact, it may be said that the majority of this generation are aware of ad blockers and have installed them on their respective devices. After all, who would enjoy having to watch ads before being able to access social media content?
It appears that we have hit a snag in marketing to the Gen Zs. However, influencer marketing provides an alternative to traditional online advertisements. You can get an influencer to promote your product.
There are several benefits to Gen Z influencer marketing. Firstly, your brand will be associated with the influencer’s online persona. Secondly, influencers can use their online presence to spread awareness about your brand to Gen Zs, who are heavy users of social media. Given that 72% of Gen Zs and Millennials follow influencers, influencer marketing can be a great way to reach your target audience.
Thirdly, the use of influencer marketing acts creates an authentic marketing campaign where you are working with a typical consumer (the influencer) to promote the product. In a way, it is a personal review from the perspective of the influencer with regards to your brand and its products. Gen Zs often use the internet to conduct their research into a product. Therefore, these influencer reviews could be a point reference for this generation. Last but not least, you are also avoiding the ad blockers that Gen Zs have cleverly installed.
Tips to carry out a Gen Z influencer marketing campaign | Gen Z marketing
Being extremely digital savvy, the Gen Zs can easily spot falsehoods or inaccurate information in a marketing campaign. After all, a quick googling can fact check the claims a brand is making.
Therefore, do not try to hard-sell this generation on social media. Instead, content should be authentic and the ultimate goal of the campaign is for the engagement to be as organic as possible.
How do we then create an authentic Gen Z influencer marketing campaign? Awarding your influencers creative freedom could be a possible way to do so. Instead of mandating what your influencer needs to say about your brand online, let the influencer be creative with the content produced.
Doing so would allow the personal voice of the influencer to be apparent in the branded content. Making such content seem less like hard selling advertisements and more like authentic reviews from trusted influencers. That being said, do ensure that the influencer has an accurate understanding of your brand and product to ensure that content produced properly conveys the message of your Gen Z influencer marketing campaign.
Additionally, finding the relevant influencer is important. You can try collaborating with influencers with a large target audience from the Gen Z demographic. These are the influencers who are likely to be familiar with Gen Z jargon and would know what kind of content best attracts this generation.
In a nutshell, Gen Zs can seem like a tricky group to market to. However, influencer marketing is an alternative to convince these digital natives about your brand’s purpose and the impact your brand can bring to their lives.