Marketing teams have been obsessing over how to generate leads and increase sales within the Millennial generation. However they should really be looking further ahead, to the next generation: Generation Z.
Generation Z follows the Millennials and is currently anyone in between the ages of 10 and 18. This post Internet generation is the first of it’s kind and unlike any other generation. They have been raised on digital media, they understand and utilize technology to it’s fullest potential and they spend more time on their phones, tablets, or computer than they do watching TV or spending time outdoors. These unique qualities make this generation a subtle beast for marketers to take on.
How do you market to a generation that, apparently, knows everything or at least has the immediate access to any information they want? How do you market to an audience that is able to switch their focus in seconds from one piece of content to another? How do you catch their eye, maintain their attention and get them to support your brand?
The answers are simpler than we think. Here is what Generation Z wants and expects to see in your marketing campaign:
Generation Z has been accused of having shorter attention spans, when actually they simply want to access good quality content quickly. This causes them to filter through the endless stream of advertisements rapidly and efficiently; forcing marketers to attempt to grab their attention is a shorter time frame. Video does just this.
According to an infographic provided by Contently, Generation Z’s all-time favorite website is YouTube. The videos are easy to digest, getting brands’ points and concepts across easily in a short time period, while keeping the younger generation’s attention with visuals, graphics or realistic personas.
According to the same infographic mentioned above, 34% Generation Z prefers to be reached by brands through social media. Buzzfeed reported in a study by BaseCrate that only 23% of their site’s traffic came from the website itself, the majority of it arriving through social media channels, namely Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Social media has been the king of marketing for the Millennial generation as well, but it is expected to rise to a new, unprecedented height with the influence of Generation Z. This generation is more likely to click on a native advertisement, brand related content, or buy a product if it is promoted by social influencers within these sites, is found somewhere on their social feeds or is featured in an image from an account they already follow.
Generation Z wants to become brand advocates which requires their participation within the brand’s digital experience or the content that the brand releases. They want to be able to showcase their support for their favorite brands, whether its through social media channels, blogs, "YouTube" videos or word of mouth.
Interactive content allows this generation to do what they love best by taking on a role within their favorite brands by offering feedback, participating in games and challenges or simply engaging with the brand and their products. It also allows marketing teams to create content that more closely relates to this generation and furthering their engagement and loyalty with the brand.
Virtual reality has made more than a couple of show-stopping appearances this year and it is going to continue amazing its participants throughout the years to come, especially Generation Z.
According to a recent study by Greenlight VR and Touchstone Research 79% of Internet users that have an active interest in virtual reality fall into Generation Z. Marketing teams at large corporations, including “McDonald’s” and “Disney”, that are consistently targeting Generation Z are joining the virtual reality craze and greatly increasing their investment in virtual experiences for their customers.
To capture the fleeting eye of the next generation it is important that marketers stay up to date with what these, now kids, consumers love to see utilized: technology. They were raised on touch screens, the Internet, videos, reality TV, streaming, video games and other content that requires a new level of engagement. Marketers are going to have to incorporate that level of engagement within their modern marketing campaigns to capture Generation Z members as well as the future generations.
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