Who falls into the category of Generation Z?
Generation Z defines those born after 1995. These are usually the younger siblings of Millenials (1984-1995). Those siblings that grew up with a mobile phone in hand, watched interactions between older siblings and their parents with a focused attitude. These are the kind of children that grew up to become Generation Z.
What does this mean for marketers and small business owners?
Based on new research, Goldman Sachs recently stated that “Gen Z matters more than Millennials.” These digital natives—generally classified as consumers born between 1998 and 2008—now represent 22 percent of the U.S. population, putting them right behind millennials (23 percent) and ahead of Gen X (21 percent). By 2020, they’ll make up a staggering 40 percent of all consumers.
For small business owners and marketers, it means more creative and targeted ads that are attention-grabbing and get to the point quickly. If you think attracting the attention of millennials was hard, just wait for Generation Z. Generation Z is the generation that lives online. They are less likely to be on social media sites like Facebook but more likely to be active on Instagram or Pinterest. Your company must be able to branch out across multiple platforms and find the best strategy to attract and keep their attention. While millennials bounce between 1-3 screens daily (cell phone, laptop, and tablet), generation Z bounces between 5 (desktop, tablet, cell phone, laptop, and tv).
6 ways marketers and business owners can connect with Generation Z:
- 63 percent of Gen Z want marketing from ‘real’ peopleA survey conducted last year by digital agency Deep Focus found that 63 percent of Gen Z prefers to see “real” people in ads, while just 37 percent favor celebrities. And close to 70 percent are more interested in content with a “realistic ending” rather than a polished but unlikely narrative.
Swift, a creative agency based in Portland, calls Gen Z “walking ad blockers primed to avoid content that is not a trusted connection.” Winning them over matters, though, because 93 percent of parents say their Gen Z kids influence family spending decisions and household purchases.
- 79 percent of Gen Z is interested in VRGen Z loves digital video on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, to the point they’re now watching considerably more internet video than TV. The next technology to consume them, however, will be virtual reality.
According to a study conducted by Greenlight VR and online research firm Touchstone Research, 79 percent of U.S. internet users 10 to 18 are interested in VR—six percentage points more than millennials.
“It’s the ultimate empathy machine,” Gutterman said. “It does more than just entertain, it deeply educates and inspires people on an emotional level in a way that less sensory communication methods can’t.”
- You have 8 seconds to engage themIt’s been said that Gen Z has “highly evolved eight-second filters” for content. But that doesn’t mean they can’t, or won’t, pay attention to worthwhile content. Collectively’s Tonner points out that this is the same generation known for watching hours of live video-game streams and 20-minute YouTube beauty tutorials through to the end.
“A lot of people are making really beautiful things deserving of that attention,” Gutterman explained. “That’s why they’re flipping. These are people with different expectations.”
- Think fast
With so many demands and options to choose from, today’s youth seem to value their time more than their predecessors. It’s not that youth have a short attention span. Many millennials and Gen Z read thousands of pages of Harry Potter, and they’ll binge watch half a season of a TV show in a single sitting, but content can lose their interest in an instant.“Brands need to get to the point quickly,” said Jordan Gonen, a writer and growth consultant. “Otherwise, Gen Z will move on. They know they’ve got plenty of other choices.”
- Don’t Create Ads — Create ValueIf you think the millennial generation has an effective filter for promotional content, multiply that tenfold for the Gen Z demographic.
Gen Zers are the first generation that has never known life without easy Internet access and mobile technology. As a result, they are the most technologically fluent generation thus far, and they recognize the value of their attention. They don’t sit through ads. They don’t give heavily sponsored content the time of day. What they’re looking for is value.
They want resources, channels, and profiles that give them what they’re looking for, whether that is entertainment, knowledge or tutorials. If you put too many gates in front of them, they won’t even bother complaining. They’ll just move on and find the next great resource.
- You Can’t Just Talk About Being An Industry Leader, You Have To Actually Look The PartWhat terrifies so many brands and businesses about the younger generation is their inherent knowledge of the Internet’s nonverbal language. If your mobile website looks like it was made 10 years ago, it doesn’t matter what your message is—you look old.
Gen Z doesn’t want to hear about how much of an “industry leader” you are. They judge with their eyes first. Your website needs to work on a cell phone—and work well. Your profile picture needs to look recent. Your header image needs to be crisp and clean.
Your content needs to be engaging. Gen Zers are pros at the game of the Internet, and it doesn’t matter if your business has been around for 20 years; if you look unprofessional and out of style, you won’t hold their attention for more than a second.
Thank you for reading!
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