Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Generation Z is that it is the first generation that has grown up with constant access to the Internet. As Deloitte’s report “Welcome to Generation Z” says, this generation is the densest on earth, more than a third of the world’s habitants belong to it. Perhaps, this data is enough for brands to ask themselves who they are and what the Z want and here we intend to clarify it.
It is logical to describe the Z as a concerned generation. In the first place, the 9/11 attacks and the rise of terror have grown in parallel. As if this were not enough, a few years later, they had to live through the 2008 economic crisis, and many saw how their parents lost their jobs or faced severe financial problems. Last but not least, Gen Zs, being the youngest and for whom confinement has made it more difficult, have been singled out during the pandemic and blamed many times for their behaviour.
According to the most recent studies, climate change is the issue that most concerns the Zs.
As explained in our latest white paper about Consumer Trends, 62% of Gen Zs are more inclined to purchase from sustainable brands and take into high consideration the ethical
stands of companies when they are purchasing from them.
Gen Zs have other concerns such as pay for their work, job flexibility, and race and gender issues. In a way, due to the ecosystem’s fragility in which they have grown up, Z’s are more security-seeking, pragmatic and less idealistic than previous generations.
NEW COMMUNITIES ARE BUILT
Undoubtedly, Gen Zs consume the most online entertainment. YouTubers, influencers and Twitchers are a phenomenon of their generation. They are not only interested in them because of the content they offer but also because they see them as an aspiration. Thus, what their idols consume is what they are willing to consume, and the way brands must communicate now is essentially how their heroes communicate.
Content creators are experts at creating communities where conversations take place. Gen Zs conversations are happening more and more in smaller and more loyal communities. Discord is the platform that better proves this trend. More Gen Zs join this platform every day; it’s the Slack of gen Zers.
Discord’s new communities are the tipping point for brands since a critical part of the Gen Zs conversation is happening on private servers. Therefore, brands will have to reinforce their speech to enter these communities; only the authentic and remarkable brands will enter.
GEN Zs AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Gen Zs use social media to create connections, consume multimedia, play games, and share content. In addition, 8 out of 10 users state that they follow a brand on social media. The sectors with the most relevant content for users are entertainment, culture, media, travel or transport. 27% of Z users say that a brand with a social media profile inspires them more trust, and, for this reason, many request information through these platforms before making a purchase. In addition, they are also willing to provide personal information to make their shopping and usage experience more positive and do not find it uncomfortable to see advertising that matches their tastes.
Gen Zs are fans of several different social platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, Twitch and Snapchat. The majority of Gen Zs spend several hours a day on social media. Instagram remains the most popular platform, with 90% having an account. TikTok and Snapchat follow with 80% each, while YouTube lags with 79%.
How to get Gen Zs on TikTok?
TikTok engages the most among Gen Z. Gen Zs use this platform for entertainment and knowledge about the reality surrounding them.
Although many other platforms deliver the same type of content, TikTok’s aesthetic and video style makes it more appealing to young people. It is a less polished platform where users tend to consume and post content.
Gen Zs want to celebrate diversity, move away from labels, and project their lifestyle on TikTok.
How to get Gen Zs on Snapchat?
A difference between TikTok and Snapchat is that Snapchat is all about the moment. The content on this social media platform disappears after 24 hours, so users are there for raw and honest, natural content. There are several ways to reach your audience on Snapchat; you need to think about providing a personalized experience, engage frequently and play with them. Games are a massive draw between this younger generation, so you will be able to reach your audience by using gamification effectively.
How to get Gen Zs on Instagram?
Gen Zs find this platform as a perfect source of knowledge and entertainment. They follow celebrities and accounts that offer them an opinion and a point of view other than just a lifestyle.
Suppose you are willing to reach Gen Zs on Instagram. In that case, you should consider that your brand must partner with an influencer. Your account must be well-curated, focus on quality, not quantity, and always leverage your visuals and aesthetics.
How to get Gen Zs on Youtube?
Youtube manages to engage with all age demographics. If you are willing to focus on a younger generation such as Gen Zs, you must remember that this generation is looking for authentic content, talking less, and acting more. Youtube has a very defined role in marketing and communication strategy. Youtube is the platform where Gen Zs attend to see a recap of their favourite Twitch channel or their favourite Netflix series. Youtube is the platform from where Gen Zs can start their social media journey or where they can end it. If you are willing to reach out to this new generation on Youtube, you will have to personalize your content, listen to the audience and their interests, and speak to them in their own language. Keep it short and sweet, and especially on to the point.
BRANDS GOING DARK TOO
While Gen Zs use social media daily, they are also acutely aware of its counterproductive effects. D&V Mazinn’s “Spoilers” study states that 95% of Gen Zs in 2021 have decided to disconnect completely. Hyper Connectedness and the excess of information or advertisements are why Gen Zs find social media stressful.
Nadia Tuma-Weldon, lead of global luxury practice at McCann Worldgroup, said: “There’s much pressure to capture a young audience. Every marketer is just scrambling to figure out how to get their attention. If you work in fashion, your competition is not the next clothing or shoe brand; it’s the entire internet.”
The brand Balenciaga or Kylie Cosmetics have recently joined the Going Dark trend, deleting all their posts on their platforms. To bring hype to their new collections, both brands decided to erase previous work and campaigns on their social media, emphasizing their latest work.
This trend generates some debate, and advertisers will have to consider it if they want to impact Gen Zs. There is too much information out there, and sometimes we must keep it short and sweet to reach our audience. Gen Zs are looking for quality advertising content that provides something other than the obvious. Being pushy on social media can compromise our image as a brand.
Let’s say that “sustainable advertising” is necessary to reach these new consumers
TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT
Gen ZS require special and sensitive attention from brands; they want to feel brands consider them and listen to their requirements. They are looking for authenticity and loyalty; they are looking for brands with established values similar to their own. As a brand, we must listen to and understand them, value their opinions and preferences in each campaign, position ourselves wherever they can reach us, and always remain authentic to ourselves.