The biggest differentiator between Gen Z and other generations before them is the life they’ve lived. They know that jobs aren’t secure, they understand that education doesn’t always mean success, and they know that there is more to life than work.
They watched their folks lose everything in the great recession, and they’ve learned to make do, so they also care about the value of the money they earn and spend. This means you’ll have to work even harder to turn your Gen Z audience into buyers.
1. Optimize for Mobile – No matter who your audience is, everything you do online now needs to be optimized for mobile first. Most people use mobile, and with over 75 percent of Gen Z using mobile first, you have your work cut out for you if you’ve not started this yet. If your audience opens an email and can’t get the CTA completed on the device they’re using, they won’t come back.
2. Study Your Gen Z Audience – Just like you study any audience to get to know more about them so that you can create relevant and relatable content for them, you should study this generation as much as you can. They’re still growing and evolving, and you need to do the same.
3. Work with Influencers Whose Audience Is Gen Z – Search for influencers on Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube that you can work with to help spread awareness of your brand. You can find smaller influencers who have fewer than 50K followers. Work with five to ten of them in on a rolling basis to get the word out.
4. Match Your Business Purpose with a Cause – Gen Z cares about causes, often more than they do money. Because of this, you must tie your business to a cause that this generation (and you) cares about, such as feeding America, environmental causes, animal-related issues, and more.
5. Showcase and Promote Your Entrepreneurial Values – After watching their parents lose it all during the great recession, and most never get it back, they know that jobs aren’t secure. You can’t fool them, so they’re very interested in entrepreneurship. The more you can express those types of values, the more relatable you’ll become.
6. Create More Meaningful Interactions – The touchpoints you create, such as landing pages, discovery calls, contests, and so forth, are all critical to advance your business due to the audience feeling as if the interactions mean something and aren’t all just about the sale. In other words, don’t stop just because you got the money.
7. Focus on Being More Relatable – Even if you’re in another generation, you can behave in a relatable way by merely being understanding of their way of thinking. Don’t try to talk down to them and don’t try to talk just like them, but do try to listen and show that you are listening.
8. Know Which Social Platforms Gen Z Uses and How – Generation Z uses social media differently and is using pretty much all the platforms. But they tend to use each platform differently than other generations. Study the metrics on your accounts to find out what information is best to share on each platform.
9. Create More Video-Focused Bite-Sized Content – Attention spans are short and are getting shorter. Gen Z doesn’t have time for a lot of nonsense, so get to the point and create content that can be consumed quickly. The content still needs to be full of information and actionable.
10. Show Your Audience You Care about Privacy – It may be due to the fact they were born with digital technology since they don’t know a time without internet-connected computers, but they know their actions aren’t private online. Reassure them often that you are not going to share their information and that you value privacy.
Once you do reach your Gen Z customers, if you’re honest, transparent, and do what you say you will, they will be loyal to you like none other. However, don’t underestimate this audience. They will fact check you, and they will demand higher ethics from you than any other generation. They won’t stay loyal if you don’t.