How to Successfully Market to Gen Z

Sep 30, 2021 — Markerly Editorial Team, 4 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When it comes to today’s economy, Gen Z is one of the most influential groups. They make up 40% of consumers in the U.S. and have a spending power of over $140 billion, so it is important to know how to gain their interest and support in your brand. In order to effectively reach this generation, it is imperative to know where to find them, what their values are and how to authentically connect.

Social Media Platforms – Instagram and Tiktok

Gen Z dominates TikTok. While other demographics frequent the platform, 62% of all U.S. TikTok users are between the ages of 10 and 29 — which means that Gen Z and younger Millennials are the dominant group. One of the reasons TikTok is so popular is because it seemed to fill the void that Vine left. Users all over the world began finding a sense of community and entertainment on the app, and it only became more popular once the pandemic hit. Many posts end up going viral, which can be a huge benefit for your brand. 

There are multiple methods that can increase your chances of receiving significant engagement with your posts — use popular audios, include relevant or trending hashtags, and post at popular times. TikTok is particularly unique from other apps in terms of atmosphere. It is mainly composed of fun, relatable, and authentic content. Some examples include pop culture references, dances, storytimes, memes, and more. This gives brands an opportunity to share its human side and connect authentically with its audience. 

A great example is Paper Magazine’s account. It is full of news stories, beauty videos, and other content. However, they also post memes and comedic videos that bring a large amount of traction to their profile, mainly because it’s a pleasant and unexpected change from the business account’s typical content..

Gen Z prefers to use Instagram rather than Facebook, and for good reason. It is a space where they are able to express themselves through imagery and connect with others. The culture on Facebook is different and might not appeal to many Gen Z users because of the high amount of older people who use the app. On Instagram, it is easier to find other people and content that relates to the younger demographic. The app is a great tool to show off your brand visually, since that is what Instagram is mainly about. Having a consistent feed (such as a color scheme or a strategic layout) will make your brand’s account visually appealing and more intriguing. Using relative hashtags will help your post become more discoverable, and utilizing the “story” feature can help communicate with your audience more than an actual post. 

Gen Z’s values

The main idea to keep in mind is that Gen Z users highly value authenticity. They are much less trusting of brands than previous generations, so it is important to be open and honest with them. The company needs to act authentically in its choices. Since Gen Z is the generation that grew up with social media and mobile technology, they know how to verify information and hold brands accountable — and they do this with their wallet. They do not like when brands are “all talk, no action.”

Gen Z individuals create content across multiple platforms and participate in current trends. Participating in these trends is a great way to connect with this audience and gain interest, but you have to do it in an authentic manner. There have been many times where a brand has been late to a trend or uses outdated language, and it comes across as inauthentic or out of touch. It’s important to stay on top of what Gen Z users are talking about or participating in and jump on the opportunity before it is too late.

Gen Z also loves to have a say in a conversation. They want to truly be heard, and it is important for your brand to give them a voice. Show that you really care about what they think and request feedback. Many brands utilize user data in order to help with product development, which can resonate with consumers because many enjoy being a part in the evolution of a brand and its products. Glossier, a beauty brand, is beloved by many — and part of their success stems from staying so engaged with their customers through social media. Their followers are encouraged to share feedback and ideas, leading to new consumer directed products, or make current products even better.. 

Main Takeaways

While Gen Z is on many different social media platforms, TikTok and Instagram are at the forefront. On TikTok, focus on showing the human side of your brand by participating in trends or creating entertaining content, but make sure not to come off as out of touch or inauthentic. Instagram is a highly visual app, so make sure your profile is appealing to the eye and sleek. Gen Z highly values authenticity and communication, so be open and honest with them. Make your account a place for conversations among your audience to thrive, and make sure to listen to and utilize what they have to say. 

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