How to Market to Gen Z

Gen Z often seems to be an enigma for earlier generations. They are activists, creators, go-getters and incredibly tech-savvy. With their representation of self prominent on social media, Gen Zers are becoming an increasingly important group of consumers who will help shape the future in technology and the way we interact through social media. It is a bit naive for brands to refer to them as simply ‘tweens’ or ‘teens’; they are a crucial consumer group that brands should not neglect.

Gen Z is a unique cohort when it comes to social media. According to the Deep Focus report, Gen Z compared to the earlier generations, prefer products over experiences. They prefer brands to reach them by social media as opposed to traditional forms of advertising. This means that to target the Gen Z, brands have to understand the platforms in which Gen Z presents themselves and also the content in which they find appealing. Brands must cater their products, goods, services and experiences to this ever evolving generation and should not have a one-size-fits-all mentality.

Tik Tok, previously known as, is a video app boasting over 500 million global monthly active users, with an audience comprising mostly of teens and ‘tweens’. The app allows users to record themselves lip-syncing to popular songs and audio clips. Viewers can scroll through their feed and find 15 seconds video clips of addictive and creative visual content one after the other. To appeal to a larger group of audiences, Tik Tok added more features within the app last year to establish itself as a social video platform. According to Upfront Analytics, Gen Z appreciates storytelling, visual displays and has an attention span of 8 seconds on average. Furthermore, Gen Z watches 2x as many videos online and on mobile than any other generation. With the shift towards a more visual social landscape, Tik Tok has become an extremely relevant platform for Gen Z and beyond. Companies such as Viacom, NBC Universal, Hearst Magazine and most recently GUESS have jumped on the Tik Tok bandwagon

When it comes to marketing to Gen Z, brands should ensure that they identify the correct social platforms and which type of content to use before promoting and marketing their products. Gen Z prefers Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube over apps such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The following questions are helpful guidelines to take note of before starting a campaign targeting Gen Z on Tik Tok.

1. What is currently trending online?

Tik Tok is known for its ‘challenges’ such as #InMyFeelings, #PandaCrunch etc., in which viewers are asked to film activities related to the challenge and edit them in a creative way within the platform. This past week, GUESS launched its very first Tik Tok campaign called #InMyDenim, where they asked influencers to show theirviewers how they transform their outfit from ‘mess to best-dressed’ and challenged their viewers to do the same. Within a couple days, the campaign generated more than 6000+ interactions from viewers.

2. Is your content innovative and does it promote interaction?

On Tik Tok, you won’t see many product placements in the form of testimonials or reviews. Brands are more likely to succeed if the posted video content is creative, unique, visually captivating and not centered around describing the product. Most importantly, the content should invite interactions from viewers.

3. When it comes to product pitching, is the content easily understood and to the point, and does it provide a visual experience?

Attention spans are decreasing through generations. Collaborating with influencers who can convey a message thoroughly within a 15 second video while keeping their content entertaining and innovative is crucial to launching a successful campaign on Tik Tok.

4. Is there a continuous dialogue and interaction between the content creators and their audiences?

One of the most important KPIs when choosing content creators on Tik Tok is their engagement. Gen Z are in general more likely to comment and respond to influencers. Therefore, when choosing a Tik Tok content creator, one must ensure that interaction is high in relation to their following and that the comments are qualified.

With their spending power increasing as they go into the workforce, the tech savvy younger generation is becoming an extremely powerful consumer group. Luckily, capturing the attention of today’s youth is no longer as elusive as it seems. With proper analytics and a goal to create captivating and innovative video content, marketers can target campaigns to this group and leverage brand awareness on video platforms such as Tik Tok. Reach out to PULSE now to plan your next Gen Z campaign.

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash