We have long talked about Millennials AKA. Gen Ys, who were born approximately between 1980-1994. For years, we have focused our marketing strategies to attract these vastly unconventional and rather ‘eccentric’ group of people who grew up with the internet. However, as the last batch of Millennials already entered the workforce, marketers should now turn their eyes to the incoming Generation Z.
This is the first ever generation who will not know life before the internet and have been dubbed the iGeneration. Born approximately in 1995-2004, this generation is extremely comfortable with technology, especially social media. This is key for marketers because people in this generation spend most of their time on their smartphones, scrolling through pages worth of information, so to get to them, marketers will need to become proficient at social media marketing.
There are very distinct differences between the Millennials and Generation Z. While the Millennials were the ‘Me Generation’, meaning that they focused on self-nurturing, independence and individuality, Generation Z focuses on radical inclusion, which is the acceptance, empathy and well, the inclusion of others. Moreover, they have been exposed to so much information that they have learnt to sieve out information well. Being more satire, Generation Z seeks authenticity and credibility before making any decisions to accept or ignore what they are fed.
So how can marketers use these characteristics to their advantage?
1. Knowing Social Media Inside Out
While digital marketing is now quite instinctive as a marketer, social media marketing is a realm that is quite poorly understood by marketers of today. While digital marketing includes search engine optimisation (SEO), viral marketing and content marketing, social media marketing requires the combination of skills from all the above to convince their audience of their brand’s products.
They have a very high engagement of 2.7%, which is 4.8 times the engagement of a normal brand(based on randomly chosen 100 brands’ engagement rates). They have a loyal customer base of 2.1 million and enjoys a stable audience growth of 3.03%. Based in the US, Glossier successfully targets the American consumer, of 55.62% while also attracting customers in the UK and Canada. I also have an in-depth analysis of Glossier that might interest you if you are looking to build a brand that enjoys Glossier’s success.
2. Engage Nano-Influencers
As Gen Zs are very careful and critical about the information received, marketers need to add authenticity and personability to their marketing materials. Otherwise, Generation Z consumers will deem the material too cold and ‘fake’ and walk away.
Engaging in nano-influencers is imperative.
Huge celebrities like @KendallJenner are usually paid upwards to a million for a sponsored post on Instagram, thus many Gen Zs may feel like the celebrity has an agenda and the product instantly becomes non-credible.
Nano-influencers, on the other hand, has fewer followers but are also more niche towards a certain interest. If that interest aligns with the brand’s interest (IE: Beauty and skincare), then they are likely to love the brand’s product and will be able to give more authentic, organic posts that are trustworthy. Here are characteristics of nano influencers:
Apart from followers, nano-influencers have better engagement rates and are able to target a niche audience (local followers) than celebrities who are at the cream of the crop. This makes their content a lot more believable in the sense that there is little ulterior motive and people trust that they love the product.
Here is an example of a nano-influencer(<10k) vs. macro influencer(100k-500k) endorsing the same food and beverage brand A:
The latter is a nano influencer with 4,500 followers but only has 772 likes less than the macro influencer of 170k followers and only 13 comments less than the macro influencer despite being 2 tiers below in the tier list (Nano->Micro->Macro). I also attained engagement rates of the image for the two influencers calculated by total 100*(likes + total comments)/total amount of followers, which is where it gets interesting.
This matrix gives insights about how personable the influencer is and how much buzz the influencer’s post creates. The nano influencer brings in an astonishing image engagement of 44.2%, while the macro influencer only comes in with a 1.63% image engagement. That means that the nano-influencer brings in 27 times the engagement the macro influencer brings, which means a larger buyer conversion potential for the nano influencer.
Additionally, engaging in nano influencers provides message amplification. As nano influencers are less costly, brands can engage more of them. Consumers will likely be exposed to the same brand from differing nano influencers they follow repeatedly, giving higher message recall and thus, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
In all, nano influencers are more popular and yield better results when marketing to generation Z users who are always on Instagram, calling them to act in accordance with the brand’s objectives.
3. Campaigns Inviting Inclusiveness
Generation Z is driven by empathy and even, understanding of those different than themselves. Thus, they are more likely to support a brand that is in line with this consensus of understanding. By portraying itself as an inclusive brand that recognises diversity, a brand is more likely to do well. There are already many brands that hinge themselves on the celebration of diversity, such as Fenty Beauty (skin colour inclusive), Torrid (size Inclusive) and even Marriott Hotels (sexuality inclusive). Here is just an example of how inclusivity helps to increase business prospects of a brand:
The audience growth of cosmetic band X spiked up by 152k following the release of a wider shade range.
There were also increases in engagement rates during that period when consumers were visibly excited about the released, especially from consumers that could not buy the product before. This brand’s average engagement is 0.54%, however, during that period, it rose to 0.70%. A 0.20% increase is sizable for a brand of this calibre and it shows how inclusive campaigns like this one resonates with many Generation Z consumers.
The market is always evolving and thus, marketers always are always learning and researching on ways to meet the needs of the market. Hopefully, this article proved useful for those looking to find ways to market to the new generation of consumers.