Generation Z – Who are they?
Even though there’s some debate on where exactly the line that separates Generation Z from Millennials lies, the most common consensus I found is the year 1995. Anyone born during or after the mid-90s to the early 2000s is the new young generation, whose older members are just now entering the workforce.
With these youngsters moving in and overtaking Millennials, companies are scrambling to understand them and figure out the correct strategies to communicate with them.
The most significant and unique aspect that defines these individuals is the fact that they are the first real “digital natives,” meaning that they were born into and grew up in a world of mobile devices, instant messaging, apps and social media. Gen Zers have never known a world without Internet access and having that at their fingertips everywhere they go means that they don’t distinguish between online and offline channels as much as the generations before them.
They are reported to have $44 billion in purchasing power, making them the new demographic to target for companies and businesses alike. To engage with Gen Zers and appeal to this new generation, companies will have to undergo a pretty big makeover in their marketing strategies as research indicates that Generation Z is nothing like their Millennial big brothers and sisters.
How can your blog appeal to Generation Z?
- Transparent and consistent branding: According to the Monster Multi-Generational Survey, Gen Zers appreciate authenticity in a company. Especially considering the transparency of the digital age and the unparallelled savviness this new generation possesses when it comes to technology, you have to make sure that your company goals, mission, and brand are consistent across all platforms and reflects in everything you do.
- Promote content where they are: Thanks to a helpful infographic by Adweek, we know that nearly all of Gen Zers use YouTube and half of them “can’t live without it”. This other one Immersive says that 73% of them use a social media app and, on average, they spend 9 hours a day consuming media. The name of the game is social media, especially YouTube and Snapchat. Another interesting tidbit found on Adweek’s contribution is that Gen Zers trust influencers more than they do “mainstream” celebrities and they’re very open to branded content as long as it’s disclosed beforehand.
- Make your blog accessible across multiple devices and platforms: Generation Z are by far, the most mobile generation, with 75% of them preferring their mobile phone or smartphone as their device of choice. At least according to IBM’s Uniquely Generation Z report, Gen Zers aged 19-21 make up the majority of smartphone users, while younger Gen Zers have access to a desktop computer or laptop.
- Guest posting: An oldie but a goodie, guest posting is a great content marketing strategy especially in the case of engaging the new generation. Who better than an actual Gen Zer to get other Gen Zers to read your company blog? They know what their generation likes, how to attract their attention and they will write it in their language, assuring that the message comes across loud and clear. Another reason to have a Gen Zer write for your company blog is that they want to be engaged with a brand. More than any other generation before them, they are open to sharing their opinions. In IBM’s Generation Z report, 42% said that they would participate in a product review. Gen Zers do want to be engaging in conversations with businesses; it would be wise if you let them do so.
- Change your language: Gen Zers are not the most patient of media consumers, in fact, they’re attention span is only 8 seconds long, so you have to be fast in getting to the point you want to communicate if you’re going to get your message across. They’re even more visual than their predecessors if you can believe it. Unlike their Millennial counterparts who preferred to text, Gen Zers communicate mainly with images and emoticons. They’re also master multitaskers, changing their focus from one screen to another and you will have to work hard to be granted even an ounce of their attention. To catch a Gen Zer’s eye and keep them engaged, a right way to start is changing up your layout. Make it more dynamic, throw in some videos and images, and avoid huge blocks of texts at all costs. Generation Z remembers 80% of what they see and only 10% of what they read so you have to get to the point and most of all, be creative and original.
Generation Z is coming. Right now, they’re just entering the workforce but by 2020, they will account for 40% of all consumers. This means that brands and companies will have to make an effort to understand and appeal to these individuals, as they did with Millennials, if they wish to succeed and stay in business in the next decade.
When you’re trying trying to attract Gen Zers to your company blog, it’s important to keep in mind the fact that these digital natives know the power of technology and the Internet. This means that companies must remember to keep their branding consistent, make their content available across all the platforms Gen Zers utilize (mostly mobile devices), and change their language to suit them. Gen Zers are visual creatures with a highly effective 8 second filter of information; if you want to get your message across you have to make sure you change the way you communicate.