You know all about the baby boomers, and you’re up to speed on millennials – but how much do you know about Generation Z? To save you a bit of time, we’ll give you a quick crash course. Sometimes known as zoomers, Generation Z is the generation immediately succeeding millennials, with their birth dates ranging from anywhere between the mid-1990s all the way up to the early 2010s. Achieving success when marketing to Generation Z requires quite a different mindset – just as with any other target market, you need to know your audience, especially when you’re investing time and money into LED digital screens.
So before you kick off your campaign, here’s what you need to know about Gen Z, and what your top priorities should be when marketing to them.
A few key things to remember about Generation Z
Although there’s obviously a bit of overlap with millennials (the exact boundaries of each ‘demographic cohort’ tend to be a bit fuzzy), Generation Z have a couple of key defining characteristics that sets them apart from their older peers. The most crucial of those is their relationship with technology.
Specifically, Generation Z is the first social generation to have grown up with the internet and access to portable digital technology from a very young age. That means they’re wise to a lot of the hard sales techniques and snappy headlines that have been the go-to methods for ages, having seen them in social media timelines on an almost daily basis.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use snappy headlines or hard sales, of course, but what it does mean is that Generation Z buyers tend to be more sceptical of what advertisements tell them, and research has consistently shown they tend to like thoroughly researching products before buying them, especially when it comes to bigger purchases.
In fact, that ties neatly onto our next point: Generation Z is a lot more risk averse than older generations, and like millennials, they’re particularly keenly aware of their prospects around jobs and home ownership. That means they’re often naturally more cautious than their older peers, and less prone to impulse purchases – so you need to be even more precise and articulate in giving them reasons to buy from you.
Tip #1 – Be very selective with your brand representatives
When you’re choosing the human face of your campaign – whether they’re influencers or models for your advertisements – it’s worth making sure that they’re relatable figures for your audience. That means you’ll need to use people who look like they’ll share (or at least understand) the beliefs, values and even struggles of your audience.
That means, for example, bearing in mind what your audience might think of their age, appearance, or even potential income. They may not respond positively to someone who’s perceived as too old, polished or overly professional on your advertisements if you’re trying to grow bookings for a music festival, for example.
Similarly, if you’ve decided to use an influencer, make sure that they have a specialist audience in your specific sector – whether that’s beauty and fashion, electronics, mechanics, gaming, or something else. Make sure to look into their career histories too, and check to see if there are any controversies or conscious choices which may end up reflecting poorly on your company.
Tip #2 – Focus on social media
If you’ve spent time on our blog before here at Scanlite, you might have already seen our post on creative ways to build customer relationships. If so, you’ll already know a bit about how effective social media can be at engaging your target audience, and that goes doubly so for Generation Z. According to research from Ofcom in 2019, 70-74% of Generation Z have had a social media profile from as young as 12.
That means it’s well worth taking the time to identify exactly which social media platforms that your target audience may be using, and how you can integrate them into your campaigns. (At the very least, you should at least consider whether making an account for your business!)
TikTok is obviously one of the most popular and fastest-growing platforms for young people, as well as Facebook, Snapchat and Depop. TikTok is certainly well worth considering, as it can provide you with some excellent video content that you can utilise for your digital LED screens (more on video in a moment).
Tip #3 – Make good use of peer testimonials
As we’ve touched upon above, the internet savviness of Generation Z means that they’ve grown up with clickbait and they’ll be wise to cheap or potentially deceptive marketing tactics, especially with offers that might not be all that they first appear. (For example, significant price markups in the run-up to the launch of a major offer, so the ‘huge discounts’ that follow allow the business to benefit from boosted sales at regular prices. It’s a trick that’s pretty well known by now, but still lots of companies try it!)
Peer testimonials are the perfect antidote to this. Generation Z buyers might be more sceptical of taglines and corporate copy, but they place a lot more store in the word of their peers. That means peer testimonials and customer reviews from existing young customers are worth their weight in gold when it comes to marketing to Generation Z.
Not only do they make great content for your LED screens, but it’s worth making sure to carefully manage them on your website too, as that’s likely the natural next step on the buying journey for most your target audience after they’ve seen your initial advertisement. Remember, Generation Z makes a lot fewer impulse purchases and does a lot more research before they commit to buying, so greater numbers of customer reviews can easily end up being what gives you the edge over your competitors!
Tip #4 – Prioritise video
Here’s a quick fact for you – according to Google, 85% of Generation Z uses video when researching products, having grown up with on-demand access to video reviews and product demonstrations on YouTube and other platforms. They’re used to seeing what a product or service looks like, how it works, and what it can do – and they’ll sometimes want to know all that before they commit to a purchase.
That’s also exactly why they tend to react so positively to sharp, engaging video advertisements, especially if they feature recognisable or relatable faces. That’s the perfect kind of material for your digital LED screens! Generation Z often respond particularly well to content that’s fast-paced, witty and vibrant, but they’ll also remember content that imparts valuable information that might help them prepare for the future, too.
However, all of your video needs to have a very strong start – a study published in Forbes says that Generation Z have an even shorter attention span than millennials, down from 12 seconds to just 8. In other words, you’ve got one shot to get their attention, so don’t be afraid to try something different!
These are just a couple of general tips to get you started. When it comes to formulating a specific strategy though, we’ll leave all that up to you! If you’ve got any questions about your digital signage itself, that’s exactly where we can help at Scanlite. We know our digital signage solutions inside out, including the many ways in which it can be used to achieve your goals as a business, so to find out how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today on 01253 302723, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.