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Marketing to Gen Z: The Complete Marketing Strategy Guide

Trying to figure out how to make your marketing work for Gen Z? We’ve got the guide for you! Here’s how to create a marketing strategy for Gen Z.

Posted 1 year ago
marketing to gen z

Written by

Mackenzie Taylor
Posted 1 year ago
Want to get Gen Z to start buying from you? Well, your marketing strategy might need some work if you want to sell to them—because trust us, they don’t want to be directly sold to. If you’re looking for all the ways to bring in Gen Z into your brand, we’ve got you. Learn the best approaches, why you should build an entire marketing strategy around them, and our top tips on marketing to Gen Z.

Who is Gen Z?

But, like, who actually is Gen Z? While the exact years seem to shift around, it’s anyone who was born between the mid-to-late 1990s up to early 2010s.
They are the generation that grew up completely with smartphones, the internet, and a knowledge of social media that can surpass any human on the internet currently. They have been selling brands online since they joined the internet and have a very clear understanding of who, what, and why they like to buy from certain brands.
And guess what? They’re not just young kids without money to spend, they’re in the workplace and according to PRZM, they are driving spending and are behind the major shifts in advertising today. So if you’re nothing about Gen Z when it comes to your marketing plan, you’re doing it wrong.


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Does Gen Z like advertising?

According to most Gen Zs, they hate being advertised to. At least in the traditional, loud, and in-your-face way. If you’re going to be advertising to them, they want it done through someone they follow, a trusted source. Gen Z loves advertising that feels authentic, honest, and entertaining.

What do Gen Z consumers want?

When it comes to marketing to Gen Z, they want to buy from brands that have the same values as them. The generation cares more about climate change, LGBTQAI+ rights, racial equality, and more than many generations before them. So there is no way to get around if you don’t have your brand values up front and center on your social media or website. If you’re looking for ways to establish your brand messaging so that it aligns better with Gen Z, click here on how to get started.

What do Gen Z value the most?

As we mentioned above, Gen Z wants to buy from brands that have the same values as them and care about the same things they care about. They also want to work and buy from brands that have true authenticity.
If you make a promise as a brand (whether that’s to donate, that you’re sustainable, etc), you must stick to that promise. Gen Z wants to buy from brands that actually want to make a difference in the world.

The best strategies to market to Gen Z

1. Get them in with a hook

But how do you hook Gen Z in with a hook? Oh, there are quite a few ways to hook Gen Z with video content, and we’ve got all the best ways for you.
  • Keep it short and sweet: Gen Z has a short attention span (you essentially have 7 seconds to grab their attention!), so videos should be concise and to the point.
  • Use engaging visuals and graphics: Use bold colors, animations, and other visual elements to capture Gen Z’s attention.
  • Incorporate humor: Gen Z is known for their love of humor and satire (same, same), so incorporating it in video content can be a great way to engage them.
  • Use influencer marketing: Partner with popular social media influencers to create relatable and authentic video content that resonates with Gen Z.
  • Use interactive elements: Use interactive elements such as polls, quizzes, and user-generated content to make the video experience more engaging.
  • Make it relatable: Show real-life scenarios that Gen Z can relate to and make the video content relatable to their life.
  • Be authentic: Be authentic and true to the message you are trying to convey, and avoid being too salesy (no one wants to be told they have to buy something—show off why they need it).
  • Make it easily shareable: Make sure the video is easily shareable across social media platforms, and encourage viewers to share it with their friends.
  • Use subtitles: As Gen Z is highly reliant on mobile devices for their online activities, using subtitles can help them to engage with the video content even when they’re on the go.

2. Use the best hashtags

Yes, we love a good hashtag. That’s how we started here at Flick after all. And hashtags can really help establish your brand and help expand your reach. Hashtags can be used in a variety of different ways, including:
  • Encouraging people to participate in a challenge by creating a specific piece of content.
  • Raising awareness around a cause
  • Gathering content related to something specific about your brand under one hashtag
By creating a hashtag, you can invite your audience to participate and see what kind of content they create. You can even use this content (which is called user-generated content and you can find out more about it here), and use it for your own social media marketing strategy.
💡 Flick’s tip: Always ask permission before you use anyone’s content though!
Want to make a unique hashtag or see how well your hashtag is doing? Sign up for a free trial with Flick today and get started on seeing your top-performing hashtags and narrowing down which ones to use in the future.

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3. Establish your beliefs and values

When it comes to marketing to Gen Z, communicating your values as a brand or business will be essential. As we keep reiterating, they only want to buy from brands that have the same values as them.
Create compelling, engaging, and timely content that showcases your brand’s beliefs and values. This will help Gen Z understand what your brand cares about and is more likely to put their money where their beliefs are also upheld.
💡 Flick’s tip: Don’t be performative about your activism or allyship. Gen Z can smell that a mile off. Be real.

4.Be accountable for any mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how you react and respond after the mistake that will make or break you. When it comes to marketing to Gen Z, you need to hold yourself and your brand accountable for any misstep you might have taken along the way. Don’t try and bury anything under the carpet, you need to apologize, understand where you went wrong, and then move forward with learning from your error. Gen Z is way more forgiving and will likely support brands that are honest about where and how they failed than a brand that tries to pretend it never happened.

5. Sense of humor

Gen Z loves some humor (honestly though, who doesn’t?), so making sure to add some humor to your social media is key to creating a marketing strategy for Gen Z. And yes, we know on-the-spot humor is hard to do sometimes, so if you’re struggling to come up with ideas on how to make someone laugh, we’ve got a list of ideas for you:
  • Use memes and GIFs: Memes and GIFs are a popular way to add humor to social media, as they are easily shareable and can be used to convey a wide range of emotions and messages.
  • Use satire and irony: Gen Z appreciates satire and irony, so using these elements in social media posts can be a great way to connect with them.
  • Use relatable and self-deprecating humor: Share relatable and self-deprecating humor that Gen Z can connect with.
  • Use comedy skits and parody videos: Create comedy skits and parody videos that poke fun at popular culture, current events, or your own brand.
  • Use comedic hashtags and captions: Use hashtags and captions that are funny, witty, and relatable to connect with Gen Z.
  • Use humor in your visuals: Use humor in your visuals as well, like cartoon characters, or comic strips, or even funny illustrations.
  • Collaborate with comedians or comedy influencers: Collaborate with comedians or comedy influencers to create relatable and authentic humor content that resonates with Gen Z.
  • Keep it positive and avoid offensive humor: Use humor that is positive and avoids offensive or negative topics.
6. Figure out what your audience really wants
What does your audience want (really, really want)? If you’re marketing to Gen Z, you need to meet them where they’re at and that doesn’t mean providing marketing that you like. It’s providing marketing that THEY like. Start going through your list of followers and see which brands they are following. What do those brands have in common? How do those brands sell themselves? Is there anything that you’re seeing that’s getting them more engagement on their channels? Start making notes!
Another way you can figure out what your audience wants is by social listening. Start searching hashtags that coincide with your brand or you feel your audience might search for. Go through tags that your audience follows already. See what your audience is already saying about you and other brands that are similar to yours.
7. Embrace feedback and reviews
If you’re going to have your company online, be prepared for feedback and reviews. Every generation approaches online feedback and reviews, and Gen Z is no different. They want reliability, transparency, and appreciation when it comes to the brands they want to shop. And their feedback is no different. Some ways you can embrace feedback and reviews from Gen Z are:
  • Create an open and accessible feedback system: Make it easy for Gen Z to provide feedback by creating an online platform or forum where they can share their thoughts and ideas. Let them be able to easily connect with you with their ideas and feedback, so they feel as if they have a connection and a voice with your biz.
  • Respond to feedback promptly: If they are sending you DMs or commenting under your posts, you need to show them that their feedback is valued! Respond in a timely manner (or even put an auto-response up to say you’ll get to their message soon!) so they know they are important to you.
  • Run surveys and focus groups: Regularly run surveys and focus groups to gather feedback from Gen Z on your products, services, and overall brand.
  • Implement feedback into your strategy: Take the feedback you receive from Gen Z and use it to improve your products, services, and overall brand strategy. You gave them a voice, so actually use it!
  • Show appreciation and act on feedback: Show appreciation for the feedback and act on it, this will make them feel like they are being heard and more likely to provide feedback in the future.
  • Be transparent and honest: Be transparent and honest about the steps you are taking to address their feedback and communicate any changes you make as a result.
8. You need to incorporate video
If you haven’t already started investing in video, you need to start today. It’s one of the most beneficial marketing tools you need to have in your back pocket. Gen Z loves video content (hello, TikTok, and YouTube!), so making engaging and attention-grabbing video content will really help you with drawing the attention of the generation you really want.
Marketing for Gen Z is a great way for you to start reaching a younger audience and establishing loyalty from the start that they will grow with you.
Ready to plan your content in advance? Start putting together your social media strategy today by clicking here for a 30-day social media plan, and start scheduling with a free 7-day trial of Flick.

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Who is Gen Z?

Does Gen Z like advertising?

What do Gen Z consumers want?

What do Gen Z value the most?

The best strategies to market to Gen Z

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