Connecting with an audience you do not understand is near impossible. For many marketers the ever evading target audience that no one seems to really understand is the cohort of individuals born since the mid 1990s, better known as Generation Z.
I spoke with a Gen Zer to get some thoughts on how brands and influencers can create content that appeals to this new generation. Connor Blakely, a member of Generation Z, is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and now founder of YouthLogic. YouthLogic is a youth marketing consultancy that specializes in blending creativity, new technology, and psychology with media to help brands better understand, connect with, and engage Generation Z. He has been featured for his thoughts in Forbes, Business Insider, CBS, and more.
Here is what he had to say:
What are some examples of companies & influencers doing a killer job appealing to Gen Z? How are they doing it?
Wendy’s social media has recently adopted an extremely informal tone and even is roasting followers and competitors. This informality comes off as more authentic and is enjoyable to read. In this way Wendy’s is able communicate with Gen Z and build a relationship with them, while not coming off as a corporation that is promoting itself.
Gucci had a line of Instagram posts promoting their latest line of watches. These posts were memes created by contemporary artists and designers. The campaign leveraged a form of content Gen Z loves and did so in a way that made the memes pieces of art in and of themselves.
Emily Ratajkowski has grown tremendously recently because of her active use of Instagram and Snapchat in combination with a candid and informal demeanor. Allowing herself to be more realistic than many fashion influencers lets her better connect with young people.
What is the biggest misconception about Gen Z?
Many people assume that Gen Z is simply “Millennials on Steroids” and so prefers digital interaction to an ever greater extent than Millennials. To the contrary, we are seeing Gen Z goes into the bank branch more often than Millennials, who prefer to use apps. Overall, Gen Z enjoys face-to-face interaction and merely uses technology to supplement but not replace personal communication.
Snapchat or Instagram? Or both? Why?
Both have a place in a Gen Z society since both are distinctly different. Instagram is a place to see the highlight reel of your friends, influencers, and companies. It holds the best moments of life and is a visual collection of society. Whereas, Snapchat is visual communication and lets people communicate in a more natural format than texting. Even with Instagram Stories knocking off Snapchat Stories, there are things people put on Snap Stories, but not Insta Stories since Snapchat is more private.
Why are Stories such a great way to connect with Gen Z ? What specifically about them make them perfect for this audience?
Stories allow young people to be brought closer together. If someone is at the NBA Finals, they want their friends to see what it is like there. A Facebook post does not capture that and a direct message is too personal and edges on the flaunty side. As Gen Z aims for more face-to-face interaction and personal connection, Stories will help make the world even smaller.
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