Move over, Millennials - here comes Gen Z

As Gen Z prepares to boldly stride into full-fledged adulthood, they’re increasingly taking center stage just about everywhere—in politics and with social causes, online, and in brands' bottom lines. Not only that—they can boast of soon outnumbering millennials in the global population.

How can brands keep up and adapt? It’ll take more than throwing in well-researched yet earnest slang terms like “Gucci” or “bruh.” Advertisers need to deliver personalised, relevant messages that resonate with their Gen Z target audience.

After joining us as Digital Marketing Partners at YMS19 LDN last week, Marin Software shares a few tips to tap into this demographic and give the people what they want.

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Go Where the Action Is: Instagram

Even though more people in Gen Z are leaving Facebook, the consolation is that they’re migrating to a Facebook-owned platform—Instagram, with its over 400 million active Instagram Stories users.

Instagram is all about creative inspiration—captivating visuals with the power to move people. That’s why it’s a great fit for brands looking to bring a more creative and personalized approach to a generation looking for easy-to-consume content on the trends they love. Make sure you’re advertising on Instagram if you’re not already.

Automate It, Test It, Make It Better

Be sure to build and test multiple ad variations, images, text, influencers, placements, and other aspects of your ad campaigns, in order to identify your best-performing ads. An ad that includes one influential person, for instance, may not be as popular as another—a fact that won’t be apparent until you’ve launched your campaigns and can gather performance data. This test-driven approach to digital advertising helps prevent a few thorns in the side of the modern marketer:

  • Ad fatigue: This is what happens when people see the same ad too many times and stop interacting with it as much.

  • Lack of sufficient data: The more you test with different parameters, the more data you’ll collect—and the more you’ll learn about how your campaigns are doing.

Not knowing how to spend budget: You can allocate your budgets better once you know which ads you should be spending money on. Testing helps you zero in on that information, quickly and efficiently.

Figure Out the Right Goal

Here, data can once again be your friend. There are many great ad types and objectives out there, whether you’re advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Google, or another online publisher. Are you getting the number of app installs you want? Would you be better served by switching to a cost-per-click goal of link clicks? Or, are you looking to add Instagram as a placement to an already-stellar Facebook lead generation initiative?

Determine what’s right for your business and then experiment to see what works.

A Look at What Deezer Did

International music streaming service Deezer did all of the above to improve performance across the board—in their case, less advertising cost for each response, and close to 14,000 app installs for a two-month ad campaign. Their target audience: 13 to 20-year-old users on Instagram. By testing several different images and text options, Deezer used data to identify a winner quickly and cost effectively—ads featuring MHD, a French rapper from Paris.

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Talkin' 'Bout Generation Z

As a wise band once said, changes aren't permanent, but change is. Like most generations, Gen Z differs from its predecessors. As technologies and business models shift to keep pace, so must brands change course to evolve, too. The main message to advertisers is know your customers, or prepare to lose them to someone who does it better.

To sum it all up, advertisers should keep a few best practices in mind to reach Gen Z:

  • Be constantly aware of current Gen Z buying and online habits

  • Know what makes Gen Z tick and what’s important to them

  • Deliver a personalized experience that people care about

  • Test, learn, course-correct, and test again

Stay the Gen Z advertising course, and your brand can look at your competition and proudly proclaim, “Come at me, bruh, it’s all Gucci.”