How to Engage with Generation Z

How do you communicate with the future? OK, that’s a little deep for a morning read, we can start with asking; What generation are you? Who do you want to communicate with? The how and why are the foundations of importance. I’m a purist of the English language, I’ve never sent an emoji, I believe using the correct punctuation and grammar can deliver the right message, tone and humour and I don’t mean ;), oh no!

We’ve had a talented student starting to explore her future in the commercial world in the MEDIACUBED offices, so I’ve asked her to write an advice piece on How to Engage with Generation Z. This article will deliver nuggets of curated advice from the source for you to be able to engage your brand, product or service and communicate with the future customer.

Lucy Hardman, it’s over to you…

Generation Z (GEN-Z), the generation of technology. Generation Z is expected to account for 40% of all customers by 2020, not only that, they play an important role now in consumption because they are able to influence what their parents spend money on. As a GEN-Z, I can confirm that my input on fashion is often listened to by my mum. Generation Z are now and the near future and that is why you need your business to look at how to engage them.

Social media is the best way to attract Generation Z-ers because we rely on our phones and social media much more than past generations, such as our parents. 45% of teens say they are almost constantly on their phone and another 44% say they go online multiple times a day. Therefore, you need to be able to reach us on a different level, billboards aren’t going to cut it anymore because we’ll most likely be too busy on our phone to notice them.

First you need to be able to grab our attention with something short and snappy, this is because if we’re not engaged in the first eight seconds we won’t look more into it, a prime example of this is tv shows or films. I won’t continue to watch if the first five minutes are ‘boring’. We’re easily distracted or bored so make it something that is bright to grab the attention of us and with something that is of interest to us, teach us something new. It’s been found that if we’re learning something new, we find interesting, we are more likely to ‘binge’ in finding out more. Similar to watching a tv show if we are interested in the show, we’re far more likely to ‘binge’ the entire season – I have found myself there plenty of times!

However, using one social media platform won’t be enough. To ensure your message is being seen you have to go all out. Emails aren’t seen as important to GEN-Zers, I can say I don’t check my email often enough. There are some far better ways to connect with Generation Z such as Instagram, Snapchat and even Facebook. Instagram ads are very effective, many a time I have bought something or gone to see a film from just a photo or quick video clip on Instagram, but you need to connect on another level, not just ads. To do this you use facebook, ads on games and Snapchat filters. Evian had a filter that you could use by scanning one of their water bottles, this meant more people bought the bottle purely to use the Snapchat filter. Another way Snapchat can be used is through the use of geo-filters/normal filters, by simply creating a filter that incorporates what you’re trying to sell it puts the idea into their head and from that they see it often and without knowing it are more inclined to buy your product.

Influencers and celebrities are also something to consider because if a teenager sees that a celebrity is using, wearing or representing your product then they’re more likely to want it. This is because of trends, we follow the trends around us almost 24/7 without realising it. Kylie Jenner introduced her ‘Kylie Lip kits’ in November 2015. Liquid lipstick already existed so what made these ‘Lip kits’ so special? Kylie Jenner. She was and still is big news, she was spoken about widely and teens wanted to be like her, we followed a trend. Having one of the lip kits made you seem ‘cool’, that was the trend so teens all around the world bought them. Not only that, but beauty influencers also advertised Kylie’s ‘lip kits’ on different social media platforms, often youtube was used for beauty vloggers to show their opinion on the lip kits. Kylie got free advertisement from these videos. This lead more people to want to buy them and when they were released they immediately sold out.

Does your product have photo desirability? Is the packaging visually compelling? Is it sustainable? If not, why? To engage a GEN-Z, you need need to give us opportunities to get good photos to post or to show around. Free advertisement. Open up a photo-booth at a big event, you’re bound to get teens queuing up to take photos with mates, what better way to make memories. They’ll post the photos with your company name, tags written on it and to get more free advertisement offer competitions and prizes for posting the photo with your account tagged in it. Without questioning it, it will be done. Your product is being advertised – for free – and the GEN-Zers are loving it.

Videos are a guaranteed way to engage us Gen-Z types! Think simple and effective with your subject and story

Are you looking for future youth influencers? You may want to get in touch to discuss!

To sum it up, How to Engage with Generation Z? isn’t all that hard, that is assuming you are using the correct marketing strategies – be personable – we are human! Social media is the way to get to them, simply but surely. Make sure to keep it short and snappy or you’ll loose us in our own thoughts and distractions. Do you think Generation Z is going to change your outlook on marketing?

Thank you for reading.

Lucy Hardman – GEN-Zer

AdBrand are constantly exploring, researching and delivering big ideas for brands to action, activate and engage with their current and future audiences. Whether you are an eatery, consumer product, service or NGO, if you’d like to discuss the ‘future customer’ and How to Engage with Generation Z please get in touch.

Adam Ridgway

Creative Director

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