When it comes to running a successful business, it’s important to understand your customers through and through. And one of the most difficult demographics to understand, because they’re so different than the ones who have come before them, are Gen Zers. On the one hand, they’re resistant to traditional marketing, annoyed by pop-up ads and marketing strategies that are too condescending. On the other hand, they’re constantly craving media attention, which means that they want to be marketed to. The real issue is: How do they want to be marketed to? What works?
There are some great strategies you can use to market your business to Gen Zers. It’s all about getting on their level and knowing their values, as well as what technologies they use most. And here’s how.
Get on social media
One of the biggest things going on in Gen Zers’ lives is social media. They get their news from Twitter and Instagram and keep up with their friends using Snapchat, Bitmojis, and DMs. If you aren’t sure what these terms mean, then it’s time to start. You need to research your audience and understand what kinds of posts they’re going to react to. Additionally, create a social media calendar, so that you’re available on every platform. Interact often with your followers, and hire a social media director or use bots to stay in touch with them 24/7. Using tools like Social Gone Viral will help you get more followers, too.
Most importantly, focus most of your efforts on Instagram. This is one of the most popular apps among Gen Zers, and by using features like Instagram Stories and making your profile a Business for Instagram profile, you’ll get them invested in your brand. 88 percent of students surveyed by The Drum use Instagram and Snapchat, so it’s worth mastering these platforms to connect with younger audiences.
Make your website mobile-friendly
The fact that Gen Zers spend a lot of time on social media is indicative of something else: how much time they spend on their phones. They live on their phones, so if you want them to pay attention to your brand, your business needs to exist on their phones. Even if you’re running a brick-and-mortar store like a pizzeria or hair salon, they need to be able to make reservations and appointments online and be able to find you on their maps in two seconds. Pictures that load quickly on a phone, as well as easy-to-fill-out forms and text that doesn’t have to be pinched in and out to be read, are helpful.
You might want to consider going mobile-first, which means having your main website built for phones instead of a computer screen. If you want to be an innovative entrepreneur like Tom Zaccagnino and up your site’s SEO, go mobile-first. Speaking of SEO, don’t forget to match your blog posts and content to voice searches (e.g., with Siri), because as more people use their phones to do searches, the more people will find your site that way. Additionally, use Local SEO if you’re running a brick-and-mortar store, because then directions to your store can be mapped out on a phone.
In 2017, 68.4 percent of the US population used a smartphone, and that number’s only going to rise in the future. So it’s worth investing in a mobile-friendly website, and following some of these tips from HostGator.
Provide as much info as you can – and a mission, too
Something else that Gen Zers value a lot is information. Anytime they’re making a purchase, they mull it over for a long time, comparing products and reading reviews. So if you’re selling products–especially if you’re an online-based store, where customers can’t hold your products in their hands–then you need to provide as much information as you can about them. Talk about where your materials come from, make review forms clear and thorough, and take pictures of your product from many angles.
Additionally, having a mission is helpful. Let’s say, for example, that you run a restaurant. Having a mission, like being a fully vegan restaurant or only sourcing from local farms, shows that you have values. And values matter to Gen Zers. Considering that this generation is the largest portion of the US population, it’s worth putting in the extra work to inform them about the how and why of your business.
These are some of the best strategies out there for marketing your business to Gen Zers.
What other strategies do you think would work, especially in your industry?
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