Attracting Gen Z: 11 Marketing Tips

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Marketing to Generation Z takes a different approach than with other generations. But who are Gen Zers? And why are they important for your business? In this article, you'll find out how you can attract more Gen Zers with your brand, and what you should do differently compared to marketing to other generations.

A firm stance on social issues, growing up in the digital world, and wanting to try the newest things. These are just a few things to describe Generation Z, also called “Zoomers” or “Gen Z(ers)”. But did you know they are also important for your business? In this article, we’re going to find out who exactly they are, why marketing to them is so different, and just how to market to Gen Z.


Gen Z: Who Are They?

For a long time, Millennials were the most talked about generation. Maybe you’re also part of this demographic group. But there are newer kids on the block: Generation Z (and an even younger generation—Generation Alpha). Whereas a lot of Millennials can still remember how it was to live without a smartphone and watch movies on VHS, Generation Z grew up in a digital world and is a generation with its own characteristics and demands.

But what do we mean when we speak of Generation Z? Well, those born between the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s are considered Gen Z, whereas Millennials are born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s. Generation Alpha can be considered the children of Millennials—also an important target group for businesses—but not the biggest group yet.

Gen Z is characterised by individuals that want to stay constantly updated; 98% own a smartphone and, in contrast to older demographic groups, they use their phone basically all day—wherever they are. However, with all the incentives they get from their smartphone, they’re also easily distracted. This means brands have to be smart to hold their attention.

In addition, American researchers consider Generation Z to be more diverse than Millennials, and as the best educated generation yet.¹ This also means they’re not afraid to address social issues and are more open-minded than previous generations.

But being such a diverse and well-educated group, with their phone as their best buddy, isn’t the only thing that characterises Generation Z. There are more facets to this generation that you have to know about to attract them as a customer. Below, we offer 11 tips on doing just that. But first: why is it actually important to market to Gen Z?


Why Should You Market to Gen Z?

Gen Z should not be ignored by marketers and content creators. This generation is considered the largest demographic group at the moment, making up more than 32% of the Earth’s population.²

Moreover, Generation Z belongs to (at least in the US) households with a higher income than the generations before. According to researchers, this is partly due to the higher education level of their parents. For your business, this can result in higher revenue. Two years ago, a Bloomberg report stated that the total disposable income of Gen Z was as high as $360 billion.³ And we can assume this has only increased since.


How is Marketing to Gen Z Different?

The above figures make Gen Z an interesting target group, but this doesn’t mean you can just apply the same marketing strategies you would when targeting Millennials or other groups. As we said, Generation Z has its own characteristics; them being digital natives is one of the most important. A survey showed that more than 50% of this generation spends at least 4 hours a day on social media, with most content being freely accessible.⁴

However, they are also well-aware of the advertising that’s facilitating this content. Just like digital technology, advertisements are normal to them. And this makes it even more important for businesses to stand out if they want to attract their attention. One of the main things Zoomers look out for is if a brand is authentic and trustworthy, and if it can keep up with the latest trends. But that’s definitely not all!


Yuqo quotesMarketing to Gen Z is unique in that they consider advertisements as a normality when using social media. This makes it even more important for brands to be authentic and stand out.


How to Attract Gen Z Customers11 Tips

Now that you know who Generation Z are, why it’s worth marketing to them, and why you have to use a specific strategy to achieve this, let’s see what attracts Gen Z to brands, and dive into some tips.


1Use the Right Platforms

As we said, Generation Z considers digital technology an important part of daily life. Indeed, they don’t even consider it an addition, but an inherent feature. However, not all platforms are equal to them in terms of appeal and popularity.

First of all, Generation Z is used to watching short videos. This makes TikTok one of the most important platforms for businesses to be active on. Female Zoomers in particular are into this platform.⁵

But YouTube, Instagram Reels, and Snapchat are also in favour. Less so are Facebook and X; these platforms are more popular among older target groups. This may come as a surprise, but Gen Z is also quite active on LinkedIn,⁶ a platform that offers the possibility to post videos as well.

The lesser-known live-streaming platform Twitch is also a worthy platform for marketing to Zoomers. Twitch started as a gaming platform, but now also hosts content surrounding art, beauty, food, and music. However, know that it’s a platform for creators and live streamers, so explicit marketing often does more harm than good for your brand. On Twitch, being authentic is more important than ever.

So, do your research to see which platform(s) suit your brand, and create your own video content to address your target group. And here’s an important tip: You need to keep your videos not only short but catchy as well. Think of music, special effects, and instant appeal. And don’t be lazy if you want to focus on multiple platforms: create unique videos for each, as some platforms suppress videos with watermarks.⁷


2. Speak Their Language

Another thing to keep in mind when you want to attract Zoomers is that you have to speak their language. You have to understand them, and they have to understand you. In other words: try to be on the same page. However, it’s important not to force it. Before creating content, really get to know how they interact online. Immerse yourself into their jokes, acronyms, and vocabulary. How? Watch their content, or maybe even hire them onto your marketing team! It takes some time and effort, but it will definitely pay off.


3. Be Personal

Building on the last point; be personal and human. Zoomers like to be addressed as a friend. They have to get the feeling that you understand them. This means your business needs to have a personality. Not only in text, but also in visual content. For example, don’t use stock images in your ads, but photos of real people. Also, consider banning excessive use of Photoshop, as this can make you appear less genuine.

User-generated content also comes into play here; use photos, videos, and reviews from your customers to show that people genuinely enjoy your products or services. For Gen Z, this seems to be more important than ever. Gone are the days of paid spokespeople.

The last thing we want to address here are personal emails. As one of the oldest digital communication channels, email is still popular among Zoomers: 58% check their email multiple times a day.⁸ And it’s a great way to be personal with them. For example, you can offer a special deal on their birthday to make them feel valued and seen.


4. Reward Loyalty

Being personal also means giving Zoomers the idea that they are important to you. Gen Z has the tendency to be loyal to the brands that make them feel like they matter. They should be able to relate to your brand. For this purpose, not only does email work great, but also loyalty apps.

Brand loyalty is something you shouldn’t underestimate. It will not only strengthen your position as a business, but it also makes it easier to sell new products and services, and to increase prices without impacting sales.


5. Let Them Be Part of Your Community

Although Gen Z is very active on social media, many of them experience feelings of loneliness.⁹ Social media can be a great way to express yourself, but also goes hand in hand with individuality.

At the same time, social media platforms can offer a sense of community. This is also what Zoomers are looking for. As we have alluded to, they feel connected with brands and other people if they get the feeling they’re valued, and that you’re on the same page.

With this in mind, it can be valuable to create groups on their favourite platforms, where Zoomers can interact with you and other customers. Here too, hiring Gen Z moderators can be a great value for your company.

Building a community not only entails online activities, though. You can also think of in-person or open-house events as well.


6. Take Their Values to Heart

Hand in hand with being part of a community is sharing interests and values. Make sure you’re explicit about your values and the message you want to spread to the world. Zoomers are very conscious consumers, so try to be a brand that is clear about its environmental, social, and/or political stance. They want to use products and services of which they can be proud.

However, it’s not always easy to make the switch to, say, a more environmentally friendly approach. If you’re struggling with taking that first step, consider partnering up with other companies. It might take some time and effort to make that change, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to attract Gen Z.


7. Do What You Stand for

Building on the last point, don’t just say what your values are; show that you are serious about it. In other words, do what you stand for. Zoomers know when you’re not honest, and dislike brands that spread a particular message for self-promotion only.

An example of how it can go wrong: in 2017, Pepsi launched an ad with TV star Kendall Jenner in which they capitalise on the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States. The ad was criticised because it underestimated the seriousness of these protests. Consumers assumed Pepsi just wanted to use the situation to their advantage.

How can you do it right as a brand? Share your values in every aspect of your company: on your website, in campaigns, but also in your office. As an example, to show your values when propagating sustainability, consider closing your webshop on Black Friday to support the green demarketing movement.


8. Be Transparent

Showing what you stand for also means that you have to share a detailed overview of how you live up to your standards. So, be transparent. Maybe you’re active in the food or clothing industry; then be clear about the origin of the products, how they’re made, and what you aim for, apart from just selling your products.

Zoomers don’t trust brands that are not transparent about their standards. Remember when we mentioned they want to be valued? This also means you have to consider them as more than just customers you can quickly sell something to. Treat them like you would a friend, and act as a business they can trust.


9. Collaborate With Influencers

As we have alluded to, Gen Z is attracted to brands that act human and that they can trust. A way to achieve this with your business is to collaborate with influencers they follow. According to a 2023 report, more and more Gen Zers (and Millennials) say they trust social media influencers—shares grew from 51% in 2019 to 61% in 2023.¹⁰

And those influencers don’t have to be celebrities. Zoomers follow influencers who they consider peers; people with whom they feel connected. Partner up with so-called “micro-influencers,” and you can attract a whole load of young people. Another plus—these influencers are usually less expensive, so consider working with more than one! It’s even possible to turn your own employees into influencers.

One thing to keep in mind when working with influencers: don’t be afraid to let them do their thing. This way, you can keep the content authentic. Of course, you have to discuss the main message you want to share, but more often than not, it’s detrimental to take full control of the creative process.


10. Offer Deals

Despite their political, social, and environmental values, it cannot be denied that Gen Zers are still attracted to deals—to a certain extent. Although you shouldn’t overdo it, offering deals can still be a smart marketing strategy, especially if you are a new brand they recently came in contact with.¹¹

For example, you can think of discounts for first-time customers. If Zoomers find out about your products through a discount or promotion, and subsequently notice you represent their values, chances are they will become loyal to your brand. Offering deals can also be combined with tips 4 and 5; reward them for being part of your community by offering branded products or exclusive discounts.


11. Ditch Paid Ads

Although deals can work when done right, paid ads seem to be something of the past. Zoomers are used to seeing advertisements when using social media, but this doesn’t mean they like it. In fact, 69% of them think advertisements are disruptive.¹²

It’s probably better to stick with one or more of the tips above, and to reconsider using paid ads. Invest your money in more successful strategies, like working with influencers. If you do choose to keep investing in paid ads, be sure to take that extra step and make them entertaining, authentic, and informative.


Yuqo quotesIf you want to attract more Gen Z customers with your brand, it’s worth considering stepping away from paid ads and towards a marketing strategy that makes Zoomers feel like they’re part of a community. They want to be seen, want their values represented, and are attracted to snappy video content and influencers, although deals can also still play an important role.

Attracting Gen Z: Be Relatable, Honest, and Entertaining

As a diverse and well-educated generation that’s practically born with a smartphone in their hands, Gen Z asks for a different marketing approach than other generations. And for businesses, it’s worth catering to this audience: Zoomers are the largest demographic group at the moment, with a relatively large amount of cash at their disposal.

In this article, we have discovered what marketing strategies appeal to Gen Z. One of the most vital ways to reach them is to post entertaining content on the right platforms—but that’s not enough. You also have to speak their language, reward their loyalty, and take their values to heart in an honest way. Working with influencers pays off as well, as long as Zoomers feel represented by them. And then there are always those good old offers: just like other generations, Gen Zers are prone to welcome deals and discounts.

Take these tips into account, and you’ll be well on your way to building a strong relationship with this young generation. It’s definitely worth the effort!




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