Today, the preferred method of communication is via mobile. And when it comes to mobile content, consumers want engagement and discovery, not interruptive advertising. Brands must think of this content as an opportunity for their voice to fit into the lives of today’s modern consumers, namely Gen Z, rather than another obstacle in the marketing journey.
So, what does it take to build a content strategy worthy of Gen Z? Here are 10 to-do’s:
Make it Authentic
Gen Zers hate when their parents try to act cool around their friends, and they feel the same about brands or public figures that try to act “hip” to get their attention. While they trust brands less than previous generations did and will do everything in their power to skip traditional ads, Pivotals are open to engaging with brands – as long as it’s on their terms. But their terms are pretty steep, which is perhaps why Pivotals engage less with brands overall than other generations do.
Make it Fast
It’s been mentioned before, but it’s important enough to repeat: You only have eight seconds or less to capture the attention of Gen Z. Don’t waste valuable time! Secure attention fast with compelling, relevant content. Ask yourself: Is it ideal for mobile? Do you have strong visuals? What about video? Are you sharing something of interest in the first three seconds? If they find you appealing quickly, they will take more time to get to know you.
Make it Seamless and Consistent
Gen Zers expect a seamless experience across every screen and on every channel. The buzzword of the moment is “omnichannel.” But that doesn’t mean repurposing every piece of content across all platforms. You can’t put a 30-second TV commercial on Facebook or YouTube and call it a day. Your content needs to match the purpose of the channel on which it’s shared.
Make it Friendly
Be personable. Have authentic, two-way conversations with Gen Z, both online and offline. Your in-store customer service should mirror your mobile experience. If a brand is quick to respond to a tweet with a fun comment but its in-store experience is uptight and stiff, it has lost its chance at a lasting friendship.
Make it Human
Consumers trust people more than brands, and this is no different with Gen Z. They want to be treated like people, not numbers, and expect their favorite brands to act accordingly.
Make it Humorous
You know what isn’t funny to Gen Z? Just ask! Get a group of them together and have them show you the top five funniest videos on YouTube right now. What they share may catch you off guard. They have an offbeat, quirky, often raw and self-deprecating sense of humor. Your brand will need to understand this if you have hopes to connect with these consumers.
Make it Autonomous
Don’t force Gen Z to watch your videos. They demand control over the ad experience. If they see a video they can’t skip, they’ll probably look away. In fact, it’s better to give them some control. Otherwise, they’ll continue to install mobile ad-blockers in protest.
Make it Compassionate
Gen Zers recognize their privilege in having such advanced technology and seek out opportunities to use their access to help others. Brands should aid them in their efforts to support the issues that are at the core of what matters to them today.
Make it Secure
To deliver highly personalized and relevant content, marketers have begun to lean on data more than ever before. Collecting locations, behavior and clicks “behind the scenes” has become a common practice to enhance the Gen Z experience. Because of this, however, Gen Zers expect increased privacy, honesty and integrity any time their personal information is collected. This very vocal and uniquely private group will not tolerate a breach of trust.
Want more on Gen Z? Get your copy of Jeff Fromm & Angie Read’s new book, Marketing to Gen Z, here!
This post was updated on March 28th, 2022.