Hi there, my name is Michelle! For those of you who don’t know me, I am TrustWorkz’s social media intern & the youngest person on staff. I am currently 20 years old, a Gen Zer in the midst of Millennials. I was born in 1999—just barely cutting it as a ‘90s kid—and I’m in a very different stage of life from many of my coworkers. Some of our staff are already married and have kids, while I’m finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations at Kennesaw State University! Although these two generations share a lot of similarities, Millennials and Generation Z are also very different when it comes to consumer behavior, and we as marketers need to be aware of those differences. Marketing strategies that work on Millennials won’t always work on Generation Z, which makes up 27% of the population in the United States, has a buying power of $44 billion, and are quickly becoming the target audience for many marketers.
Marketing to Millennials vs. Connecting with Gen Z
One of the main differences when communicating with Millennials and Gen Z is understanding that we were in very different stages of life during historic events. My sister and brother are both Millennials, and though we were raised by the same parents, our childhoods were very different. My sister was 18-years-old when I was 8. She participated in the 2008 Presidential election, where Barack Obama was elected as the first African American president. I, on the other hand, was consumed with the elementary school politics of who was “dating” who and whether I wanted to play double dutch or kickball at recess. Gen Z and Millennials experienced many of the same events but from very different perspectives.
Connect with Gen Z through the Power of Instagram
As an early Generation Z baby, Facebook emerged in my elementary school days. At the time, it was this cool new way to message my friends outside of school (since I still wasn’t old enough to have a phone). Once we grew older and started middle school, Facebook became less relevant to us. That’s around the time Facebook’s younger, a trendier sibling was born: Instagram.
Instagram was our new source of daily content. On Instagram, we could mess around with filters, share about our lives, and like our friends’ posts. Marketers quickly realized how much time Gen Z spent on this platform and Insta hasn’t been the same since. Today, there are many ways to display content on Instagram to reach your target audience.
Instagram Stories for Business
Instagram Stories are a great way to get your followers to interact with your content. You can add in polls, questions, songs, gifs . . . the content possibilities are really endless. One thing to remember when advertising to Gen Z: we’re over the staging, airbrushing, filtering everything trend. Be real with us! Instagram Stories lets brands be authentic and fun. By creating interaction in your Instagram story, you are creating a community and that’s what social media is all about.
Organic + Ads = a Match Made in Social Media Heaven
Man, let me tell you, I am a sucker for ads, and so is my fellow Gen Zers. We’re more likely than even Millennials to buy online. Just before writing this blog, I bought a sunflower necklace that popped up as an ad in my Instagram feed. Businesses can’t thrive on organic social media alone. Instagram ads are a great opportunity to get your products and services in front of your ideal demographic. The best ads blend into users’ Instagram feeds and Stories, so try to match the aesthetic and tone of the users you want to reach. But it’s not just about putting your product out there. Sure, some of us have bought into ads claiming “free gift just pay for shipping,” but those types of scams have made us more and more skeptical. We’re not going to buy just because we see an ad. You also have to earn our trust.
Use Social Proof to Win Over Gen Z
How can you earn Gen Z’s trust? Social proof. We like to see positive reviews. We like socially responsible companies. We like to see fellow Instagram users using products before we purchase them, especially if those users are influencers.
What are influencers? An influencer is a social media user who has a large following due to the content and aesthetic of their account. Influencers tend to partner up with brands to promote their businesses and their products. I myself have fallen in love with Gymshark’s workout gear due to fitness gurus I follow who sport their attire in workout videos. But it’s not just about a famous face. UGC (user-generated content) creates dynamic marketing content by showing customers using the product. That builds trust with potential future customers by proving that a particular product works and showing them how to use it.
Here at TrustWorkz, building brand credibility is what we’re all about. We want to help you build a relationship with your potential customers based on authenticity, trust, and expertise. That way, when it’s time to make a decision, customers will turn to you for your services or products.
Ultimately, Generation Z is looking for a brand that they can trust, has authority, and are well known in their community. By partnering up with TrustWorkz, we will be able to help you reach your target audience and achieve your marketing goals.