Content Marketing and Gen Z: Connecting to the Always-Connected Generation

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By Erin Pittman

It used to be that you couldn’t go a full day without hearing about the millennials and what it takes to reach them. But look out millennials, the nation’s marketing focus is shifting to Gen Z — those born from the mid-1990s to early 2000s.

Who Are Gen Zers?

Gen Zers are fully digital teens standing 2 to 2.5 billion strong and holding roughly $44 billion in buying power. These self-aware and self-reliant teens are already impacting family household purchases with their opinions and have more influence than you might think. Gen Z tends to be socially inclusive and focused on social issues, especially those pertaining to human rights.

And you’ll find them to be more private than their millennial counterparts and quite entrepreneurial, likely to begin working in their early teens. Being the first generation to have grown up fully digital — meaning they’ve had devices in their hands since they were tots and have never known a world without them — their attention spans are often even shorter than the millennials you’ve been marketing to in recent years. Wi-Fi connections are more important to 40 percent of this generation than bathrooms. We aren’t kidding.

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Where Will You Find Gen Zers?

This connected generation can be found watching videos on YouTube, their primary source for information. In fact, 95 percent of Gen Z says they spend a great deal of their time there, which makes sense, as they tend to value video over most other forms of content.

You can also hop on over to Snapchat and locate the majority of this group. A recent study reveals that more than half of Gen Zers use this platform at least 11 times a day, and one in five note that Snapchat influences their purchasing decisions.

Where Won’t You Find Gen Zers?

You’re most certainly not going to find members of this generation laid back reading 1500-word blogs and articles. And we can almost promise you that most of them are not on Facebook with their parents. Sorry, Mark Zuckerberg.

On the social media channels they do frequent, you likely won’t discover Gen Zers following brands that aren’t social-conscious or influencers. And sitting through commercials or ads? Forget it.

How Do You Use Content Marketing Effectively for Gen Z?

If they won’t sit still and have a super-short attention span, just how do you use content marketing to reach this generation? Start with creating short-form videos that are not promotional. Focus on storytelling and being authentic with your brand’s identity. If you’re going to use those good old-fashioned words, be sure to keep them short. (Think tweets, not long Facebook posts.) And add in plenty of GIFs, one of Gen Zers’ favorite ways of expressing themselves.

Post on social media and YouTube about the issues you support and how your company is taking a stand both locally and globally. Give them something to connect to. Gen Z wants to know they aren’t just buying a product; they’re standing with a company that shares their values. Consider a Snapchat campaign complete with a filter to share with friends. This generation wants interactive content — less passive absorption and more making them a part.

And most importantly, be genuine and treat them as the unique generation that they are. Move over, millennials. There’s a new crew in town.


“Your Words mean Business” provides insights and tips to business owners, organizations and professionals seeking to better their performance and increase their bottom line through sharpening written and marketing communication skills.




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