Generation Z is made up of social savvy teens and preteens who spend 7+ hours a day using electronics. They switch between devices about 27 times per hour and 8 out of 10 of them are on at least one social network. These are the consumers of tomorrow, and they readily accept change and innovation. What does this mean for the future of content marketing?
57% of Generation Z goes online to research a product before purchasing. In fact, older generations are asking Gen-Zers to research products for them, too. This research allows Generation Z to influence their parents’ purchasing decision regularly, to the tune of $150 billion a year. It’s not a one way street, however, Gen-Z’s friends and family also influence them. Almost half of Generation Z lists their family as a key influencer along their path to purchase and 35% say their friends influence their spending decisions. Only 10% are influenced by celebrities. Gen Z isn’t listening to what’s popular or cool, they’re influenced by reviews from “real” people and are compelled to post their own opinions (36% have their own blogs). Brands have been seeing this trend in older generations for awhile now and will need to keep using brand advocates and everyday consumers to share real experiences and opinions about their products.
Much like the Millennial generation, Generation Z leans toward social sites that are optimized for visual content, like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. The short-term, effort-free commitment of scrolling through a feed of photos and 6-second videos caters to their 8 second attention span. The amount of time spent going through their social channels means they’re consuming a large quantity of content. They seek entertainment and creativity, so standing out from the mass amount of online content and catching their attention is a must. Brands with marketing strategies featuring unique and creative visual content will see more success in piquing this generation’s interest in their brand.
Generation Z is not situationally aware. They’re multitasking across 5 screens daily and often don’t notice their immediate surroundings. One thing they are aware and passionate about, however, are the sociopolitical issues in today’s world. They see it splattered across social networking pages, become emotionally connected to the problem and then take action, working hard to find a solution. 26% are already volunteering. They want to make a difference and they respect those who are working toward the same goals. Gen-Z connects best with brands that make them feel secure and empower them to change the world. It seems that Generation Z desires to be treated and spoken to as adults, not as children. Brands that empower their cause and weave a social commitment while being genuine will most likely see more support and trust from Generation Z.
Generation Z was raised to respect others’ opinions, but also to stand by, and share, their own. This individualized society won’t be conforming to what advertisers tell them is “cool.” They value interacting with a brand more than feeling persuaded to buy a product. Brands will have to tailor their message, connecting with each consumer individually. If a Gen-Zer believes in a brand’s messaging and story, they’ll be more likely to be a long-term, loyal customer. Which means successful content marketing is going to continue telling a brand’s story-building long-term customers instead of persuading one-time buyers.
If Generation Z is the future consumer, is your brand ready for them? Check out the infographic below for more information.