Small Business Marketing to Capture Gen-Z Attention
Preparing for the next generation of consumers is important for the growth and continued success of any business. That next generation is, of course, Gen-Z. As those at Hubspot report, Gen-Z:
- Outnumbers millennials, making up 32% of the world's 7.7 billion-person population
- Has an estimated purchasing power of 44 billion annually
- Makes up more than 40% of U.S. consumers.
It is clear that a successful small business marketing campaign needs to capture the attention of Gen-Zers by marketing in an innovative way.
If you’ve got questions as to how your small business can better target your Gen-Z audience, what marketing plans work the best, and what tools can help along the way, then here are some tips to help you get started:
Start Asking the Right Questions
So, we’ve established the who in this marketing scenario, now it’s time to figure out more about Gen-Z. When marketing your small business, there are several tactics to start with. The first step is working towards a better understanding of what your current customers are buying, and why. Moreover, it’s worth taking a look at the right marketing research by studying Gen-Zers’ interests in order to also understand their needs and expectations.
Fiscal Tiger explains in detail how businesses can begin taking these important marketing research steps: “Before you begin diving into your marketing plan and putting together your strategy, set up some expectations on what you hope to discover with this research. This will help you understand how you need to adjust your marketing plan, what you already know, what you expect to know, and where you need to improve.” With the right questions in your arsenal, you can have an easier time sifting through the data. Questions they go on to recommend include:
- Who are your customers? Establish information about Gen-Z not only by age but occupation, income, lifestyle, education, etc. as well.
- What do they buy now? Discover more about Gen-Zer's buying habits in relation to the market you’re in. This will outline how much they buy, their favorite supplier, and what is the most common price point.
- Why do they buy? While this might come down to taking your best guess considering you aren’t able to read the minds of your customers but it’s worth looking at reviews of competitor’s products or making an educated assumption about Gen-Z motivations.
- What will make them buy from you? Pinpoint the need of your customers and then figure out how your product can meet those needs.
When you’ve established the right answers to these questions, follow these steps up with identifying your competitors and then focus on setting your business apart from that said competition. Taking inventory of key competitors often involves identifying similar capabilities and customer commonalities. It also involves looking at the competition’s use of technology — or lack thereof. With Gen-Z having been raised completely within the digital world, unlike Millennials who experienced the beginning and rise of the internet in their tween and young adult years, technology is likely to be one of the biggest factors in your competitors’ marketing and overall success with Gen-Z consumers.
You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
Innovation is always needed in the world of marketing. However, as mentioned earlier, Gen-Z is a unique generation and poses unique challenges when marketing to them. They’ve been titled the “smartphone generation” and, as such, companies around the globe have started stepping up their mobile marketing efforts in an attempt to tap into the market that Gen Z represents.
Gen Z Americans not only look at their phones twice as often as older generations, but 70% of Gen Z are buying their products and services via social media in lieu of more traditional methods that older generations have used. The three most popular social media apps for Gen-Z include Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. All three of these apps rely heavily on video in their function. This Gen-Z appetite for video consumption is no fluke. Approximately 95% of Gen-Zers regularly use YouTube in addition to their social media apps. It goes without saying then, that turning your marketing efforts towards a bigger variety of high-quality videos could be the thing your small business has been missing. However, if you think you can impress with more traditional, informative, boring product videos, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Research shows that Gen-Zers are often more attracted to eye-catching bite-sized videos and content. The visuals of your marketing videos are just as important as what you’re selling. Gen-Z also values brands with authenticity and prefer experiences rather than the product itself. They want their purchases to make them feel a certain way whether that’s comfort, adventure, or even uniqueness. Capturing Gen-Z's attention will need some major updates to you and your business’s online skill sets. This will allow you to properly engage with this digital generation of consumers. And engagement is essential.
Beyond providing quick, online customer service, as WordStream tells us, “We’re all aware of the importance reviews plays in building brand trust, but this is absolutely crucial if your target market is Generation Z. In fact, 76% of Gen Zers have stated they want brands to respond to feedback and view this responsiveness as key to determining the authenticity of a brand. 41% of this generation read at least five online reviews before making a purchase, and they share twice as much positive feedback than negative — so you want to build your number of reviews.” Responding to reviews and comments, including negative ones, will likely increase your chances of securing loyal Gen-Z customers.
Change is never easy. However, updating your small business’s marketing practices will allow your business to continue growing. It will also keep customers interested and coming back to you time and time again. With Gen-Z there are a lot of nuances within their shopping habits. These nuances require the right kind of marketing to catch their eye. Luckily, there are plenty of tools that exist today that make it easy to update and improve your skills. If you make Gen-Z a priority in your marketing, you’re sure to build another generation of happy, faithful customers.