In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, reaching and engaging younger audiences can be a challenging task. With Gen Z and millennials becoming increasingly influential in the consumer market (25% of UK retail spend), it’s crucial for businesses to adapt their marketing strategies to connect with these demographics effectively.
In this blog post, we’ll explore 7 marketing strategies tailored to engage younger audiences, including the key areas of brand values and influencer marketing.
1. Authenticity is key
Younger consumers value authenticity more than ever before with 92% saying it was important or extremely important in EY’s Gen Z survey – up 16% from pre-pandemic levels. It’s the single most important personal value to a cohort who grew up with social media – they can easily spot inauthentic marketing efforts a mile away!
To connect, brands must be genuine in their messaging and actions. Showcasing the human side of your brand, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and admitting mistakes when they occur can build trust and loyalty.
It’s easy to lump Gen Z and millennials in to one group but, according to Kantar, while they both crave authenticity, they share some very different characteristics. Millennials tend to me more optimistic and hope for the best, while Gen Z are more practical and want to plan for the unknown.
2. Embrace brand values
One effective strategy for reaching younger audiences is aligning your brand with social and environmental values that matter to them. Both Gen Z and millennials are passionate about causes like sustainability, diversity, and social justice. By incorporating these values into your brand’s mission and practices, you can attract a more socially conscious audience.
One key difference to remember between the cohorts is that Gen Z place a lot less value on money – they’d prefer a fulfilling and worthwhile career to becoming rich in a job they hate.
3. Harness the power of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a potent tool for connecting with younger demographics. Gen Z are digital natives and as such 80% have purchased something as a result of watching or listening to an influencer. In short, they are less trusting of traditional advertising but more trusting of something recommended to them, even by way of a paid placement.
Partnering with influencers who share your brand’s values and target the same audience can help you reach potential customers authentically. It’s important to work with Influencers who can create engaging content, lending credibility to your brand.
4. Utilise social media platforms
Younger audiences spend a significant amount of their time on social media with Gen Z clocking in at over 4 hours a day according to recent Morning Consult research. It’s crucial for your marketing strategy to have a strong presence on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.
Create content that is visually appealing and tailored to the preferences of each platform’s user base. TikTok, for example, go to great lengths to educate brands on not using standard ads, declaring that “hyper-polished, aspirational content has been losing its shine”. Their motto is “Don’t make ads, make TikToks”.
5. Engage with user-generated (UGC) content
Encourage your customers to become brand advocates by sharing their experiences with your products or services. User-generated content (UGC) adds authenticity to your marketing efforts and creates a sense of community around your brand. Consider running UGC campaigns and showcasing customer testimonials to build trust.
6. The importance of mobile optimisation
Younger audiences are heavy mobile users. Ensure that your website and marketing campaigns are mobile-friendly and optimised for a seamless user experience. A slow or poorly designed mobile site can deter potential customers. There’s more on optimising mobile campaigns our blog here.
7. Leverage interactive content
Engage younger audiences by offering interactive content like quizzes, polls, and contests. This approach not only captures their attention but also encourages active participation, making them feel connected to your brand. Interactive content can be shared easily, increasing your brand’s reach.
Combine your strategies
In short, reaching younger audiences requires a combination of strategies that cater to their unique preferences and values. Authenticity, brand values, and influencer marketing play pivotal roles in connecting with these demographics.
By aligning your marketing efforts with their interests and leveraging the power of social media and mobile optimisation, you can successfully engage and build lasting relationships with the younger generation of consumers.
To explore innovative new formats and strategies to captivate younger audiences, contact us today.