6 Marketing Tactics to Help Capture the Attention of this Elusive Generation

Marketing to Gen Z doesn’t have to be a mystery. You might think that Gen Z are just younger Millennials. While they do have many similarities to the generation before them, there are some key differences that set them apart. 

If you think that marketing to Gen Z will be easier than marketing to Millennials simply by sharing short, quirky videos, you have a lot in store to learn about this savvy generation. So let’s get right into what makes this generation tick and marketing tactics that will capture the attention of the illusive Gen Zer. 

Gen Z Stats to Be Aware of

Before we get into what makes them tick, it’s important to keep a few key stats in mind when it comes to Gen Z. The first stat is that Gen Z has a notoriously short attention span. If you thought Millennials were flighty with their 12 second attention span, studies on Gen Z have shown that their attention span is roughly 8 seconds. Why? Gen Z was born into a world of immediate answers and infinite choices, so if something isn’t interesting, they’ll swipe on by. What this means for marketers is that those first 8 seconds are crucial to capturing and keeping their attention. 

But there is hope! Gen Z checks in with social media often so you have tons of opportunities to capture their attention. One study showed that 44% of this generation checks in with their social media channels at least hourly. 

What Makes Gen Z Tick

As we just mentioned, Gen Z was born into a world of technology that provides endless choices and instantaneous answers. Because of this, Gen Z is referred to as “digital natives.” Gen Z is more progressive than previous generations, more ethnically diverse than older generations, and are on track to be the best educated generation so far. 

This generation also avoids labeling themselves and focuses on inclusivity. Despite a short attention span, when they need to make a decision, they do take time to evaluate all their options before hitting the “buy now” button. 

With this progressive and inclusive nature in mind, Gen Z expects brands to be keyed into current world events, particularly pressing social issues of the time. They expect brands to not only have an understanding of these social issues, but to take a stance on them and to put their money where their mouth is. So you can’t just talk the talk with this generation, you have to walk the walk too. 

Marketing Tactics that Capture Gen Z’s Attention

Now that you have an understanding of what makes this generation tick and how important it is to capture their attention quickly, let’s look at some marketing tactics that can help you do just that. 

1 | Establish Clear Values & Mission

Gen Z votes with their pocketbook. In other words, they shop or engage with brands that have values that are closely aligned to their own, so be clear on your brand values and mission. Gen Z is all about diversity, inclusion, LGBTQ+ rights, and social responsibility, such as climate change. When you take a stance, Gen Z takes notice!

2 | Be Transparent and Authentic

While Gen Z wants brands to take a stance on important social issues, they want you to be authentic about it. This generation is savvy enough to know when a brand is just saying something that is politically expedient for their bottom line, rather than truly believing in the cause.

But it’s not just about being authentic in the stances you take, but being authentically you or being authentic to your brand voicing. When you interact with this generation, just be yourself and avoid gimmicky sales pitches and you’ll find that this captures the attention of Gen Z easily.

Second, be transparent. Don’t cloak your brand and how you operate in secrecy or mystery. Be open and honest about your goals as a brand. Transparency builds community and Gen Z craves that type of belonging, just as most of us at any age do as well. That community builds brand loyalty and bigger ROIs (returns on investment).  

3 | Be Entertaining

Drop the traditional, gimmicky marketing pitches and make your content entertaining and relatable. Use storytelling as an engaging way to show how your products or services can add value to the lives of your Gen Z audience and customers. One way of doing this is to share fun, quick product tutorials and how-tos. This spotlights your products or services in an easily digestible way that is both entertaining and content rich.  

4 | Make Your Content Easily Shareable

One of the best ways to spread awareness of your brand to new audiences is to make your content shareable. Gen Z likes to share content with their friends who have similar interests, creating a domino-like effect in organic leads. Short bites of digestible content that is both entertaining and graphically appealing make for more shareable types of content. A great example of this was the #likeagirl campaign from Always. It turned the “like a girl” insult into a hashtag of strength, with women everywhere responding to the ad and reposting to make it go viral. 

5 | Key in to Popular Trends

Incorporating popular trends and hashtags (or challenges as they are known on TikTok) is sure to get this generation paying attention to you. Be sure that you are hopping on to a new trend and that it’s not already old news. This tactic works because Gen Z loves it when brands understand them. When Gen Z sees something relatable and entertaining, they stop and engage. 

6 | Partner with Micro Influencers

Utilizing influencers in the right way can help you get noticed by Gen Z. Rather than going with big influencers, go with micro influencers instead. Gen Z views these smaller social media influencers as more authentic and is more open to recommendations that these influencers have because they are seen as coming from a friend, rather than a celebrity. Who is considered a micro influencer varies depending on the platform, but don’t forget to also take into account that you should pick an influencer whose audience is similar to your own, but still gives you the potential to reach new leads. 

The Takeaway

While you only have 8 seconds to capture the attention of this crucial and powerful demographic, when done well, you’ll find Gen Z captivated by what you offer. Focus on positivity and social change for the better. Be authentic and establish your brand’s personality through consistent voicing and by using storytelling. Don’t forget to pay attention to the trends, offer something of value, and most of all, be entertaining! Brands who better understand this generation will connect with them better and find better returns on those investments.