Generation Z is about to take over.
They make up more than one-third of the world’s population and they’re transitioning into adulthood. So, it’s a good time to start thinking about how to market to them.
When comparing Generation Z with the current largest generation, Millennials, you’ll see the stark difference.
Gen Z is unique in pretty much all aspects including their perspective and spending habits.
Gen Zers are also more often on mobile; they are likely to give feedback or reviews; and they will promote a brand if their experience is positive.
Another study shows that Gen Zers are huge fans of platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat where video content is popular. And that’s no surprise because video is one of the richest and most versatile forms of content.
You can listen to videos without watching. If you are more interested in the visuals, you can watch with the sound off.
No matter what your preferences, video content has got you covered.
Because of the popularity of video among Gen Z and other generations, brands and companies are incentivized to create more of this type of content.
Here are four actionable strategies you can use to make sure your videos are a hit with Gen Z.
1. Planning video content with Gen Z in mind
Before you start creating the videos, you need to understand the audience you are trying to appeal to.
Understanding the differences between generations is imperative to staying in tune with the habits and the uniqueness of your customers.
To create content that can engage with Gen Zers, you need to know what sets them apart from their predecessors.
According to one study, 60% of Gen Zers want a job that they believe will make an impact on the world.
This generation is deeply concerned about what the future holds and they want to be directly involved in shaping it.
To appeal to them and these ideas, you need to figure out where your brand fits and then design your message accordingly.
Simply creating a high-minded video of how your company wants to make an impact will not impress them. Instead, your company has to be on a mission.
You also need to ensure that this is done consistently through your videos.
To help yourself out, every time you start brainstorming a video for Gen Zers ask yourself: “Does this video follow our mission? If it does, what are we doing to help change things?”
Gen Zers also don’t believe in hard sales. If you want to build their trust and get them to buy your product, you have to sell them the experience, not the product. For example, take a look at this video from Red Bull:
The video doesn’t even show a can of Red Bull but hints that the product will give you the energy to do whatever you want and (metaphorically) allow you to spread your wings and fly.
2. Create interactive video content
Gen Z has grown up on social media and isn’t big on passive content consumption. They are more likely to favor interactive video, such as a build-your-own-adventure experience.
So, if you want to engage with them, your videos should have an interactive element.
For example, you can use quizzes, polls, questions, or filters to make your content more appealing to Generation Z.
Here is a great example of an interactive video campaign from ASOS.
This video allows viewers to choose between the different shades that form ASOS’ new lines.
It’s fun to play around with while also fulfilling its goal of introducing the collection to the target audience.
3. Make sure it’s attention-grabbing
Because Gen Zers are growing up in the digital age and sensations from their screens are dominant, grabbing their attention is becoming harder.
This is the case because they experienced a world powered by digital technology.
A report from Spotify explains that Gen Zers are unique because of their skills as digital natives.
There are tons of videos already on the internet, which is why you need to do something that is both unique and authentic.
Your videos need to hook the viewer and should have a message that sticks.
So, make sure the first few seconds of your video are eye-catching. Experiment with creative ideas, be authentic, and use interesting visuals.
Here’s a good example of a video, standing out because of a corporate frame and cover:
Your videos also need to be easily shareable.
While you definitely need to work on your content distribution (which we’ll talk about later), With a bit of luck, your content may spread like wildfire.
Here is a great example, the Always #likeagirl campaign:
This video campaign helped turn the “like a girl” insult into a hashtag that empowers women which responded to this video making it going viral with re-posts.
Another way to grab the attention of Gen Zers is to incorporate popular trends in your videos.
When Gen Zers sees something that is relatable and entertaining, they will stop and take in what they are seeing.
Here is an example:
Chipotle used TikTok to engage with Gen Z. They used music, memes, and references to highlight items on their menu to gain traction with their target audience.
4. Go where your audience is
Gen Zers have moved on to TikTok, YouTube, and other platforms. According to one study, 89% of Gen Zers use YouTube and 68% use Snapchat weekly.
While we don’t know if people are just tired of text or the ranting that happens on Twitter and Facebook, it’s clear this generation and their visual-first habits are taking over.
This means that you have to go where they are. If you want to capture the attention of Gen Zers, you can’t wait for them to find your website and come to you. Instead, you have to come to them.
Let’s break down the four major platforms and how you should tailor your video content to each one.
The majority of TikTok’s growing audience is Gen Z and their short-form video format is starting to get more popular with viewers and brands alike.
What works for TikTok is what also worked for their similar short-form predecessor: Vine. People on TikTok prefer fun, quick, homemade content that follows trends and memes.
Creativity is highly encouraged by the TikTok community that loves to engage and follow smaller creators and turn them into stars on TikTok. There are also TikTok influencers who post original content, which is something you should consider.
The style of content on TikTok is unique to the platform, which could lead to another shift in how this generation consumes video, and align it around shorter, vertical, and presented clips.
Gen Z has widely adopted YouTube into their media consumption habits, making it one of their preferred platforms for video content.
The shift from traditional TV and toward YouTube videos that are usually shorter has led to a whole new style of video dubbed ‘vlogs’.
Vloggers usually upload highly personal videos of themselves and use those videos to connect with their audience.
Given their popularity, you might want to consider this type of candid content for your next video project.
Gen Zers also consider endorsements by influencers and vloggers as more trustworthy and authentic than those from celebrities.
Another key video platform among younger audiences is Snapchat and their ‘Snap Originals’.
This programming underlines a shift in how videos are being consumed. Because Snap Original shows are shot vertically and with episodes that last, on average, 5 minutes.
Considering viewers’ short attention spans, it’s no wonder that this type of bite-sized content is performing well.
Other ways to reach Gen Z with video
So far, we’ve talked a lot about social media, but that’s not the only place Gen Z’s active.
If your goal is to connect with them as customers, it can be challenging, especially if you work within a competitive market.
If you want to get the attention of your customers, you can also send out direct emails thanking them for their time, purchase, or sign up.
Unfortunately, most of these emails are text-based, and as we already established, Gen Zers aren’t big on that type of content. Instead, they want video and they want interaction.
If you want to replace boring text-only emails, consider creating a more engaging experience with personalized videos because video is the definitive engaging medium for Gen Zers.
Recording a personal video message, addressing a customer, and sending it to their email address will make you very memorable.
Here’s an example of a thank-you video from Amnesty International
Conclusion and closing thoughts
Whatever you may think of Gen Z, this is their world. So, if you want to stay on top, you need to adapt your messaging. And, for now, the ideal medium to get your message across is video.
The great thing about video is that it isn’t just a hit with Gen Z, it appeals to people of all ages and they can help keep your brand top of mind.
These days, pretty much anyone with a phone and an internet connection can create video content, post it online, and potentially influence the actions of many.
If you want to compete against such content, you need to invest a lot of time and energy into your video.
You also need to create video content in a way that suits your industry, needs, and audience.
And once you have your video, you can share it on social media to reach your audience.
If experimenting with video content feels a little intimidating, don’t worry. You don’t have to go at it alone.
You can get in touch with our video strategists to brainstorm ideas for what’s right for your business.
Want a video for your business?
This post was written by Oli Bridge. He is the CMO at Bonjoro, an app for sending personalized videos to convert and support your customers.