When it comes to building a business, especially a small one, you need to reach as many customers as possible. And while there may be many rules in the book for attracting older generations such as baby boomers, there’s a generation that’s a huge mystery to many business leaders: Gen Zers. If you make your ads too long or invasive, all they’re going to do is roll their eyes at your efforts. If you make a blog post too much about them, using way too many emojis and hashtags, they’re going to feel like you aren’t taking them seriously as consumers. You thought millennials were a challenge to market to, but compared to Gen Zers, it’s as easy as pie (the 100 percent organic, gluten-free kind).
All jokes aside, however–Gen Zers aren’t entirely impossible to market to. It’s all about seeing eye to eye with them and knowing what they want as consumers. And if you use these following strategies, you’ll have Gen Z consumers in no time.
Have a story and ethical mission
One of the most important things any business leader has to do when marketing their business to Gen Zers is having a strong brand. Your business can’t be just like any other business; it has to be authentically itself, with a clear identity out there online. Gen Zers have grown up consuming all kinds of media, and they’re going to expect you to stand out.
The best way to do this is by having a story and ethical mission attached to your brand. For example, if you’re a dress designer, explain how you arrived at your aesthetic. What was lacking in the fashion world, and what makes you different? Maybe you also noticed that competitors don’t offer something you do–for example, personalized fashion options with a short shipping turnaround. If you can make your mission green or ethical, even better. Explaining how you pay your designers and employees way more than a large rival like Zara or H&M goes a long way with Gen Zers. If you explain that you pay a livable wage, as opposed to the average $12.59 an hour Zara pays to sales associates in New York, Gen Zers will admire your business ethics.
Provides lots of information about what you’re selling
As you can see from above, Gen Zers are a serious bunch when it comes to their purchasing decisions. Despite the fact that they’re the youngest shoppers out there, they truly care about where their products come from, and why they’re being made. For that reason, you should also provide a lot of information not only about your company’s identity but also about the products and services you’re selling.
Let’s go back to the fashion example. If you’re selling dresses, provide many images of them that are easy to view on any size screen. Considering that Gen Z is the most diverse generation when it comes to ethnicity, race, religion, sexuality, and gender, it’s a good idea to hire a variety of models. But it doesn’t stop there. Explain what the best features of your products are, and post user reviews immediately below the products. The more into detail you go, the more Gen Zers will trust you. They’re slow to trust many businesses, because they grew up in an age where everything is about image, and they know how easy it is to fake authenticity.
In the same vein, you need to have outstanding customer service. If you can’t hire someone to manage customer inquiries 24/7, use AI bots to answer questions when you’re off the block. And if anyone tries to get in touch with you via social media, reply thoroughly and respectfully, especially if it’s a negative review or complaint.
Have a strong social media presence
Finally, you need a strong social media presence. Gen Zers spend a ton of time on their phones, and a large amount of this time is spent checking Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. In 2017, 37 percent of this generation said that social media had a direct impact on their happiness, which goes to show what a huge impact it has on their lives.
Additionally, design your website with phones in mind for this reason, too. Going mobile-first improves your SEO, and creating apps that make it easier for anyone to fill out complicated forms or make reservations and appointments.
These are some of the best ways to get Gen Zers interested in your small business. What other strategies do you think would be successful?