Generation Z is still young, but these youngsters are already perfectly able to consume and buy and, what’s even more important for businesses, to change the entire consumption landscape. Yes, they do it right now while you think about how to get their attention and loyalty for your brand. Famesters is an influencer marketing agency dealing, among other things, with Gen Z consumers and influencers, as well as Gen Z-oriented products every day, so we can see it with our own eyes and know how to go with the flow. Here, we are going to share our insights with you.

Key points

  • Gen Zers prefer social media even over search engines to research brands and products.
  • Gen Zers appreciate information, and influencers are the best assistants for your brand to give it to them in a variety of ways.
  • Gen Zers make buying decisions based on recommendations from content creators on social media.
  • Video is the most preferable and engaging format for Gen Z consumers.
  • Gen Zers prefer to buy from socially and environmentally conscious brands that are promoted by influencers with similar values.

The main thing you need to learn when aiming at Gen Z’s love and money is that your young, fresh target audience does not tolerate slowness, obsolescence, and lagging. What you will read in this article is true and will stay true for some time, but not forever. To be up to date and choose the content that will actually bring zoomers to your doorsteps, you have to monitor the ever-changing situation or, what’s way better, become one of those who lead the changes.

The first fact that will help you grab generation Z is: forget what has been a tradition in marketing and has been working for years before. It’s the time of creative, original individuals and authentic content now. Not the “everyone will watch them anyway as they’re everywhere” ads.

The second fact is: the content creators that can and will become your most powerful assistants for Gen Z attraction are already out there. You just need to search for them wisely. So what will help you do that?

Social media influencers are your providers to Gen Z

Gen Zers are informed consumers. But where do they get the information? What platforms do they prefer to use when researching a brand or a product? Some search engines like Google come to mind first, then you may think about companies’ blogs and sites with official information. All these are wrong. Zoomers’ research concentrates on social media platforms.

58% of Gen Zers have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a content creator on social media. You can compare the figures: 46% of Gen Xers and 38% of Boomers have done so. With this, influencers have become the key to success when it comes to marketing to Generation Z.

Almost half (47%) of them use YouTube to search for opinions and details before buying. Instagram (29%) and Facebook (21%) come next. Nearly 40% of Gen Zers use TikTok and Instagram instead of Google to search for things – this is what Google itself has found out.

So, this one is simple: if generation Z is your target audience, you know where to find and reach it. The young are very active on social media: 64% of them use social media apps several times a day, which is more than the overall indicator of 47%. Moreover, 54% of zoomers spent 2+ hours on social media, which is a lot and definitely enough to learn about at least a few brands and products, especially when their favorite content creators speak about them.

One of the key points of Gen Z influencer marketing is giving your target audience honest and transparent information, showing and explaining your product. Social networks and social media influencers are the best assistants that allow you to do so in different ways and formats.

Video comes first

Remember the days when bloggers like LiveJournal ones could be counted as celebrities and actually impacted consumers’ opinion? Well, these days are gone. Gen Z prefers video over all other content formats. Even photo-oriented Instagram creators start lagging behind, and Instagram itself tends to favor video over simple pictures, trying to make a worthy competition to TikTok.

“The unique thing about Gen Z is that while millennials have grown up with social media, Gen Z has grown up with video-first social media,” says Nick Cicero, vice president of strategy at Conviva (streaming and social intelligence). This gives the influencers who create high-quality authentic video content all the trump cards. It’s not surprising that all the biggest Gen Z influencers have a TikTok or a YouTube account – or both.

When selecting influencers for your marketing campaign targeted at Gen Z, be sure to recruit those who concentrate on video making. And even if your target audience is on Instagram, which is traditionally considered being for photos, turn to videos – including Reels and Stories – anyway. Videos are reported to be the most engaging type of content on Instagram: they generate an average of 150 comments, while carousels and single-image posts generate 80 and 65 comments, respectively.

And when looking wider, you can see that the platforms that are video-oriented like TikTok and YouTube have a higher engagement rate for influencers on average:

Average engagement rate of influencers

Click on image for full size

Source: BuzzGuru

Reputation and context matter a lot

Let’s imagine a situation. You have a cool product for Gen Zers and are preparing an influencer marketing campaign to promote it. You have already found an influencer on YouTube who creates content for the country you need and has a high engagement rate and a stable video posting schedule. All the metrics and data are fine, you are ready to make a data-based decision.

But you shouldn’t. Not before you check the content and the creator themselves considering the present context: it’s not uncommon for famous social media users to be known for controversial opinions, harsh words, radical statements, etc. You know, Kanye West still has millions of followers on Instagram (and had millions on Twitter before being suspended), but do his words resonate with any brand’s and audience’s values? Balenciaga and Adidas don’t think so, having dropped him.

The point here is: the coverage and engagement are not everything that is important. Gen Z is very sensitive when it comes to ethics and ongoing political and social events, as well as environmental situations. This one is pretty stable, unlike many other marketing trends for Gen Z that change rapidly. This generation actually cares about what’s going on around them and where people, especially influencers who are public figures and have large audiences to listen to them, and brands, especially large corporations, lead it.

So, when you collaborate with an influencer, they become your company’s face for a while, and consumers begin to associate you and your product with the promoting influencer. Brand ethics and corporate responsibility are of high importance for Gen Z, so your chosen influencer’s ethics and overall reputation matter, too, and can ruin the entire campaign – or help it get the good hype.

Want to learn more about how brands, content creators, and consumers interact? Feel free to contact Famesters. We can help you get insights and build an influencer marketing strategy to win the hearts of Gen Z. Also, here we share a white paper we use ourselves. It’s a global report on the state of influencer marketing in 2022-2023 made by BuzzGuru – a mine of data and insights that will help you select the right influencers for Gen Z and others, like millennials, Gen X, and boomers.