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Reaching the digital first generation

Reaching the digital first generation

Video is no longer a nice to have, it is a must have. While we know video is a great way to reach a variety of audiences, do companies really know how to use video to reach the younger generations and leave a lasting impact? That’s up for debate.

What worked with millennials, won’t work with Gen Z. This is the generation that grew up after the tech boom, and as the first digital generation it is comfortable communicating on social media, sharing their lives with others like never before. How do marketers reach this group? The multi-tasking, digital first, on the go generation. Here’s how.

Break through the clutter

Strategies that have worked in the past, won’t work now. This is a very passionate generation and we have only about eight seconds to grab their attention, which restricts the time companies have to make a connection. So how do you cut through the noise and create experiences Gen Z can connect with? Video.

As part of any campaign targeting this group, video should be front and center. Video engages viewers, quickly conveying more information than any other communication tool, while tapping into what we feel and evoking emotion. As the digital first generation, video is the expectation. Taking it one step further, make it easy to engage with. Add in interactivity elements and deliver on mobile, all of which can help increase engagement across the board.

Make it authentic

Gen Z doesn’t want to be sold to, they want to feel as though they are a part of something bigger. There has been a shift in recent years on how big brands approach marketing and Gen Z is the reason. Take for example, American Eagle and Nike. Both these brands are popular among Gen Z. In 2014, American Eagle implemented a no Photoshop policy, making the models seen throughout campaigns more relatable and also investing in body positivity campaigns to empower young girls to feel comfortable in their own skin. Nike has long been at the forefront of developing videos targeted to their audience, most recently with the 30th anniversary ‘Just Do It’ campaign featuring athletes at the height of their careers, speaking about social topics that resonate with younger audiences.

Video automatically is more a genuine and authentic way to communicate given it is more personal, relatable and invokes emotion more effectively than other modes of communication.

You can increase its authenticity by sharing something useful, original or unique. The more authentic and socially conscious a company is will help to increase its value to Gen Z because there is a connection formed over shared interests in the same issues.

Create more video

Brands need to be aware of the difference in consumer behavior across generations. Gen Z are the most connected, tech-savvy, and accessible generation to date. The generation raised on video, connects well with video.

Video provides brands with another medium to reach Gen Z consumers, reaching them where they consume content. The key to any successful video is to establish a connection through storytelling. The means, including a plot, conflict, and resolution. This will take the viewer on the same emotional journey as the subject in the video, evoking the same emotions of conflict and relief throughout. When there is a well thought-out story that hooks a viewer and illustrates the change your product or service brings to the world, the length of a video matters less.

While it seems marketers just got the hang of millennials, now is the time to start building connections with Gen Z. Before you know it, they will be the primary decision makers. Video allows for multiple formats to reach people at different times and on different devices.

Remember, this is the generation that has helped Twitch, YouTube, Snapchat and other social video companies thrive, further indicating that the future of entertainment and marketing is video.

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