Businesses in Bergen County: Website Design Tips for Marketing to Gen Z
Marketing, as most of us are aware, is no easy task. It’s a specialty field, and most businesses hire an expert professional to develop their marketing strategy. However, if you run a small startup or business, that may be out of the question for the time being.
One of the first steps in developing a marketing strategy is deciding who your target audience is. Different audiences have different wants and needs and prefer different approaches.
Today, we’re focusing on the newest niche of consumers: Generation Z. If your company wants to target members of Generation Z, you’ll discover that many traditional marketing strategies fall short.
In this article, the team at TNTMAX – the Bergen County website design pros – will take you through what the latest research reveals about Gen Z’s preferences. Learn more about their unique preferences so that everything in your marketing strategy, from your website to your lead magnets, effectively appeals to them and draws them in.
What is Gen Z? The term is used to refer to the generation following the millennials. Gen Z, which makes up roughly 25% of the current American population, includes “people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s”. So anyone in the 15-25 age range in 2018 falls into the category.
So, how do you appeal to Gen Z while marketing? Here are nine tips.
- They don’t care about rewards programs.
Rewards programs (or loyalty programs) are so 2002. In 2018, rewards programs aren’t interesting anymore to the younger crowd. A research study by Kobie Marketing [hyperlink: http://www.kobie.com/connectedconsumer/] found that Gen Z belongs to fewer loyalty programs than older generations. Of the people surveyed, 30% said they belong to one loyalty program, and 31% said they belong to two. 4% belong to 5 programs, and 3% to 6-10 programs.
Their reasons for shunning rewards programs mainly have to do with cost, information, and convenience. They tend to ignore programs that require too many purchases, have a joining fee, demand a lot of information or have a lengthy enrollment process.
Another thing which sets Gen Z apart from older generations is that they’re less loyal to brands. While older generations tended to stick to brands they liked, Gen Z doesn’t. So loyalty rewards matter a little less to them in general.
- Follow in the footsteps of social media influencers
Have you ever noticed how the new celebrities are social media influencers? Have you noticed how they post promotional pictures? It’s not the way brands have traditionally worked product placements. Social media influencers promote products with style – with the glamour typically associated with celebrity. Gen Z’ers eat it up.
Say you own a taco restaurant: you’re not just a place selling tacos, you’re selling the best, 100% organic tacos in all of Bergen County! Website design, social media feeds, and ads should all mimic the format of social media influencers. Use bright photos that showcase your food as part of a scene in the daily life of a carefree, eco-friendly, social media star. A true professional can take these instructions and turn them into a brand that immediately gets your message across…with style.
- Promote inclusivity by using “real” models, and challenging stereotypes
While glamour has its appeal, Gen Z favors reality more than earlier generations. Stunning models with perfect hair and shining teeth are unrealistic and alienate Gen Z. That’s not how the average person looks; nor is it how your consumers look. Using models that seem “real” and relatable will earn you points with a generation that embraces inclusivity.
You can achieve this with a creative brand identity (think Wendy’s makeover), unconventional models, or by starting a fun campaign – like Pizza Pop’s “pizza face” idea.
Gen Z also really likes when brands challenge stereotypes. Traditional stereotypes like: blue for boys and pink for girls; boys don’t cry; girls love diamonds; men are physically strong. Dare to challenge societal norms or stereotypes, and you’ll find yourself with a winner.
- Advertising to Gen Z? Speak their language.
Gen Z doesn’t speak the way millennials used to. The lingo today, the slang, is completely different. Formal speak is getting outdated – fast. Words such as selfie, noob, OMG, and unfriend have been added to the Oxford dictionary in recent years – which gives you an idea of how popular they are.
Your language needs to evolve to reflect this shift. You can’t send out emails starting “Dear Sir/Madam” anymore. You can’t have a business selling phone cases if you call phones “telephones.” You can’t be formal on social media – or use outdated slang for that matter.
Your copywriting team needs to be familiar with the current lingo, for doing which you’ll need to stay abreast of the latest trends. Another thing to keep in mind is to use the words right. In short, do your research. There’s a difference between knowing what “bae” means, and using it in a way that doesn’t elicit an eyeroll.
- Your brand isn’t just a business entity anymore – it needs a personality
If you’re selling landscaping services in Bergen County, the website design you opt for must reflect this. Who are you? A business in Bergen County. What are you selling? Landscaping services. Why should they want YOUR services? You’re an excellent landscaper trusted by hundreds of homeowners.
However, that’s not all. With more and more brands coming up with creative, quirky personalities on social media, brands that use a simple sales pitch are getting overshadowed. Your brand needs to be alive.
Have you noticed a rise in brands like Wendy’s using Twitter to respond directly (and hilariously) to customers in their own arena? Introduce any of your bookworm friends to the Goodreads Twitter account, and they’ll fall in love. That’s because these companies aren’t just posting engaging content, they’re posting it with a personality. The brand’s followers never feel that they’re following a brand that wants to sell them something.
- Do you have a community-based mission? You should!
Whether it’s supporting the LGBT community, helping spread mental health awareness, or donating to the local food center – you need a community-based mission of some kind. People – especially Gen Z – like to connect with a brand. They like to think that the company they’re buying from is helping people.
We strongly recommend having a community-based mission. Once you have one, discuss how to achieve it, and as you take steps in that direction record your progress and post it on social media. Document every little step you take and show it to people – it’ll go a long way in proving that you’re trying.
Create hashtags and challenges based on your mission – they can be fun or serious. Encourage people to participate and use the tags. This’ll not only help spread brand awareness, but actually help you achieve your mission.
- Market to individuals using micro-segmented optimized email campaigns
This is technically a no-brainer, but since it isn’t part of popular marketing strategies, people don’t think of it as such. Every individual is different. Every one of your consumers has different tastes and preferences. Even if you select a very specialized, laser-focused audience, the people will still have varied tastes and preferences. You simply cannot lump a group of people together.
So, when you’re sending out emails or promoting a campaign, keep this in mind. The Bergen County website design team at TNTMAX advises that you use a micro-segmented, optimized email campaign as opposed to a catch-all general one.
Different people will respond better to different lingo, different visuals, and different call-to-action. Keep that in mind, and you’ll see a lot better conversion.
- Provide experiences they’re excited to share
Create unique, engaging content which your customers and followers will want to share. This is in some ways a corollary to the point about having a personality. You want your website to have a high conversion rate and a low bounce rate – which means that people who visit the site don’t immediately click away from it. They stay. They read. They watch. They share.
Creating content that has a hook which will draw your visitors in is essential. Of course, “experiences” aren’t limited to online content. You could organize events such as concerts, giveaways, book signings, tasting tours – the key is to create something which’ll attract their attention, hold it, and make them want to share the information with their friends.
While doing this, make sure you’re using platforms which they are. Facebook, for instance, seems to be losing favor while Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat are gaining popularity. Direct your efforts accordingly.
- Use the power of the selfie
Selfies can make people go viral. It can make or break careers. There’s no denying that selfies are a trend that’s here to stay – whether we like it or not. Couple that with the evergreen appeal of customization, and you’ve got a winner!
Numerous brands have created filters that people can use. The idea is simple – all you need to is take a picture, and the filter will auto-apply over the picture. These filters can be funny, powerful, or even just promotional. Have an event coming up? Encourage people interested in the event to take a picture using the event’s filter.
Businesses that sell products can actively monetize this idea and offer customizable products such as notebooks, mugs, and t-shirts. They make great gifts, and they appeal to people’s desire to make something of their own. Let them design their own products, and they’ll love you for it!
(Note: Creating a custom Snapchat filter for your business is totally within the scope of the programmers at TNTMAX!)
So these were nine tips which’ll help you develop an effective marketing strategy geared towards Gen Z. Have any other questions on the subject? Ask the Bergen County website design gurus at TNTMAX! We can help develop a digital marketing strategy for your business, including a state-of-the-art website that draws in your target market. You can also call at 201-891-8686 to inquire about our services or to book an appointment.