Gen Zs have grown up with the digital world at our fingertips.

We navigate each new piece of technology that is released with ease and familiarity. We have a digital intuition that allows us to understand and immerse ourselves in new technology, figuring it out by feel and experience, without turning to Google to troubleshoot.

This means we have different ideas and expectations about the marketing world and brand behaviour. We get most of our content online and because of this, we demand an experience that not only puts digital first, but respectts our competence in this space. In our minds, the internet is our turf, so if you want the right to play here without getting laughed off the field, you better bring your A game.

So how do you actually reach Gen Z?

Be real and tell us the truth

  • Gen Z’s like authenticity and we’re not afraid to call out or turn on brands that we feel aren’t being honest with us or are trying to trick us. We want brands to reach us on our terms. This means providing us with non-promotional, multi-channel content that feels authentic and speaks to our values and beliefs.
  • We care about engaging with brands whose values align with our own. Don’t try to speak to us if you clearly don’t understand us.

Be open to new platforms

  • Everyone knows the main platforms: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook but how about trying out the newer platforms like TikTok or Twitch which are growing in popularity amongst Gen Z’s?
  • The versions of ourselves that we share on different platforms influences the way that we consume content on each of those platforms.

It’s all about being succinct

  • I’ll admit, we’re not the most patient generation. YouTube ads annoy me; they’re there and I know that they’re there but it doesn’t mean I’m going to watch them. If it doesn’t grab me in the first 5-8 seconds, I’ll skip the ad the second I’m able to.
  • Research shows that the general attention span of a Gen Z consumer is around 8 seconds. We live in an incredibly fast-paced world and we’re used to things grabbing our attention quickly.
  • Short-form video storytelling is the best way to grab our attention. Even better if it’s content that exists across different platforms.

Influencers have the power

  • Despite everything our parents ever taught us about not trusting people on the internet, us Gen Z’s really like influencers.
  • There’s something about influencers that seem more ‘real’ or trustworthy to us than a celebrity spokesperson.
  • That being said, if we feel like the influencers we trust ever sell-out or step out of line with our values, we’re going to be skeptical of whether we can continue to trust them. There’s a reason every big personality worries about being cancelled; it can ruin you.

The best thing about most Gen Z’s is that we have pretty obsessive personalities. If you’re able to convince us that your content is worth our time, we’ll tell our boyfriends, girlfriends, best friends, uncle’s pet goldfish and anyone else we can get to stand still for long enough about it. If you get your strategy right, we’ll be your biggest advocates.

And if this all seems too complex? Imprint your brand message on a slice of avocado toast and I guarantee you’ll have our attention.

Alisha Barrett is the Content and Production Manager at Paper&Spark

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