How to connect with the Gen Z audience
We use search engines every day – to ‘Google’ is now a verb. But Gen Z are a little different – they’re using social media to search. For this generation, the internet is second nature. To engage them, having a strong presence across your channels is key when it comes to early careers and apprenticeships.
They’re savvy, and they know what they want from their social feeds. Content is being consumed constantly, so it’s important that yours should feel authentic. For a younger audience, what you put out should be focused around telling real stories because the younger demographic will see straight through anything that seems disingenuous. You want to aim to both inspire and educate your audience – whether that’s sharing emotive stories of apprentice journeys or giving them tips and tricks for the application process.
Here’s how apprenticeship content could look across the different channels –
Instagram allows you to interact with your early career’s audience in a variety of ways – from stories to carousels, this one’s all about the visuals.
• Story highlights
Easily categorise your content and have it visible on your profile at all times. Q&As work well in this feature, as well as announcements for Apprenticeship events with sign-up links and people focused vlog content.
Savills had some good examples of this – with more informal vlogs filmed at home, and others with multiple apprentices answering questions.
Videos like these apprentice stories that we created for Balfour Beatty are a great example of a content piece that could be easily repurposed as an Instagram story.
This is your opportunity to celebrate the success of apprentices and any awards the company has received in relation to their apprenticeship scheme. The format could follow a carousel of people focused imagery, or infographics that apprentices can proudly share to their own Instagram story.
Instagram Reels are the reel (see what we did there..) deal. They are key to interacting with your Gen Z audience.
Whitbread had some unique content such ‘myth busting’ which is a great way to break common misconceptions. They also created videos that caught up with their apprentices a year on to showcase progression – see here.
At this point, TikTok needs no introduction. But in short, it’s a video-based app that allows you to interact with your early career’s audience, with most content being up to 15 seconds long. Depending on the type of content you produce, this platform is a dynamite way of engaging younger people.
• User Generated Content
UGC content, such as day in the life videos, allow the viewer to see a colleague’s perspective of working as an apprentice. This often produces unique and exclusive content whilst establishing a greater trust due to the candid and personal nature of the videos. See Microsoft example for reference.
• Showcase your successes
Aspirational apprentice success stories, small wins, and a timeline of their career, often receive high engagement rates. This content taps into the viewers’ emotions and shows that apprenticeship opportunities aren’t unattainable, especially when a level of relatability is established with the person that the content is focussing on. See example for reference.
• Life hacks
Education content such as top tips, how to guides and addressing apprentice stereotypes perfectly caters to a younger demographics’ interests.
Content that references trending topics, sounds, narratives, and pop culture, brings more users to your content. See example for reference.
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
You’d be right in thinking that these aren’t the primary channels for the school leaver audience, but platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can be utilised to target parents, teachers, and career advisors.
We suggest using an informative and positive narrative throughout the content to attract this target market. The tone of voice should differ slightly, focusing on how you can support students to make the right choice, with tips and tricks to help them through the hiring process.
LinkedIn has the benefit of being an easy way to reach people outside of your immediate network. Posts with links work well, making it a great platform to announce when applications are open while keeping parents or schools in the loop about important dates they need to inform their students of. Similarly, Twitter can be used to keep your audience informed and up to date with shorter posts.
Facebook can be utilised to advertise upcoming apprentice opportunities, apprentice success stories, and allow guardians to enquire about opportunities by tagging their student in the comments section.
This content works well in a carousel, video, or quote card format. See example for reference.
Be Real and Snapchat
Two more platforms that the early career’s audience are engaging with is both BeReal and Snapchat.
BeReal encourages users to upload what they are doing in that moment. It’s here and now, meaning your brand could utilise this to create authentic apprentice UGC.
Snapchat’s brand channels mean you can post videos about apprenticeship opportunities or benefits.
Our Tips for Successful Apprenticeship Content
1. Utilise UGC
Utilising UGC will create a sense of community and give your apprentices the chance to use their voice. They can express their creativity by getting involved in creating video content, giving a much more authentic and less overly polished feel.
2. Keep it light
Although applying for apprenticeships can be a daunting time, it’s okay to have fun with your content and include elements of humour. This can be done by creating reactive content in response to viral trends, all while putting your own spin on it to make it your own.
3. Showcase innovation within the company
So what sets you apart in the eyes of this digitally savvy audience? Make sure to highlight any exciting innovations or new technologies within the company, such as the use of VR and AI.
4. Tips & advice
Help your audience feel prepared and ease their worries and concerns. This could be through short form video content or infographic carousels that give 3-5 tips for the application process. You can also run Q&As with apprenticeship ambassadors where the audience can ask their own questions.
5. Show that you care
Clearly showcase your values and let your audience know that they will be supported during the early stages of their career. How are you supporting employees during the cost-of-living crisis? Is there a good work-life balance?
6. Day in the life
Day-in-the-life style content helps to visualise the things potential applicants might not get from a job description. It helps the audience to imagine themselves in the role and what their typical day-to-day responsibilities would be.
7. Behind the scenes
Although the role itself is important, going beyond this and showcasing company culture and social activities helps to highlight a work-life-balance and opportunities to make friends with other employees outside of their immediate team.
We pride ourselves as experts when it comes to youth focused content, so get in touch to see how we could help you shake up your social and content strategy.