Gen Z, technology and what this means for education and employer marketeers
By Chris Le'Cand-Harwood
Is someone defined by their generation tag? No, but you can’t help being influenced by the environment you grow up in. Particularly, technology has been a major environmental factor that influences behaviours. So the generation tag is an important part of marketeers’ understanding of audience.
Let’s take Generation Z. They were born from the mid 1990s. They haven’t known a world without the internet. Mobile phones were computers by the time they were ready to own one (a smart phone is just a phone to them!). They grew up with Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and were the first ones embracing Instagram and Snapchat. They’re the ones all over TikTok and addicted to Fortnite at the moment. When mobile phones and social media have been hard wired into growing up it inevitably has an impact on how you consume content and have conversations.
16-24 year olds, true to form, lead the way for time spent on social (3hrs 01m per day compared to 2hrs 37m for 25-34 year olds). Video is more important to them (66% are active social video viewers compared to 59% of 25-34 year olds). Search is not their top way of researching brands, it’s social media. They are more passive networkers because social has become a place for news and entertainment, not just keeping in touch with friends. Messaging apps are more popular with Gen Z with 98% of 16-24 year old digital consumers using them compared to 74% of 55-64 year olds.
Snapchatters use the app over 20 times a day and generate 3 billion snaps daily by using filters and lenses. Talking to the team at Snap they say we’ve reached the age of camera marketing. Understandable, because communicating through photos and video is the reason for Snapchat’s existence and loyal following.
Instagram’s move to Stories was for the same reason. They didn’t want to just be the place for awesome looking photography. They succeeded and Stories are used by 400 million people every day (compared to Snapchat’s 186 million daily active users).
TikTok, the app that used to be Music.ly and allows people to create and share 15-second videos, has had 795 million app installs since August 2018 (including a record 3.8 million first time downloads in October 2018). Expect to see a lot of talk about TikTok as it takes on Instagram and Snapchat at grabbing the valuable attention of Gen Z.
So, what does this mean for businesses in the education, employer and youth marketing space? It's about really grounding their knowledge of their target audiences with an on the pulse knowledge of digital behaviours. If marketers want to earn their attention they really need to choose a platform for the right reasons and create content/experiences that truly belongs in their newsfeeds. Get them to stop their scroll, tap or swipe by going beyond ad messages. Think content that really does add some value to their day to day.
Sources: Global Web Index, Sensor Tower, Snapchat, Instagram
Chris leads content marketing strategy at SMRS and has been working on social media for over 10 years. Chris and the team will be running social media and content masterclasses through 2019 so please get in touch if you are interested in attending one of them.