A Gen Z State Of Mind: How To Nail Gen Z Marketing

Jul 10, 2023

Marketing News

A Gen Z State Of Mind: How To Nail Gen Z Marketing

It’s Gen Z’s world and we’re just living in it. 

At first glance, this statement may appear a tad dramatic, but the closer we look at the state of the social media marketing landscape, the more we realise that it might just be true. 

As digital natives, Gen Z holds tremendous purchasing power. 97% say they use social media as their top source of shopping inspiration and 50% use it to inform potential purchases. It’s no wonder social media marketers keep Gen Z at the forefront of all decisions. After all, they are where the money’s at. 

You know where to find them, but do you know how to market to them?

In this blog, we will teach you our top tips and tricks for Gen Z marketing in the current climate so you can claim your slice of the $360bn of disposable income they wield. 

Ready to think like a digital native? 

Read on to learn how!

What makes Gen Z marketing different from other generations?

It all boils down to this: Generation Z is the first generation to be complete strangers to life without the internet. Their digital upbringing has turned them into tech-savvy consumers who want to take their time researching products and brands before making that all-important purchase. 

This means that marketing to Gen Z requires you to be honest and authentic – they can spot a pseudo from a mile away. Moreover, Generation Z are the most culturally diverse generation and therefore expect you to show social responsibility by being inclusive and supporting important causes. 

Andrew Roth, founder of Dcdx summarises Gen Z’s uniqueness perfectly by saying, “the biggest difference is the onset of technology and the role it’s had on shaping how we behave and who we are. Convenience is not a want or a fun [thing] to have; it’s who we are – we were born with Google. We had everything at our fingertips. Brands who are slow are non negotiable for our generation.”

8 ways to attract Gen Z

Gen Z marketing is no easy feat. To sell to them is to, first, know them – and adopting the Gen Z state of mind is only half the battle. 

Roth suggests that the key to nailing Gen Z marketing is to simply talk to its members. These conversations will help marketers understand this generation’s perspectives and, from there, sell to them effectively. 

As well as having these conversations, you should be laying the groundwork to ensure your next ideas grab the attention of this elusive generation. Here’s what you can do:

Take a stance on social issues

The bottom line is Gen Z cares about a lot of things, and believes brands should too. In fact, 31% of Gen Z reports that they stopped buying from a brand that’s part of a social cause they don’t align with. 

Long gone are the days of being able to turn a blind eye to some of Gen Z’s most cared for causes – like climate change, mental health and abortion/birth control. However, there’s a fine line between showing social responsibility and displaying performative “wokevertising”. Gen Z are experts at spotting the latter. 

Think Kendall Jenner’s infamous Pepsi ad, or Listerine’s rainbow-coloured mouthwash bottle. 

Not cute. 

If you want to nail Gen Z marketing, you’ll need to ditch the performance and show genuine solidarity by supporting carefully-considered causes which your brand’s values align with. 

Remember, it’s not about supporting all the causes, but giving your undivided attention to those you do.

Create like a creator

By tapping into the creator mindset, you will prioritise entertainment and education over conversions, knowing that everything else will eventually follow.

Here are 3 tips for making that switch:

Go lo-fi: to Gen Z, perfectly polished content screams “this went through multiple internal approvals before making it to the feed”. This isn’t us recommending you ditch your internal review process, rather just lean more into the DIY nature of creator-driven content. 

Look for your niche: there are countless communities out there to lean into. Create content with them in mind and you’ll find where your content resonates most.

Aim for authentic engagement: adding some personality to your comments/questions. A genuine human interaction can be even more impactful than the content it takes place on.

Promote UGC

As many as 82% of Gen Zers prefer seeing actual customers in promotional content. This means integrating user-generated content into your Gen Z marketing plan is crucial. 

Thanks to social media, it’s easy to encourage your customers to share their experiences with your product. Consider coming up with challenges or hosting contests as a way to gather your UGC.

Create short and snappy video content

Gen Z is known for having a preference for videos, particularly short-form videos as they perfectly match the on-demand lifestyle of this generation. 

The popularity of Reels, Snapchat and TikTok means user bases are growing more accustomed to content which fuels a short attention span and doesn’t beat around the bush with lengthy introductions. 

Remember, as you explore different apps for your Gen Z marketing strategy, it’s best to create videos from scratch rather than recycling them. Having a TikTok watermark on an Instagram Reel isn’t a good look. 

Check out our short guide to short-form video for more!

Add up-and-coming social platforms to your marketing strategy

Outside of social media, hoards of Gen Z are gathering on online communication platforms like Discord and Twitch. The pandemic led to a common desire among Gen Zers for community and relatability – so much so that 80% of Discord users now use the platform for non-gaming purposes. 

Brands shifting their Gen Z marketing strategies beyond social media will find that Gen Z aren’t impossible to market to if you know where they hang out. 

Beauty giant, E.l.f. Cosmetics has been heavily advertising on Twitch, first through an influencer partnership and then by launching their very own channel. By involving genuine gamers, E.l.f showed they understood that the platform’s young audience value authenticity.

Leverage the power of email marketing 

We know that Generation Z and email marketing don’t go well together on paper, but 58% of Gen Zers check their emails several times a day and 50% like to receive emails from their favourite brands multiple times per week. 

Not only can emails easily be personalised, but email lists can also help you maintain customer communications – something Gen Z value. That which Gen Z also values is being asked about their preferences. Simply getting explicit permission before sending emails out is a surefire way to tackle your email marketing approach. 

Once permission is granted, the effectiveness of your emails hinges on many factors:

  1. How catchy your subject lines are
  2. Your ability to effectively use memes and visuals
  3. How conversational or humorous your tone of voice is
  4. Whether they are mobile-friendly
  5. How personalised and specific your copy is
  6. The creativity of your email sign-offs

Build a community around your brand

Despite their gregarious nature, Gen Z is the loneliest generation.

The cure? Joining a community. 

If you’re a brand looking to nail your Gen Z marketing strategy, lean into the fact that this is a generation who value community and networking by setting up an organised community with a community manager. Having a community member of the same generation is also a good call, as they will speak the same language and help create and monitor an even safer space for people to express themselves.

Another way brands can create a sense of community for Gen Zers is to:

  1. Plan virtual, in-person or hybrid events around trending topics
  2. Open up your office space for walk-ins, picture-taking and content creation
  3. Conduct social media challenges with branded hashtags
  4. Give away branded merchandise

Experiment often

The social media landscape is forever changing – new trends, new networks and new features emerge, daily, but Gen Z continues to remain digitally-savvy. 

This is why the key to really succeeding at Gen Z marketing is to experiment, experiment, experiment!

Gone are the days when you could create an entire month’s worth of content in one sitting. Leaving space in your calendar for hopping on new trends or adopting new usage methods is now the hallmark of a successful Gen Z marketing strategy.


Why is Gen Z so important to marketers?

Gen Z are digital natives and therefore the most likely to easily engage with things put out on the internet. As well as this, they are the generation most likely to spend money on online purchases with the $360bn of disposable income they wield. 

How do I target my Gen Z audience?

Gen Z can be reached in a variety of ways:

  1. Take a stance on social issues
  2. Create like a creator
  3. Promote UGC
  4. Create short and snappy video content
  5. Lean into online communities such as Twitch and Discord
  6. Leverage the power of email marketing 
  7. Build a community around your brand

Which social media platform does Gen Z use the most?

YouTube is the most popular platform for Gen Z.

Our influencer marketing agency and social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to find industry insights, visit our influencer marketing and social media blogs.

@ Socially Powerful


author image

James Hacking


Socially Powerful, founded in 2017, stood as pioneers of the influencer marketing industry. Today we are a global social marketing agency and technology company.

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