UGC, TikTok and Co. How to impress Gen-Z in marketing

a young lady from the genz

As generations shift, it's essential for marketers to stay on top of the latest trends to understand what each generation is demanding. While tailoring messages to each generation can be challenging, it can also prove extremely rewarding in terms of profitability and marketing ROI.

So how can you build trust with this group? How can you show them that your company is authentic? And what does marketing look like for a group that is so connected, so diverse, and so vocal about equality? Here are 4 things you need to know:

GenZ grew up with a lot of skepticism about brands and marketing

They are the first generation to grow up in an era of social media, smartphones and rapid change. Unlike Millennials - the generation that grew up before them - Generation Z is often skeptical of brands and marketers.

Why? They have experienced too many marketing campaigns gone wrong. They know that companies are not honest with them, so they no longer believe in the products they sell.

GenZ is much more diverse than all previous generations

It's said that Generation Z is the most diverse generation ever. And that's true: in terms of their background and ethnicity, they are more diverse than Millennials, Generation X or Baby Boomers. Members of Generation Z generally want to see themselves represented by the companies that support them.

The question is: How important is diversity really to Gen Z? And what does that mean for companies in concrete terms? Around 66% would be more likely to buy from brands that point to a diversity of sexuality, gender and origin in their communication.

Members of Gen Z would rather have authenticity than high gloss

One important finding is that Generation Z is more interested in the story than the presentation. They want to know what's behind the curtain - what led you to develop this product or service? How has it impacted your life? What can I learn from it?

Generation Z is less interested in brands and more interested in people; they prefer authenticity to glossiness because they've seen so many shiny surfaces crack under pressure. That's why more and more brands are turning to user-generated content - UGC - for their ads. Here, the video material comes directly from real users of the product and promises a much higher level of engagement.

GenZ is a social media pioneer

Another difference between Generation Z and other generations is that they are extremely tech-savvy and have also grown up with social media - think Instagram, Snapchat and especially TikTok - so they have a different relationship with it than previous generations, who still knew a world without the Internet.

TikTok is the most important platform for GenZ. Instagram, on the other hand, is almost avoided - comparably to Facebook for millennials. In addition, the app BeReal is currently taking the young target group by storm. However, it is not yet entirely clear how this platform can be used meaningfully for companies.

Conclusion: Those who miss out on adapting to GenZ lose customers and money

This means that GenZ members can best be reached through authenticity and self-expression. Instead of a polished marketing campaign, GenZ want transparency and UGC from brands. The more open you are about your company's operations and values, the better they will respond. Brands should also focus on creating a community around their products. This can be achieved by actively involving them in the development of the company or encouraging users to share their experiences on social media platforms such as Tiktok, Instagram and Snapchat.

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