Engaging Generation Z with websites and mobile apps
The world is changing and engaging generation Z is a big challenge now. It’s clear that communicating to consumers is becoming ever more complicated. Not a long ago there were only a few touch points for brands to engage customers, today there are a huge number, due to new technology and changes in the consuming process. In this post we would like to analyze a bit deeper the changes in the audience, the blurring boundaries and the importance of mobile devices.
The most important change in the population is that a whole new generation is on the way. By 2025 50% of the population will be from Generation Y and Z.
Engaging Generation Z – also known as digital natives
Who are they?
Generation Z is the newest generation and were born between 1996 and 2015. They are currently between 5-25 years old.
Gen Z is the first global generation of the world, the first children of a global community, who have been brought up surrounded by the same music, food, movies and fashion. They are the first truly digital generation, came to the world with Internet access, and were brought up by 5 screens: TV, PC or laptop, tablet, smartphone and wearables (smartwatch). They feel more comfortable in the digital world than offline.
The members of this generation are always connected. They communicate through several social networking channels. They gain their information throughout social media and have no issue switching between different platforms several times a day. Internet and globalization led this generation to a cross-country and cross-culture environment which essentially influences their decision making processes.
Generation Z uses social media platforms in a different way than earlier generations do. The following table shows that members of Gen Z are still using Facebook but the proportion of using YouTube and Instagram are much higher than others.
Communication and engaging Generation Z is very challenging because their consumer behavior differs from the earliest generations’ behavior that marketers are used to.
Gen Z and Internet
Members of Generation Z were born in the world of the Internet. They are the most connected generation and most of them don’t remember the times before social media. Brands have to be sure that their messages are available on every type of smart device (smartphone, tablet, smart watch etc.). The different platforms have to consequently deliver the same message.
Honesty, transparency and authenticity is essential in communication to this generation. These are the main three characters that brands have to implement in their core communication to reach Generation Z and engage them. With an authentic message brands can easily retain the attention and gain loyalty.
Brand experience is very important in engaging Generation Z. They are prolific content creators, making their expectations for brand content sky-high. They are also hugely influential and drive millions of dollars in indirect and direct purchases. If the brand experience doesn’t deliver exactly what they want, they’ll move on to the next interesting thing before brands can figure out what went wrong. This is definitely true to their experience on the websites and in mobile applications.
If companies are able to create content with Generation Z rather than create content to them they become more successful. Listening to the audience and inviting them to take part in the process can engage them more efficiently.
Gen Z and websites
Generation Z wants to have access to information as soon as possible, so companies have to provide fast solutions to them. Marketers are now competing for target audience’s attention, and this is true for Generation Z and websites as well. While this generation is always connected they can reach content instantly but if they don`t get it they will lose interest just as fast.
Because of the fast communication and multitasking with different devices and applications Generation Z appreciates simple and interactive designs on websites, tends to use more visual elements than the members of the previous generations. Concerning this attitude of the Generation Z this is not a surprise that the favorite website – and mobile app – of this generation is YouTube and the most used applications after Facebook are Instagram and Snapchat.
Gen Z expects two-sided interaction from brands and wants to be involved in communication. They definitely want to participate in the brand experience rather than just sitting and accepting information. It is fundamental in a brand’s strategy to plan with an active audience. Marketers have to provide possibilities for this communication on their websites.
Gen Z and mobile apps
Generation Z grew up with the Internet and several online products surrounding them. This generation still spends a lot of time on their devices playing different games in different apps. As they are always multitasking, their attention is hard to get for brands.
The app design really matters to Gen Z. Considering they share their focus between different platforms at the same time it is essential to use easy and simple design because it is key for engagement. Brands can lose an audience just by using a complex communication way.
Generation Z expects constant connectivity with their peer group and they use many different online messaging and social networking platforms for that. Online presence is essential for them and they can easily adapt to new technologies which requires companies to be always one step ahead in order to serve their needs.
Gen Z and social media
This generation lives on social media platforms. They define themselves according to their activities on the different social media applications. The content created by a brand meets the expectations of the audience and it also has to be shareable in order to be spread.
Generation Z is the most connected generation. The Internet is the most effective way to reach these young people. The digital era makes instant actions available and it turned to a huge demand from this generation. They are constantly connected, live their life online and get used to the fast environment. They expect brands to provide information, answer to their questions and generate content in a very short time. Instant reaction to the customers` needs became essential, especially when engaging generation Z.
Thanks to the Internet the information overload led to a symbolic simplification. Members of Generation Z spend less time googling information, they start to choose people they follow and pay attention to their behavior, action and attitude. This generation refuses to communicate with strangers or either celebrities chosen by a brand, they rather accept digital marketing from real people, somebody who is from their peer group. These are the reasons behind why influencer marketing started to spread very fast. Influencers choose their channels they want to exist and feed with content on a regular basis. It is very important to a brand to keep an eye on the influencers because in many times it is the most effective way to reach this young customer segment. But there are a lot of uncertainties in this approach for companies because the brand has to give freedom and lose control over the influencers.
We shouldn’t forget that members of Generation Z are in their young ages and still have a huge demand for entertainment. They spend a lot of time on their mobile devices listening to music, playing games or watching funny videos.
Engaging generation Z needs experts in the field of the newest technologies. Trust us and contact Swiss Tomato Team for further information!