With Gen Z predicted to be “the most disruptive generation ever,” understanding this young cohort is top priority for many brands and agencies. The generation is on track to make up a quarter of the world’s income by 2030, so learning how to connect with them now is critical to ensuring future success.
So what is the most effective way to reach Gen Z? The headline probably gave it away. Take a look at the video below and try to imagine it in text form instead.
Did it work — can you think of a way to share the excitement of the video above in a few sentences or even several paragraphs? Probably not.
There’s a reason video has risen as the most popular form of media on the internet, particularly with Generation Z. From simply being easy to understand to promoting authenticity, here are 4 reasons why you should use video to reach Gen Z plus examples for how to do it.
1) Meet the Digital Natives
Gen Zers are true digital natives. For as long as they can remember, they’ve been immersed in a world of websites and apps. With personal devices at their fingertips, online content and social media are easily their entertainment of choice. And the most popular form it comes in? Video.
When it comes to where they spend their time, Gen Z is most likely to be found on video-focused platforms:
- 70% of Gen Z are likely to visit YouTube on a daily basis.
- 51% report that they watched video content on Instagram weekly.
- 48% watch TikTok’s video content weekly.
Collectively, about 3.4 hours of a Zoomer’s day is spent online watching videos. When faced with the idea of a media platform disappearing, the generation picked video as the one that they would miss the most, above gaming, social media, digital music and Google Search.
Undeniably, video is an indispensable part of their lives.
2) Visual Culture Now Dominates
The last decade or so has seen the rise of a visual online culture. This means a text-dominated internet has evolved into one where visual media rules.
This new culture can be seen through the popularity of social platforms but has also manifested itself in developments like Animojis or the use of GIFs. Spending so much time online, Gen Z is constantly looking for ways to bridge the digital gap and have their online activity reflect the richness of in-person interactions.
Combining visuals, audio and text, video has emerged as one of the go-to tools for this. After all, why type out how you feel when you can show it with a viral reaction clip? Why send photos of a new product or service when you can share a video that walks future customers through the experience?
With Gen Z constantly using video to communicate themselves, it’s a no-brainer that brands and organizations need to start speaking the same language. When it comes to communicating with your customers, find opportunities where video can better serve your goal.
For example, it’s great at making complex info simple. Getting a mortgage can be a confusing process, especially for first-time homebuyers. While Gen Z are young, a whopping 83% are looking to purchase a house within the next decade, meaning video is a communication tool lenders need to have in their arsenal.
Rocket Mortgage had the right idea with their Personalized Video. Using customer data about credit, income and assets, the video breaks down the numbers in an easy-to-understand format. And it offers a personalized congratulations too.
3) Accessibility Breeds Authenticity
Within this visual culture, Gen Z has emerged as content creators, with video being one of their primary modes of expression.
This communication style of theirs can be largely attributed to the recent increased accessibility of video tools. With high-quality camera phones and platforms that will broadcast their content out to the world, most of Gen Z can create online content at the drop of a hat.
Growing up in this reality has made them see their online worlds as extensions of their real lives. Gen Z has largely moved away from the idea that everything they post needs to be picture-perfect. Authentic, relatable, and personal — that’s the kind of content they enjoy, with video being the easiest way to express that.
This is great news for brands who want to reach Gen Z. With minimal pressure to make professional or “movie-quality” content, making videos has never been easier.
What you’ll want to do is focus on ways you can make your videos relevant for them. Be true to your brand — Gen Z will call out inauthenticity in a heartbeat — but include personal details that they’ll want to reshare as an expression of themselves.
Don’t forget to get creative with it. The example above from Orangetheory Fitness shows how creative, customer-focused video content is instantly relevant and shareable. Part of being authentic includes showing individuality, which is exactly what Personalized Video does.
In this video, Orangetheory Fitness took things to the next level with a video that didn’t just have personalized data (like the customer’s name and stats) but also a unique soundtrack just for them. Pretty cool, right?
4) Adapt for the Digital-Only World
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic changed our everyday lifestyle. Unsurprisingly, this has extended to media consumption habits.
While video has been on the rise for years, recent studies show 2020 saw a dramatic increase in its consumption.
- Compared to 2019, 73% of Gen Z and Millennials watched more videos on their smartphone in 2020.
- More than half (52%) of both Zoomers and Millennials say that this increased viewing is here to stay.
With most consumers spending more time at home — a shift that may be here to stay even post-pandemic — it makes sense that they would turn to video as a source of entertainment and connection. What’s eye-opening, though, is the fact that mobile videos, particularly on social media apps, have dominated.
More than ever before, smartphones are the preferred devices to watch content. The takeaway? With video, you can reach your tech-dependent Gen Z audience virtually anywhere and anytime.
Your Best Tool To Reach Gen Z
Undoubtedly, video is one of the most effective ways to reach Gen Z. Not only is it fun to watch and easy to understand, but the medium also aligns with their values, promoting authenticity and transparency.
But there’s another critical element to content that resonates with Zoomers: personalization. Raised in a data-rich world, Gen Z is a generation that expects to be recognized for the unique individuals they are. And brands that do are rewarded with increased conversions, customer satisfaction and engagement.
Interested in learning more? Find out how to personalize your marketing for Gen Z by downloading our ultimate guide below. Or get in touch for a personalized intro to how data-driven video can support your goals for reaching Gen Z.