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Tips For Reaching A Student-Aged Audience | Steel Advertising
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Tips For Reaching A Student-Aged Audience

Everyone wants to know how to market to millennials: that elusive yet over-analyzed generation that seems to be everyone’s target market. Often Generation Z is lumped in with them like they’re just the younger versions of millennials. But Gen Z is not the millennial generation. Much of Generation Z is student-aged from middle school to college and this group has its own rules and its own role of influence. According to Forbes, 93% of parents say their children influence their family’s purchases. Even more important is that Generation Z is on track to become the largest generation of consumers by the year 2020… it’s the end of 2018 y’all. Here are some tips on how to write copy that Generation Z will find relevant.

Say Something

Gen Z cares about brands that stand for something. Often the the values and voice of the brand are the first priorities in whether or not this audience likes a brand. They want to feel like they know the brand. More than ever, a brand has to talk to it’s audience as more than just buyers, but as friends, as equals, and as people. Generation Z doesn’t want to be a consumer. They want to be a part of something. They want to engage with brands personally and on their own terms. Often this goes beyond just what the brand does. For example, being environmentally friendly can be the obvious virtue for a brand to tout. But being green is nothing new. Often the likability of a brand can manifest itself simply in the brand voice. A brand that talks like it likes its consumers rather than asking the consumers to like the brand can be a good place to start. Brands should draw attention to their virtues but Generation Z is a little over them tooting their own horn, especially a horn we’ve heard a lot.

Say it Differently

As a generation completely raised on tech, they have access to incredible amounts of messaging every hour of every day. They’ve seen every trick in the book and they’re bored. Even if social media and digital messaging is new to you, it’s old to them. The lesson here is maybe to look at other social media accounts as inspiration for what not to do. It’s essential to have a unique voice that is true to you, not a carbon copy of the marketing-speak and buzz words proliferating all over the internet. On another note here, don’t try to talk like them. Don’t jump onto fad phrases. Emojis are fine but don’t go crazy (despite the rumors, Generation Z does know how to read). Even if you use a phrase correctly, it can often come across like your dad trying to stay hip with the cool kids. Don’t make your audience cringe.

Say it Quickly

The average attention span of Generation Z is a 8 crucial seconds. The average internet user stays on a web page for 10 to 20 seconds. The only way they’ll be interested to stay longer is if they can see clear value in what they’re about to read. So take a trip back to high school essay writing and find that good introductory hook and make it big – as in literally increase the font size.

Make it Pretty

Equally as important to what you say is how it looks: your content must be visually appealing. According to Hubspot, internet users judge the aesthetic value of a website in as little as one-fiftieth of a second. Generation Z, more than anyone, has no patience for poor layouts, boring pictures or ugly colors. Your visuals should feel like your brand just as much as your copy. You should look interesting, inviting, unique and (probably) professional. Think first date.

Unfortunately for marketers, people keep being born and growing up to become consumers. There will never be a final set of rules on on how to talk to your audience because there is constantly a new audience. So hopefully this helps for now.

Steel brings together data, technology, creative and influence to deliver spectacular growth for brands that are marketing to the American family. Working side-by-side with client marketing teams and in-house agencies, Steel extends your leverage by contributing strategy, creativity, bandwidth and best practices. For healthcare, education, government and CPG clients especially, Steel’s full service, integrated agency capabilities and knowledge of marketing automation makes ideas possible and execution practical. Call Steel with your marketing challenges, and if we are not the right fit, we will point you in the right direction.
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