Social media has changed the way that brands engage with today’s youngest consumers. And this is especially true for Gen Z. Unfortunately, while most brands understand the huge purchasing power of Gen Z, most don’t exactly know how to market to us. That can be answered in two words: social influencers.
In the digital world, anybody can post content. And Gen Z has a way of finding people who look and sound like us on our social channels. They make us laugh. They make us pay attention. And when a lot of us discover the same influencer, it creates community and helps us feel connected.
Most of these people aren’t famous or even intended to become “influencers.” But we can relate to what they do or say or how they entertain us. Before you know it, an influencer can rack up hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of followers.
Gen Z doesn’t trust old-school marketing. Forget the glossy celebrities of the marketing past. Gen Z isn’t impressed. Because ours is a generation that looks for truth and authenticity, the last thing we want is a high-paid celebrity telling us what we should buy or what’s good for us. We don’t want to be sold to. But if a friend makes a suggestion, hey, we’re all over that.
Today, social influencers are the new celebrities. In fact, they’re more than that. Getting a recommendation from an influencer feels more like getting a suggestion from a good friend. While influencers may have their own aura of “celebrity,” they’re more real and relatable than their traditional celebrity counterparts in the eyes of Gen Z. They talk like us, they look like us, and they make us feel connected. When was the last time a TV commercial made you feel that way?
In most cases, influencers got where they are organically. They have an idea, find a niche, post things effectively to social media, and the rest takes care of itself. What do we look for in our influencers?
They speak our language. Gen Z can spot a fake a mile away. Our influencers already speak our language, and we know that.
Influencers don’t produce “updated commercials.” They don’t try to sell to us. It’s like a conversation. We can interact, agree, disagree, even call them out. It’s like hanging out with a friend.
There’s got to be an element of trust. Gen Z wants people they can trust. If we can’t trust the influencer, their product also comes into question. If we feel we’re being lied to, we’re gone.
Focused messaging is important. Gen Z is a diverse bunch, and you can’t be everything to everyone. Our influencers know who they are, know how to convey what they believe, understand who their followers are, and don’t try to appeal to everyone. To us, this feels authentic and real, and that’s why we pay attention.
For Gen Z, influencers play a huge role in our lives, from the issues we pay attention to the products we decide to buy.
We don’t go out of our way to find “influencers.” Even the term reeks of marketing. But we find people through our social media and personal connections who are relatable, humorous, and honest. We particularly pay attention when their content is well-produced, thoughtful, and factual. And the more people that pay attention, the more their content is shared. That’s how social influencers are made in our world.
Let’s face it. Unless you’re tapped into the world of Gen Z, you’re probably searching in the dark for influencers to represent your brand. At Adolescent Content, we can help. We’re a global ad agency dedicated to young consumers. We know what Gen Z is looking for because we’re created and run by Gen Zers. Looking for new ways to connect with our generation? Get in touch!
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