Marketing to Gen Z the Right Way: a Guide to Getting Started

Jadyn Francois
By Jadyn Francois
July 28, 2022 · 18 min read

Odds are that you are reading this blog post on your phone. Depending on your age group, the ability to do something like that may have seemed far-fetched to you 2 decades ago. However, a generation of users is said to be “digitally native,” as they grew up in the presence of technology such as computers and phones. With social media being at the forefront of how businesses establish themselves and create brand awareness, it is no surprise that Generation Z would be the group most companies are fighting for attention. 

Generation Z’s influential power and careful spending habits have resulted from their access to information. Gen Z consumers are 2 times more likely to shop on mobile devices than Millennials. So, if you are not already marketing to Generation Z, you are missing out on a leading demographic that has propelled many businesses to new heights.

This article will help you understand who Generation Z is, what social media channels they prefer, and how to grab their attention and ultimately successfully market to them through leveraging essential social media practices. 

Who is Generation Z? 

Born between 1995 and 2012, Generation Z has gained recognition for being a very influential demographic. When it comes to social media, there is a population of young consumers whose digital upbringings have consistently shifted the way we connect and communicate with each other. Their adaptability to new information has provided a more discerning population that demands social responsibility while embracing social commerce. 

As the first generation to never go a single day without their phone, computer, or internet, Generation Z has shown great potential for small businesses and marketers tackling the expanding digital business landscape. Historically, they are America’s most racially and ethnically diverse generation. 

They are often connected with reviving older trends and contributing to monumental change in the world around them. From looking for shopping inspiration to seeking entertainment to voicing their opinions, Generation Z continued to engage with social media and encouraged big and small businesses to extend their reach to platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Let’s further understand why marketing to Generation Z can change the game for your business. 

Why is Gen Z Important For Your Business?

With 40 percent of global consumers being Generation Z, the need for Gen Z marketing strategies has been gradually increasing. Moreover, Yes Lifecycle Marketing revealed that more than 80% of Gen Z is influenced by their social media when making purchases. 

With such strong purchasing power and ability to navigate the digital space, businesses often fight for Gen Z attention as they continue to dominate the world of social media. With marketing trends that come and go, grabbing the attention of Gen Z can be a challenge – but it isn’t impossible. 

Developing a solid understanding of how they perceive different platforms will help you gain more insight into how they engage with other platforms. Ultimately, this enables you to leverage your content to target the most impactful customers. It’s time for you to start marketing to Gen Z.

Best Practices for Marketing to Generation Z

You must note that while every platform requires its own way of marketing, all play an integral role in reaching this generation of consumers. Before we dive into each platform, We’ll dive into what practices every platform shares. Then we’ll dig deeper into every platform’s unique marketing strategies. 

With Generation Z basically having their own language, getting ahead of your competition and growing brand loyalty simply means targeting this generation through understanding who they are. These practices will help you increase your engagement with Generation Z and secure the new wave of consumers synonymous with social media. 


With the capabilities of creating and sharing content, it is no surprise that the social media landscape is ever-changing. With different subjects grabbing users’ attention on various platforms, it is essential that you keep track of “what’s hot and what’s not” in the world of social media. 

These subjects, also known as trends, are reliable sources of change and can help you understand the unanimous needs of your consumers. In other words, a trend signifies what is popular at a specific time. Tracking social media trends can help you understand what grabs the attention of Generation Z. 

Many businesses can lose consumer traffic merely by not keeping up with trends surfacing on the internet. Trendjacking or capitalizing on trends is a great way to further market your business and connect with the Gen Z audience. From memes to sustainability, trends can cover any industry and are reflective of the minds of Generation Z. 

Hoping on trending topics and adding your own spin to them can build on your brand personality. Tracking hashtags, trending videos, and topics will lead to a more dedicated following. From social issues to fashion trends, staying up to date with Generation Z’s active involvement in social media trends is essential to the success of your business. 

Though it is essential that you move at a good pace when hopping on a trend, you should confirm that you are not capitalizing on sensitive and controversial topics. You want these trends to allow consumers to discover you for the right reasons, especially because Generation Z is not one to stay quiet when they see something controversial.

Be sure to add your company’s voice to these trends and do research on other companies in the same industry so that you can see what’s working for them and what is not. Not every trend is as trendy as it seems.

Promo Tip: Use Promo’s Content Calendar as a track trending tool that will provide you with the most trending content for every day of the year. 

Diversity & Inclusion

Being the most ethnically diverse generation in history, Generation Z expects this diversity to be reflected in their social media. They want to see people that look like them and celebrate uniqueness. This standard is seen in the preferences of businesses that they embrace.  Representation of diverse groups of people not only broadens the audience but provides for more people to feel understood and accepted. 

This inclusivity extends to various causes that may affect different groups of people being represented in your brand personality. Showing cultural and ethnic diversity on social media platforms helps avoid being tone deaf. By keeping up with current events and adapting that into your brand message, you will be able to attain strong engagement by Generation Z. 

Scrolling through social media, you may have noticed the community-based feel of those who follow specific companies and influencers. Generation Z desires to feel a part of a community. Connecting with your audience can extend further than brand voice, testimonial, and social media groups. A connection can be built through promoting diverse, inclusive, and open-minded campaigns. You can do this by simply adding people from different backgrounds to your ads. Highlighting real stories or motivations when purchasing from a company will show how your company can help people. This will show how your company can help people improve their lifestyles and experiences. “Relatability” or how relevant something is to your audience. The relevance of your product or service is essential to a high degree of relevance to your target audience. 

Promo Tip: Promo offers a stock footage library with over 110 million assets from Getty Images and iStock, rich with footage of people of all ages, religions, races, genders, body types, and more. Our ready-made templates will help you ensure diversity in your video marketing. 

Leverage Visual Content

From memes to GIFs, replacing text-based content with visual content can help you further engage Generation Z with your social media content. Video content plays a huge role in capturing the attention of Generation Z. 

Short-form videos have proven to be very effective for many companies. Fortunately, with music, visual effects, fonts, colors, and a catchy caption, you’ll be able to entice Gen Z. Using online video makers and editors like, you can put emphasis on quality content over the quantity of your content. 

Creating a great hook in your caption and complementing it with the relevant visuals will aid in grabbing the attention of your audience. Incorporating hashtags into your captions can support your post in reaching specific subgroups within the larger Generation Z population. Additionally, investing in interactive content can further captivate your audience. 

Promo Tip: No matter your business type, Promo provides you with many options for visuals, captions, music, text styles, and transitions. Play around with the templates and share them on your social to grab viewers’ attention. 

Connect to a Cause

The boom of businesses has provided Generation Z with more purchasing options than ever before. To stand out in a sea of companies, you must value authenticity while being open to sharing core values that you and your customer may share. Generation Z wants to know that your business is positively impacting on only their life but also society.

The seemingly innocent action of posting highly edited photos or keeping silent on essential issues can easily distort our company is perceived by Generation Z. Taking a stance on social issues and raising awareness through fundraising campaigns will show consumers that you are aware of the problems that may be affecting them and you are supporting them through it.

From encouraging sustainability through promoting biodegradable products to bringing awareness to the LGBTQ+ community through rollouting out pride colors in your logo, there are many ways that you can incorporate a cause into your product or service.

Promo Tip: By simply typing in “awareness videos” into the Promo template search engine, Promo recommends many videos to help your company bring awareness to topics that may be really important to your audience. 

Influencer Marketing

Partnering with macro or micro-influencers adds credibility and builds trust amongst generation Z. As we see that YouTube stars are granted A-list celebrity status, it is clear the influence that people can have over the general population. 

Because of their large followings, influencer marketing can help your company attain a wider reach. They have already established a loyal following and help brand awareness by enhancing your advertising performance. 

Introducing the right influencer into your marketing strategy who fits your brand’s narrative will pull in a community of Generation Z individuals.

Promo Tip: Explore Promo’s editorial footage, where you can find inspiration from celebrities that relate to your brand. Using editorial footage and templates can easily add credibility to your brand.

How to Market to Gen Z on Social Media 

Gen Z on Instagram

With Instagram being one of the most preferred social media choices for Generation Z, with 65% of Gen Z being active on Instagram, it is no surprise that small businesses and marketers turn to this platform to develop their brand awareness and promote their company using Instagram’s unique features.

Instagram has allowed companies to thrive through their insightful analytics their business account feature to their modes of video uploading. This section of the articles will break down for you how to use Instagram to your advantage and create meaningful business outcomes for you and your audience. 

1. Instagram Video,Reel & Stories

Instagram reels, videos, and stories are a great way to showcase products, hop on trends and repurpose your content. For visually-oriented users like Generation Z, short-form videos have been successful in grabbing their attention and keeping them engaged. Creating video content to display your company or service will help you connect with Generation Z through rollouts of content using features similar to other leading social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok. You can use various tools to edit the video, from topics of keeping users updated on promotions to informing them about the company or service as a whole. Including macro or micro-influencers can help you attract more to your video content. 

2. Instagram Analytics

By analyzing Instagram analytics, you will be able to better understand Generation Z’s beliefs, expectations, preferences, needs, etc. Individuality is a key part of Generation Z’s lifestyle. Understanding the broader picture of your audience helps in making decisions on your content strategy. Through this you will be able to see what content is working for Generation Z and what content is not. Demographics, patterns and behaviors of Generation Z can be very complex. Applying Instagram analytics will simplify the process for you. Once you understand how to analyze them, you can develop customized content for a target persona.

3. Clickable Links

The bio section of Instagram and the Instagram business accounts allow users to add links to websites on their page. These links will make it easier for your audience to access more information about your company and service. Despite being well-versed in the internet, Generation Z does not want to spend all their time understanding your brand. With clickable links, you can provide users with easy access to your website and other important information about your company or service. A clickable URL link can help you drive social media traffic. 

Gen Z on Facebook

Despite seeking Generation Z’s attention like most prominent social media platforms, Facebook has been known for attracting mostly baby boomers. Because it is an older form of media that is less hyper-focused on visual content, Generation Z has less interaction on this platform compared to the other ones.  

However, as Facebook has adapted marketing strategies from other platforms, it is clear that there is a strong potential for Generation Z to gravitate towards Facebook as they would to Instagram. 

In that light, it is essential that you remember that Facebook still allows companies to share a lot of information about their brand and service in one place, from website links to reviews to product videos. Like all platforms, you can still communicate with buyers. These are all things that Generation Z still favors in a social media platform, making Facebook a huge competitor for Generation Z’s attention. In this section of the article, you will learn how to adapt to the needs and wants of Generation Z through Facebook. 

1. Facebook Stories 

Like Instagram Stories, Facebook stories are a great way to engage with Generation Z with minimal effort. You can diversify your content often; making the most of the video length, customizing your stories, and adding custom links can all help you level up your marketing strategy. Like stories on other major platforms, you can take advantage of the story being time sensitive and create urgency for your audience. Beating the Facebook algorithm can be done with consistent and engaging content, so it is essential that you tell a “story.” This is a great way to emphasize your call to action by clarifying the action you want your audience to take from your ad. 

2. Facebook Live Streams

With a similar feel to YouTube, Facebook Live Streams are a great way to communicate directly with Generation Z and have them be active participants in a conversation. Using Facebook live streams is a great way to answer questions and interact with your audience on a personal level. With authenticity being at the forefront of the Generation Z audience, it is essential for them to see that there are real people behind the company or service they are offering. They want to feel as though they care enough to interact with them and put the community at the forefront of their brand. The ability of Generation Z to react, like, and comment are all helpful in building relationships with Generation Z.

3. Facebook Groups/Pages

Facebook Groups are another way for you to connect with Generation Z and have them connect with other users that share the same interests. Allowing Generation Z to communicate with each other is a way to leverage word-of-mouth advertising. Generation Z is notorious for their ability to share information quickly. Facebook Groups will not only help them in getting the brand name out to their friends but also post content. Facebook Groups add an element of exclusivity to the user experience. On the other hand, Facebook Pages are only for the company to post but provide a more inclusive experience, as the pages are open to the public. 

Gen Z on TikTok 

Despite its recent launch in 2016, TikTok has taken the world by storm, creating a new space for individuals to gain popularity and share video content with a far-reaching audience. With entertainment being at the forefront of this platform, it has also been used to bring to light significant issues.

From hopping on challenges and trends to getting creative with audios and filters, TikTok encourages user-generated content to create a more eye-catching and engaging experience on their platform. This section will teach you how to target Generation Z through TikTok.

1. Tik Tok for Business/Ads

TikTok for Business is an excellent way to increase your reach, engagement, and creativity. They support businesses by allowing them to select their goal, audience, and budget. From there, they can design their ad. Their TikTok Ads Manager feature offers you tools to create and manage your ad campaigns. With help of Promo and TikTok for Business will help you make the best ads for your industry and leverage the tools already available to you at hand. 

2. User Generated Content

TikTok has become the place for user-generated content. With videos as short as 15 seconds, it is no surprise that TikTok can provide you with the ability to create content efficiently. From social media content to sharing real experiences through UGCs, Generation Z expects companies to be transparent in their marketing. Rolling out UGCs on your company’s TikTok account can create a more personalized experience and authentic perspective. 

3. TikTok Duet

Duet allows you to put your video side by side with another video. You will not only open your audience to the ones of those whose videos are dueting. You will also be able to convince your users to make specific actions based on your duet video. If you are a skincare company reviewing a TikTok video of someone reacting well to your skincare, you add validity to your product and increase the number of people you are reaching in your target audience. Along with influencer marketing, it allows you to easily collaborate with influencers and be on the same post. Duet is a unique feature that promotes storytelling and further relates a company back to the people who use it and the people behind the creation of the company. Creating a duet can increase your conversions and gain more views as a result of the viral nature of the TikTok algorithm. 

Gen Z on YouTube

YouTube has developed into a space for creators, influencers, and viewers alike to either create or view content with the intention of viewing or displaying informative, entertainment or relatable videos. From ASMR videos to lifestyle blogs to how-to videos, YouTube covers a wide range of topics that provides its audience with options based on their preferred topic choice. It has also proven to give space for influencers to promote their brand and continue to reach a wider audience. 

1. YouTube Sponsorships

As mentioned above, influencer marketing has taken the world by storm, introducing not only a new wave of celebrities but increasing brand awareness. Paying YouTubers to talk about your company or service is a great way to build trust amongst a group of Generation Z viewers and widen the customer base. Finding the right influencers to market your brand can make a huge difference in the success of their video. Giving influencers a discount code that they can share with their audience will show that you not only appreciate their sponsorship but that you want to offer something special for their audience as well. 

2. YouTube Ads

YouTube Ads are a cost-effective way to get your brand name out there. Ads are relevant to many audiences and provide users with more opportunities to get to know the brand. With links embedded in the video, viewers can further engage with a brand website and gain an understanding of the brand message before interacting further. Though they are not as short as YouTube Reels, they provide more time for viewers to get to know your brand and connect more with its message. 

3. YouTube Short

With a similar feel to TikTok posts, YouTube Reels engage the public without having a complete video. You are able to create a library of reels where users can look back at older reels. Repurposing content for other means lends to diversity in how your brand is consumed by viewers. It’s a great way to reach audiences outside of your current followers and is naturally more engaged than traditional videos because they are short in length. From educating users to entertaining them, reels allow you to build trust and expand your reach through the sharing feature on the reels.

Ready to Start Marketing to Gen Z?

Marketing to Generation Z brings its unique challenges. However, by following this guide, you will be able to understand what they look for and how you can include that into your marketing strategy. Remember that trends, diversity and inclusion, connecting to a cause, and leveraging visual content are the key pillars to incorporate into your marketing to Generation Z. Most importantly, make sure that you are using social media tools so you can further propel engagement with your audience.

So what are you waiting for? Join and begin marketing to Generation Z like a pro. We are here to help you every step of the way!


About the author

Jadyn Francois

Jadyn Francois is a third-year student at New York University and is currently a marketing intern at Promo. She is passionate about examining the various ways consumers interpret companies through their buying habits and preferences. Outside of her academic pursuits, she loves to explore the city, try new restaurants and practice yoga.

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