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Is your digital strategy optimized for Gen Z young adults?

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Is your digital strategy optimized for Gen Z young adults?

When you think of young adults, do you picture a crowd of Millennials whiplashing between FOMO and YOLO? Then it’s time to update that mental image! Today’s young adults are members of Gen Z – the generation coming up behind Millennials. And, as such, they have a different set of behaviors, attitudes and expectations for brands than the YOLO crowd did. Digital marketers must revise their assumptions around today’s young adults if they hope to successfully acquire and retain this important cohort of customers.

Today’s Gen Z young adults differ from Millennials at the same age in three key ways: Gen Z is more diverse; Gen Z’s social media time and attention is distributed across different and more platforms; and Gen Z expects a lot more from brands.

Gen Z is more diverse

It is well known that the U.S. is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. What is less well understood is how much more diverse Gen Z young adults are compared to Millennial young adults (see below). Gen Z is more diverse in three ways: 

  1. First and most obviously, they are less likely to identify as white. Only a plurality, and not a majority, of Gen Z do so. 
  2. Fifteen percent of Gen Z – nearly twice as many as older generations – use more than one racial or ethnic category to describe themselves. So, at the individual level, they are more likely to embody diversity than previous generations of young people.
  3. Gen Z young adults are more gender-diverse than previous generations. And they are more likely to embrace gender fluidity in their peers. According to Pew Research, more than half of 18-29 year-olds know someone who is transgender (versus only 44 percent of 30 to 49 year-olds). And 56 percent of 18-29 year-olds say that whether someone is a man or a woman can be different from sex assigned at birth (versus only 32 percent of 30 to 49 year-olds).

Diversity Breakout of U.S. Consumers: Gen Z vs. Millennials

Source: Gartner Consumer Values and Lifestyle Survey, October 2021

What this means for digital marketers: Diverse and inclusive imagery and themes are important ways to demonstrate your brand’s core values to a wide audience. But they are even more critical as tools for resonating specifically with today’s young adults who are much more likely to see themselves in such representation.

Gen Z’s attention is distributed across different and more platforms

A decade ago, when Millennials were young adults, 57 percent of 18 to 29 year-olds had accounts on more than one social media network, according to Pew Research. Today, 96% of Millennials are on more than one platform, according to recent Gartner research. That same Gartner study found that most of today’s 18- to 29-year-olds are on five or more platforms. In contrast, most of today’s 30- to 49-year-olds are on four or fewer platforms. 

Facebook was and still is the top social network for Millennials, according to Gartner surveys, but it’s a third-tier platform for Gen Z, garnering about as much participation as Snapchat and TikTok, but nowhere near their participation on YouTube. 

Not only are Gen Z social media patterns different, but they also interact with brands on social differently. Gen Z users on mainstream social platforms are about as likely as Millennial users to follow brands. But Gen Z users are less likely than Millennials users to say they like seeing branded content on those platforms.  

That’s not a surprise when it comes to Facebook, famously seen as “uncool” by young people. But that’s also true for Gen Z users on Instagram and YouTube. In fact, it’s only on newer platforms like TikTok, which forces brands to become fluent in platform-specific functionality, where Gen Z outpaces Millennials in following brands and liking seeing branded content.

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Source: Gartner Consumer Advertising and Content Marketing Survey, April 2021

What this means for digital marketers: Connecting with Gen Z young adults online requires a multi-platform strategy that incorporates not just platform-specific functionality but also platform-specific tone and themes.

Gen Z expects a lot more from brands

Specifically, Gen Z is more likely than older groups to want brands to take stands and talk about issues. And they are more willing to put their money where their ideals are. According to Gartner research, today’s young adults are about as likely as older consumers to think brands engage in activism to sell their products and services. Nonetheless, Gen Z wants brands to do so anyway. And they are more likely than older consumers to want brands to be a part of solving key societal issues today.

Today’s Young Adults are Savvy Conscious Consumers

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Source: Gartner Consumer Values and Lifestyle Survey, October 2021

When it comes to brand activism, Gen Z believes in positive reinforcement. Gartner found that, while US consumers as a whole are about as likely to “buycott” (spend with a brand to support its activism) as they are to boycott (stop spending with a brand to protest its activism). Gen Z is more likely to “buycott” than they are to “boycott.” Nearly a quarter of Gen Z reported buycotting (versus a fifth of all U.S. consumers). But only 15% of Gen Z said they’d boycotted, versus 19% of all U.S. consumers. 

What this means for digital marketers: Social media content should focus on the issues and ideals that matter most to Gen Z. Your brand’s social activism story is a powerful way to engage them. 

Though Gen Z young adults are unique in many ways, they are still young adults. The life stage, whenever it is experienced, is marked by milestones and firsts – first job, first apartment, first serious romantic partner. Like their age peers 10, 20 or even 30 years ago, Gen Z young adults are making the transition into independence from having been under the care (and control) of parents and other adults. But they are not yet responsible for people other than themselves (i.e. they’re not yet parents). On these experiences, Gen Z is not unique.

Yet the cultural, societal and technological conditions of today are significantly different than those of even a few years ago. That means digital marketers will have to update their assumptions about young adults if they hope to stay relevant.


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About The Author

Kate Muhl is a VP Analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice, specializing in Cultural and Consumer Insights. She has been researching and advising on the consumer and U.S. culture for more than a decade.

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MARKETING

20 Best Tools To Help You Scale

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To grow and succeed in the digital marketplace and increase your team’s content marketing effectiveness, you must build a dependable tech stack that will allow you to grow without placing too much pressure on you or your team.

In this article, we’ll provide ways to boost the efficiency of content marketing strategies and a list of tools to aid you in achieving your objectives together with higher performance.

Strategies for scaling your content marketing efforts

Before we get into the technology you can use to improve your content marketing, let’s look at how you can get better results from developing a successful content team to help improve your performance.

Every team member will have a different job. They will use their respective skills to help the team reach its goals:

Managing editor

This is the person in charge of your content team. They ensure that all the material published is high quality and consistent with the brand’s messaging. Often, their responsibilities include hiring content writers and then collaborating with them to ensure everything is correct and on track.

SEO analyst

This team member is in charge of ensuring that your website meets SEO standards. They also select the best keywords for each article. SEO analysts help ensure that your material is indexed properly and written with search intent in mind.

Content writer

Most content marketing teams employ in-house writers, outsource the work to independent contractors, or a mixture of both. Because “content” is at the center of all content marketing operations, these individuals are essential for generating high-quality and research-driven material for your blog and other content assets.

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Outreach manager

This individual is in charge of sending your material to the appropriate forums on sites where your leads and influencers congregate and creating backlinks so that you receive the most value from each piece of content.

Top tools to grow content marketing and automate workflow

Inefficient workflows can result in delays in the creation of content as well as low-quality content because team members may struggle to work together and communicate effectively. Here are five tools that allow you to take control over the content creation process.

1. Google Docs

Google Docs is a free writing program that permits you to create, edit, and share documents online wherever you are. It is an excellent tool for collaboration and helps your team work together by giving them editing access. Features like “comments,” “suggestions,” and “mentions” let you add relevant information and people to your Docs.

2. GatherContent

GatherContent can be described as a central platform for content creation and collaboration that allows rapid and effective content production.

The tool offers a medium that lets your team edit and create content, monitor its progress, and publish it when it’s ready. Your team can also create structured content on a large scale in a split second.

3. Narrato

Narrato is a team management system that lets you streamline and control your content creation process, aiding cooperation. The tool has many useful features, including AI assistance, image search, content idea generators, and employee management options. You can organize content using boards, folders, and calendars.

4. Monday.com

It is an “everything you need” platform with collaboration campaign planning and content management tools. The fully customizable templates help your team collaborate, plan, and manage content production more efficiently.

5. Wordable

Wordable allows you to upload Google Docs drafts into WordPress in just minutes and in a designated format. The tool helps keep your documents clean, removing unnecessary spaces and line breaks as well as removing font and span tags.

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It also performs other functions such as generating tables automatically, simulating featured images, helping to choose alt text for images, etc.

The best tools for scaling the writing process and optimizing content

Your efforts to market your content depend on your writing skills or search engine optimization strategies. Here are tools that help you improve the writing process and SEO.

1. WriterAccess

WriterAccess is a platform that connects you with freelancers to create content and streamline your workflow. The Partner AI tools let you research trending topics, find new keywords, optimize content, and track SERPs.

2. Frase

Frase is a tool powered by AI that detects your audience’s questions and assists you in responding to them. It helps your team identify the questions your site visitors would like answered using Google Search. It also creates detailed briefs that allow you to modify your content to meet users’ preferences.

3. MarketMuse

This artificial intelligence-based keyword and content planner allows you to speed up the research process and identify what’s missing from your content compared to your competitors. The tool also helps with content optimization for Google search.

4. Clearscope.io

Clearscope.io makes it possible to discover potential keywords and determine terms you can integrate into your content to optimize it for search engines. The tool is also great for researching content and developing freelancer content briefs.

5. Writesonic

Through Writesonic’s artificial intelligence-powered Writer and Editor, you can write blog posts, articles, essays, e-books, and other types of content at the touch of an icon. Furthermore, you can use our editing tools powered by AI, such as paraphrasers, expanders, and shorteners, to enhance your content.

The most effective methods to increase the reach of content and establish collaborations

Content promotion is an excellent way to connect with the people you want to reach. The following tools will help you connect with your audience and establish collaborations.

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1. Evaboot.com

The most trusted place to find colleagues is LinkedIn. You can pull and search for emails in LinkedIn Sales Navigator with one click using Evaboot.

Evaboot can help you find suitable contacts by scouring the most extensive business network. It achieves this through an extremely effective filter that provides accurate and high-quality results that enable you to connect to skilled people who could help you reach your goals.

2. Respona.com

Respona.com is a link-building software that automates outreach, designs personalized email campaigns, locates emails of individuals you want to contact, and then sends customized pitches to these contacts. Using this tool, it is also possible to build automated sequences of emails you can use to mail personalized proposals to your email list.

3. Mailshake.com

Make your cold outreach fully automated with Mailshake to reach more potential customers and set up more meetings. Mailshake’s email tool utilizes AI and information from thousands of cold email campaigns to create constant, high-quality emails you can send to your leads.

Furthermore, you can use an integrated screen to contact prospects via phone or social media.

4. Hyperise

Hyperise lets you personalize images in your emails, Facebook messaging, chatbots, and LinkedIn. You can customize layers on existing images using Hyperise’s online editor and adjust them instantly on your website.

5. Icereach

Icereach can reach potential clients through LinkedIn by using intelligent automated sequences. The tool makes it easy to import leads and customize the outreach to a grander scale by adding distinct elements to create an original and customized message. The program will then create an automated drip program with automatic follow-ups.

The most practical tools to improve content distribution

Without an appropriate distribution system that allows you to reach your target audience and display your content quickly, all your efforts will go to the trash even after you’ve created some amazing content. Here are five tools that let you easily publish, share and promote your content.

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1. IFTTT

IFTTT is a program that lets you connect to, incorporate, and automate the use of your favorite applications. In integrating with more than 250 personal and business applications, IFTTT is one of the most effective ways to automate your content promotion efforts.

2. Moosend

With its easy-to-use interface, this newsletter tool not just assists you with the design of email drives but also helps you target your list of contacts with specialized content.

3. Planable

You can easily organize your social media posts, collaborate with other users, and plan it from anywhere with Planable. The tool also helps you streamline your social media publishing process by letting you schedule your posts.

4. Quuu

Quuu is software that can help you get top-quality suggestions according to your target audience’s interests. Quuu’s proprietary artificial intelligence algorithm will identify high-quality content and send it to your third-party scheduling tool. It is one of the best tools to automate your social media marketing!

5. Outbrain.com

Outbrain provides marketers with customized recommendations for the top magazines in the world to reach their targeted audience. Its proprietary algorithms help capture your audience’s attention and guide them into taking action.

Wrapping up

Content marketing is the best way to establish the credibility of your brand and expand your enterprise. The tools listed in this guide can be utilized to create a distribution plan, measure your marketing effectiveness, and even make your customers feel more involved, assisting you in improving your company’s performance.

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