First Instagram, Pinterest, followed by TikTok, and now Threads. Social media forges Gen Z decisions as a one stop shop for making purchases, socialising and influencer marketing.
According to Global Web Index (GWI), social media is the top source of brand discovery and product research for Gen Z. Another way to put it – it has become the new search engine that plays a huge deal breaker or maker for Gen Zs’ consumption choices.
Algorithms are able to collect, synthesize and use search history, likes on posts or profile view information to smartly recommend relevant information.
It’s almost like social media can read our minds without us even asking for things explicitly. How futuristic is that?!
Another intriguing characteristic is the ability of social networks to gain a vast critical mass. It allows all people, from anywhere and diverse backgrounds to participate and co-create. This inclusivity fosters real views and opinions from real people.
These ‘real’ people perhaps share the same geographical location or psychographic characteristics as their audiences. In turn, making their content more relatable and impactful as 3 in 10 Gen Z use social media to gain inspiration and recommendations from other users.
This is where influencers hold an indispensable role in creating user generated content (UGC) that showcase the brand’s products while urging organic conversations surrounding it.
UGC forms a collaborative space for influencers and their audiences to co-create experiences. It allows them to be inspired than simply be told or informed what to buy, as contrasted to a sponsored ad.
As seen from the graph above, influencer endorsements strongly drive Gen Z brand and product discovery.
But to truly guide what content to produce, where to produce and what it should entail read further for some surfacing trends that you must know as a marketer!
#1 Crisis Fatigue
With the abundance of persisting issues like the pandemic, Ukraine-Russia War and of course climate change hanging like loose swords, Gen Zs have been hit harder than others.
No solutions, just problems. This is what they feel which causes them to feel a state of powerlessness and frustration.
Takeaway: Create campaign messages that have a clear call-to-action, where some results from audience action are almost immediately seen. AKA instant gratification to avoid audience boredom or burnt out.
Comments on Climate Change Post Displaying Surrendering Sentiments, Source: @unclimatechange
#2 TikTok As An All-Time Favorite
The fastest-rising platform for Gen Z. It’s about time your brand moves into this space before it gets saturated.
Takeaway: Content that smoothly links influencers to brands’ websites. Providing an omni-channel experience builds trust and is hassle-free to urge conversions.
A content style that uses a satirical and lighthearted tone of looking at life. They are an entertaining way of expressing ideas and processing emotions as they communicate a slice of life that everyone can resonate with.
Takeaway: Embrace content styles like memes, vlogs, reviews, etc, that showcase everyday ideas, routines or struggles. This creates virality and builds relatability with your audiences.
#4 Resurrection of 90s & Early 00s Fashion and Beats
Songs are trending from an era nostalgically remembered by Gen Z. Below are classic beats rejuvenated in today’s TikToks and Reels:
Associated with an ounce of coolness, fashion inspos like low waist jeans or pastel mini dresses (below) are back with a fresh look.
Image From Vogue Italia March 1994, Source: @90sanxiety
Takeaway: Incorporate those aspirations and embellishments in your campaigns that Gen Z admire and find comfort in. Oh and keep up with the trends!