If you want to create messages that resonate with your audience, you need to know what they care about.

Generation Z is the next big thing in marketing. Generation Z differs from previous generations in that they have grown up with the internet and smartphones, making them more focused on the speed of purchasing products and on customer service. Many Gen Z also saw their parents struggle during the Great Recession. This makes them more risk-averse. A recent study conducted by Goldman Sachs shows that Generation Z is more valuable to most organisations than millennials. Today, the oldest Gen Z are in their late teens.

They are coming into the workforce and beginning to earn their own disposable incomes. Brands should begin to shift from a millennial-first social strategy to a Gen Z strategy that focuses on platforms loved by Gen Z, including Snapchat and Instagram.

Start by Integrating them into your brand; help them build their personal brand while you promote yours. Encourage them to be social influencers. Be as authentic as possible. Take spontaneous photos and videos. Give consumers a look behind the scenes of your company. Choose a spokesperson to whom Gen Z can relate. Focus on social influence.

You need to have a quality product or service to convince people to love it. Once that happens, you’ll have influencers that are sure to impress Generation Z. Walk the talk. Don’t only say your company does great things for the community or focuses on philanthropy; you have to show and prove your acts of generosity.Work social good into your business strategy, and enlist the help of Gen Z to provide videos, images and stories that truly convey the power of your good work. Overall, Gen Z is innovative, phone-obsessed, and they crave authentic experiences. They’re conscious about the environment, choose visuals over text and prefer incognito social media platforms that their parents and grandparents aren’t on.

And all individuals want content that is relevant to them; personalised, customised content is more likely to be consumed and shared. Know your target market, and create a few user personas based on your most common types of buyers. These personas should be based on the buyer’s age, gender, education level, income, likes, location, etc. Keep personas in mind every time you write a post or create a video. Step into the persona’s shoes and ask yourself if they will find value in the content you’re promoting. When you utilise user personas to determine the content you create across each social media platform, you’re able to give your audience content that answers their specific problems — not guesses at them.

Figures show that 43% of people want to see video content from marketers and 51.9% marketing professionals worldwide name video as the content type with the best ROI. Due to the increasing popularity of video content, we can expect the trend to continue thus making this trend a valuable format to leverage. Videos increase engagement in the form of likes, shares, retweets, and comments on all social media platforms.

Brands can also use live video for customer service by hosting Q&A sessions and product demonstrations. These videos drive engagement because hosts can ask for comments, questions, and feedback from the audience.

For example, live streaming videos became highly popular in 2017 and this year their popularity is bound to increase even more. At this point, you can start a live video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it.

Another idea? Product demonstration videos on social media. According to research from Animoto, 4X as many customers prefer to watch a video about a new product, so share them on social media to encourage online shoppers.

Social media platforms have now been adopted on a large enough scale, and for a long enough time, that companies are really starting to hit their stride, settle in, and manifest into some sort of measurable final form. Time spent on social platforms is set to increase, with social media marketing following in concert.

“The most important part of ephemeral content is to be human. This is a unique opportunity to show an unpolished, lighthearted side to your brand, so don’t be afraid to share content that’s humorous or otherwise ‘flawed’ in some way,” urges Emanuele.


Stories from around the web

Facebook is launching the Community Boost program it introduced last year. The program was first announced in November 2017 to help small businesses and workers gain digital and social media skills. Crews of professionals will be sent to five cities to start training business owners and job seekers. The cities of St. Louis, Houston, Albuquerque, and Greenville South Carolina are scheduled for visits in March, April, and May, and Des Moines is slated for early June. —


WhatsApp officially launched its new app for businesses in select markets. The app is available now in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. ahead of its global release. The business app is part of the company’s plan to monetize without using advertising. Business account holders will be able to set up automatic greetings, see messaging analytics, and set up a profile page with information about the business. Some businesses already use the messaging app to communicate with customers, but the new app is meant for larger entities that receive a high volume of messages


A new study finds that Instagram influencer marketing increased 198 percent in 2017. Research firm Klear found that in 2017, the photo-sharing platform saw 1.5 million posts with the hashtag #ad, which indicates the poster is being compensated for their endorsement of a product. That figure is double the number of the previous year. Brands like Coach, Nordstrom and Forever 21 were among the most active fashion brands; according to Klear, more than three-fourths of luxury brands have some kind of influencer marketing program. The study found that 90 percent of sponsored Instagram posts had at least 1,000 likes.


YouTube is tightening its rules around monetization. Channels will need 4,000 hours of annual viewing time and more than 1,000 subscribers to qualify for YouTube’s ad program. Content creators were previously able to start monetizing their channels once they hit 10,000 views. YouTube will start enforcing the new rules on all existing channels as of Feb. 20, which means many channels that do not meet the qualifications are at risk of being demonetized. According to YouTube, 99 percent of videos potentially affected by the new policy generated less than $100 from ads in 2017.


Facebook is testing a new section for its app that features local news and events. Called “Today In,” the section is being tested in six cities: New Orleans, La.; Little Rock, Ark.; Billings, Mont.; Peoria, Ill.; Binghamton, N.Y..; and Olympia, Wash. “Today In” is a part of Facebook’s Journalism Project initiative and will show users living in these areas local information and stories. Facebook has been working on other “local” facets, including showing posts from local politicians and expanding Marketplace for exchanging local goods.


LinkedIn annual salary report revealed the industries that earn the most performance bonuses. The analysis excluded all director-level jobs and above. LinkedIn broke any ties by determining which bonuses “constituted a higher percentage of total compensation.” The top jobs are mostly in the medical and financial sectors. The jobs include: senior reservoir engineer, investment banking analyst and investment banking associate.

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