The demand for video content continues to increase, especially among Gen Z. According to a 2018 study, 85% of U.S. teens use YouTube. Simply put, brands and businesses targeting this customer segment will fall behind unless they adjust their marketing models to match the consumption patterns of this generation.
In this article, we’ll discuss why you need to create interesting and engaging video content for your audience, especially the Gen Z segment. We’ll also take a look at how to do so. Let’s get to it!
Understanding the Importance of Creating Engaging Video Content for Gen Z
The Pew Research Center defines Gen Z as individuals born between 1997 and 2012. This demographic is the next generation after Millennials, and they are often referred to as ‘digital natives’ because they’ve never known a world without technology and the internet.
As noted earlier, the demand for videos is increasing. Specifically, Gen Z has been found to favor video over other types of content. They use YouTube as one of their primary social media platforms. Also popular with this customer segment is TikTok, which was launched in 2016 and is currently the sixth largest social network, with 800 million monthly active users.
TikTok is primarily used to create and share short-form videos, and the bulk of its users fall between the ages of 18 and 24. Of worthy note is that both of these platforms encourage the production of creative, authentic, and fun content.
This indicates that regardless of the channel you’re using to reach the Gen Z segment of your audience, you’ll want to ensure that your marketing materials fit the medium, tone, and voice that most appeals to them.
5 Tips for Creating Engaging Video Content for Gen Z
Getting your audience to interact with your brand can be challenging, and even more so when it comes to Gen Z. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of five tips to help you create engaging video content for this customer segment.
1. Understand Your Audience
As with any marketing venture, it’s important to start by understanding the audience you want to appeal to. Generational differences make it imperative to stay in tune with the quirks and habits of your customers.
To create content that can engage Gen Z, you want to make sure to understand what sets them apart from other generations such as Gen X or Millennials. For example, they’re known to readily recognize diversity. They also prefer authenticity and will often choose influencer content over celebrity-created material.
Gen Z also tends to favor platforms with ephemeral and interactive content. WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram offer features such as stories or statuses that brands can use for this. It can also be useful to partner with influencers who already have the trust of this customer segment.
There are a few ways to find quality influencers you can work with. For starters, conduct keyword searches to find potential affiliates whose interests significantly overlap with yours. You can also search social media platforms using hashtags to find users who already post content related to your brand.
2. Create Interactive ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Experiences
According to a study by Expedia, most U.S. consumers prize experiences over possessions. Additionally, 37% of Gen Z say they chose travel destinations they see on social media.
This knowledge can enable brands to create content that engages their audiences more meaningfully. Pair this with the fact that Gen Z is more enthusiastic than earlier generations about controlling the direction of the movies and TV shows they watch, and you have a strong basis for creating ‘choose your own adventure’ experiences for this customer segment.
Technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) can enable you to create interactive videos. For example, LEGO has in-store VR kiosks that display the assembly of various boxed products.
Brands can build on this idea to create mobile app experiences that encourage users to experiment with using your products or services in much more diverse ways than you might expect.
3. Make Your Videos Shareable
Although it’s important to promote your videos yourself, a smart way to achieve higher exposure is to make them shareable. Gen Z is more likely than Millenials to like, share, or tag friends in branded content. However, this depends on whether or not your marketing materials are valuable enough to forward.
Naturally, engaging and authentic content can have higher sharing rates because it provides fodder for conversations within social network groups and can even lead to hashtag trends. Platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat can come in handy here. You can use their story and AR features to create fun, entertaining videos teens may appreciate.
4. Set a Realistic Budget
It’s important to diversify your video content and the platforms on which you publish it. However, the production process can be expensive, depending on the tools and expertise required.
For example, longer films with sophisticated visual effects will cost more than shorter, spontaneous videos. Depending on your content strategy, you may also need to consider the cost of editing software as well as the necessary time investment.
However, there are a few ways you can keep your video creation process under budget. For example, IGTV is a feature on Instagram that enables users to produce videos that run between one minute and an hour. You might partner with Gen Z influencers to create relevant content, or show behind-the-scenes brand footage.
Considering the fact that most teenagers consume video content using their smartphones, this gives you an opportunity to create cost-effective videos made especially for viewing on smaller screens. You might also consider soliciting user-generated content, both to save money and increase engagement.
5. Stay Mindful of Cultural Differences
The marketplace is increasingly multicultural and it’s important to stay aware of cultural differences. Companies who embrace diversity can potentially benefit from having access to a larger pool of perspectives and experiences.
This is especially important if you’re targeting Gen Z. According to the Pew Research Center, Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse demographic so far. Additionally, they have more liberal views on key social issues.
Some tips for ensuring you’re always putting your best foot forward when creating marketing materials for this demographic include staying up-to-date on current events, reading and watching content created by members of this demographic, and having multiple team members review videos before they’re published.
Videos are popular beyond just the Gen Z demographic. They’re easy to consume and can put a face to your brand, providing authenticity your audience will appreciate. In this article, we discussed tips for producing engaging video content for Gen Z, including understanding your audience, making your videos shareable, and staying in budget.
Which tips for creating engaging video content are you most excited to apply in your own marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments section below!