Just when we thought we had a handle on millennials, along comes another group of young individuals with unique online behaviours, needs, wants and demands. Typically speaking, Generation Z is the age group of those born between 1995 and 2010, making the oldest of the demographic 22-years-old (at the time of this post being published). Most of this group are either new to the workforce or are just about to enter it and equate to a crucial demographic for all industries.
However, like generations before them, their habits are different and previous SEO strategies don’t necessarily mean you’re going to reap the same rewards as with generations from the past. Source
So, because of this, there are several things you need to know about marketing to Generation Z, in order to tailor an SEO strategy that effectively captures their attention.
Here is what you need to know.
The culture and definition of Generation Z
To understand Generation Z and the differences between them and previous generations, it is important to crawl inside their heads and understand what makes them tick. An obvious distinction is that this generation has been exposed to technology from a very early age and should be regarded as savvy in most modern applications.
The first iPhone was released in 2007, which means this generation has been exposed to smartphones since they were three-years-old. Beyond that, an interesting cultural definition is that Generation Z will often favour chatting online, texting and instant messaging platforms, over direct human contact.
Older generations may value “old fashioned customer service” but this is an age group that is more likely to respond to a chatbot than a clerk working a counter in a brick-and-mortar retail store.
Any background or latent sexism needs to be avoided at all costs as well, as this demographic is highly conscious and sensitive to these themes. It’s also important to understand that these individuals are sponges for information. They have grown up on social media in the era of instant gratification, consuming information constantly – often in bite-sized chunks.
Modern research shows that people were absorbing 34 GB of information every day in 2017 – a number that would have risen exponentially in 2019. Because of this, we can assume that this is a generation capable of handling vast libraries of material and have the ability to find the information and resources they need quickly and efficiently. Your brand should be able to cater to this behaviour.
The figures behind Gen Z
Generation Z is also a very visual age group, so marketing campaigns that favour storytelling, explainer videos, and other forms of visualisation are highly regarded. And they are independent, autonomous and less likely to need assistance from their parents with most already boasting a healthy savings account.
Here are some other snapshot figures about Generation Z obtained from market research:
- Generation Z has a short attention span of about 8seconds. Approximately 11 percent have also been diagnosed with ADHD;
- They spent $200 billion globally in 2018;
- There are around 80 million people in this age group;
- Over 70 percent want to start their own business from a high school age;
- Over 60 percent want to be an entrepreneur, not an employee;
- They typically receive over 3000 text messages a month;
- Prefer Snapchat and Instagram over social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter;
- They watch twice as much video content every day as previous generations;
- Only 39 percent of other millennial age groups said they “wanted to change the world” in a recent survey, while 60 percent of Generation Z have designs on making a global difference.
The importance of journey mapping to create quality SEO
There are three critical points from Generation Z to take into consideration: they spend big, they have a short attention span and they love social media platforms. It becomes obvious here that you only have a short window to engage with this demographic, so knowing their priorities is paramount.
Creating a journey map – from ideation through to purchase and aftercare – gives you an invaluable snapshot of how Generation Z purchases and utilises the different touch points on offer. Reaching them through these touch points with the right SEO means you’ll instantly capture their attention –all of which will go a long way towards a successful marketing campaign.
Expand your social media presence
It’s always easy to use statistics to show why staying loyal to Facebook is important. After all, out of our population of around 25 million Australians, 15 million are considered active users of this platform.
This is an enormous audience and one which should never be ignored, but remember that Generation Z is starting to move away from traditional platforms like this. If you have not developed marketing campaigns for Snapchat and/or Instagram, now is the time to do so – and with confidence. Why? Because currently, 70 percent of users are watching more than two hours of content on these channels each and every day.
Expanding your content across multiple social media channels with tailored SEO is vital for reaching Generation Z, as they may not be using Facebook as a primary communication tool. Instead, utilise the social signals from the likes of Instagram and Snapchat to reap the benefits on your search results rankings. Remember that any relevant presence you can account for will reflect in your visibility within the search giant’s algorithms.
Embrace video content
As the previous stats show, Generation Z loves video content. They love YouTube and Instagram and also other platforms like Vine, Periscope and Meerkat. This raises the question – how do I develop an SEO plan for video content?
There are several key ways to use SEO to index your video, not only in Google searches but in searches raised through these platforms.
It may sound easy to use YouTube to host your video, but then you are competing with billions of other hosted content and run the risk of competitors doubling in on your traffic. Instead, look to alternative platforms, preferable ones that allow you to include SEO metadata in your video to enhance your results in searches. While YouTube does let you do some bits and pieces with titles and descriptions, it’s not all that flexible.
Some smaller details you can do for SEO on YouTube. Source.
For instance, Wistia is another video platform that offers more versatility, but there are many you can explore and experiment with to find the right solution for you.
Always include video transcripts as well, as this creates an indexable text that will improve your SEO ranking. Post up your video and publish your transcript on your website to take advantage of one bit of content in multiple ways.
And finally, make sure that the thumbnail image you use for your video is not an afterthought. This is going to be the main thing the eye is drawn to and a deciding vote (in that eight-second attention span) on whether to click on it.
Use data to assemble persona profiles
Big data has given us plenty of information on the average Generation Z persona and how to market towards their behaviour. But like everything, this is just a generalisation. Every person has their own actions, motivations and desires.
You cannot rely on market research alone; you have to create detailed reports on your customers to build personal profiles around them. That way you can learn the best ways to communicate with them, which platforms to utilise, and what time of the day they are more likely to engage.
This may sound like a lot of hard work, but thankfully, there are programs that can assist you in this endeavour. For example, HubSpot – a wonderful suite of marketing software – has developed the nifty ‘Make My Persona’ feature.
Make My Persona from HubSpot lets you map out your demographic in a format.
This program uses a simple Q&A format to help you build data on potential customers and understand their patterns of behaviour and touch points when it comes to purchasing. Using a program like this can help you build persona maps which are invaluable in generating SEO that is likely to reach Generation Z.
Are you ready to get started?
SEO remains as valuable today as it always has been in the digital world, it just needs to evolve when we are dealing with new generations and their behaviours.
By adopting these strategies and embracing new mediums and platforms, you can obtain great success within marketing towards Generation Z.
Get started with your very own SEO efforts now by calling us now on 1300 367 009