They’re just a generation apart…but are Millennials and Gen Zs really tuning in to the same thing?
It’s not an accident that a lot of content these days is made for Millennials and Gen Zs; you could even go as far as to say a lot of content has been made for them, by them. These two generations spend more time online — and on their phones — than any other generation.
And while these two demographics are frequently discussed together as a single group of people, it’s probably unwise to produce content assuming you’ll get an audience from both.
They definitely have some similarities, as seen in how they get mistaken for being big spenders. But in fact, both generations actually spend less than past generations of people, and the oldest Gen Z members are notably focused on responsible spending.
However, there is research from multiple sources that differentiates the two generations. Studies from Vice, Insider, and Adobe say that Gen Z aims to spend money pragmatically as compared to other generations.
Some analysts suggest that certain populations of Gen Z’s saving approach is rooted in budgeting lessons that the generation learned from the 2008 recession. Since they were born in such a financially unstable time, they’ve naturally learnt to save and spend more frugally.
For the longest time, brand neutrality has been the norm when it comes to societal or political issues. While it might have been a smart strategy in the past when it comes to appealing to a broad audience, apathy is not going to cut it with Millennials and Gen Z.
Young consumers are conscientious and expect brands that they support to be purpose-driven. With social movements, such as Black Lives Matter, climate change, and LGBTQ rights being some prominent causes that they are passionate about, both Millennials and Gen Z believe that brands have a responsibility to make the world a better place.
In fact, almost 50% of Millennials prefer to purchase from a brand if their dedicated purchase supports a cause — take US shoe company Toms, which now donates 1/3 of its profits to grassroots efforts.
Before you decide on the kind of content you want to push to these groups of people, you need to know what they’re currently consuming.
As they grow older, Millennials want expertise. Personal touchpoints are key, but business content still must provide real insight and inspiration versus blatant product marketing.
80% or more want content that provides information on a seller’s products from their peers, colleagues and the seller’s customers. They want a curated content experience that addresses their business, industry, or market conditions.
Virtually all (96%) say that video is a key factor in whether they move forward in the decision-making process, and a whopping 80% of Millennials prefer video tutorials for a product or service. A similar 81% prefer video over written formats for troubleshooting.
For 70%, video is the most helpful content format when creating awareness of business-related problems. So treat millennials as the tech-savvy, connected, people that they are and focus engagement through targeting highly specific niche audiences. And always remember to connect with them on a personalised level.
Weekend Refresh rides on millennials’ search for content that’s inspiring and yet entertaining, and is an original video series that shows how spaces can be refurbished in the span of 48 hours. Phoebe Hettel, Brand Strategist of Tastemade states that “The goal is to inspire action, and to do so by providing accessible solutions whether it’s through food, travel, or home and design.”
Through showing the biggest generation of homeowners how to economically – in terms of both time and money – transform a space, it effortlessly achieves everything millennials want in content.
Of course, you could also have a more unique form of content, like how Ranker – a site producing content for millennials, by millennials – published a listicle that took millennials down memory lane and showed them how much collecting Pokémon trading cards was NOT a waste of their time; they can now pay off their student loans with their childhood passions if they chose to do so!
Gen Zs look for nuance in a world bombarded by bite-sized information. With so many people expressing opinions online and the ever-present threat of cancel culture, Gen Zs usually resort to consulting multiple sources to find out where online publications or platforms are getting their facts. They also search for multiple perspectives in order to form their own opinion and be able to back it up.
We wrote a blog 2 months ago about the ways in which TikTok is transforming into an educational space, and we think the channels discussing city planning, womens’ safety on public transit are great examples of the kinds of content Gen Zs like watching.
The “casually thoughtful” tone of these videos which pack so much into so little time truly demonstrates the kind of content you should make to reach out to them.
Would content appeal to a Chinese millennial the same way it does to an American one? Leadership & Organisational Development Consultant Melissa Lamson notes that American Millennials are driven to find meaningful work that expresses their values. Whereas Millennials in China and India are more focused on ambition and professional advancement, thanks to cultural pressures.
As for Gen Zs, the prevalence of social media in their lives makes it likely that it remains the foremost method of reaching these people. There’s a whole article on how Western brands can market themselves to Chinese Gen Zs, and notes that “Western brands should also define loyalty carefully. In China, this means more than just a repeat purchase…it means having an emotional connection and a sense of positivity and dedication to the brand.”
The winds of change are blowing, and it’s a must that brands grow to understand the habits of — and tap into — the growing market of the newer generations, especially if they want to stay relevant.We understand how to create content that appeals to Millennials and Gen Z. Want to start courting them properly today? Reach out to our CEO Simon Kearney at [email protected].
Sign up to our newsletter for a weekly update on the latest content marketing news. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel too!
Click2View is Southeast Asia’s premiere full-service independent B2B content marketing agency servicing clients like Microsoft, Google, Visa, Prudential, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.