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Generation Z: How to reach a digital born audience

Generation Z: How to reach a digital born audience

As communicators we’re forever trying to research and understand our chosen target audience. More commonly the discussion has orientated around ‘Millennials’ but there is a new emerging audience; ‘Generation Z’. And they’re going to change everything in the world of communication.

It’s hard to define Generation Z (or Gen Z) but researchers typically use the mid-1990s to mid-2000s as starting birth years. This means that most of Gen Z have used the internet since a young age. They are generally comfortable with technology, using social media and are commonly used to having information at the touch of a button.

Gen Z has been described as ambitious, money-savvy and more socially-aware than other generations. In fact, 80% of Gen Z is said to have a greater tendency to buy products that have a positive social or environmental impact. This generation is also said to be more diverse and even less willing to accept stereotypes. For many brands this is important to shift their perspective accordingly and reflect it in their marketing.

So, with all this complexity, how can brands connect with Generation Z?

Gen Z’ers were born social. In fact, nearly 92% of Gen Z has a digital footprint. Arguably as a result of the celebrities and media they follow, Gen Z are willing to become unique through the brands they do business with. This generation is constantly bombarded by adverts as they spend a great amount of time online but in a 2016 poll, only 59% of Gen Z’ers said they followed an advertisement online before making a purchase, and 71% of Millennials said the same.

To connect with this generation, it’s not enough for brands to just say or want to have an impact. Companies now have to align their brand and services with a cause that matters with impactful core values. Companies’ marketing messages need to be clear about what they stand for so that their brands are not interpreted as uninvolved in or opposed to social causes important to Gen-Z’ers.

In order to be successful, marketers must work on strategies that incorporate the platforms Gen Z’ers use most. That means developing a strategy for Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. In Gen Z’s ever-multitasking online world, brands have to be fluent and fluid with their social media tactics.

What type of Marketing should you use?

Influencer marketing has increasingly become a lucrative advertising revenue generator for brands and businesses. Product reviews, tutorials and “how-to” videos are a great way to market products to an engaged audience. We see a rise in brands collaborating with influencers because they know how to grab the power of social media and use their credibility to affect their followers’ views (and even their purchasing decisions). Gen Z value influencers for their authenticity, their endorsement is valuable and therefore it gives a human feel to a brand. Brand awareness is the main reason many brands focus on influencer marketing, as it is an effective way to reach a wider audience and use an influencer’s (extensive) social reach to promote a product, without being directly involved in its promotion.

The same way you need a website for Millennials, for Gen Z, you must have a YouTube presence. And while most brands understand search engine optimization (SEO) for traditional Google searches, many brands aren’t optimizing search for YouTube. In fact, the same and similar tactics you use on your website need to apply to YouTube in order to engage with Gen Z. You need more than just a presence on YouTube; you need good content. The videos you create and publish must have a clear brand voice as Gen Z loves to follow brands that are funny and personable.

We found that the brands that are experiencing the most success use YouTube as an entertainment platform to tell stories and not just post content intermittently. Chanel for example, with its Beauty Talk, “how to” and backstage video is one of the most successful brands with more than 1 million followers. Another example is the Victoria’s Secret YouTube channel. The channel’s content includes everything from workout videos to backstage glimpses at hair and makeup practices to lipsync videos, all featuring their famous angels. Victoria Secret’s commercials are also regularly posted to the channel.

Can PR help?

When trying to appeal to a young audience, you need to do more than just advertise. You need to create a PR campaign that talks to them. Keep in mind that young audiences want advertising that adds to their life rather than distracts from it. Gen Z are an ambitious bunch and want to make their mark on the world. By showing this generation that you are a vocal, impactful brand you will start to win their support. Gen Z consumers use less traditional media than previous generations and spend most of their time in the digital space.

A PR company can help you break through the noise other brands create by producing a communications strategy that targets both online, social and traditional media outlets. From pairing with influencers, to creating engaging video content, our team of professionals will help you plan and manage your campaign to make sure it creates the impact you’re after.

Find out more about our consumer, business and social media services or discover just how influential your brand is with our communications strategy tool. The Influence Formula.

Maintaining relationships with influencers

The use of influencers to support marketing strategies has become a lucrative and effective way of communicating with a brand or businesses target audience. As communications professionals, we work hard to find the right fit for our brand and agree terms, but just as important is striking the right relationship and maintaining it. Read our top tips for maintaining relationships with your influencers.

  1.  Getting the perfect match

An influencer’s following and image need to be relevant to the product, brand or business they’re being asked to promote. It’s important to strike the perfect match between individual and business to be deemed authentic, influential and reach the desired audience. There is little value in using an influencer if their following doesn’t match the demographic you’re trying to reach. Make sure you do your research, if in doubt ask them for a breakdown.

2. Give influencers creative freedom

Influencers know there following and what gets the best results. It’s important they maintain their authenticity across their social media platforms. Remember that authenticity is why you hired them in the first place. Try to avoid setting an overly structured content plan, set out clear objectives and come to an agreement on what you are trying to achieve out of each post.

3. Agree expectations

Expectations need to be agreed in full prior to the campaign launch. If a business is hoping to engage with a demographic the influencer needs to know this upfront to help tailor their posts. The more information you can give the better. Don’t forget to check social media regulations before the campaign goes live. Sponsored posts, for example, should be flagged on platforms such as Instagram with #Ad which might need to be factored into your content strategy.

4. Nurture your relationship

You work hard to find the right influencer so remember they are real people too. It’s important to ensure you nurture and respect the professional relationships you have with them. Sharing results and keeping them up to date with the progress of the campaign or simply inviting them to your brand events and launches. It’s a great way of making sure they continue to be involved in the progress of the brand or business and keeps them engaged with your company ethos and achievements.

If you would like to hear about what our Influencer PR team could do for you, then please contact a member of our award-winning public relations team today.

Top influencers to watch in 2018

At PHA we love looking at influencer content, from established favourites to little gems we come across whilst stalking Instagram on our lunch break. Not only is this a personal pastime of ours, the wealth of amazing influencers online keeps us constantly inspired for our clients too.

Below, we’ve rounded up our top influencers from a variety of sectors, check it out >>

Our girl crush

Lareese is, in her words ‘all about the captions’. We love that in a world where we only portray our perfect selves on Instagram, Lareese keeps it real.  From chatting about carbs to TMI about her hair in the shower, Lareese is a breath of fresh air in the blogosphere. Alongside her hilarious captions, her blog and Instagram also feature beautiful, well-shot imagery that never fails to engage and inspire us. Plus, she’s founded her own charitable initiative #BrightonUpMyDay in which she sends a lovely gift box to someone in Brighton who deserves it – what a super cool idea.

Putting your hand up to get coffee is like, so 2007

A post shared by Lareese | Lifestyle Blogger (@lareesecraig) on

Purr-fect Pets

What would an influencer-to-watch list be without our very own Rudy? With a momager who works in the PHA office, Rudy is a sassy cat who likes a little adventure. If you didn’t think a cat could take better selfies than you, think again. She’s also a fan of a pamper and a snooze – major #goals.

Ever get that sinking feeling that you're somewhere you're not supposed to be? 😬 #RudyInTheCity

A post shared by Rudy (@rudyinthecity) on

Foodie Fun

Sometimes Instagram seems saturated with #cleaneating content, but what about the wholesome meals that are still healthy and make us feel GOOD? Dom Franks of Belleau Kitchen is of that ilk, leaving us drooling with his hearty recipes and delicious looking food. Brb whilst we have a bash at his sticky toffee pudding loaf cake.

Peanut Butter and Jam sticky buns… #recipe ok the blog today. Link in bio #belleaukitchen #stickybuns #pbj #peanutbutter #peanutbutterjelly #bread #buns #chelseabuns #food #foodporn #foodblogger

A post shared by Dominic Louis Franks (@dominiclouisfranks) on

Home is where the heart is

My London Home is the interiors accounts de jour. That grey Farrow & Ball paint. The pink sofa! The green headboard! If you’re looking for some home inspo this year, look no further. What we love about this Instagram is that we’re following the journey of a house renovation, so 2018 is bound to have lots of lovely treats in store (hopefully in the form of more fabulous artwork and cacti).

Sorry for the radio silence on my end – I've had zero motivation to post whilst simultaneously trying to battle the Siberian weather outside. It's a snow day for me today so this is my current view 👆. I refuse to switch the lights on this early in the day and and so I am sitting in the darkness for now.. I somehow managed to lose my purse between the supermarket and my home and I can only assume it's buried deep under the snow out there in Narnia. I need some kind of attachment that connects my purse/phone/keys/life to my coat. Remember when we used to attach our gloves to our coat with a piece of string? I'm bringing it back 😆. Watch out for octopus lady! . . . . #mydomaine#dslooking#apartmenttherapy#actualinstagramhomes#flashesofdelight#sodomino#pocketofmyhome#currenthomeview#theeverygirlathome#howwedwell#interior4inspo#myhouzz#anthrohome#interiordesign#ihavethisthingwithpink#darlinghomes#designsponge#decorinspo#interiordesign#livethelittlethings#designinspiration#homeinspiration#homegoals#interior_and_living#todayslovely#nestandthrive#thatsdarling#pursuepretty#darlingmovement#myfabhome

A post shared by My London Home (@my_london_home) on

Rosie Mudie

Rosie Mudie has been on our radar for a while and she’s recently ramped up her game with a flurry of new posts. She favours striking bold eye looks, so if you’re all about plunging yourself into make-up experimentation, Rosie is your girl. Instagram is a platform for getting us inspired and Rosie does just that. With a YouTube channel launching soon, Rosie is one to watch in 2018.

Life isn’t perfect, but your outfit can be

A bit of travel, a bit of fashion and a whole lotta sass! Tia Lineker’s Instagram blew up massively in 2017, due to her covetable boho-chic Ibiza style, enviable locks and unique dress sense. Therefore, we’re expecting more big things from Tia this year. She’s already collaborating with a whole host of brands and we can’t wait to see what else she has in store. *Warning* do not look at whilst at your desk when it’s raining, or you’ll get very jealous of her beach snaps.

But first.. coffee ☕️ Eyelashes done by @prettyperfect.lashes

A post shared by Tia Lineker (@tialineker) on

Just Do It

Nina Healthily is our current girl crush. She’s a body positivity advocate, is absolutely killing it at pole dancing, plus she’s educating people about how to manage a healthy lifestyle with a chronic illness. You go girl! We love that Nina has found her love of fitness in a unique hobby and we’re certainly tempted to try it out.

When was the last time you tried to learn a new skill? Or set yourself a goal that wasn’t “grown up”, but is just about trying something you think will be fun? My current (ongoing) goal is handstands – they aren’t going to pay the bills, they definitely aren’t everyday life skills, and they make me feel like a big kid in the playground but YES TO THAT!!! I love playing with movement and challenging my body to do things just for funsiessss. Plus these new movements actually create new neural pathways in your brain, making you smarter! (I am actually not joking here…#science 🧠) Maybe instead of focusing on aesthetic goals, or what you feel you “should” be learning, let yourself work on something just because you want to. You might find some magic there ✨ P.S big shoutout to @movewithtara for the epic class tonight 🙌🏼 Outfit from @boomboom_athletica

A post shared by Nina (@ninahealthily) on

I’m goin’ on an aeroplane. And I don’t know if I’ll be back again

Often the word travel blogger conjures up images impossibly tanned couples gallivanting around the globe. However, for many of us, that lifestyle is simply out of reach! Char, of Taylor Hearts Travel gives us a glimpse into her travels, doing it with a baby in tow. Showing it’s possible to even have mini adventures in your home town, we love being privy to her family’s trips – whether they’re on home turf or further afield.

This has got to be one of my best Mother's Days so far – waking up in a gorgeous villa in a foreign country, with my mini-explorers by my side ❤ Feeling very grateful and happy, even though everyone has definitely got a bit of travel exhaustion from the late arrival. The babas are now asleep and I won't be far behind them…but first….wine! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #HappyMothersDay #Puglia #Wearetravelmums #HandpickedbyBFY #villasinpuglia  #apulia #italytrip #italy #italia #meandmyboy #myson #myfamily❤️ #familyholiday #villalife #mamaandson #wearetravelmums #travelmadfam #thisjoyfulmoment #mytinyatlas #travelwithkids #travellingwithkids #travelislife #kidswhoexplore #toddlertravel #explorerkids #fearlessfamtravel #freespiritedchildhood #snaphappybritmums #gowithnugget #bringthekids #pottyadventures #joyfulmamas #igerspuglia

A post shared by Char • Taylor Hearts Travel (@taylorheartstravel) on

If you’re looking to use influencers in your next campaign, speak to a member of our award-winning public relation team today

The most ‘on-point’ fashion and beauty influencer campaigns of 2017

With brands working with influencers in bigger and better ways than ever before, from designing collections to fronting a movement, we look back on the most impactful influencer campaigns from the fashion and beauty world in 2017…

In The Style – ITSsarah

Set up in 2013, In The Style is an example of a UK brand whose success has been driven by the Instagram-shopper, as a result, the amount of influencers they work with has increased. Already part of the reality-star collaboration bandwagon, with collections from Made in Chelsea’s Binky Felstead and Geordie Shore’s Charlotte Crosby, in 2017 they shifted to work with their first blogger – Sarah Ashcroft.

In The Style understand realise how effective influencers can be. Their customers are teenagers and young women who have grown up in the generation where bloggers, YouTubers and Instagram stars carry as much gravitas as a movie star and therefore signing up their first influencer they are cashing in on a huge trend which is only set to grow.

By choosing a high-profile influencer like Sarah Ashcroft to design a clothing range, In The Style have tapped into exactly what their young customers admire and want to emulate. Her Instagram bio reads ‘Doing It For the Gram’, which could pretty much be 2017’s mantra, and intrinsically tie in with In The Style’s Instagram-focused PR strategy.

By coining a hashtag – #ITSsarah – which to date, has just shy of 2,000 posts, In The Style has cemented themselves as a brand who knows how to work with influencers, and we expect big things from them in 2018.

Boden – Wear It Like A Mum

Sometimes when we hear the word ‘influencer’, particularly in relation to fashion, we tend to think of the Sarah Ashcroft’s of this world. However, influencer marketing is a strategy many brands are and should be embracing, whatever their customer profile. In their ‘Wear It Like a Mum’ campaign, Boden worked with a different kind of influencer, those who are Mums, taking the phrase ‘dressing like a Mum’, and turning it on his head.

Boden worked with a range of influencers on this campaign, highlighting amazing women with great style who just happen to be Mums too. This included women such as Anna aka Mother Pukka – a feisty blogger whose blog is her full-time job, but also influencers such as Clemmie from Mother of Daughters who still retains her job as a midwife.

What we love about Boden’s ‘Wear It Like A Mum’ campaign is the positive vibes, the strong team of influencers they have recruited and the fact that the idea isn’t just about the clothes – its messaging transcends further than this, which makes it memorable.

In today’s world there is a such a vast range of influencers out there – for some this is their full-time job, some juggle their Instagram with their work and others regard it as a hobby. It’s therefore important never to discredit working with different influencers – dependent on your brand, your campaign and objectives, influencer marketing will work in different ways for you.

The Gypsy Shrine – Micro-influencers

Influencer marketing comes in many different forms – whether that is recruiting a high-profile blogger, a squad of ambassadors or engaging with lots of micro-influencers. One brand who has been particularly on form with micro-influencers, is glitter beauty brand, The Gypsy Shrine.

Micro-influencers are an extremely valuable tool. Their followers are often highly engaged, respect their opinion and care what they have to say.  Not only this, they can help with brand awareness, and their images can be reposted as great content on your own I.G feed.

Festival fashion and beauty has undergone many different trends over the years, but what has seemed to stick from 2016 onwards is glitter (quite literally – you find it lurking at the bottom of your bag weeks after the event). The Gypsy Shrine’s glitter is relatively low value, meaning it will be at practically zero cost price to send out far and wide to a band of make-up artists, creative Instagrammers and people who love being #extra. Their Instagram feed is repost-after-repost of crazy and beautiful glittered-up looks – it is definitely a millennial brand who know how to market their products!

⚡️Christmas Party GOALS!⚡️ @ginimisselbrook wearing our Chunky Silver + Gold Glitters applied using Paw Paw ✨ All available online ✨ Link in bio to shop! ✨ Top from @claudiapink #ChristmasGlitter

A post shared by THE GYPSY SHRINE (@thegypsyshrine) on

Sleek Make-up – #myfacemyrules

In 2017, make-up brand Sleek launched their #myfacemyrules campaign, designed to celebrate individualism and uniqueness with a love of make-up at its core. The campaign kicked off with a powerful video featuring a cast of makeup lovers, from medical students to professional make-up artists, along with the hashtag #myfacemyrules.

Whilst this campaign video didn’t feature influencers, Sleek got it right by starting a movement and coining a hashtag people can jump on. This includes the everyday make-up enthusiast and the influencers they have worked with since. Sleek have led the way by showing how an overarching campaign idea, encompassing advertising and PR, can incorporate influencer marketing. With a powerful memorable message underlying all activity, influencers and Instagram-users alike want to show they are part of this exciting movement.

Missguided – #MakeYourMark

2017 has been the year of body positivity, and with this, the rise of body positivity influencers pledges to not re-touch models and more diversity in fashion campaigns. Although we are almost at the end of the year, Missguided snuck in at the eleventh hour and wowed us with their brand new #MakeYourMark campaign.

This fashion e-tailer has made a pledge not to retouch any of their model’s ‘imperfections’ – to quote: ‘We’re on a mission to inspire babes the world over that love themselves, for themselves, to embrace your flaws, and to not strive for what the world perceives as perfection’.

To launch the campaign, Missguided has recruited a bunch of sassy girls, of a range of different shapes, sizes and skin tones, with one thing in common – that they love their bodies and want women to do the same.

Including influencers such as Emily of @darth-bador, who promotes self-love and appreciation, and Sam of @fattyboomtatty who is all about the self-confidence, Missguided can only be praised for this campaign (our favourite of the year). We have a little inkling that the body positivity movement is only going to go from strength to strength next year and hopefully more brands will adopt this thinking when it comes to their influencer marketing in 2018.

 

Getting to know…Proptech Influencers

The tech team had an eventful few days at MIPIM last week, meeting some incredible innovators in the sector. Yet one question we were asked by everyone was “how can we engage with influencers?”.

With the boom of social media, every industry has developed influencers, and proptech is no exception. We’ve picked some of our favourite influencers who are shedding light on the top trends in the industry and have become our go-to twitter feeds for all things #proptech:

James Dearsley – 7,041 Twitter Followers

Having started out at Foxtons, James’ love of proptech has developed over the last 15 years and he’s quickly become known as the original proptech blogger. Running his regular Sunday PropTech Review, James offers insight on the breaking news of the week and interviews the leaders of the industry on his PropTech Consult Podcast, which he hosts alongside Eddie Holmes, the next contender on our list.

Eddie Holmes – 1,673 Twitter Followers  

The founder and chairman of the UK Proptech Association (UKPA), Eddie has played a huge role in developing proptech in the UK. Alongside establishing the UKPA, which supports companies developing in the sphere, he has provided companies with advice and support through PropTech Consult and specialist recruitment firm, Hyre. From investment to hiring the right person, Eddie has been key to helping some of the biggest companies in the UK develop and grow.

Dan Hughes – 10.3K Twitter Followers

As the proptech lead at RICS, Dan has unparalleled insight on the future of property technology, which he shares on his own twitter feed and in the RICS news updates. Most of his day is spent addressing the impact of data and technology, so if you’re looking for trends in the built environment, he should be your first port of call.

Henry Pryor – 25K Twitter Followers

LSL Property Commentator of the Year, Henry has become synonymous with going against the trends, being one of the first to suggest we had witnessed the top of the housing market back in 2007. Since then, he has gone on to become the media’s go-to expert on property, using his experiences at Savills and The London Office to comment on the market and provide analysis of the breaking news.

Ishaan Malhi – 9,762 Twitter Followers

The founder of Trussle, the online mortgage broker who have created a hassle-free way to get a mortgage online, Ishaan experienced first-hand the struggles that came with getting a mortgage. Having tackled this issue by creating Trussle, he continues to shed light on issues within the property industry and is not afraid to share his views on Twitter.

Christian Faes – 8,973 Twitter Followers

A leader in the property finance arena, Christian set up LendInvest with partner Ian Thomas to streamline the process of getting finance to buy, build or renovate property. As someone who is passionate about supporting start-ups, he set up The PropTech Meet-Up to allow start-up founders to share their story and exchange knowledge on the industry and has been an early investor in the likes of Seedrs, Plentific and The Memo.

If you like our list, or would like to discuss the best way of engaging with these leading figures in the industry, Send us an email or tweet us at @pha_technology.