Ilya Gitlin is a General Manager at Nativex, responsible for EMEA.
In 2020, driving Gen-Z sales was seen as the holy grail. Despite being a massive opportunity, it required a complete revamp of communications strategies. Gen-Z now accounts for one-third of the world’s population, bringing with them an estimated $143 billion of annual purchasing power. Not surprisingly, Gen-Z’s use of social media far exceeds that of any other generation, as its members devour content from apps such as TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitch; to name a few. But indeed, the list goes on and on…
98% of Gen-Z owns a smartphone and got their first device at the age of 10. The research also shows how Gen-Z uses their phones for more than just social media and keeping in touch with friends. This generation demonstrates an increased preference for mobile commerce, something older groups tend to avoid.
As this powerful generation evolves the way content is consumed, and invokes change across the entire shopping landscape, companies need to develop new sales and marketing strategies in areas they have likely never pursued. While the importance of social media engagement is talked about at great length, many companies still struggle to innovate their sales and marketing strategies accordingly. What does this mean for 2021?
Driving Sales through TikTok
In a world of on-demand information and virtually unlimited content choices, today’s youth is attracted to short, bite-sized pieces of media. This contributed to the evolution of short-form video as we know it today. So, it comes as no surprise that some of the most popular Gen-Z apps are TikTok, Instagram, Twitch and Snapchat. Short-form video content has been a main driver for brand recognition and purchase decisions among the demographic.
For example, the rise of TikTok and its corresponding ad platform offers brands new ways to market themselves to help reach, or even exceed sales goals. The platform is a boon for progressive companies that aim to capitalize on trends and features Gen-Z responds positively to — including hashtag challenges and other interactive engagements. Sales teams should expand their tools by adopting the platform and leveraging content creators, as they provide extensive, affordable and organic reach.
TikTok’s recent partnership with eCommerce giant Shopify also signals that the social video app is strategically responding to Gen-Z’s purchasing habits. With Shopify’s integration, videos on the platform are now shoppable, and big-name brands such as Levi’s are already beginning to test and trial the innovative option. Tracking how the platform’s ‘Shop Now’ feature is received, Levi’s claims to see high engagement and increased site traffic from its TikTok partnership.
The creation of engaging campaigns on short-form platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Twitch give companies the opportunity to reach Gen-Z where they live, in a cost-effective fashion. Given its relatively low price point, companies can also test and refine their campaigns cost-effectively to reach this burgeoning audience.
Driving Sales Through Live Streaming
Another successful means of targeting Gen-Z is livestreaming, which lends itself to many of the products Gen Z gravitates towards — including cosmetics, fashion, and personal care. Livestreaming solves a common issue often associated with traditional advertising formats — ad fatigue. While essentially all ad formats provided on major social platforms suffer from ad fatigue, livestreaming offers creativity and spontaneity through the influencers’ off-the-cuff style of advertising.
Livestreaming gives companies large and small the opportunity to showcase the value of their products in new and unique ways. It’s no longer necessary to rely on a static ad to tell your story. Instead, live streaming presents an opportunity to speak with customers organically and authentically. Additionally, the use of Gen-Z influencers helps support live streaming efforts and can take sales campaigns to the next level.
It’s important to keep in mind that Gen-Z is the first generation to grow up mobile-first, and its members are fully aware social media serves as a common avenue for companies to engage with them. Because of this, the demographic is driving the future of commerce and other generations are following suit. Ultimately, to reach this untapped market, brands must leverage the platforms that Gen-Z prefers. By driving sales campaigns on TikTok and livestreaming platforms, brands can tap into the next generation of spenders to increase their sales and revenue.