I recently read an interesting article on PR Weekly titled "the new influencers" which comprises of a new crop of individuals often referred to as Generation Z (commonly abbreviated to Gen Z). These individuals are a group of people born just shortly after Generation Y/Millennials, most commonly defined with birth years starting in the mid-1990s.
Being an individual who’s largely involved and is fascinated by the influencer marketing space and the possibilities the industry holds, this article was always going to garner strong interest from me. Judging from this, it’s safe to say that the future of social media and influencer marketing hinges largely on Gen Z.
For agencies, marketers and brands alike, it goes without saying that paying attention and crafting content that is relevant (and also appeals) to Gen Z is a no brainer and probably should at least make up half of their marketing strategies. Why is that you might ask? And more importantly, why influencer marketing specifically?
Well, according to AdWeek, nearly a quarter (that’s an impressive 25%) of today’s marketers cite influencer marketing as being their most effective customer acquisition tool, whilst last year 81% of those who had previously executed influencer marketing campaigns agreed that influencer engagement is effective. And in case that wasn’t enough to convince you, social media today reports that 59% of marketers will increase influencer marketing budgets during the course of this year.
But where does the Gen Z crop fit into all of this? Instead of taking my word for it, this article from CMO comprising of some mind-blowing stats explains it better. Below are a few:
- Consumers 19 and younger prefer social networks like Snapchat, Secret and Whisper, and a quarter of 13 to 17-year-olds have left Facebook this year.
- By 2020 Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers.
- Gen Z are adept researchers. They know how to self-educate and find information. Thirty-three percent watch lessons online, 20% read textbooks on tablets, and 32% work with classmates online.
- Gen Z receives $16.90 per week in allowance, which translates to $44bn a year.
- Whereas Millennials use three screens on average, Gen Zers use five: a smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop, and iPod/iPad.
- Gen Zers influence $600bn of family spending.
- Fifty-five percent of those 18 years of age and younger would rather buy clothes online, and 53% would rather buy books and electronics online.
- Generation Z consumers spend 7.6 hours per day on average socialising with friends and family.
Judging from the above stats, it’s evident that this generation is vastly expanding, is tech savvy and will make up a large chunk of the typical consumer – in fact, this has already begun.
Brands like this one have already taken notice and begun collaborating with some of these micro-influencers. Perhaps it’s time for yours to follow suit or at least start thinking about it? Just some food for thought.