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Gen Z Teenager with pink hair holding a phone
May 25, 2022 - By Jesse McCarl

What Kind of Social Media Ads Work With Gen Z?

Conventional social media marketing often does not work on Gen Z. They are certainly savvy, and the generation will call out any BS they see. And, according to Forbes, 71 percent of Gen Z wants advertising to show more diversity, while 61 percent are willing to pay more for products that are ethical and sustainable. 

Bottom line: When you engage your Gen Z audience, be ready for glowing praise … or an epic backlash.

Use the Platforms Gen Z is On

When you create Gen Z oriented social media ads, you have to know where they’re hanging out. Chances are high that you will find a big audience on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Pinterest. According to Pew Research, 45 percent of those surveyed in Gen Z report being online constantly. Gen Z is the first generation to grow up with smartphones, really never knowing what life was like previously. 

Be True to Your Brand

Gen Z can spot insincerity from a mile away. For example, you don’t want to be a pastry shop talking about the importance of eating healthy. Take the time to align your brand with what matters to both you and to members of Gen Z. 

Use Quality Influencers That Align With Your Brand

Don’t choose influencers on popular social media platforms solely based on the cost. Look for influencers who truly engage with their audience and who have a solid reputation for brand promotion. You don’t want to hire an influencer, only to learn that they make content that gets roasted all the time. Watch the engagement on sponsored posts for any influencers you are interested in. Don’t commit to an influencer just because they appear popular to you. Make sure their content is relatable to their followers.

Learn the Basics of Marketing to Gen Z

Understand that Gen Z is a diverse generation that wants authenticity, and will hold you to your word.  Relatability is key — when you are creating Gen Z social media ads, use content that features other Gen Z individuals. They want to hear from their peers about various products, and they want to see their peers in the ads put in front of them. 

You must be precise when creating your message. If you try to trick Gen Z into buying your product or services and they figure it out, they will let you know..

You Have to Be Savvy Yourself

For a marketer, being savvy means genuinely understanding  Gen Z. At Hawke Media, we use our own Gen Z talent for all marketing directed towards that younger demographic, to help ensure relatability and authenticity. That service is called Hawke Z. Our level of familiarity ensures that your content doesn’t get labeled cringe, and doesn’t get perpetually roasted by those who understand the platform better than you. 

Savviness also means knowing how to conduct effective video marketing. Poor lighting, bad scripts and fake promises are not going to interest Gen Z in your brand or content. If you aren’t skilled with video editing or photography, work with professionals that are. Your Gen Z social media ads have to look professional, or the roasting will ensue.

Social media is constantly growing and changing. With Gen Z being the biggest generation of consumers right now, you must learn how to create social media ads that work with this generation. Be honest in your presentation, understand how to use the various platforms and look for influencers who already have Gen Z’s proverbial ears. . You aren’t going to fool Gen Z, and  you can become a cool brand with enough work.

Hawke Media offers HawkeZ, an exclusive service operated by GenZ thought leaders to reach the audience you need.

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