August 22, 2023
Video Content and Gen Z: How to Engage the Next Generation of Consumers
Generation Z (Gen Z), the demographic cohort born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the consumer market. Given their unique characteristics and digital savvy, engaging this generation requires a fresh approach. As the first true digital natives, Gen Z has grown up in an era dominated by social media, smartphones, and constant connectivity. They have developed a preference for visual and interactive content, making videos a powerful medium to capture and retain their attention.
In this article, we will dive into Gen Z’s key features and content interests, which will inform our recommendation on best practices to engage Gen Z through video content. Buckle up – it’s time to discover the keys to unlocking the hearts and wallets of the next generation.
Who are Gen Z-ers?
As mentioned above, Gen Z-ers are people born loosely from 1995 to 2010. Early on, they were already exposed to a world saturated with technology: from internet, to social networks and mobile systems; and they have also experienced the megatrends of the world: globalization, climate change, demographic shifts, and social instability, to name a few.
Gen Z’s key characteristics
While we do not want to generalize them all, we do have to acknowledge that such context shaped Gen Z’s key characteristics, which have been summarized perfectly by McKinsey as their “search for the truth”: expressing their individual truth, understanding and connecting through different truths, and unveiling the truth behind everything. To be more specific:
Individualism and Anti-Stereotyping
Gen Z-ers place a high value on individual expression and do not like labels. They feel comfortable to not be defined by a single stereotype, and are open to new experiences and experiments to create their own identities over time.
Inclusivity and Diversity
Members of this generation are generally inclusive and more accepting of diverse viewpoints and realities. A Stanford scholar argues that they care about others and value community, and they are “highly collaborative and social”. Gen Z-ers also believe in the power of dialogues to resolve conflicts, deal with the planet’s most pressing issues, and improve the world as a whole.
Awareness and Control
Gen Z prefers being in the know and in control of their surroundings. They also have a more realistic and pragmatic outlook on life, which can be explained by the socioeconomic instability during their lifetime thus far.
What content are Gen Z interested in?
Given the context where Gen Z has been living in, as well as their characteristics set forth, it is safe to assume that members of this generation would enjoy content with the following features:
As so-called “truth-seekers”, Gen Z-ers appreciates the authenticity of the content that they consume, especially in the face of a vast amount of content, in which much of it is forced, inauthentic, and/or heavily curated. They tend to respond positively to real content with real people, real experiences, and real stories.
With priority given to individual expression, Gen Z likes to see themselves, their interests, their experiences, and other aspects of their life, reflected in the content that they consume.
Growing up in the age of social media and information overload, Gen Z-ers have shorter attention spans and are used to consuming content in bite-sized formats. Additionally, as more or less pragmatic people, they prefer content that is short, comprehensive, and straight to the point. Therefore, they tend to gravitate towards content that can be consumed quickly and easily, such as short videos, memes, and infographics. However, this does not mean that they will avoid longer-form content, as long as the content is authentic, relevant, engaging, and informative.
Visual matters to Gen Z. They would be drawn to content that is visually pleasing and well-designed, such as through eye-catching graphics, well-edited videos, or aesthetic photos. Creativity and uniqueness in visuals are also added points for Gen Z-ers.
Gen Z is also fond of certain content types more than others. Among all content types, videos are likely the most popular, given that this generation is more or less visually-oriented; and videos are also more easily consumable, engaging, sharable (to social media platforms), and mobile-friendlier than other content types. As a result, if developed and optimized well, video content definitely has the power to grab Gen Z-ers’ attention and help drive their views into sales.
What is the best way to engage Gen Z?
With all the insights on Gen Z above, companies should invest in transforming their content strategy, especially video content, to improve engagement with this new generation of consumers and reach business goals. Here are a few key points that would be helpful for video strategies, should businesses aspire to revamp their videos to appeal to Gen Z consumers.
Real, relevant, short, and aesthetic content
Honesty, together with relevancy, conciseness, and aesthetics, are the best policy when it comes to the characteristics of your videos. They will appeal the best to this generation, given Gen Z’s preference for real, snappy, practical, and visually stimulating content that resonates with who they are, what they value, and what they care about.
Content for public good
Purpose-driven content should be prioritized, given Gen Z’s increasing awareness of and passion for social and environmental causes. Highlighting the positive impact of a product or service onto the broader community and the world would be helpful to engage and build trust with Gen Z consumers. However, be cautious not to make such content feel ‘forced’, which may offend the truth-seeker within each Gen Z-er.
User-generated content that involves Gen Z-ers’ participation (such as a TikTok challenge) should be incorporated in the strategy. This generation generally enjoys creating and sharing content, including videos, to showcase their creativity and identity broadly.
Influencer collaboration would be another effective way to boost engagement with and sales from Gen Z. Based on a survey of 4056 shoppers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and US, including 877 Gen Z consumers, it appears that 48% of Gen Z customers would buy a product based on a social media influencer’s recommendation.
Videos should be optimized for mobile devices. Companies should ensure that their videos are optimized for mobile viewing, with clear visuals, legible text, and appropriate aspect ratios. This will enhance viewer experience and make it easier for Gen Z to engage with the content.
Social media presence
Having a strong presence on social media platforms is a must, as Gen Z is highly active on different channels like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. Many of these channels also allow users to sell products and services directly, so businesses may also consider this function to help boost their sales.
With the rapid evolution of Gen Z’s preferences and trends, video content should also adapt to such changes. Companies should continuously experiment with different video formats, styles, and platforms to continue engaging this generation with their content.
Last but not least, everything should be evidence-informed. Irrespective of the generation of consumers that a business wants to attend to, business owners should always refer to data on video performance to improve their next efforts in content creation, optimization, and distribution, among other topics in their video strategies.
In conclusion, video content has become an integral part of engaging with Gen Z, a new generation of consumers that demand authenticity, relatability, conciseness, and visual stimulation in their go-to videos. To thrive in this new era, businesses must adapt and transform their approach to video content, by embracing purpose-driven narratives, user-generated masterpieces, and daring collaborations with influential voices, among other strategies.
In this digital landscape, Dailymotion stands out as a platform with great potential to cater to Gen Z’s video preferences. With a fully-fledged and optimal video solution that can meet both business’ and viewers’ needs, as well as a team of technical and business experts with over 15 years of experiences in the game, we are confident in our capacity to help you engage effectively with this new generation. Connect with us today and prepare to welcome a flood of Gen Z customers, eager to experience your brand like never before!