Targeting future generations is key to long-term business growth.
While marketers once turned their focus to the wealthy baby boomer generation, the power of millennial consumers is growing impossible to deny. The sheer size of the generation (over 72 million strong in the U.S.) has already given millennials enormous influence. Now, as the largest portion of the workforce — and a group that’s rising to senior positions in their companies — millennials are continuously increasing their spending power each year.
The power of Generation Z, otherwise known as the post-millennial generation, can’t be ignored either. Though Gen Z is still largely made up of minors without their own income, it’s a generation of trendsetters that has an indirect spending power of $143 billion.
Marketers are starting to recognize how important millennials and Gen Z are to their success. If you don’t want your company to get left behind, you need to recognize it and shape your marketing for younger generations, too. Here are four ways to target millennials and Generation Z with your copy.
Younger generations largely grew up with technology. Naturally, millennials and Generation Z have spearheaded the growth of ecommerce and mobile content consumption. Not only are these generations shopping online, but they’re jumping on their phones to research products, interact with brands, and make purchases.
To target millennials and Gen Z, copywriters need to write with the mobile experience in mind. Think of how you navigate social media apps and websites on your phone. For instance, your eyes likely skim through long pieces of text and gravitate toward movement (like videos and animation).
Writing for mobile often means writing short, punchy copy that works with visual or interactive content (like a poll), rather than standing separate from it. When writing social media captions, website headers, and calls to action, always cut the fluff and use actionable verbs. Make a lasting impression, fast.
Millennials and Generation Z are financially conscious generations. Both have been affected by events like the Great Recession, the short-term but impactful COVID-19 recession, and the ongoing affordability crisis. Many millennials and older members of Gen Z also face crippling student loan debt. While the spending habits of Generation Z are still emerging, they’re already avoiding debt, experiencing financial anxiety, and assessing need before they buy.
If you want to make your product or service a priority purchase for younger generations, you have to ease their anxieties first. Create content that demonstrates the value of what you’re selling. Why do your target consumers need your product or service right now? Identify your customers’ pain points and address them within your copy.
Millennials and Gen Z won’t make a purchase just because it’s cheap. If you’re writing the product page for a new facial cleanser, don’t focus on its affordability. Instead, younger generations may be more interested in how it can replace makeup wipes, offer a deeper clean than other brands, hydrate while cleansing, and improve your skin’s shine.
Before making purchases, millennials and Gen Z shoppers frequently turn to their fellow consumers for their thoughts. Ninety-three percent of shoppers say online reviews impact their purchase decisions, and many turn to their social media friends for recommendations. It’s why TOMS has had success encouraging customers to create user-generated content.
So how do you incorporate this desire for social proof in your copy? Get your real-life customers involved. Consider how you can include them in your campaigns, whether it’s by including a quote from a loyal customer in your copy, crafting a blog post that tells your customer’s story, or pairing your copy with their images.
Younger generations have embraced ethical values. Millennials are extremely eco-conscious, while Generation Z expects brands to take a stance on social issues. These generations connect with companies that share their beliefs.
Using content to express your brand values and share your ethical actions is one of the best ways to reach millennials and Gen Z. Don’t just scratch the surface. While short, actionable copy is the best way to capture the attention of younger generations, long-form content can be a great relationship-building tool.
Consider what blog posts you can write to demonstrate your deep commitment to ethical and responsible business practices. Write a blog post outline that includes sections that show how you’re taking action on your beliefs and why your audience should care. For example, if you’re writing about the importance of recycling, you can explain how your company uses recycling and each customer’s purchase results in a donation to an environmental nonprofit.
When long-form content is high-quality, helpful, and important, millennials are more likely to share with their peers.
You can’t win over every millennial or Gen Z consumer when you take a stance. However, you can build an extremely loyal, highly engaged customer base — which can be more valuable in the long run.
Millennials and post-millennials are powerful generations. Copywriters must target these generations to ensure the longevity of their brands. Luckily, all it takes is understanding what millennials and Gen Z connect with — ethics, mobile content, user-generated content — and embracing those elements in your marketing.
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