With all the buzz about new features on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram (lookin’ at you, IG Stories and Stories Highlights!), you may have thought YouTube had taken a back seat to other social platforms. Now, if we’re talking about anyone over the age of 23, you may be right. Gen Z, however, is a different story. As a generation of individuals who have lived their entire lives exposed to social media and technology, Gen Z-ers use these tools differently—and in many cases, more frequently—than generations before them. Although the lines are sometimes blurred between Millennials and Generation Z, make no mistake—these generations are distinctly different, and marketing to them effectively calls for different focuses and strategies.
Generation Z and YouTube
For starters: Gen Z, YouTube is not just “on the rise”: it is actually integrated into everyday life. In fact, 95% of Gen-Zers say they “couldn’t live without it.” As this group of individuals continues to mature and gain purchasing power, it will become increasingly important for marketers to utilize the platforms they actually care about.
Gen Z uses YouTube at a level unlike any other generation.
Compared to other generations, Generation Z spends much more time with online visual content and video, so it is no surprise that YouTube is so popular amongst this group. When YouTube first came about, it was mostly a place to see funny videos or watch music videos for free, but it has transitioned to something else entirely.
YouTube as a learning tool.
While the above uses still exist—and yes, are watched by Gen Z-ers—YouTube has transformed into a go-to resource for tutorials on how to cook, how to study, how to do makeup, change the oil in your car, and so much more. In other words, YouTube is no longer just a place for entertainment: it is a place for learning. In fact, the platform was ranked second in preferred learning methods, being beat out only by actual teachers. This makes for an incredible opportunity for companies to provide resources to their audience and potential customers. A good example of this, especially in our industry, can be found in Tasty videos. Because Gen Z is so visual, providing videos that show delicious-looking recipes presented in a captivating way is one way for us to provide real value to consumers while simultaneously promoting our products.
Branded content is valued.
Gen Z is overwhelmingly supportive of brands that create content that is applicable and relevant. However, they especially want this content to be authentic and entertaining, and ideally, to tell a story. There are plenty of ways to do this, and through video, it is easy to show personality. It’s important to decide what (on-brand) capabilities your company has relevant to YouTube. Some good starting points would be to think about your brand's story—is there a way to tell your story through a video that would captivate the audience? This could be done through interviews, behind-the-scenes videos of people working in the fields, or perhaps your founder’s story.
Basically, it’s important to decide what fits for YOUR brand and go from there. As mentioned previously, recipe videos are extremely popular, and being in the produce industry, we all have a unique connection to food. This provides you with opportunities to show your audience how to use your products in new and interesting ways—you can even showcase influencer recipes or reviews! Another great thing about YouTube is that there is no need for your content to feel “sales-y”…just providing your audience with helpful information and fun resources will keep your brand top-of-mind!
Can’t get enough marketing tips and tricks from the DMA Team? Learn more about how to maximize your marketing efforts and stay on top of social media trends by following us on Twitter at @TheCoreBlog.