In the last ten years, teenagers have been getting less and less sensitive to brands and companies trying to engage with them. Why is this happening and how should a brand revitalize the relationship with this target audience? This is CFX Squad’s view on the case.
” Teenagers are one of the most important if not the most important target audience out there. They are the potential customers that may stay loyal to your brand for years to come. ”
With teenagers fleeing Facebook when every father, mother, and aunt in the world made an account, Facebook had to do something to have access to this target audience fleeing their website once again. The purchase of WhatsApp ensured they had them once more. But why did Facebook chase the teenagers so aggressively? And if Facebook did it, should you do too? The answer is: yes.
Generation Z has more power than parents do nowadays.
Until the late nineties parents were the biggest decision-makers in the household. Teenagers followed most of the advice parents gave on what to buy when it came too expensive things like MP3 players, game consoles, and other expensive products. Teenagers, in general, were far too busy to review what the better choice was. Hey, teenagers of today, pay attention: We were actually outside a lot!
We spent our time reading comics, conversing with friends on our old school chatboxes, building treehouses, and playing sports. It’s crazy, I know.
In this day and age teenagers have changed. They literally have the world under the tip of their fingers. With smartphones being the supercomputers they are and teenagers growing up with this technology they are in general much smarter with using social media and looking up the latest trends. And parents? They get their son’s old beaten up phone when he feels like getting a new one.
Why do teenagers matter to your company?
Teenagers matter to every company out there! Teenagers tend to be the early adopters of the newest trends. Why? Because they are literally the first target audience that learns about the latest trends in fashion, music, gadgets, and lifestyle. With older Millenials following after them and our fathers and mothers somewhere way in the back of the line. Teenagers are the gatekeepers of memes, viral videos, up and coming pop stars, and new trendy products.
Teenagers have an amazing thing full of information on literally everything: it’s called the internet.
” But, if teenagers are on devices connected to the internet almost all day, how come we can’t get to engage with them on a large scale? ” – Every company ever at some point in time
Well, every company ever at some point in time, that’s actually simple:
You all want the same thing, and pretty much do it the same way.
The group of people we are talking about here is a group that all companies want to reach. But these Generation Z kids are also one of the most clever groups that will look straight through your marketing departments carefully crafted words.
Of course, there are brands that tend to get it right almost every campaign for some years now. And they benefited big time. (e.g. Supreme, WeHeartIt, Snapchat) But the percentage of companies not using the tools the internet gives us correctly is much larger.
Teenagers are very hard to convince because of the fact that they can and will do some serious thorough research before they believe what you have to tell them through advertising or branded content. They will look at the channels of their favorite YouTube reviewers, ask their friends on Snapchat and look up other reviews on your product or company before they even think about buying anything from you.
If you ain’t a trend yet, you better work for it!
” Oh yeah? So you guys at CFX seem to know everything about this how do you guys solve this issue? ”
Well, imaginary friend: by actually adding value to the target audience’s day. This does not only apply to Generation Z but to every target audience, a company wants us to target with the content we produce for them.
Want to make sure someone listens to you in real life? Go talk on their home turf. It’s the exact same with branded or advertised content online. Meet the teenagers on the platforms they are most active on. Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, WeHeartIt, Pinterest. You name it. Make sure you have quality entertaining content (tailor-made for the platform) as a top priority and sales directly after it. If your content is not appealing and engaging enough on itself, teens won’t even stop scrolling before the first six seconds of your video is played.
Even more important to up the chances of developing a ” thumb stopper ”: we like to get influencers that fit the case get in the mix. After all, they are the most influential people that reach huge percentages of Generation Z daily. After this section, I’ll get to the value of influencers, because a lot of companies still need to get schooled on how important they are for their brand.
With every case that comes to our desks being unique, we have a different approach for every client we work with. So it’s hard to give a blueprint for success. But we do know that mixing quality content with the reach of popular influencers is the way to go nowadays. We are a little ahead of a lot of competitors in the digital agency landscape because of the fact that we have a lot of friendships with actual influencers, not their managers or MCNs. And every company working in our field should invest a lot of time in this part of work.
The value of influencers and their reach.
Influencers are the new television channels. They have created their own audience/fanbase that visits them pretty much on a daily and consumes their content like a hungry pack of hyenas. No other form of media can say the same. That’s where their value lies. And still loads of brands grossly underpay them for their effectiveness.
A lot of brands still pay huge sums of money to get their advertisement seen on television. To target teens. This should never be a priority. Invest that money in getting a digital agency (like CFX Squad of course! #ad) that can help you shape a campaign around some relevant influencers where entertaining content is the most important factor. Influencers are upping their price on advertised content because they start to realize what they are actually worth. When teens see your brand around their favorite internet stars without it feeling like one big advertisement, they tend to appreciate you and your products and/or services more when they see you at other places online. Brand awareness will reach new heights after a bulls-eye social media campaign, and the sales will definitely follow. After all, teens talk to teens mostly, and they all visit their favorite influencer accounts almost daily and talk about the adventures these guys and girls go on, branded or not. The age-old marketing sticker ” As Seen On TV! ” does not work anymore. We can’t pressure teens to buy stuff anymore as we could in the old days. We need to really invest in a (brand)relationship with them before even daring to tell them to buy anything.
There is still a long way to go for a lot of companies on how to engage more effectively with this elusive generation of teenagers. I’ve been working with and as an influencer even before I co-founded CFX Squad as a digital agency. We are working with this target audience on a daily basis for clients and influencer friends and that’s how we can closely monitor the latest trends on all platforms Generation Z is active on.
Keep your friends close, but your -future- customers even closer!