Marketing to Gen-Z, from a Gen-Z 

As Gen-Z enters the public relations, advertising, and marketing workforce, they’re redefining social media strategy. As a Gen-Z myself, I’ve had the liberty of crafting marketing and public relations plans that are a bit outside the norm, beyond “traditional” thinking. 

For me, it’s simple. I like to take a step back and consider “what would pique my own interest?” 

I believe Gen-Z is influenced by a keen sense of humor. Marketing was once a tactic to sell products, but modern marketing is about raising positive brand awareness and promoting an equally positive company culture. How do you do that? Three simple ways: 

  1. Be memorable. 
  2. Be honest. 
  3. Make your target audience laugh. 

There’s no longer a one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing. Social media has expanded the reach of companies 100-fold. Companies that find a way to stand out by appealing to their younger audience’s sense of humor succeed. With the rise of our grand supreme social media platforms, finding creative ways to market takes creative minds that know how to have a little bit of fun with their work. Social media marketing has given employees the leeway to let their creativity shine. I, for one, am a fan of witty word play.  

The National Park Service Instagram account is one such example. It brilliantly mixes informative content with entertaining language. They use word play and storytelling to keep people visiting national parks safer, and they use creative writing to draw more park visitors. This is a marketing score in my opinion: attracting visitors + creating a positive brand experience. 

While creating a ‘funny’ persona is great, a key piece of online marketing to Gen-Z is to stay within your scope. There is often a divide in opinion about companies weighing in on political or social issues. But beware: sharing personal opinion is most often what gets companies in trouble when marketing online. Some become so wrapped up in their witty online persona, they forget to remain true to their brand. In an online world that moves quickly, people need to know who you are, your mission and your values – versus teetering back and forth between brand-based marketing and opinion. 

So, my advice is this: be funny, be engaging, but know when to draw the line. Young audiences appreciate a resonating sense of humor and a ‘personified’ brand but stick within your area of focus.