As a blogger, you know how important it is to attract as many readers as you can to your website. Whatever your topic may be, whether it’s accounting advice or tales of travel, your blog is important to you, and to your business.
Some bloggers make money from affiliate ads, while others use their blog as a way to attract potential customers. And even though you’ve conducted lots of customer research, and mastered the art of quickly writing an awesome blog post, that doesn’t mean you still don’t have work to do. Because recently, you’ve been thinking that you want to attract Gen Zers to your blog. And they’re a mystery to you.
What are the characteristics of Generation Z?
Before we go further, what exactly is a Gen Zer? Turns out not even the experts agree on what the post millennial generation is called, or even what birth years to start with. But, whether you call them iGen, post-millennials, or Zers, you’re more or less referring to those born between the mid-1990s to mid-2000s, and who have had easy access to the Internet since – well, always. This demographic is highly comfortable with technology and social media and more inclined to be independent, politically progressive and less risk-averse than previous generations.
While those are broad strokes, there are still some great strategies you can use right now to attract plenty of Generation Zers to your blog. It’s all about understanding their preferences and how, in many ways, they’re different from any previous generation (yes, even you, Millennials!) So if you want to learn top strategies for attracting the tech-savvy members of Generation Z to your online presence, read on.
Gen Z is mobile-first
For software developers and UX experts, mobile-first is a guiding light – acknowledging the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets as our primary means of connecting and consuming the internet. Basically, design for a quality mobile experience first, because there’s a high likelihood that’s where new customers or connections will find you. Not surprisingly, this is exceptionally true for Generation Z.
If you’ve ever been amongst Gen Zers, whether that’s on a college campus or running errands downtown, there’s one trend that you’ve noticed all of them follow: they’re always on their phones. And it’s no surprise, considering that this demographic has grown up with information at their fingertips, whether that’s with a smartphone or a tablet always on hand. It’s how they communicate with their friends, too. They’re always scrolling through Instagram and checking Snapchat to see what their friends, and favorite celebrities, are doing. In 2017, it was reported that Gen Zers spend over four hours a day online on a mobile device – and this number is guaranteed to increase.
So if you want their attention, you need to be able to reach them on their phones. This means having a responsive website, one that’s easy to navigate on a small screen. Websites that require visitors to pinch and zoom and scroll to view content won’t cut it. Mobile first. For more details on how to build a responsive website, view this First Site Guide for mobile-friendly tips.
Gen Zers want authentic stories
In his tips for marketing to Gen Z consumers, entrepreneur and social media expert Deep Patel says, “Gen Zers are the first generation that has never known life without easy Internet access… they recognize the value of their attention. They don’t sit through ads. They don’t give heavily sponsored content the time of day. What they’re looking for is value.”
In other words, Gen Zers will know right away whether the blog post you’re writing is sponsored. They’ll know if you’ve just written it to get your blog post done for the week. And they’ll promptly stop following your blog.
Instead, make your content wonderful. Make it funny. Make it honest. Include a narrative. And if you can, make it a series.
Remember, Gen Zers are always using features like Instagram stories and Snapchat stories, and waiting for updates from their favorite brands about how their latest fundraising effort is going. Gen Zers will soon represent 40% of US consumers, so it’s worth putting in extra effort to be a little more Shakespeare (or a little more Rick and Morty, if that’s your jam). For more insights on how exactly to do this, review these tips on storytelling for blogs.
Don’t Post and Bounce – Gen Z Likes Engagement
Adweek says of Gen Z, “if Gen-Z consumers help produce or create the message, they’ll be more responsive to it.” User-generated content is a big draw for a demographic that lives online.
Apparel brand Hollister successfully implemented this approach using Snapchat geofilters, providing real-life, user-generated content for the brand that both relies and focuses on the Gen Z shopper, rather than just pushing another ad campaign.
“Snapchat geofilters are participatory in the way consumers share the experience with the brand, thus connecting with Gen Z.”
Be mindful though. The Hollister campaign actively wooed Gen Z consumers to participate, using a social media platform they’re already using – so if you want to be taken seriously as a blogger by Gen Z, you might have to stretch your creative wings a bit.
There are a couple easy ways to do this that don’t require investing in your own Snapchat geofilter. Consider having Gen Zers write guest posts for your blog. Not only does this show that you value their insights and viewpoints, it also differentiates you from competitors who may be too stubborn or old-fashioned to do this. Additionally, it’s highly likely they’ll share their post with their own followers on social media – potentially introducing your blog to hundreds of new Gen Z followers.
88% of Gen Z students surveyed by SCG used Snapchat and Instagram, so it’s a near-guaranteed social share.
In using these strategies, you’ll attract Generation Z to your blog – which, in turn, will attract their peers. It’s all about knowing how and where to reach them, and how to keep them interested and engaged with your content.
What other strategies do you use to attract readers to your blog?