How to engage with Gen Z and millennials in the absence of TikTok

a man wearing a suit and tie: Gen Z and millennials are highly sensitive about the environment and people around them

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Gen Z and millennials are highly sensitive about the environment and people around them

By Amit Tripathi

Videos or rather ‘snackable videos’ have been a hot trend for the past two years. Brands have been using both short and long format videos to garner wider reach and engagement. Videos ensure better connectivity and are extremely relatable. However, merely creating a great video isn’t going to make a difference, unless it reaches the desired audiences.

TikTok gained massive popularity in no time, and became one of the most downloaded apps by Gen Z and millennials. Brands took this opportunity to engage with their target audiences and advertise their product offerings to a larger community. The nationwide ban of TikTok shook the advertising and marketing sector. Many brands had invested in TikTok influencers, which was rendered useless with the app ban. On the other hand, a large number of influencers went out of work, as they had spent a considerable amount of time building up their content and fan base.

Reeling in consumers

However, many industry players and start-ups, having understood the potential of such short-format video platforms, introduced apps such as Moj, MX TakaTak, Gaana HotShots and Snack Videos. Instagram, too, came out with a short-video based concept called Instagram Reels. These platforms invested heavily on marketing to take TikTok’s place in India.

Influencers saw this opportunity and quickly jumped on the bandwagon. Instagram Reels has gradually gained popularity and is fast becoming the new source for snackable video content. It provided a platform to showcase talent and gain attention with quick and interesting short videos. Instagram outdid itself at helping influencers reach more audiences using their fabulous algorithm.

Not only did Instagram fill the void for influencers and consumers, but also for brands that rely heavily on influencer marketing. It opened up a gateway for personalised and highly targeted promotions, leading to abundant conversations. It further segregated influencers as per their reach – micro and nano influencers.

What Gen Z wants

Gen Z and millennials are tech savvy; always connected with their cell phones. In order to carve out a marketing strategy, it is essential to tap these mediums and grab eyeballs. Content plays a major role in the modern era of storytelling. This set of audiences does not purchase products to show off, but are more realistic and interested in understanding how the product will be useful to them on a daily basis. They invest in products wisely based on their usability and attributes.

Hence, the brand communication must revolve around values and emotional connect. Word-of-mouth is not completely trusted; consumers are curious to know if their favourite influencers are actually using those products in their daily lives. Therefore, it is vital to tactically showcase products when the brand ambassador or influencer is live-streaming, vlogging or appearing at events. Macro influencers are proven to be most trusted amongst all due to their personal connectivity and follower base.

Marketing with a purpose is another important aspect. Gen Z and millennials are highly sensitive about the environment and people around them. They appreciate brands that are socially responsible and support causes aiming to transform the society. Messaging and campaigns focussing on such topics witness a positive response and have a higher recall.

‘Act right to win the fight’: this is the best way to stand tall amongst competitors. Content buckets like do-it-yourself (DIY), testimonials, quick food recipes, home remedies and entertainment are highly consumed. Animal safety and cruelty-free brands are much liked and purchased by the Gen Z audiences. The mantra to win this set of consumers is to show empathy, value for money, compassion, durability and usability on the right platforms with a tech-first approach.

The author is MD, IdeateLabs

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