Generation Z is the term generally used to refer to consumers born after 1995. Estimated to number some 60+ million, they make up a quarter of the UK population alone.
This is the generation that has grown up online; digital natives born with the online world at their fingertips. They are also known as the “self-directive” generation. They don’t want to be told what to do or how to think. Finding their own brands and creating their own influencers is important to them.
It is in understanding what makes Generation Z tick that we can begin to understand why their love of mobile marketing and micro influencers has fuelled a surge in growth of video stories.
Snapchat now boasts over 150 million users, mostly of the millennium and Generation Z demographic. Instagram’s 300 million daily users still dwarf them and the recent introduction of video stories on their platform has resulted in an explosion of new sign-ups. Facebook are also trialling story functions and brands who use their platform are seeing huge uplift in engagement when they stream live video to mobiles from their Facebook pages.
This psychological drive and content preference for video explains why user generated video stories are so impactful with Generation Z. Just look at it in terms of what makes this consumer group tick:
Generation Z have been referred to by Forbes as the “rebels with a cause.” They don’t care about traditional segmenting or labelling, be it social class, educational background, race or sexual orientation. They are the forward-thinking generation. Generation Z also don’t want to be talked at, or directed how to think or what to believe. They want to be involved in the creation of new attitudes. They want to be part of innovative movements. Video stories offers them the ability to engage in citizen journalism, to publish their thoughts and ideas to wider audiences and to directly engage with people in positions of power, in an attempt to change the world for the better. In this way – often through the smartphones in their hands – Generation Z can feel in control of their own lives and futures.
Generation Z have grown up in a world of fake news, big brand scandal and improved education about the plights of those around the world, thanks to the communication abilities digital opened up for them. That makes them particularly socially conscious. Generation Z want to make a positive impact on the world. They want to educate themselves about real issues and they want to seek out activists and be part of optimistic movements, from human rights to public policy or environmental issues. This then affects the type of brands they want to buy from, or associate with.
Video stories from brands give Generation Z the opportunity to go behind the scenes and see how businesses operate and experience almost firsthand the real on-the-ground effects of Corporate Social Responsibility projects that were once just tick box marketing exercises. Video stories have also increased the media available for influencers of this generation, and so Generation Z feel that video stories enable them to source lesser known brands and products, authentically made and honestly reviewed, without being advertised at by big corporations.
Generation Z care about making their own way in the world and they have a much stronger entrepreneurial streak than any of the generations that came before them. Their progressive nature allows them to think outside the traditional confines of life trajectories or career paths. Unlike millennials who are now at the age of having responsibilities like homes and children which may tie them down, Generation Z are the risk takers.
Video stories provides them with the fuel to feed these desires. They can follow real, unfiltered journeys of anyone they aspire to emulate from pop stars to business leaders. They can seek out the travel bloggers and the digital nomads, anyone who is live streaming a window into an unconventional world that they might aspire to join.
The great news for brands and marketers is that Generation Z see their smartphones as their primary communication device and favour mobile video content, both in terms of media consumption but also in how they communicate with each other and the world.
In fact, a Sharethrough study in 2016 found 74% of Generation Z participants admitted to watching at least 30 minutes of mobile video content a day, providing brands ample opportunities to engage with them.
Brands who show Generation Z that they do social good in the world, and give them a creative outlet to get involved in creating something innovative, progressive and aspirational, will flourish through this medium with this audience.
Vox Pop creates a direct channel between the newsroom or brand owner with their audience, so that fans, followers and viewers can contribute with direct uploads of their content, which comes with exclusive license.