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Dr Nicolas Slenkovich and Brian Dalmaso list three things to keep in mind for Gen Z storytelling on social media

Published: Tue 26 Oct 2021, 3:42 PM

Last updated: Tue 26 Oct 2021, 3:44 PM

Generation Z currently makes up roughly more than 25 per cent of the American population. Projected to be about 40 per cent of the consumer market in the near future, Gen Z holds enormous potential for brands and marketers looking to secure a dedicated and enthusiastic audience. Digital natives who are known for their social commitment, Gen Z customers are very different from the generations that have come before them. They require a different approach to marketing, and those willing to make an effort will be well set to become a cult favorite of Gen Z.

Dr Nicolas Slenkovich and Brian Dalmaso are intimately familiar with Gen Z. "Gen Z is vibrant, caring, and very engaged," stated Dr Slenkovich. "They are the driving power behind an alarming amount of purchases." Capitalising on that is key while also understanding that Gen Z represents the future. Dalmaso has worked with audiences spanning all generations and profoundly feels that Gen Z is where we shift the narrative. Marketers must go digital as exceptional storytellers to captivate the fancy of this generation. "The landscape is changing," explained Dr Slenkovich, "and the time to seize on that is now."

1. Be authentic and prioritise engagement

"Gen Z is looking for an authentic two-way conversation," said Dr Slenkovich. "Social media has given us a way to talk with our audience as opposed to at them, and Gen Z expects the conversation to go both ways. So, when you tell a story, look at it from their perspective and create content that inspires them." Dalmaso explained, "Brands can even take this a step further. When creating brand stories or narratives, imagine how Gen Z might respond and give them the space to do so. They want to be heard. So don't make it all about you."

2. Keep it digital, yet tailor your content

Gen Z has grown up completely digital. "Gen Z is the most digitally inclined out of all the current generations," stated Dr Slenkovich. "They are highly connected and well-versed in everything digital. So, when you utilise different social media apps, ensure you tailor your content to the platform and per the audience.” Dalmaso expanded on this point and added, "Get the right experts and creatives to produce dynamic content that can tell similar stories across different platforms. Your story is your story. Whether you tell it via Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok, ensure it is told in its entirety and in appropriate ways for the chosen platforms."

3. Stick to your core values

"Gen Z is more diverse and socially aware than earlier generations," said Dr Katharine Roxanne Grawe. "Understand that they will dig into your mission and see whether your actions line up with your words." Dr Slenkovich further added, "Gen Z is more inclined to purchase from brands with strong convictions and values; therefore, ensure your story explains what you believe in and what you plan to do about it."

With these points in mind, Dr Slenkovich and Dalmaso believe digital storytelling is truly the way of the future as Gen Z embraces new and innovative approaches towards marketing and brand awareness.

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