August 29, 2016 / Katya Fainbark

Marketing To Gen Y & Gen Z - Dos, Don'ts & Important Tips

Millennials and Generation Z (Gen Z) – what’s in the names? In general, Millennials are the folks born between 1983 and 2000, while Gen Zers came in after 2000. But both Millennials and Gen Z descriptions cannot be brought down to just numbers; there is much more to them...

If you are a part of a tireless marketing team that goes to sleep and wakes up with the thought of creating the best content for your brand, you are probably cracking your mind to decipher these young, ambitious and socially-aware consumers. They are the present and the future of your brand’s  ecosystem.

So, how can marketers catch Millennials and Gen Z attention? More and more marketers give their votes to video content. The truth is, video content for Millennials and Generation Z is like food, and they are hungry for it. Both Millennials and Generation Z regard video content as a tool that satisfies their craving for information and independence.

tips on how to market to generation Y and generation Z

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According to a survey by Sacunas, 29% of Millennials hunt for videos during their buying process; and, as Zeno Group study has recently revealed, Generation Z simply cannot look away from a brand if it offers them to create content themselves (videos included).

tips on how to market to generation Y and generation Z

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When trying to connect to Millennials or Generation Z, you truly have a wide variety of video content marketing options to turn to. Here are 4 effective and quick ways to improve your brand marketing strategy with videos for Millennials or Gen Z:

1) User-Generated Content Videos

If you are eager to include videos into your Gen Z and Millennials marketing strategy, conquer the world of user-generated content. Why?

As Crowdtab established in their 2014 research, user generated content is the Millennials preferred method of staying connected with the world; millennials trust UGC content just as much as they trust professional reviews.

We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves: around 35% of Millennials view user-generated content as more noteworthy when compared to other media formats.

As for Gen Z, they demand self-expression; they don’t want to just follow brands, but create their own and customize. Not to mention that this generation of youngsters is drawn to visual content, conquering YouTube like Julius Caesar conquered Gaul, and using video-editing software like pros.

Actionable Tip for Your Brand:

  • Millennial Marketing: When creating a UGC video for Millennials, aim for authenticity. Millennials should feel that this video has been created by people similar to them.
    Knowing that, encourage your brand’s community to create a video review or a testimonial. As Kissmetrics puts it, “Millennials are influenced by social recommendations.”


Another idea for a campaign? Let them be the star of their own video – create a UGC campaign and entice users to promote your product by telling others about their experiences with it, for example. And, don’t forget about rewarding them for it, as studies show that 44% of Millennials see rewards as an important piece of brand-consumer relationship.  

Check out our 5 Bold UGC Video Campaigns to Steal eBook to see how other epic brands tap into their ambassadors’ talents.

  • Gen Z Marketing: As far as Gen Z goes, they too crave to see people who look like them in videos that have a true, “realistic ending”. Brands can use this craving and longing for creativity and authenticity in creating successful UGC campaigns, like Coca Cola has done with their “#WishUponACoke” campaign in which UAE residents made holiday wishes for their loved ones back home. They were asked to step into a special Coca Cola “Wish Booths”, located all around Dubai. 

2) Shareable Videos

Remember Ad council video? 

 The video was shared 2,743,138 times.

Millennials crave for happiness and inspiration in videos; a great and shareable video is a video that focuses on these states.

If your brand hunts after Generation Z, you should not miss on the fact that Gen-Zers live their lives with strong desires to make a change in the world.

How does this influence their video sharing habits, you ask?

Imagine you are a Gen-Zer. You want to make an impact on the world, but you don’t have that many resources yet, like money or a job, because you are only 13. How would you try to make a change? By sharing content such as videos.  

Secondly, Generation Z will share your video content simply because they love it. Sharing is Gen Z’s way of talking to their peers and telling them about the coolest video they found on the web. They will not call their friends and talk about your brand; they will share it on social media.

Actionable Tips for Your Brand:

  • Millennials: Shareable video content Millennials can work like a charm on Millennials when your videos bring cool experiences to the center of the stage. As said above, you would be Millennials’ favorite brand if you would start a user-generated campaign and ask them to create it, because that way they get to experience it in full.
  • Gen Z: Your best bet is to turn into a caring brand – the one that listens and wants to change the world. Watch out for comments and answers while providing fun and engaging content.

3) Social Media Videos

Social media to new generations is like milk to newborns. They are the natives of these digital worlds – they grew up with the World Wide Web right in front of their eyes.

For instance, Millennials regard YouTube as more fun and related to their everyday routine (guess that’s why they watch it more than TV).  For Millennials, videos on YouTube are a very trustworthy source they turn to when deciding whether to buy a product or not. It was found that 60% of Millennials would actually think about buying a product if it was suggested by someone on YouTube. Such videos are part of a powerful influencer marketing strategy, which can be used by your brand.


For Millennials, social media outlets are substitutes for newspapers, especially Facebook. According to a survey, conducted by the American Press Institute, 88% of Millennials use Facebook to get updated on what’s going on in the world; YouTube is at the second place, with 83% of viewers visiting at least once a day. It is social media where Millennials are looking for news, engagement and quality service.

As far as Gen Z goes, social media is a continuation of their own personality, with 42% of Gen-Zers thinking that social media has a direct influence on their self-esteem, happiness levels and the way others see you.

Despite the fact that most Gen-Zers have already fallen in love with platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, a surprisingly large number of Gen-Zers use both YouTube and Facebook as their favorite places to watch videos – 80% and 70% respectively, with watching times varying from one hour to three hours.

Actionable Tips for Your Brand:

  • Going for the right social media channel is key when marketing to these different generations. Choose your brand’s digital homes wisely before you build your video marketing strategy only on Facebook and YouTube.
  • Find the right industry icon to be the voice of your brand on social media.
  • Social media feeds are scanned, not looked at. Combined with the fact that people have attention span shorter than that of a goldfish – 8 seconds (Millennials and Generation Z included) – marketers should remember to make edgy, short videos about their brands


4) Mobile Videos

tips on how to market to generation Y and generation Z

It’s important. It’s engaging. It’s cutting-edge.

Mobile is the new ordinary. Your video, when viewed on mobile, can reach almost 50% of Millennials.

In fact, video playback on smaller screens has been on the rise since 2013, especially videos on social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Digging in a little deeper, Millennials are glued to their smartphones more than their tablets, spending around 51% of their time on mobile phones. And, if you had been thinking to get that video content out to Millennials before the weekend – think again! The prime time for video content viewing on mobile is striking: mobile is the primary video source on weekends.

Mobile may be very popular among Millennials, but for Generation Z – it’s almost holy. The only time they don’t use their mobile is in their sleep. Interestingly enough, according to academic research, 79% of Generation Z people show severe emotional distress when their mobiles are far away from them.

Most of Gen-Zers see mobile as the ONLY place to watch videos. For Generation Z, mobile marketing and social media are best buds; they communicate with peers via videos on social media.

Actionable Tips for Your Brand:

  • Millennials Marketing: When creating a video for mobile, aim for shorter 10 second videos.
  • Generation Z Marketing: Gather your brand marketing forces to prepare for omni-channel and cross-device videos at scale.

Key Takeaways

The bottom line is: Never forget about video marketing to Millennials and Generation Z. Brands with products that fit these two generations need to turn it into a commandment.

Generation differences can never be taken for granted.

t’s best to keep your brand video marketing strategy engaging to give these new generations the control they crave; keep it shareable with focus on emotions; keep it social media-friendly, but remember to differentiate between social networks, and keep it mobile.

In short, remember the golden rule: videos are like food for these two generations, so never end the supply :) Want to learn more UGC video marketing? Check out our 5 Bold UGC Video Campaigns to Steal eBook.

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Katya Fainbark

Katya loves writing about technology and psychology. She finds it a very intersting mix, considering each person is wired a certain way and technology is always changing. If she had all the time in the world, you'd probably find her travelling because it lets her to break free from the everyday and dive into new cultures, exploring new ways to connect with people. That's why her favorite Showbox Graphic Theme is the Great Outdoors.

About Us is a cloud-based video creation platform that enables Brands, Online Marketplaces and Websites to provide their communities with fully controlled, easy-to-use, video creation tools, ensuring high quality results.

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