With little connection to the real world during COVID-19 – Gen Z is leaning on social media and digital worlds to interact with their friends. With the increase in mobile usage – Influencer marketing and social media has become one of the forefronts of marketing to them [Gen Z].
The world is shifting to mobile for streaming, shopping, business, and education; it’s no surprise that the gaming industry is taking a turn as well.
Gen Z is known for what’s hot and what’s not. They keep up with these trends that are set by celebrities and social media influencers. They’ll listen to what their favorite influencers have to say about social issues, fashion, and product.
Influencers spend time cultivating this virtual relationship with their audience, gaining their trust, and making them feel like they could be friends in real life. This is why utilizing influencers in campaigns targeting Gen Z is so important.
When setting up influencer campaigns it’s important to remember that the influencer should match the audience as well as be a good fit for the brand to succeed within that community. You have influencers for different niche genres such as indie games, korean beauty, and online metaverses.
The influencer should have enough creativity to give their own spin on the campaign, but be sure to include a basic guideline like personal links and brand guidelines.
The keys to a successful campaign are: Believability, Authenticity, and Storytelling! You want the influencer to embody your brand and message – you [the marketer] know there is a problem and they [the influencer] is the person to show Gen Z the solution!
Like IMVU, many companies are utilizing the growth mindset when running their campaigns. The process of testing and iterating the results with influencers, using scalable strategies, and data driven decisions can help build campaigns up to their fullest potential.
With all the data surrounding a campaign, it’s important to encompass a methodology to measure organic uplift as well. The use of tracking URLs and comparing cohorted user segments pre and post campaign are strategies you can ultimately use to help measure success.
Here are the top social media influencer channels to leverage for your campaigns:
Everyone, even those outside Gen Z, know about the viral app “TikTok”. It has become extremely popular among Gen Z and a key social media outlet for brands to reach them. The key to TikTok is simple entertainment presented in a well formatted manner. A video is able to be used over and over again without the audience getting tired of it.
For example, trends on TikTok incorporating a funny audio sound or a #challenge can gain momentum with the Gen Z audience because they can take a trend and make their own video matching it. This is why you can see thousands of videos under one sound or under one hashtag. It’s simple, repetitive, and Gen Z loves it.
IMVU uses TikTok as the forefront of accessing Gen Z – a key learning point for us was just having content up before we started to run ads. Having a landing page of sorts for people to access when they see your ads is important to not only show them your brand’s creativity but how the brand is relevant to them.
Tiktok is the place to show Gen Z your understanding of trends and relativity. A great example of this is working with influencers who flow well with your brand. Having them creative authentic user generated content around using your product and service.
Then increase the potential reach of that content by leveraging paid user acquisition to amplify that content across all the different social networks to maximize the success so more people can see the content beyond the fans who follow the influencers.
Beyond TikTok, you should also consider the old reliable influencer hubs like Facebook/Instagram, Snapchat, and Google.
Key findings with using these other influencer platforms are that pictures are worth a thousand words; cliche but true. Using images rather than words to entice users into your app is a better strategy for reaching Gen Z.
Something important to note is that all these platforms have different image specs with different “live areas” or typically areas people’s eyes are drawn to. Another key to success is doing creative refreshers AND using a data driven approach to do so- nobody likes to see ad/creative repeats.
It is a best practice to have an ad refresh every 5-6 weeks, but to also take advantage of the data that comes with the completion of a round of ads! Utilize the info provided for what kind of ads do well: what themes are winners and what themes didn’t perform well, what imagery is working well, etc.
Utilizing a data driven approach is important to find your best performing ads so that your campaigns can continue to improve.
Reaching Gen Z has become simultaneously easier and harder with the rise of COVID and Mobile. Influencers carry a hefty amount of impact and are the trendsetters of Gen Z. Utilizing them strategically can help with user acquisition, but there are still important factors like overall fit that can impact your campaign. Tiktok is a good place to start working with influencers for Gen Z.
The other old reliable platforms are still great to use but the key is finding the right influencers to represent your brand. Leveraging a growth mindset with a data driven approach is the best way to optimize any successful influencer campaign.
Lomit Patel is the Vice President of Growth at IMVU. Prior to IMVU, Lomit managed growth at early-stage startups including Roku (IPO), TrustedID (acquired by Equifax), Texture (acquired. by Apple) and EarthLink. Lomit is a public speaker, author, advisor, and recognized as a Mobile Hero by Liftoff. Lomit’s new book Lean AI, which is part of Eric Ries’ best-selling “The Lean Startup” series, is now available at Amazon.
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