Appealing to Gen-Z Graduates During COVID Economic Crisis

With graduation season upon us, another wave of Gen Z (those born after 1997) graduates from college this year. In the midst of COVID-19 and the job insecurity that goes along with it, this group carries a heavy weight as they look to enter the job market. And yet, despite that, this demographic’s purchasing power has hit $143 Billion. 

History has shown that when a global recession is looming, brands that continue advertising to stay top of mind will be the ones that will survive economically; but how can brands approach Gen Z with messaging that meets their optimistic attitude without failing to acknowledge the daunting economic time ahead of them? Here are a few tips based on the latest research on this audience demographic:

Gen Z is a cohort heavily reliant on technology, especially social media. 

They have grown up surrounded by technological devices, and they have lived a life of technological interaction. If anything, COVID-19 has accentuated Gen Z’s dependence on technology. With 39% of Gen Z having 4 or more social media accounts and spending almost 3 hours a day on social media alone, it comes as no surprise that they believe social media influences them. In fact, 85% learn about new products on social media. So, how can brands pivot to and maintain a strong digital marketing strategy for Gen Z? Prioritize authenticity in your social media advertising and leverage paid amplification tactics to boost the content to ensure that meaningful messaging reaches the Gen Z target. 

Gen Z is highly persuaded by influencer marketing.

What actions brands take to involve Gen Z, educate them, and earn their trust greatly affects Gen Z’s perception of brands. While a third of Gen Z follows brands that they would like to purchase from on social media, 52% strongly agree that they are influenced by influencer recommendations. A recent study pointed out that consumers trust influencers more than brands in the current COVID-19 climate. This is the time to leverage influencers who can speak on behalf of your brand authentically. Doing so is one way to keep your brand top of mind among Gen Z. Also, consider empowering influencers via creative content methods, such as AR filters. This highly engaging technology drives a deeper connection between consumers and the brand. 

Gen Z is highly motivated by financial incentives and brands with purpose. 

They love having access to coupons, discounts, or using reward programs. They chase value. They choose brands that are authentic with their actions and words. After all, this generation is driving brands to adopt sustainability. Gen Z is willing to pay more for sustainable brands since quality matters to them. But remember, they have an attention span of 4 seconds. Offer Gen Z’ers value in terms of quality and discounts to attract their attention. For example, incentivize them with discounts promoted via mobile wallet cards with QR codes, that allow direct to consumer communication on any brand updates and product tips. 

Interested in learning more about how The Cirqle can help you effectively reach Gen Z? Reach out to and we’ll get a brainstorm going! 

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