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  • Writer's pictureFreda Smit

Cracking the Code: Successfully Marketing to Africa’s Gen-Z

Marketing to Gen-Z can be tricky, and marketing to Africa's Gen-Z is even more daunting. Our growing youth population comes with interesting consumer habits that are sophisticated, inquisitive and discriminating. Why not rise to the challenge and create appropriate marketing experiences that this group of 18-24-year-olds can authentically engage with?

So what excites and delights the new kids on the block? Well, it turns out the block is very big! Africa is not a monolith and the Memes, TikToks, and Ads popping off in Namibia are very different to the ones trending in Nigeria. It's best to narrow your market down and research, research, research!

Dali Tembo, CEO and co-founder of The Culture Foundry Co. believes that Africa's Gen-Z, even in a single country are a varied group with nuanced spending habits. Connecting with young Africans is simple says Tembo, “Spend some time with them to understand how they feel.”

But how do we understand and speak to this generation? The answer is:

Customization and Personalization

Gen-Z expects brands to speak with them instead of at them

Young Namibians, South Africans, and beyond don’t want broad messages from a global brand. They want tailored content from a local agency, they want their city’s soccer team to wear the shoes you’re selling, and they want to buy coffee from the same cafe their favourite influencer just visited.

The diversity of African youth presents both opportunities and challenges for businesses seeking to target this market. Fortunately, it's easier than ever to segment a big audience and send these smaller groups automated, personal messages inspired by their behaviour.

At V5 Digital we use Marketing Automation to help your business stand out from the crowd by sending your target audience the right message at the right time. But what is the “right” message?

Culture and Values

Gen Z values justice and equality

Africa’s Gen-Z is dealing with a lot! Everything from load-shedding in some parts to political tensions in others, social justice issues, protests, severe weather and more. The youth are standing up for what they believe in and want brands to do the same. They want to know that your business is not only concerned with making a profit but also with making a difference.

It's imperative to align your business objectives and values with those of young people living in Africa if you plan to market to them successfully. So pick a cause that your company feels passionate about and do some good in the world! As long as your message is authentic and your efforts genuine, it will resonate well with your Gen-Z community.

The best way to predict trends is to create them

To market to the youth you need to listen to the youth. Gone are the days when we looked to the US and Europe or to the affluent elite to tell us what is cool. Social media has been a great equaliser and trends are being created by an ever more connected youth on the streets of our small towns.

Get to know your local trendsetters. Speak to big and small influencers that have Gen-Z audiences, see what the kids are posting on TikTok, and use the youth to market to their peers. This market sector is often highly entrepreneurial and creative, so businesses that support and encourage these qualities are more likely to gain their loyalty and trust.

Leverage Digital Media

Gen-Z are true digital natives

Gen-Z is tech-savvy and digitally connected. Growing up in the age of social media, smartphones, and streaming services, they are used to instant gratification and expect a seamless, intuitive digital experience in all aspects of their lives. It might be worth it to invest in digital technologies that offer personalized experiences that meet their unique needs and preferences.

They are active on smartphones and tablets and your brand needs to ensure that it’s optimised for these devices. This generation is truly digital, preferring to shop online, interact on social media, and use the internet differently from other generations. Even something as small as a slow-loading website can lose you a Gen-Z customer.

Short and long-form videos are the way forward

V5 Digital used Video for its recent recruitment campaign

What does Gen-Z want? TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Youtube. When do they want it? Now! Whether it's a Twitch Streamer playing their favourite game or a beauty guru showing them how to create the perfect smokey eye, African Gen-Z loves engaging video content.

Jacobppt uses popular trends on TikTok to show off his PowerPoint presentation skills

As such your marketing strategy needs to include video content in order to resonate with this demographic. Medium found that this generation watches videos to escape from reality and destress, giving 3 tips for using videos to market to GenZ.

  1. Avoid content that feeds their already-existing insecurities. Good vibes only.

  2. Post Unboxing and Review videos. Get an influencer to try your product or service.

  3. Create authentic, trustworthy, branded content that includes an element of storytelling without pushing your brand too hard.

Medium goes on to say: “To attract the next big consumer generation, don’t try to hide the fact that your branded content is an ad for your company. However, be sure to offer viewers authentic content that’s not laden with logos or CTA’s. Instead, offer an entertaining moment or story that leaves them feeling good.”

In conclusion…

If you see Gen-Z as just another data point, you have already failed

Today's youth represent a significant and influential consumer demographic, with a unique set of characteristics that businesses must understand to effectively target them.

By leveraging social media, emphasizing sustainability and social responsibility, offering personalized digital experiences, and creating the video content they love, businesses can establish authentic, long-term relationships with this important group of consumers.

If you love the idea of reaching this important new market but would rather let the professionals handle the hard work, book a no-obligation consultation with the V5 Digital Team: Here

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