It’s no secret that print media is declining in conjunction with the explosive growth in popularity of digital content. The rising fear of publishers is evidence enough of the current need for change in an ever-evolving industry. It is therefore vital that media owners meet the requirements of the upcoming generation of media consumers if they are going to prosper in this new digital era. So, let’s look at what we should be doing to ease this transition.
Being able to successfully grasp the attention of generation z seems to be at the forefront of most content creators. With their high standards, it is seemingly unimaginable to successfully engage the new generation, unless you are a part of it yourself. However, whilst the task may be hard, it is not impossible.
As the development of digital technology assimilated with their own, it should come as no surprise that this generation are in the vanguard of the social media movement.
On average, they spend over 15 hours a week liking, subscribing, and commenting on their most beloved social platforms. It has subsequently become their gateway to accessing all the news and information that they could possibly want, all from the comfort of their own bedrooms.
Leading the charge of this social media frenzy are the platforms Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.
The mobility of the iPhone has become a catalyst to this growth, with a camera, a communication platform, and a television all accessible within our pockets.
Conforming to the use of hashtags, follows, likes, and regular activity are necessary for the futureproofing of any business, and as a prominent member of Gen Z and a daily user of social media, I can vouch for as much.
What you have to keep in mind with Gen Z is that they are anti-generalisation. They have grown up in a period of time in which the expression of individuality has been encouraged by social media. They strive to be unique and that is how they are expecting to be treated. They also understand the extent to which technology can be catered to them, so advertisers and marketers must recognize these expectations, and tailor their content to suit these individual likes and interests.
They are very much visually engaged. Many of them would opt to watch a summarising YouTube video on a particular topic rather than read an article about it. Emojis are embedded into everyday conversations, and images are becoming the fastest way to grab their attention. Thus, integrating graphics, images, gifs, and videos into your sites and social platforms is the best way to seize their fleeting attention and hold on to it for a while.
Companies such as Buzzfeed have done exceptionally well at adapting to the wants and demands of Generation Z. Their active role on all forms of digital platforms including sites, blogs, YouTube, and Instagram (just to name a few) can see the company acclimatize and appeal to a wide variety of contrasting audiences, who all have different requirements. Tailoring each individual platform with a specific purpose is an effective way to gain maximum engagement.
The most important thing to keep in mind, is that today’s generation Z is going to be leading tomorrow’s future. So, publishers must recognise the importance of understanding their thought-process and what appeals to them now, before they begin to fall behind. Social media will always remain an integral part of generation Z’s everyday routine; and it ought to be imbedded into every publisher’s business as well.