ESM Digital's Higher Ed Marketing Blog

How to Target Generation Z

Millennials may be the most researched generation in history, but fast on their heels is the next group of potential students you’ll want to focus your marketing attention on. Members of Generation Z were born in 1995 or later and are more than 20 million strong –and growing. They are your future students but you need to start paying attention to them right now.

Gen Zers are more multiracial and multi-cultural than any generation that has come before them. If you want to appeal to them, you’ll need to make sure that diversity is on apparent display in everything you post on behalf of your school. Tell stories that are informative without judgment. Choose images that look like your future students, but also like their parents, their neighbors, their friends. They’re used to being surrounded by a variety of people. They accept it; you need to embrace it.

They communicate FAST and online.

Even more than Millennials, Gen Zers are digital natives with short attention spans, who spend A LOT of time on their computers and mobile devices. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the attention span of the average American in 2013 had gone down to just 8 seconds. Half of 13-17 year-olds use their laptops and more than three-quarters use their cell phones multiple times a day. And 85 percent of them conduct research online. The point is, if you want to reach them, use digital marketing and be QUICK about it!

Members of Gen Z talk in pictures.

They use a ton of images, symbols, emoticons and emojis. So if you want to speak their language, get visual. Use images they can relate to like familiar memes and emoticons. Consider speaking in “puzzle” as in: They’ll get “it” and you’ll get their attention.

They are a digital moving target.

They’re not all on Facebook. In fact, 25 percent of 13-17 year olds left FB in 2014. Instead, they’re posting to Instagram, tweeting on Twitter and snapchatting their friends. If you want to market to them, you need to be where they are, which means you need a digital marketing agency that knows what’s in now and what’s coming next.

If you’d like to learn how to find your future students, contact us at Effective Student Marketing today.

~Linda Emma