genz

If you were born in the mid 90s to mid 2000s, you would be considered part of Gen Z. In countries like the United States, this would mean you account for roughly 25% of the total population. Your purchasing power is around $44 billion. The new emerging market that marketers must tackle, you are the most diverse demographic in history.

If you’re in marketing, there is no excuse for not having a Gen Z playbook. Based on the numbers above, if you’re not thinking about the younger generation you’re preparing for failure.

To help get you a head start, here are 6 media consumption habits you need to understand about Gen Z. Find a way to tap into this market, and you’ll see hockey stick growth in 2017.

1. Instagram and Snapchat are the new kings.

Move over Facebook. While the millennial generation grew up with Facebook and Myspace, Gen Z as all about Instagram and Snapchat. And although Snapchat is catching up quickly, Instagram still remains on top for teenagers.

Have you been investing heavily in Instagram? If not, make sure this is a huge focus for your social media plan in 2017. As teen age users continue to flood to Instagram and Snapchat, companies late to making the shift from Facebook will suffer greatly among Gen Z.

2. Video is in.

Gen Z has even less patience than Gen X. While bloggers have struggled to find ways to engage millennial readers, Gen Z is now a greater challenge.

But instead of looking at this as a negative, use this as a sign to learn emerging media channels like video. As articles begin flooding the internet more and more, quality video is proving itself as a way to break through the noise. When it comes to this medium, don’t limit your thinking to Snapchat Stories and Instagram videos.

Look for companies that have made bigger plays in this market like Twitter and Netflix. With acquisitions like Periscope and big investments in Netflix made TV shows, the evidence is out. Big companies know they need to double down on video, as this is where the future lies.

For mainstream outlets, expect most major news sites to push video harder in 2017. Since you know this is coming, prepare early. Create a video marketing plan for the new year, and push to do more video based PR — such as Facebook live streaming — instead of just news articles. The more high quality video you can produce, the better chance you’ll get in maximizing Gen Z engagement.

3. Mobile, mobile, and mobile some more.

Today, all platform discussions center around mobile. And for good reason, 86% of Gen Z and Gen X use their smartphones periodically throughout the day. The rise of mobile has been so prolific that Google recently made mobile responsiveness a larger ranking factor for SEO.

If you haven’t done so already, test your site on a variety of mobile devices. Most sites look great on the newest iPhone, but many forget to adjust for the countless other screen sizes on the market today.

Second, begin researching mobile ads instead of just desktop. Social networks like Facebook allow you to pinpoint age group so you can pinpoint adds at Gen Z.

If you do this strategy, it’d be a wise decision to have almost all those ads be mobile.

4. The beauty of your social media posts matter.

According to Hubspot, social media posts with a relevant image get 94% more engagement than posts without one. It’s safe to assume this number is even higher among Gen Z.

With networks that focus on beautiful pictures like Instagram, and editing capabilities of social networks like Snapchat, pretty photos are now a must for teenagers. As much as witty content matters, the picture describing the post is the most important part.

A driving factor for this trend is the increase in photo editing tools available without any photo alteration experience needed. A wide variety of free tools allows social media users to get great looking pictures that they can edit to fit their message.

To take advantage of this trend, consider hiring a graphic designer full-time for your business. Even better, try to find a social media manager who also has design experience. As social media posting continues to evolve, more and more companies will need many people to run their social network communities.

Soon, being a social media manager will be one of the most complicated jobs on the marketing team. A combination of data analysis, research, and design, the position will become most critical in relating to the 60 million members of Gen Z.