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The Art and Science of Content Marketing For Gen Z

The Art and Science of Content Marketing For Gen Z

Guest Author Oct 05 2018 | 6 Mins Read | Level – Intermediate

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Teresa Zimmerman serves as the VP of Marketing at Personify. She leads Personify’s marketing organization and is responsible for driving market leadership, global awareness, demand generation, strategic events and product go-to-market plans. Teresa has a rich history of success driving excellence at enterprise SaaS companies, having spent time at Lithium, Vyopta and Fuze. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communication and Psychology from the University of South Dakota and an M.A. in Communication from the University of Nebraska. Teresa serves on the board of directors for BookSpring, a nonprofit supporting childhood literacy, and resides with her family in Austin, Texas.

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Ready or not, Generation Z has arrived. While they bring new energy and opportunities, they also bring new challenges and demands for marketers. Using a right- and left-brain approach to content marketing, mixing art and science, your organization can establish a connection with this new generation for years to come writes, Teresa Zimmerman, Vice President of Marketing, Personify.

As the world continues to transform in the digital age, the struggle to get your message across to up and coming generations in a meaningful way has never been more critical. Millennials, the first digital natives, marked a shift in the way many industries approached marketing, and this was no exception for nonprofit organizations. The rise of millennials forced nonprofits to consider the adoption of new technology and communication channels to reach this emerging group that would make up their audience of advocates. However, as millennials progress and shift from volunteer to donor, Generation Z is on their heels. According to MediaKix, Gen Z is expected to reach 2.6 billion people globally in 2020, and is poised to outnumber both Millennials and baby boomers. It is time for organizations to shift their content marketing strategies to reach this generation at the right place, right time, and in the right ways.

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Who is Gen Z?

Gen Z is made up of individuals born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. Growing up with numerous devices at their fingertips, the have a constant appetite for content. Generation Z can spend up to nine hours a day immersing themselves in content across a variety of channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. They also place importance on the NOW Effect: information must be mobile, transparent and delivered in real-time.

With today’s 24-hour news cycle, many argue that Gen Z is more aware and conscious of the world’s events than their previous generations and are eager to get involved in causes that speak to them. As educated members and donors, they look for content that is both creative and based on factual data. When choosing to invest either time or money in an organization, they want to know what makes a cause stand out from the rest and to ensure that this organization is both interesting and transparent.

While Gen Z brings new energy, ideas and opportunities for today’s organizations, this generational shift will demand a whole new set of tools and capabilities for nonprofit marketers to succeed. In order to reach this younger, digital-savvy, and socially-driven generation of constituents, it is important that organizations take a holistic approach to meet their shifting demands.

Content Marketing from Left to Right

When thinking through future campaigns, content marketers need to marry creativity with strategy and rely on both the right – artistic side of the brain, as well as the left – scientific side of the brain. With Gen Z spending a large portion of their day scrolling their news feeds and combing the internet, organizations must create visual and targeted digital content that stands out and provides a clear call to action. Share stories, provide different perspectives and rely on images and videos over text-based content. Grabbing this generation’s attention in the cluttered digital space is the key to gaining new volunteers and donors. The options to create this type of content are endless. With an increasing digital focus, companies should utilize both email and content marketing, while also maintaining a consistent and engaging presence on online communities (both private communities and social media) to connect with their audience in a meaningful way.

However, creatively grabbing the attention of Gen Z is not enough – utilizing strategy and data planning is critical to continually optimize campaigns and keep audiences interested. From performance and campaign tracking to operations and analytics, it is important to set and measure metrics for success and alter campaigns and their content accordingly.

Ready or not, Gen Z is here and they are looking to organizations to engage with them in interesting, strategic and meaningful ways. With a right- and left-brain approach, mixing art and science, your organization can establish a connection with this new generation for years to come.

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