Optimize Your Brand for Generation Z with the Four C’s of Content

Conversation, Community, Change and Culture  

According to ForbesGeneration Z will account for 40% of all consumers by next year. As marketers, it’s important to understand these consumers habits, interests, and behaviors to create a successful and targeted content strategy. Our study this month of 1,000 Gen Zers can help brands to optimize their content to reach teens and young adults 


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Capturing attention through headlines

Headlines are important. According to Inc., brands have only about three seconds to capture the attention of Gen Z at the beginning of a video or article. Newswhip recently noted a trend of successful headlines that target Gen Z as being “conversational;” they cited Elite Daily’s top articles of the year, where headlines contained additional context, slang, or advice.

Fuse’s survey indicates that Gen Z consumers are most drawn to “best of” headlines, followed by language such as, “why x people do x…”

Gen Z’s Favorite Headlines

  • “The “Best of…” i.e. The Best Movies of 2018 28% 28%
  • “Why x People Do x…” i.e. Why Smart People Get Up Before 7am 21% 21%
  • “The “Scientific Fact” i.e. Pets are Good for Your Health, and We Have the Studies to Prove it. 20% 20%
  • “The Listicle” i.e. 38 Things You Did in Elementary School You Completely Forgot About 13% 13%
  • The “Open Ended Question” i.e. So You Think You Know the Best Places to Eat in Cancun? 10% 10%
  • The “Promise” i.e. Alien Sci-Fi Films You’re Sure to Love 8% 8%


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Desire to see real people, even if they are paid influencers

As reported by AdAge, Oracle’s Moat measured audiences and engagement for influencer campaigns and found that videos created by influencers averaged more than triple the level of viewership (7.5 seconds) than brand content (under 2 seconds). On that note, Nike was referenced in Mavrk’s recent benchmark report, stating that the brand’s successful influencer-generated content serves as a seamless extension of the brand by incorporating emotion-driven in-moment activations.

Fuse’s survey also pointed to Nike as one of the best in utilizing authentic influencers in their 2018 marketing content.


Brands That Are Best at Utilizing Influencers According to Gen Z

1. Nike
2. Apple
3. Pepsi
4. Amazon
5. Coke
6. Google
7. Adidas
8. Walmart
9. Target
10. Microsoft


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Turn a moment into a movement

According to Pew Research Center, Gen Z is the most educated generation to date and as they move into adulthood, their attitudes toward emerging trends are often driven by social change. Our survey found that nearly half of Gen Z actively supported at least one or more social causes in 2018. While it carries some risk, marketers should consider creating content that conveys support of causes young people most care about.


Top Gen Z Social Causes in 2018

1. Gun Control
2. #MeToo
3. Black Lives Matter
4. LGBTQ Rights
5. Climate Change
6. Fight Against Cancer
7. Women’s Rights / Gender equality
8. Animal Rights
9. Hunger
10. Immigration


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Speak to Gen Z’s love of pop culture

Fulfilling Gen Z’s love of anything pop culture through light-hearted, humorous, and eccentric content is always a good strategy. This can be in the form of stories, memes, GIFs, or videos. According to freelancewriting.com, the top ten topics to pitch to teenage magazines include: celebrities, latest teen styles, music, reviews, top 10 lists, makeovers, love life, beauty, college life and parties.

According to our survey, in addition to pop culture, Gen Z has a broad spectrum of other interests


Gen Z Content Preferences

Pop-Culture Trends

  • Do Not prefer 21% 21%
  • Prefer Slightly 19% 19%
  • Prefer a Moderate Amount 19% 19%
  • Prefer A Lot 20% 20%
  • Prefer a Great Deal 22% 22%

Political News

  • Do Not prefer 19% 19%
  • Prefer Slightly 23% 23%
  • Prefer a Moderate Amount 20% 20%
  • Prefer A Lot 19% 19%
  • Prefer a Great Deal 19% 19%

Environmental Education

  • Do Not prefer 21% 21%
  • Prefer Slightly 20% 20%
  • Prefer a Moderate Amount 20% 20%
  • Prefer A Lot 21% 21%
  • Prefer a Great Deal 20% 20%

Social Activision

  • Do Not prefer 19% 19%
  • Prefer Slightly 19% 19%
  • Prefer a Moderate Amount 20% 20%
  • Prefer A Lot 20% 20%
  • Prefer a Great Deal 20% 20%

Human Interest

  • Do Not prefer 20% 20%
  • Prefer Slightly 19% 19%
  • Prefer a Moderate Amount 21% 21%
  • Prefer A Lot 20% 20%
  • Prefer a Great Deal 19% 19%


Contact us to learn more about Gen Z or visit our Thought Leadership blog.