No other generation has ever been as digitally advanced as Generation Z. This makes them the ideal target group for online content and innovative live streams. At the same time, due to the mass of offerings and the multitude of competition, broadcasters and content providers face major challenges in reaching this generation and ultimately successfully engaging them with their content.
The following article will provide assistance in retaining viewers and increasing viewer retention for this generation, while also providing information on the unique characteristics of Gen Z.
Who is Generation Z / Gen Z / Zoomers?
Generation Z people were born between 1995 and 2010. The predecessor generation is Gen Y or Millennials (approx. up to 1995), the successor generation is Generation Alpha (approx. from 2010).
Generation Z is globally connected, was born into a multiverse of media offerings, and knows a world without the Internet and smartphones only from stories. “Digital natives,” “mobile first” and “always on” are the most common buzzwords associated with this generation.
A sea of channels, influences, and impressions reveals a generation that not only demands individualized approaches from brands, but no longer allows blanket marketing at all.
What defines Gen Z?
House of Yas has defined three key traits that define this generation as a whole:
The income level of Gen Z will surpass that of Millennials by the early 2030s with a 140% increase in the next 5 years. Forbes has already estimated Gen Z spending between US$29 billion and US$143 billion globally in 2018 – and the trend is clearly upward. By 2031, Gen Z will surpass the income level of Gen Y. That’s Euromonitor’s prediction.
Having grown up with the technological innovations of the last 20 years, it’s no wonder that Gen Z spends a lot of time online. 98% of them own a smartphone, with which they are online for more than 4 hours a day on average.
Gen Z takes a much more active role in smartphone usage than the previous generations: Everyone wants to have a say and participate.
According to their own statements, 62% actively participate in the public opinion-forming process by expressing themselves online on political topics.
So how can broadcasters best reach Generation Z?
Looking at social media, Gen Z is not about cult of personality, but about building communities around specific interests and passions. Gen Z defines itself more than previous generations by shared interests rather than, for example, socio-demographic backgrounds or levels of education.
SocialMediaWatchblog concludes, Gen Z desires to once again engage more authentically and purposefully with users who share their interests. With reference to Sara Wilson (Harvard Business Review), the authors describe the three types of digital campfires around which Gen Z gathers:
- Messengers (e.g., WhatsApp, Instagram DMs, Facebook Messenger, among others).
- Micro-communities (e.g., Facebook groups, subreddits on Reddit, Discord, Slack)
- Shared Experiences (e.g., TikTok challenges, digital events like on Fortnite, live streams on Twitch or YouTube).
“The most important thing is to build communities. Whoever builds the best community wins.”
– Philipp Westermeyer, founder OMR
62% of Gen Z and Y believe brands have what it takes to cultivate communities around their interests and passions. So it’s time for brands to grab a seat at the digital campfire, or better yet, light the fire themselves.
How can broadcasters build communities?
Members of a community are defined by a high level of engagement with other participants, not least because of a shared specific interest.
However, because communities are organic entities, you can’t just “build” them; you have to “grow” them.
The following three steps can create the optimal foundation for this growth:
- Creating meaningful experiences
Gen Zs are looking for meaning and purpose in their online communities and want to connect through shared values. This can be supported through planned discussion forums on topics that are important to members or with virtual events around the community’s topic.
- Giving members a voice
It is important to Gen Zs that their opinions are heard and valued. That’s why they should also lead the discussions in the community themselves, rather than the brand or broadcaster. Content providers can thus not only create a platform for viewers to share their views, but can also actively take up the topics and discuss them further with the community in their live stream.
- Create a safe environment
Certain rules should apply to any community. These include, for example, that all members are allowed to participate in a discussion, no one is excluded, and the opinions of others are respected. At the same time, criticism or negative comments about one’s own brand should not be suppressed. Open exchange with this generation can offer real added value in the eyes of the members and add trust to the brand.
- Introduce rituals
Regular content where viewers can actively participate or even influence the further course of a format not only increases viewer loyalty but can even turn irregular viewers into loyal members of a community.
Spect8 can help you build your community
Turn your viewers into loyal members of your community, from passive viewers to active, paying users.
With our side panel you can extend your livestream and offer real added value for your users. Through moderated chat, your fans can interact in a safe environment, actively share their opinions in live polls, and even influence the stream. Q&A features ensure that your moderators never miss a question, and our loyalty program rewards your fans’ activity. All in one app, right next to your stream or on your viewers’ smartphones. Let’s talk about your solution today to make your stream as interactive and customized as your community wants it to be.
The big advantage with Spect8: Features can be changed and reinvented at any time. Does your community demand a new tool? It doesn’t have to be a long and expensive process. Spect8 is a team of competent developers who are happy to receive feedback from your community. Let’s develop and push new features together.
Features in this article:
Personalized interaction capabilities create a deeper connection between all your viewers who want to watch their favorite content together.
Über die Autorin:
Franziska Döbele is leading our Marketing department since 2021. She mainly takes care of the websites as well as SEO and SEA.