How to Communicate with Gen Z and Millenials

July 6, 2018 - 3 minutes read

The average attention span has fallen to eight seconds, so if you want to grab the attention of Gen Z and Millennials, you need to focus on short video content over long-form articles, explore the interactive features on Instagram and Snapchat, connect with influencers, and be authentic.

It’s important to communicate with your audience in a way that will make them feel respected and on the same level as your brand – there’s nothing worse than appearing too “try hard”, like parents trying to be cool. Whatever the tone of your campaign, it’s essential that it looks and sounds authentic.

When it comes to communicating messages to Gen Z (born after 1995) and Millennials (born in the 1980s), marketing content needs to be short, catchy, and visual. This is an audience that spends about 75% of their time on social media, and need instant gratification – they don’t want to read about a brand, they want to experience it.

Here are some top tips on how to communicate effectively to Gen Z and Millennials:


Snapchat is an extremely popular social media platform in youth culture, and when it comes to Gen Z, more than half use Snapchat at least 11 times a day – so it’s no wonder the app is responsible for influencing their purchase decisions.

There are lots of ways brands can win on Snapchat. You can place video ads in Snapchat’s Live Stories – a collection of curated Snaps taken by users – or in the Discover stream, where media companies can have dedicated channels. Snapchat’s geofilters allow brands to target users based on their location, something very helpful when trying to immerse your consumer in your brand.

Example: Taco Bell’s Cinco de Mayo geofilter transformed people’s heads into a giant taco, and it really made the headlines. In fact, it broke a Snapchat record by attracting over 220 million views!


Considering that Gen Z and Millennials prefer images and videos over text, it’s not surprising that Instagram, with its visual-only feed, has soared in popularity as a marketing medium.

Almost 60% of Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 29, and Instagram Stories has a whopping 250 million daily users – that’s a huge audience for your brand!

Example: If you’re looking for a classic, effortless fashion brand on Instagram, look out for ASOS – the feed is edgy, attention-grabbing and current. Half of the feed is made up of lifestyle shots, and the other half of ASOS products aiming to inspire followers. They tend to keep the captions short and to the point – something very important if you’re considering short attention spans.


Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to be influenced by grassroots social media influencers, compared to older generations who generally favour a celebrity spokesperson or supermodel.

According to Google, 73% of the Gen Z population feel a close relationship with at least one YouTuber. So it’s no surprise that brands are now connecting with influencers, who can bring products to the attention of their millions of followers with just a single post.

Example: Sour Patch Kids hired Ariel Martin, the 16-year-old star with 19.5 million fans known as Baby Ariel, for a cross-platform social integration tied to the Teen Choice Awards. It included tweets, Instagram posts, and a takeover of the brand’s Snapchat account.


Gen Z and Millennials like brands that take a stand on social causes and global issues.  They are more likely to choose a brand that has an ethical message as part of its campaign. So, brands are increasingly under pressure to stand for something.

Example: Nike Women is a great example of a brand that represents inclusion and diversity, successfully tapping into a younger markets desire for authenticity. Their Instagram account (with more than 7 million followers) routinely features photos of strong women of diverse backgrounds and body types.

Want to learn how to create content that will convert your young audience? Get in touch with us.

Alex Gildea Trott