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Marketing to Gen Z: Adapting Language to Your Audience

StudentBridge Staff September, 19, 2017

When marketing to Gen Z (students born from mid-1990s on), the key fact to keep in mind is that this generation has been using the internet their entire lives. Prospective Generation Z college students have no idea what life was like before the internet. It has always been there for them anytime they wanted to connect or research.

For Generation Z, technology and social media are a given. These students can't imagine a life without these two influential components. Therefore, when marketing to them, you need to keep your language focused on their reality. This means using language that is social media and tech-savvy.

Important Facts about Generation Z Students

  • 85% research online and 33% watch lessons online to educate themselves.
  • 52% use YouTube or other social media sites for a typical school research assignment.
  • 66% say that technology makes them feel that anything is possible.
  • 60% percent want their jobs to impact the world, 26% of 16- to 19-year-olds currently volunteer, and 76% are concerned about humanity's impact on the planet.

Keeping these Generation Z facts in mind makes it easier to adapt your marketing language to their concerns. You also need to assure them that they will be able to bring their technology with them to school and use it in the classroom and for teacher/student and student/student interaction. When marketing to Generation Z, using familiar technology for interactions will be seen as a plus.

How to Adapt to Your Generation Z Audience

As you work to make valuable connections with potential students, consider what they expect from college. Offering traditional college lecture halls will not impress these students. Instead, they will be interested in knowing how your school steps beyond the classroom.

Global Access

Generation Z students have had global access to information all of their lives. They will want to know how your school goes beyond the local. They know that news happens 24/7, and will expect that their classrooms are as fast-paced as the internet. You will have to bridge the gap between traditional college study and access to research online that changes rapidly.

Understanding Fact vs. Fiction

College can help Generation Z students learn the difference between the fact and fiction of what they read online. Learning to source for facts from the constant barrage of internet posts is something that all students can benefit from. And this lesson is one that colleges can offer.

Diversity is their Reality

One area that Generation Z differs from many previous generations is the expectation of diversity, and the desire to live in a healthy environment. Part of spending time on the internet is acknowledging global diversity and the things that all people have in common. Generation Z students are used to sharing information on social media. They care about their world and college marketers will need to focus on how their educational process prepares students to make an impact on their world.

The impact may be on the natural environment, bridging the gaps in a diverse world or helping make other people's lives better. When marketing to these students, demonstrating how they can get involved in these projects and experience them firsthand will help you connect.

Picturing their Future

If you can draw a picture for prospective Generation Z students showing them how your school's technology, values and opportunities will help them make the world a better place, you are starting them on the journey they are looking for. Work to build detailed images in their minds of how you can help them reach their goals as a group and individuals in a positive, realistic manner. Make sure to treat them as the complex, savvy people that they are. Remember that they will be able to research whatever you say the moment your hit publish on their ever-present smartphones or tablets.

Generation Z are truly the iGeneration. They have information at their fingertips, literally.

To find out more about marketing to Generation Z and how we can help boost your enrollment numbers, visit our website.

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