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Cracking the Z Code: How to Win Over Zoomers With Affiliate Marketing for Gen Z

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Do you know? Gen Z accounts for 32% of the population in the world – that makes up around 2.5 billion! Why are we telling you this? The answer is – this is not just a number. This is 2.5 billion opportunities and paying customers for your brand to target. So if in 2024, you don’t have Gen Z as the cornerstone of your marketing strategy or if you haven’t started investing in some form of Gen Z marketing, you can be in a precarious position.

You’re at risk of missing out on $360 billion of revenue opportunities that Gen Z holds as their disposable income (Business Insider), if you don’t invest in marketing for Gen Z.

If you’re an eCommere or a D2C brand, then affiliate marketing for Gen Z is even more important for you than for any other business. Why? Let’s explore this in the next section of our blog.

Why Should My Brand Invest in Affiliate Marketing for Gen Z?

It’s the simple rule – Gen Z rules the web. The everyday purchaser of any brand is more likely to be a Gen Z than a Gen X or a millennial. This means brands have to start thinking in this direction, harnessing the spending power of over 2.5 billion young consumers.

Still not convinced? Let the numbers do the talking.

Gen Z or zoomers, holds 40% of the total global consumer shopping power! That’s almost a half, isn’t it? Would you want to miss out on this opportunity? We wouldn’t think so.

That’s not all, their spending power is consistently on the rise, in fact is expected to reach its peak in the near future, as per Insider Intelligence.

This is the reason why brands who have cracked the eCommerce code are investing fiercely in the Gen Z audience. If you aren’t yet one of them, you still have the time to hop the bandwagon.

Who Should Invest in Affiliate Marketing for Gen Z?

Let’s say Gen Z is not an attribute in your buyer’s persona. Even if Gen Z is currently not your target audience, it does impact your business. How? Let’s dive in.

According to research by Nielsen, every Gen Z is an influencer of purchase decisions, in some way or the other. Many Gen Z still live at home and they impact the buying decision of their families’ fast-moving consumer goods spheres, including groceries, lifestyle items, electronics, etc.

This presents immense opportunities for even those brands whose target audience is not Generation Z.

Note: While Gen Z have immense spending power, it’s comparatively difficult to get into their pockets. They are not your regular customers. This digital savvy population have high expectations from brands they purchase – in short, the brand should tick every box, it should be relevant, sustainable, eco-friendly, inclusive, and current.

So as a brand, how can you cut through the noise and get Gen Z to put their bucks on you? We’ll tell you what will get you noticed and chosen.

Gen Z for affiliate marketing - how Gen Z uses social media as search engine

Gen Z Uses Social Media Search Engines

Your brand’s ranking on Google, good! But what if we tell you that Gen Z seldom uses Google for their search. As much as unexpected as it seems, Gen Z uses social media like Instagram and TikTok as search engines.

For example, if a Zoomer wants to buy a perfume, they will turn to Instagram to look for perfume brands with high-quality, affordable, and positive reviews. Hence, if you own a perfume brand (for instance) you have higher chances to earn a Gen Z as a customer on Instagram/TikTok than via organic search.

This doesn’t imply you should totally abandon search engine optimization, but should also invest in content optimization on social media. Using relevant keywords in your Instagram/TikTok content can help you rank higher when a user searches for your business on social media.

Let’s take the perfume example again. A perfume brand can use keywords like ‘best perfume on budget’, ‘best fragrances 2024’, ‘summer fragrances for women’, etc. to rank their content higher and get their content to the ‘explore’ section for organic discovery.

Gen Z Loves Discounts & Buy Now Pay Later Model

Gen Z includes people who are between the ages of 12 to 27. This means, many of them are just starting out in their jobs. Their spending behavior is dictated by their disposable income and the economic environment. According to the latest data, 80% of Gen Z are looking to cut down their non-essential spending.

The value conscious Gen Z consumers’ shopping decisions are driven by discounts and offers. They want more out of their money, to stretch their dollars further. Create unique promo codes for affiliates with higher discount value for high-performing partners and track each code’s performance using an attribution tracking tool like Trackier.

Another aspect that drives Gen Z more towards the end of the funnel in their buying journey is the Buy Now Pay Later Model. Last year’s 2023 Holiday Sales data suggests that BNPL was one of the major drivers of sales during the peak sales season.

So if your brand is rigid on its pricing, you’re going to lose valuable customers in Gen Z, since they question and research everything before hitting the ‘buy’ button.

Swipe to Shop – Why Gen Z Prefer Mobile Over Web

Over 91% of Gen Z get their first smartphones before they turn 16 – which means they spend immense time looking at their screens and most of their purchase decisions are driven by their phones.

Gen Z were practically born with a mobile phone in their hand, and their entire lives are focussed around their mobile device experience. So naturally, their preferred device for shopping is their mobile device and not desktop or laptop.

Adjusting to their preference, brands need a mobile marketing strategy that speaks the Gen Z and a mobile-friendly shopping interface, most preferably a mobile app.

Video Content a Key Ingredient in Affiliate Marketing for Gen Z

Generation Z has the attention span of a baby, so if you think you can engage them through a 1000-word content piece, think again!

According to the data by yPulse, 51% of Gen Z watch video content on Instagram weekly, with about 3.5 hours of their day spent on videos.

How to generate video content that resonates with the Gen Z audience? Start with relatable content, like user-generated content, product reviews, how-to videos, and hacks, with scroll-stopping captions optimized for social media algorithms.

Optimize Your Video Content for Meta AI Chatbot

With conversational search like Meta AI in picture, brands should conduct thorough competitive analysis on how their competitors are ranking in AI search responses and align their video content strategy accordingly.

And the other key is engagement. The more views and engagement your content will receive, the more likely it would be to be featured in AI chat responses.

Gen Z Says ‘No’ If Your Brand is Not Socially Responsible & Inclusive

Gen Z doesn’t care about brand names, but social responsibility and inclusiveness is something they can’t overlook. This is the reason why brands with eco-friendly, sustainable and inclusive identity are being advocated by the Gen Z on social media.

According to the data, 75% of Gen Z say they prefer to buy from brands that are sustainable and socially responsible and 54% of them are even willing to spend more on such brands.

Align your affiliate marketing campaigns and brand voice with a social and environmental cause and be genuine about it. Gen Z can sniff inauthenticity a mile away.

Let’s take this brand as an example. Kindlife, a cosmetic retailer in India, based their affiliate marketing and social media marketing strategy on their ‘bottle recycling’ process. Using this strategy, they not only saw an uptick in their sales, but earned many brand advocates in Gen Z without any additional cost!

Focus on Nano Influencers: Followers Count Doesn’t Matter, Being Real Does

Gone were the days when millions of followers on Instagram mattered. Gen Z doesn’t care about the number of followers. They are influenced by any influencers whose content is real and relatable.

Therefore, brands also should shift their influencer marketing strategy towards nano influencers. Their strategy should have a mix of a handful of big fishes and a mix of nano influencers from geographies they are targeting.

If you’re a smaller brand, investing in nano influencers is even more beneficial since they charge less than macro influencers.

Pro Tip: Partner with nano influencers who have high engagement rates from genuine audiences. Build a long term relationship with them using an effective partner management platform for more impactful campaigns over time.

TikTok Belongs in Your Affiliate Mix

If TikTok is not yet in your affiliate mix, it’s time to rethink your affiliate marketing strategy. 4.7% of users on TikTok are Gen Z, which signals towards the popularity of this new age platform among the zoomers.

Adding TikTok to your affiliate mix is an efficient way to catch Gen Z where they hang out, ticking one of the most important boxes of being a Gen Z-approved brand, and that is – being up to the minute.

Pro Tip: Partner with nano influencers on TikTok to appeal to the Gen Z audience. Add TikTok to your traffic channels on your attribution tracking solution.

Know When The Time is Right

Timing plays a crucial role when targeting Gen Z. According to the data, 6 PM to 9 PM is the perfect time to reach Generation Z.

To implement affiliate marketing campaigns during specific times, utilize the time targeting feature in your performance marketing software. This not only makes sure that your campaign is running during a specific time, but also saves you wasted traffic for the times when your target audience is not actively engaged.

Want to Earn Gen Z’s Brand Loyalty? Ask Yourself These Questions

  • Does your brand understand what Gen Z needs?
    Is your brand socially responsible? Are your messages inclusive?
    Is your brand careful about its carbon footprint?
    Is your brand transparent? Is everything spelled out correctly?

Reaching Gen Z requires a marketing mindset that is dynamic, open for change, inclusive, and genuine. This generation craves authenticity, strong voice, and values experiences and impact generation over material possessions.

Therefore, when you venture into the Z world, remember that you’re not just selling a product, you’re selling a lifestyle, an experience and an impact.

Want to receive more such scoops right to your smartphone? Follow our WhatsApp Channel Trackier Tribe. It’s free!

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