Inside Generation Z’s Mind: How Schools Can Better Find and Enroll Gen Z

Inside Generation Z’s Mind: How Schools Can Better Find and Enroll Gen Z


How Much Media Does Gen Z Consume?

Looking at the numbers of how much time Generation Z’ers and younger Millennials spend on media platforms in a day shows that they are extremely connected via the web. They spend about 17.5 hours a day on media platforms (1).
17.5 hours in one day?!!!
In The Gen Z Effect, Tom Koulopoulos and Dan Keldsen call them “hyperconnected junkies whose expectations will radically change the face of business forever.”
And they spend a larger proportion of this time on the web late at night! Do you have staff manning ‘click-to-chat’ on your website at night? Do your social media posts get scheduled for 8 pm or later? If not, you may be missing the mark in reaching this sought after demographic.
Gen Z’ers and the youngest Millennials enjoy spending hours and hours a day browsing platforms, such as Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter; and they consume entertainment for hours a day via Youtube, Netflix and Hulu (2).
About 71 percent of Gen Z’ers and younger Millennials engage in social media a day, and 30 percent of that engagement is with user-generated content, from their friends on their feed (1).
Generation Z Social Media Consumption

User-Generated Content That They The Trust Most

In fact, it is this user-generated content that Gen Z’ers and Millennials trust most, indulging and digesting this information. Think of this as a form of peer review or a more updated-form of the “water cooler,” where people talk and chat about what they like, driving sales and consumership.
It’s important to note, that what Gen Z’ers like and appreciate is much different than those of the previous generation. Where generations like the Baby Boomers focused on more collective values, such as practicality and duty; Millennials are more inward-focused on happiness and discovery (3). This shift in values means that advertising also must shift in values, too. What worked before will not work now and what works today may not work tomorrow.
Gen Z’ers have a larger focus on their family support system, a huge majority of Gen Z’ers would even say their parents are their best friend. Make sure your marketing and retention efforts connect with their parents too.
This generation is also outcome oriented. They need to see how their real-life training will prepare them for the future, they want to see tangible benefits of their college degree.
If you haven’t read part 1 of our Gen Z article series: How to Find and Target the New Generation Z and Younger Millennials check it out now.

Millennials Are Defined By the Internet, Gen Z’ers Are The Internet

Millennials are digital natives. They grew up with the Internet. Many of them do not even remember a time without on-demand TV, instant internet access and smart phones. If Millennials are digital natives, Gen Z Effect are “hyperconnected junkies whose expectations will radically change the face of business forever,” according to Tom Koulopoulos and Dan Keldsen of the Gen Z Effect.
Can you image never having had to go to the library and use the duodecimal system to look something up? Remember arguing with people about a silly fact? Why debate an issue when you can just look it up?
My husband, who happens to be the last GenXers, while I am one of the first Millennials, will try to argue with me about an inconsequential fact. I have absolutely no interest in debating facts, when I can just google it. We are only two years apart and what seems like a million years apart when it comes to technology. And, yet I can feel like a dinosaur when high school students start talking to me about a new social network like Periscope.

Understanding They Are a Product of their Environment

Millennials and Gen Z’ers can be skeptical and are more likely to fact-check and cross-reference using a variety of resources within minutes of hearing a fact.
They want personalized experiences. They want to feel special and have high expectations of businesses, expecting a customized experience tailored to them. Think of when they order a pizza online. They expect that the next delivery will be as easy as pressing a button.
Generation Z Kids are Using their IPad in classrooms

They Want Transparency

Millennials share some incredibly intimate facts about themselves on social media. This demographic can be resentful and downright hateful if they feel a business is aggressively promoting themselves on social media. They are ok with advertising as long as it comes across as authentic and real (4).

How to Target Millennials

Millennials can be hard to sell to, especially if they get a huge portion of their information from friends and not from traditional advertising.
Is the content you are creating being shared? If not, let’s talk. We can help you create content that is worthy of being shared!
When surveyed, most Millennials do not want to be sold. They want to be in control of the selling process and to do most of their research online before getting on the phone or visiting a campus.
Is your website set up to recruit students effectively? What if you couldn’t speak directly with this demographic, can you still enroll them?
Does your website take the visitor on an enrollment journey recruiting and reinforcing the entire way?
How to Get Generation Z to Share Posts on Social Media?

Social Media

Millennials need to be reached out to on their terms. The good thing is, colleges and other brands can use social media to reach them. Since Millennials mainly consume information via social media, creating a unique social media experience is one of the best ways to reach Millennials.
Making your website easy, friendly and linkable to any social account, whether it’s Facebook or Twitter can be a great way to get message out.
Do you have a content strategy? What is your social sharing strategy? How do you decide on what type of content to create and share? Having a thoughtful strategy can make all the difference in creating shareable content. Have you seen Strayer University’s video, What’s Your Biggest Regret? It’s been seen over 4.4 million times. That’s 4.4 million! You can’t buy that kind of reach, well you could, but it would cost you. Instead, create content so compelling that people want to share it for free.

Tap Into Your Alumni

Having alumni students share their experiences on your page is a good way to connect with prospective and current students. Let your alumni recruit for you.

And Don’t Forget About Mobile!

Is your website responsive? How does it look on an iPhone, Droid, iPad mini and other tablets? If it doesn’t look great and load quickly than you need to change it ASAP! More than 60% of website traffic is coming from mobile. If your website is not optimized, then you are potentially losing a large chunk of prospective students.
Is your recruitment and support staff using text message as a way to communicate with prospective and current students? If not, add this one to your to do list.
“A recent study from Fractl and BuzzStream found that… 25% of Millennials use smartphones as their primary device for content consumption. The other 75% use desktops or laptops as their primary device, but still spend a substantial amount of time tapping and swiping. If you’re marketing to Millennials, it’s important to keep that mobile experience in mind,” according to Alex Rynne from Linkedin (4).
Generation Z Are The Top Mobile Users of All Generations

Influential Marketing

Since these youngest generations rely on user-generated feedback, Marketers are working with “influencers.” Influencers can have thousands or even millions of followers on social media. They are practically celebrities while also being normal people. This can be a great way to drive enrollments.
Check out our article on Influential Marketing to learn more about this tactic.
So making your content easily shareable is the best way to drive your content right to the doors of your future students, Millennials!
As a Millennial herself, Alex Rynne says, “what do Millennials want out of marketing? The same thing that every previous generation wanted. But we’re the first generation to demand it: We don’t want to be marketed to. We want to be entertained, informed, and inspired.”
Do you agree with Rynne’s perspective? How can your marketing adjust to this new demographics’ way of thinking?
If you’re unsure how to deploy resources to capture Millennials, contact Tribeca Marketing Group today. Get a 15-minute strategy session for free.
Influential Marketing
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Inside Generation Z’s Mind: How Schools Can Better Find and Enroll Gen Z

  1. Entrepreneur: Millennials Spend 18 Hours a Day Consuming Media — And It’s Mostly Content Created By Peers
  2. Statista: Statistics and facts on marketing and media usage among Millennials in the U.S.
  3. CEB: Infographic: Inside the Millennial Mind
  4. LinkedIn: Marketing to Millennials 101
  5. “2014 E-Expectations Report: The Online Preferences of CollegeBound High School Seniors and Their Parents.” Noel-Levitz, 2014.
  6. “Marketing to the Generations: 4 Tips for Getting—and Keeping —Gen Z’s Attention.” Emily Lange Rodecker, Gremln, 2014.