The 3 Best Gen Z Marketing Case Studies: Strategies You Need to Know

Know your audience: Introducing Gen Z

Gen Z refers to people born between 1995 and 2009. They’re called ‘digital natives’, having grown up with the internet around them. 

Gen Z’s environment shapes their preferences: 66% of them use more than one internet device at a time, 75% strongly prefer their smartphone to other devices and the average Gen Z’er spends 10 and a half hours online daily. They spend 23 hours a week online watching video content, and prefer short-form content on TikTok or YouTube. Feeling the pressure to be perfect on Instagram, Gen Z are looking for other ways to connect online, leading to younger audiences on networks like TikTok and Snapchat. 

For marketers, it’s important to understand that Gen Z differ from millennials so you’ll need to meet them where they are. At Fanbytes, we’re Gen Z marketing experts and have made it our mission to win the hearts of younger generations for our clients, ranging from the likes of Nike, Warner Music, and Missguided to the UK Government.

In this article, we look at three successful Gen Z marketing case studies, to show you key strategies you can use to resonate with younger audiences. 

How Yubo used TikTok & Snapchat to drive installs for their app with Gen Z

Yubo is a Gen Z social network encouraging users to build communities and make friends
through video streaming chats and games. Yubo reached out to us to encourage growth in the
US market, wanting to drive awareness and conversion from 13-24 year olds.

In this Gen Z marketing case study, a real challenge was marketing a social network to kids who are spoiled for choice with Snapchat, Instagram and Houseparty. Additionally, app installs have become increasingly expensive due to high competition for ads on Facebook and Instagram.

Our key strategy here was to reach Gen Z on video-driven, less ad-saturated channels like
Snapchat and TikTok. Given 70% of Gen Z find ads disruptive, we leveraged our unique ‘advertainment’ approach, creating videos interesting enough to watch on their own, while still converting to installs.

We worked with influencers for two reasons: firstly, they come up with videos that are genuinely
interesting and blend into the platform, given they’re experts at producing engaging content
already. Secondly, our ads gain momentum faster than they would otherwise, boosted by
influencers sharing ad videos from their pages.

To add a layer of virality, we used our custom insights tool ‘Bytesights’ to find trending audio on TikTok, and used this in our videos. Once we’d nailed the basics, we continuously A/B tested our content throughout to make sure we were getting the lowest cost-per-install.

This approach paid off really well! With the right choice of channels (Snapchat and TikTok), and creating content that blended in, we were able to drive over 10,000 installs, with a whopping 13.6 million views in total. Our strategy here was to use in-depth knowledge of Gen Z content preferences, then partner with influencers and use custom insights to our advantage.

How an independent label drove a 72% uplift in streams through a viral TikTok challenge

If you’re reading this as a music marketer, you’re very aware of the opportunity that TikTok provides for your artist to drive engagement but more importantly to shoot up the charts. Songs like ‘Old Town Road’, ‘The Box’ by Roddy Rich, and Bieber’s ‘Yummy’ are all apt reminders of the power of this new medium to build a stampede of fans around your song.

But understanding that TikTok is important is one thing and we’re already preaching to the converted – more important is understanding the most effective ways to do it to achieve global virality.

In this case study, you’ll learn exactly that and how independent label Good Soldier used Tiktok to generate over 2,500 videos and a massive 72% increase in streams in the UK.

The KPI’s for this campaign were to drive streams to Jubel’s ‘Dancing in the moonlight’, engagement, user-generated content and off platform-traffic. We were able to action this from a few different tactics:

1. We gave influencers creative control by proving a loose brief

This had a multi-pronged benefit as they tend to be more organic as the creative idea is predominantly controlled by the influencer who knows what content they’re audience likes to consume. 

Secondly, What we noticed was that fans of the influencers who joined the challenge took their inspiration from their respective influencers resulting in a massive variation in the 2500 UGC videos created. Rather than everyone creating the same videos, different sub communities were created all mimicking what their particular influencer did.

2. We leveraged existing hashtags

For this campaign, we helped Good Soildier leverage the existing hashtag #freetobe. 

Using our Tiktok analytics tool, Bytesights, which tracks the growth and engagement of sounds and trending songs, we identified the hashtag as a rapidly rising one. Given that the existing content on the hashtag worked well with the song, we commissioned our influencers to use the hashtag whilst having Jubel’s ‘dancing in the moonlight’ playing in the background.

Influencers also used the #dancinginthemoonlight hashtag which already had an existing fanbase on Tiktok. This combination of both trending and existing hashtags was vital in being able to help seamlessly insert Jubel into an existing conversation, rather than starting a whole new conversation.

3. We thought about campaigns as a process, not an event

In order to create sustained growth in streaming and off-platform performance, you need to create something more sustainable.

We adopted this mindset as well as a concept called ‘layering’ as part of this campaign to drive REAL results. 

In total we leveraged 9 influencers for the campaign.  We used 6 in the first stage to seed the campaign and once they had all posted we asked 3 more influencers to join in. 

The power of this cannot be overestimated as it flies in convention of typical beliefs. Rather than just spending budget on creating a splash in a short window of time, this layering approach creates an “Everyone is talking about it” effect which completely transforms the campaign from being a moment in time to a real conversation. 

This gives the impression of the song being a continuous viral sensation which increases the likelihood of them checking out the song, which is exactly what happened in this case.

How an instant mash brand drove 14M+ views on TikTok

How do you make instant mashed potatoes look cool? Dance it out, this is TikTok after all!

In our work with Idahoan Foods, we wanted to bring awareness of their high-quality instant
mash products to the Gen Z market . Potatoes aren’t the easiest product to market on TikTtok, but we secured an incredible 13 million views for Idahoan Foods.

We worked on a two-part campaign. Firstly, we developed a choreographed dance challenge
using original, upbeat custom audio. We used moves from the 1960’s “mashed potato dance”,

connecting the product to the dance, and making the dance moves easy for everyone to
replicate.

Secondly, we worked with influencers who were asked to eat the mashed potato in an organic, creative video – but they had full creative control over the content. This meant videos wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb on their TikTok pages, and integrate seamlessly into other content on
the platform.

Again, with our tried and tested formula, we were able to get explosive views and encourage
over 200 pieces of user generated content. Idahoan Foods’ videos garnered an incredible 49.2k
plays overall, achieving their goal of brand awareness in the Gen Z market.

Conclusion

Every successful Gen Z marketing case study has common threads.

To recap, focus on creating content that truly fits in to the platform. You don’t want to look like an obvious ad, or out-of-touch. Ensure your content is Gen Z-relevant by working with people who are part of Gen Z – influencers who are part of your target demographic will know what resonates.

Finally, don’t leave any engagement on the table. Encourage virality by keeping an eye out for trending custom audio, dance challenges or other trends in video that will give your content an edge in popularity.

With these key strategies, you can be sure your campaign will deliver results and win the hearts
of Gen Z!

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