Members of Generation Z, also known as Zoomers, were born between 1997 and 2010. The majority are in their late teens and early 20s, a prime age group for buying vehicles. In fact, 88% of Gen Z plans to purchase their first vehicle within the next five years, according to a recent survey by Autotrader.com.
Gen Z is large, more than 67 million strong with a combined $360 billion in spending power, according to Bloomberg. For auto dealers, this presents a tremendous opportunity. But knowing how to market to this generation is key to attaining their business and loyalty.
Gen Z, more than any previous generation, grew up surrounded by technology and spend most of their waking hours online. The use of video and digital media to connect with this generation is mandatory.
A strong social media presence is a must. According to SurveyMonkey, 61% of Gen Z follow brands they like on social media, and are much more likely to purchase from these brands.
Gen Z’s favorite and most-used social media platforms include YouTube (69%), Instagram (67%), Facebook (57%) and TikTok (46%), according to SurveyMonkey. Additionally, 47% of Gen Z use YouTube to research products before buying, and 58% have made purchases based on recommendations from social media influencers.
To attract Gen Z on social media, create a variety of videos designed to aid in the research process. Test-drive videos, make/model feature videos and inventory videos that focus on vehicle technology will be appreciated.
Host these videos on a central platform so you can push them out across all social media platforms. You don’t have to kill yourself making dozens of videos every week; instead, adopt an evergreen approach so you can use the same videos on your website and in email marketing campaigns, and re-post them periodically on social media.
According to Kearney, 82% of Gen Z say that peer reviews are very important when shopping online. This means auto dealers need to be vigilant about monitoring online review platforms and address customer concerns immediately.
Gen Z will also want to see customer testimonial videos. Set up a process to encourage your customers to appear in video testimonials. Have car buyers sign a media release form and offer an incentive such as a free Hydro Flask for making a video that can be shared on social media and on your website.
Members of Gen Z are well-educated, but are sometimes referred to as more “stressed and depressed” than previous generations. They are cautious with their spending habits, do a lot of research before buying and don’t want to make mistakes.
The more informational videos you can make about the car-buying process at your dealership, the better. Create a series of videos designed to help car shoppers prepare for your trade-in and financing processes.
Remember, most of Gen Z are first-time vehicle buyers and have no idea what to expect. In general, they are fairly new to the workforce and have thin credit profiles. Addressing vehicle affordability and tempering expectations might be necessary, so a series of FAQ videos will be highly appreciated.
While making these videos, keep in mind that 63% of Gen Z say that affordability is very important to their purchase decisions, 32% value brand authenticity and 25% value brand transparency, according to SurveyMonkey.
The more transparent and honest you can make your vehicle purchasing process, the more likely you will win the loyalty of Gen Z. Be aware this generation is also quick to boycott businesses for perceived moral transgressions, and to encourage all their friends and family to do the same.
Gen Z is ready to buy vehicles. Is your dealership ready for them? Reaching this technology-savvy generation will require a digital-first marketing approach with a heavy emphasis on video marketing.