by Kieran O'Brien Kern
Jason Neubauer knows the unlimited potential of young people firsthand.
At 23, he started his first company with $32,000 he won on “Wheel of Fortune.” He followed that early success by building four multimillion dollar companies with a 100 percent track record.
A pivotal moment came after studying YouTube where saw kids tapping into their own entrepreneurial spirit with challenge videos. He brought many of these top influencers onboard to grow his influencer network, Challenged. When he brought 14 influencers to the Billboard Music Awards, he saw the true power of this age group: Four thousand people showed up to see them.
He is now harnessing the power of these influencers to do good through his social impact community, The Santa Claus Affect, which showcases to the world that everyone wins through kindness, giving and positivity.
Unlike their generational predecessors who grew up not questioning the messages they received while sitting in front of a television screen, Gen Z has always had the power of the internet literally in their hands. They are powerful, less willing to be spoon-fed information and more likely to fact check it.
“They grew up with technology in their hands, and it’s shaped their behavior in an entirely different way,” Neubauer explains. With the information that’s available, marketers can’t present a message expecting it to go unchallenged. When faced with a phony message or influencer, “Gen Z will easily call BS on messaging that rings false.”
Neubauer asserts that they are much more evolved than their millennial and Gen X predecessors. “I’ve seen 13- and 15-year-olds making money for their households through cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or monetizing social media.”
So how do marketers engage a generation that possesses great hustle while also being tech and information savvy?
Neubauer advises abandoning the “spray and pray” model of the past. Understand your audience, and start with a simple message. “Know your strengths and be honest about what you’re good at,” he notes.
He also recommends choosing an influencer who has established trust and credibility to represent your brand and message within your target space. Be willing to engage your audience, incentivize them and reward the loyalty of the people following your brands and influencers. Tailor your message to the broadcasting channel, the strengths of your service in that location and the needs of your users. Know that the best influencers don’t run their branded content constantly.
“They could run a major brand activation every week if they wanted to, but they don’t. Their fans would stop watching them because all they’re producing is ads,” said Neubauer.
Neubauer encourages marketers to play their content dollars with rising influencers who are often 1/100 the cost of established influencers. He also feels Instagram and Facebook are the places to be. “Facebook has the whole planet and their ads are easily trackable.” The formula for converting Gen Z is as easy as entertain, incentivize and place products first and then sell.
Join Jason Neubauer for his keynote presentation, “How Brands Win Gen Z with Content Marketing,” at LeadsCon Las Vegas to learn more about engaging the 20-and-under crowd.
Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2018.