In today’s rapidly evolving media landscape, winning over the younger generations, particularly Gen Z and millennials, has become a top priority for publishers and news organizations. In a recent webinar, we delved into the strategies for unlocking the Gen Z code and successfully engaging with the next generation. Here’s a summary of the key takeaways from the webinar, shedding light on the challenges, preferences, and potential tactics for engaging with this dynamic audience.
The media industry has undergone significant changes in the last decade, driven by the rise of social media. While platforms like Facebook and Twitter were once dominant, TikTok and YouTube have increasingly won over younger audiences over the years.
With 60% of Gen Z and millennials relying on social media for news consumption, this puts the news industry in a delicate position, where one of the obvious outcomes is to extend their reach to the social media platforms where these generations are active.
The main points for publishers and news organisations to successfully adapt to young readers’ reading habits are:
Numerous media companies have already successfully adapted to the preferences of Gen Z and millennials. For instance, Norwegian news giant VG.no has experimented with a TikTok-style version of their content, showing a willingness to adapt to emerging platforms and formats. Similarly, the Spanish site Relevo explored short video formats in the sports niche, offering readers a way to digest news in their preferred format.
In conclusion, successfully engaging with Gen Z and millennials in the ever-changing media landscape requires a deep understanding of their preferences and behaviors.
As an example, younger generations may not be inclined to subscribe to news services early in their careers. Aside from the interest itself, first salaries are usually spent on other things rather than on a newspaper subscriptions. As a result, a first step for newspapers could be to have a strategy in place that focuses on building brand awareness.
Rather than emphasizing immediate conversions, media companies can aim to establish a strong brand presence in the minds of Gen Z and millennials, and focus on conversion when this audience has become more mature and more ready to convert, i.e. at the end of their 20s / early 30s.
By focusing on delivering high-quality, personalized, and simplified content, and by embracing emerging trends like audio content, media companies will score high on brand recognition and build lasting engagement with the next generation of news consumers.