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Market Research and Gen Z

Generation Z, or Gen Z, is the demographic cohort born between 1997-2012. The oldest member of this generation is currently 25 years old. Gen Z is the most ethnically and racially diverse generation to date, with 48% identifying as something other than white. This diversity extends beyond race and ethnicity and includes various perspectives on gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, and more.

Gen Z is also the first generation of digital natives that have never known life without WiFi. They expect everything they encounter online to be fast, reliable and easy to use—and if it doesn’t meet those expectations, they will move on quickly to the next thing.

For marketers, this means it will be vital for them to create meaningful connections with consumers through social media platforms like TikTok. But how do they create the right strategy? It all boils down to insights. Let’s take a look. 

Gen Z & TikTok

Gen Z is the first generation brought up in this digital age – they have never known a world without technology. This means they are more likely to be comfortable with new technologies, such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) or Artificial Intelligence (AI), than other generations.

Gen Zers also spend a lot of time on social media, not just any social media platform. They prefer platforms that allow them to express themselves creatively through images, videos or music (TikTok).

TikTok was launched in China in 2016 and quickly became one of the most popular social media apps in China before expanding worldwide in 2017. It’s now so popular that it’s been 2.6 billion times worldwide and has over 15 million daily active users (DAUs). As such, it’s become an integral part of Generation Z culture — so much so that many people refer to Gen Z as ‘the TikTok generation’.

TikTok is one of the most engaging social media apps, with an average user session of nearly eleven minutes. That’s more than three times longer than users spend on Instagram. TikTok is also a mecca for conversion, with 37% of users discovering a product on the app and immediately wanting to buy it, per a TikTok research study. 

While it’s evident that TikTok is an important place for brands to be, it’s not so clear how to craft the right strategy that will appeal to your target market. 

Market Research on TikTok

Watch Your Competition 

No matter what industry you are in, it’s likely that you will find a competitor or two on TikTok. Before you begin honing your strategy, look at what others are posting. Do a complete competition audit to see what’s working well for them. You may also want to look at influencers and celebrities discussing topics related to your industry. 

For example, a financial services brand may want to check out young influencers discussing their “financial regrets.” This type of content can give them insights into areas of finance where Gen Z’ers need help and what kind of content they resonate with. 

Have A Clear Endgame 

Most businesses don’t create a TikTok as a hobby; they want to reach new audiences, build brand awareness, or boost conversions. Before you begin any marketing campaign, you should have clear and defined goals. These goals will guide your research into what type of content to post, what influencers to work with, and what competitors you need to analyze. 

For example, if your goal is to create brand awareness amongst Gen Z’ers, you may want to post “behind the scenes” of your business. Look at this edible cookie dough brand that posted about a manufacturing error that led to the comical product name, “oopsie dough.” 

Be Consistent 

It’s challenging to gather insights on TikTok if you aren’t posting regularly. Making a content calendar and scheduling days to film is the perfect way to ensure you are staying active on the platform. Your goals and competitive audit will drive your content. After a few weeks of posting regular content, you can review the data and see what worked well or didn’t. 

Track Your Analytics 

Luckily for marketers, TikTok has made tracking analytics simple.TikTok has a built-in analytics tool that helps businesses determine what people are watching in real time. They can see things like:

  • Which users are the most popular
  • Which tags are trending now 
  • What content is performing best 

To understand whether or not your strategies are working, aim to check analytics at least once a month.

Use Ad Testing

TikTok has an ad management tool that allows brands to conduct split or A/B ad testing. With split testing, businesses can see the impact of two different ads. By changing one variable in each test, marketers can clearly see what ad elements work the best. 

TikTok ad variables that can be tested include:

  • Targeting (demographics) 
  • Creative (aesthetics of ad) 
  • Bidding & Optimization (money put towards ad)

For example, a skincare brand could test an ad on 20-25-year-olds and 26-31-year-olds simultaneously to see which demographic has a better response. 

Final Note 

Generation Z is a unique and emerging group of consumers aged 10-25. They are flipping the script on consumer behavior; They are digital natives passionate about expression and social justice. They also really, really love TikTok. 

As one of the most engaging social media platforms out there, businesses are clamoring to the application, trying to figure out what makes this generation “tik”, if you will. Brands must create meaningful connections with consumers on the platform before their competition beats them to it. 

Luckily, businesses can capture insights on TikTok and use them to their advantage. By auditing the competition, setting clear goals, practicing consistency, tracking data, and testing ads, brands can get their slice of the TikTok pie. 

Want even more data? User-generated content (UGC) is an underrated data source. Check out our blog post, User-Generated Content As A Data Source to understand UGC, the benefits for businesses, how customer insights can be pulled from it, and how to get started.