Today, the digital sphere rules Gen-Z and Millennial interactions more than ever. From tagging a store with an Instagram post to sharing a new purchase via Snapchat, the technologically-involved customer base has its methods of subconscious peer-to-peer store marketing. Branded ads, posts, and interactions are just parts of the puzzle of winning over younger shoppers— using the right apps and social media platforms for the desired audience can make all the difference. With Gen-Zs alone possessing $44 billion in buying power, it’s essential that stores make the right moves when targeting these digitally-connected customers.
In this guide, we’ll discuss methods to help your store attract Gen-Z and Millennial customers, specifically. With this clientele in mind, the two platforms begging comparison are Instagram and Snapchat.
Instagram, Facebook’s photo-sharing platform, is an immensely popular phone app used to share media with followers, or friends. Aside from uploading photos and videos, Gen-Zs and Millenials use the app’s Stories feature and Explore page, as well as like and comment on posts. Out of these services, photo- and video-sharing remains as the primary feature of the app.
Snapchat, the original creator of Stories— a feature that allows users to upload and share a set of images or videos for up to 24 hours— is also a powerful form of communication and sharing amongst younger demographics. Aside from its Stories feature, Snapchat users also use the location-viewing and media- and text-messaging aspects of the phone app. Of these, Stories is the platform’s most popular feature.
If … Your store is hosting an event today.
App to use: Snapchat
As its popular 24-hour Stories feature suggests, Snapchat is all about being in the moment. While both Instagram and Snapchat can do the job when it comes to advertising an event in advance, Snapchat works best for advertising it as it happens. Snapchat’s Stories are the biggest part of the app, and Gen-Z users are constantly checking the platform to watch the ones belonging to people and brands that they follow. Sharing a Story shows your event in action, and your viewers will more likely take notice of content, rather than scrolling past on Instagram. Your store can also share the Story with Our Story, a collection of snaps showing real-time happenings on Snapchat’s location-sharing Snap Map. The Map shows the locations of fellow app users, and can advertise your event via Our Story’s thermal “hot spots,” in turn driving more interest in your store from Snapchat users who don’t already follow your account.
If … Your store’s marketing strategy mostly involves graphics, flyers, and/or edited photos.
App to use: Instagram
If your store’s advertisements are text-heavy or processed through editing software, Instagram is the app to apply. Unlike Snapchat, Instagram posts can be viewed without any time limits, and captions provide enough room for paragraphs of writing. This allows potential customers to thoroughly absorb the content you’re sharing. Instagram is also an excellent app for stores that market using edited photos or videos. The platform welcomes edited or processed media, whereas Snapchat promotes posting photos and videos taken with its in-app camera.
If … Your store is part of a town, city, or shopping area where there is much foot traffic.
App to use: Snapchat
As mentioned, Snapchat’s Map feature serves to push out information or media to users who aren’t already following your store’s account. If your store is located in a downtown area or shopping mall where there are many people, the Map is more likely to show a hotter “hot spot” for the area’s Our Story; the more people who post snaps to Our Story, the more likely it is to be highly featured on the Map. This feature can spread the word about your store to people who may not know much about it, and it’s especially powerful because Our Story will catch the eye of Gen-Z and Millennial customers, who are using the Map to see what their friends are up to.
If … Your store has a story to share.
App to use: Instagram
If you believe that sharing your store’s story— its mission, its founders, its evolution— is just as important as creating ads that draw in viewers, Instagram is the best tool for you. Your feed can tell your store’s tale by showing all of your posts, together, in one place. This is one thing that Snapchat can’t do, since Snaps and Stories are only temporary, and users can only view one piece of media at a time. With Instagram, potential Gen-Z and Millennial customers have the opportunity of getting to know your store from more than disappearing photos, text, and videos on Snapchat.
When courting Gen-Zs and Millennials, both of these phone apps are strong tools to use in marketing. Whether your store is an Instagram store, a Snapchat store, or both, download our Brick and Mortar Guide to Snapchat and our Brick and Mortar Guide to Instagram to maximize your utilization of these platforms even further.