School's in Session: Marketing to Gen Z - Social Assurance
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School’s in Session: Marketing to Gen Z

August 28, 2019
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The latest generation practices the newest trends.

From their record high buying power to their increased interest in financial education, marketing to Gen Z should be a top priority in your marketing plans.


Consumer Behavior 101

  • Gen Z is not Millennials 2.0 – the first group in Gen Z just graduated college and your Millennial customers are now buying homes, starting families, etc.
  • They prioritize authenticity and value when evaluating a financial brand’s services and content. Education is also big for Gen Z.
  • Avoid a “one-size-fits-all” approach when evaluating how to reach Gen Z; tailoring services to their needs is the best way to gain and keep their attention.


Advertising 202

  • Share stories from customers to inspire, connect, influence and promote products to Gen Z.
  • Measure and track the effectiveness of how your social and digital campaigns are reaching Gen Z by using the Facebook Audience Network, Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics data.
  • Offer opportunities for Gen Z to connect with your brand through questionnaires, polls and campaigns.


Marketing and Messaging 303

  • Establish brand influencers to connect with and educate your Gen Z customers.
  • Seek to provide value with social media content; bonus points for entertaining your Gen Z audience.
  • Look for feedback: Gen Z is very vocal about their interests – listen to them.

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Ben Pankonin 0:09
Welcome back to a webinar with social assurance. For those of you it is back to school time, and we’re going to go back to school right now with social insurance. I’m hosting again here. This has been painting and the founder and CEO of social insurance. And I am really excited, because today we are talking about Gen Z’s. And we have a real live Gen Z with us today. Welcome, Courtney.

Courtney Haggart 0:36
Hi. I’m really excited to be chatting about this with you today.

Ben Pankonin 0:40
Awesome. Well, we’re We are glad to have you you’ve been with social insurance for right at a year now. reminder that we need to get the annual review on the schedule. You know, so sorry to break that see in the middle of webinar, but, but, but we’re excited to have you and we’re going to be talking about how you use social media. Yeah, some of the different things that might be generational differences in marketing. This has been a really fun conversation for just the two of us to kind of have about a lot of the different platforms you use, how you use them, you know, kind of bringing some some new things to my mind. And so this has been great for us so far.

Courtney Haggart 1:23
Yeah, I think what’s really great is a lot of things I’ll think is just a common thing. And this is the etiquette for this social media site. And then you come in and tell me what what are you talking about? So this has been this has been a fun webinar, and I’m excited to share what we’ve put together for every Like,

Ben Pankonin 1:39
seriously old man like this is this is a little different, right? So no, we’re just trying to have some fun with this. Here. We have a lot of fun at social insurance. If you haven’t caught some of our videos. Just a couple weeks ago, we were shooting a video with group that sort of actually one of our other team members who’s been with us for a couple years said, Hey, we should do a line dancing. So if you haven’t caught that, it’s kind of a fun video out there. You can catch it on Twitter, Instagram about whichever platform you’re following. But you know, we try to incorporate some ideas of how we’re learning about social media and just our online usage, not just when we’re at the office, but I know you’re a part of the content team. And a lot of times you guys are bringing stuff on a weekly basis together to say, Hey, we just learned this. So, so you guys are staying on top of that in a lot of different ways.

Courtney Haggart 2:36
Yes. I mean, social media is constantly changing. It seems like every other week, Facebook is like, we just took this feature you’ve had for years away and here’s this new that you have to learn how to do this. So yeah, it’s really important for us to stay on top of everything. And doing this video was a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t say we were the best dancers we could have been but Well, yeah, maybe the video editing skills. Thank you, Sara.

Ben Pankonin 3:02
Nice. Well, so so when we kind of come together, one of the things we want to understand is Yo, who is a Gen Z? Right. Now, Courtney, you fall into this category, right? And there’s a little bit of debate on the years, right? So 9697 or so,

Courtney Haggart 3:23
right? Some people say 95. But it’s really it’s not well defined yet, but we can pretty much say 1997 for sure. On

Ben Pankonin 3:31
right. So one of the key differentiators I’ve always thought about that is when we take different generations, there’s major events that happened. So one of the questions for you then would be, do you remember 911?

Courtney Haggart 3:46
No, I was in preschool. Yeah. So yeah, no, I have no memory of it.

Ben Pankonin 3:51
Right. So so one of the things that when we think of this next generation processing that is not part of things for you. Other defining events of your generation, but, but 911 really isn’t one for you. And that’s one of the things that that helps to define Gen Z versus a previous generation is their memory of 911. Right is yes, is really not there. So, so when we kind of define these generations, there are some flexibility in those in those years. But I think that’s one of the ways that you know, that person is Gen Z or younger is that they can’t really remember.

Courtney Haggart 4:29

Ben Pankonin 4:30
so. So they’re just a very different effect, socially, or culturally. Now, we want to look just a little bit at the online habits for Gen Z. And maybe you can walk us through just a little bit of what you thought were really unique there.

Courtney Haggart 4:45
Something that I was surprised to find actually, is they influenced 93% of household purchases. It makes sense when you really look at it, but being somebody who’s engine z, I didn’t think that I had that much influence. Thinking back though, with my mom with my brother, I do have a lot of influence on what we’re purchasing what we need to get what trends we need to get with. So that was something that was interesting for me about Gen Z is just how much we influence it everyday purchases,

Ben Pankonin 5:19
right? So my good friend, Trey, I’m sitting down with coffee with him for coffee. And Trey happens to be a financial advisor, actually manages my dad’s portfolio. My dad’s not retired. And trade tells me this is about five years ago. He says, well, the reality is social media doesn’t really help me reach the demographic we need. And I said, Okay, cool, man. So let’s walk through that. How did you get my dad’s business? And he’s Well, I mean, obviously, you connected us and then we went out to lunch is okay, so like, social media doesn’t really help you. Yeah, like it’s pretty easy to discuss. arm that when we start thinking of the financial decisions that maybe your parents are making, but now they’re seeing you coming in with new ideas. You know, you’ve been in the workplace for a while now. And you’re starting to bring those ideas maybe to your parents and become influential. Yeah. So yeah, those are really interesting. Now, the amount of hours spent on platforms like social media and digital media. Did you find this surprising at all?

Courtney Haggart 6:29
I would like to say yes, but no, considering how connected everyone is nowadays, I’m attached. I don’t leave anywhere without my phone. I feel like I’m missing a part of me without it.

Ben Pankonin 6:42
And so six plus hours, you’re spending screen time per day.

Courtney Haggart 6:46
Yes. It doesn’t feel like that much though. It goes by very quickly, right. So yeah, no, six plus, sometimes more. Yeah, rarely less. Yeah. So

Ben Pankonin 6:57
okay, that’s that’s a lot of time online. So a lot of things that, you know, we sort of think about that. But one of the you know, I mean things is, I mean, if you’re averaging six hours, that’s, that’s pretty consistent, that you’re spending that time online. So when we start thinking about the different areas we want to tackle, one of those is understanding a little bit of the consumer behavior for millennials, and Gen Z, and some of the differences. And then we want to look at how do we kind of reach them, right, that’s sort of our our second level class, our 200 level class, and then our 300 level class, we want to say, hey, how do we change some of the marketing and messaging to reach people like Courtney so so when we talk about that consumer behavior? Courtney, what would you say the differences between Gen Z versus millennials?

Courtney Haggart 7:50
I think the biggest difference is being debt averse. I don’t want to do anything that I’m going to have to have a payment on even getting my new phone was a difficult decision because I knew I was going to be in the hole for two years paying this off every month. And so that’s something that my whole generation is very conscious of is how much is this going to cost me in the long run? Yes, I can get this today. But is it worth it when I’m having to pay a $350 car payment every month for four years? So I think that’s something that’s different between Gen Z and millennials is we’re less willing to go into debt.

Ben Pankonin 8:30
That’s interesting. So and and some of that might be a fear of that specific to you, maybe not all people, obviously, we’re seeing student debt rise. chaotically. Right. And that pains hitting you and a lot of your peers, right. Yeah. And then what that sort of creates is maybe that environment that you say, hey, maybe I don’t want to have debt in other areas. Yeah. So that’s a really interesting thing as we look at that as financial institutions, you know, there there are some some finding Actually conscious Gen Z. People, right? That are thinking about things like retirement, right?

We have a retirement account here. It’s social insurance, right?

Courtney Haggart 9:11

Ben Pankonin 9:12
Yes, congrats. So, you know, Starting things off there, I think is really important. But then, you know, we’re also talking about, you know, how do we, how do we discuss those financial situations with your parents where we’re typically Gen Xers, right? Yeah. our finances something that you talk about.

Courtney Haggart 9:32
I talk about it a lot with my mom, not my dad. But that’s mostly because my mom seems to have more of a grip on her monthly fare. And everything. My dad just says auto pay. Yeah, and forgets about it. So, ya know, we talked about especially, you know, getting a full time position and entering into this new, you know, life event. finances were something that we talked about very regularly in the past few months. So, and it’s really helpful because I obviously trust my mom, more than a financial advisor that I’ve never met. So,

Ben Pankonin 10:10
yeah, yeah. So I think that’s really interesting, you know, when we, when we think about how we have those conversations across generations, you know, we do some of those here. And, you know, it’s really fun. We’ve talked a little bit about our banking one on one and how we talk about different financial situations, it creates an environment to have those conversations, but in most workplaces, maybe not as common. And, and so, you know, when we’re thinking about, you know, parents being the primary, primary financial influencer, that’s happening, you know, more common with this generation, where it’s, it’s a little bit more freer to maybe talk about finances in general. But we’re also maybe not seeing that as necessarily such an institutional thing where we sort of save into a 401k for 20 years. You know, we’re sort of seeing that as something that’s a little bit more portable with you probably.

Courtney Haggart 11:04
Yeah. Yeah. So

Ben Pankonin 11:05
I think those are, those are interesting dynamics. We’ve got some, some great stats in there when we start thinking about the type of financial instruments and how we approach those. Those are interesting. Now, you know, for a lot of us understanding this younger demographic, and you know, on Twitter right now, there’s a fun conversation going on about feeling older. And yes, sorry, Tim. Sorry, I was feeling a little old when we were going through some of these slides as well. But when we think of emerging platforms, there’s, there’s a plethora of these emerging platforms that are hard to navigate, right? We’re gonna try to take through a few of those. Are you on all of these platforms?

Courtney Haggart 11:49
I’m on everyone except for Twitch and StumbleUpon. Okay, so no of them, but I’m not active

Ben Pankonin 11:56
on them. Right, right. So for our listeners, That, you know, might not be familiar with platforms like Twitch. I think twitch is actually a fascinating platform, probably one you should take a look at. It’s primarily for watching people play video games. So for some of you, you’re saying, I could never conceive of why that would be popular. Some of you are saying, hey, yes, I’m on fortnight I’m doing this, right. If you’re not paying attention to how large the gaming community is, I think that’s a really fascinating spot to think about. And so as we kind of check some of those, we’ll all kind of breathe into a couple of those platforms, but we think of where Gen Z is spending their time. I don’t think that was this surprising to you at all to look at some of these stats.

Courtney Haggart 12:50
You know, I was only really surprised at YouTube being as high as it is, yeah, but other than that, I I was expecting the numbers to be basically where they are. with Instagram being the number one you right form,

Ben Pankonin 13:02
right? So Instagram, which we’re going to highlight a bit of what gets used on Instagram, why it’s used? How do we reach Gen Z on Instagram, and YouTube is hanging in there and doing phenomenal. I just wrote a blog a couple weeks ago. I’ll try to make sure to retweet that later. That talks a little bit about hate, you know, there, there are a lot of platforms and a lot of times we’re watching those things in different ways. So Gen Z is checking these platforms frequently. Would you say you check

multiple times per hour? Not just because it’s your job?

Courtney Haggart 13:42
Yes, I definitely am connected. It’s kind of scary when you look at your phone settings and see how much time you’re spending on each platform. It adds up really fast. Like I said earlier, it doesn’t feel like six hours but it is.

Ben Pankonin 13:56
Yeah. And do you search brands on Before you make a purchase, or you buy something, right,

Courtney Haggart 14:03
pretty much 99% of the time.

Ben Pankonin 14:07
Yeah. And this the six hours is it’s an average. I think this is an average of six hours a day. So this is really where we’re consuming that sort of behavior. I think we’re also seeing that for a lot of people in the blog I wrote a couple weeks ago about one of our other employees. I said, Hey, you know, he actually typically chooses not to watch a TV. They have a TV, but that’s actually rarely used in their apartment of three. They’re typically watching on a mobile device, on the same couch with his roommate, but they’re watching two different shows.

Courtney Haggart 14:45
Yeah, that happens a lot at my house to my roommate will be on tik tok. And I’ll be watching Netflix. So it’s very fragmented, I would say,

Ben Pankonin 14:54
right. So when we think of that sort of fragmentation, if you’re watching, you know, tick tock Video and your roommates watching YouTube and someone else is watching Netflix. There’s not sort of a universal way to reach you, right? There’s not a sort of universal, hey, we can just advertise on this TV program. And all three of you would see it.

Courtney Haggart 15:17
Yeah. There’s no one size fits all anymore. Definitely, like there used to be,

Ben Pankonin 15:22
right. So that fragmentation is actually a lot more skewed than we would think about it. And that extends into, you know, even how we think of financial institutions. So, you know, a lot of Gen Z’s don’t necessarily see a lot of differentiation in different financial institutions. One of the things that’s really fun that I you know, I get a chance to do but we’re, we’re about 10 blocks from a university with about 30,000 students where you graduate from and so, you’ve walked over with me to go supervise some classes and get to have some of those conversations in A lot of times I’ll ask students things like, hey, what is the biggest bank in Lincoln, Nebraska? What do you think is the biggest bank? Now we have a big five that is located several blocks from campus. But oftentimes they won’t name that one. oftentimes they’ll name one of the community banks that they know or are familiar with, or the one that bid on the contract for the university. Yeah, oftentimes, they’ll they’ll project that those are the largest ones that they know. So this is an interesting thing when you start marketing with Gen Z to realize that, you know, if they’re not reading a lot of major publications, they couldn’t name the Big Five financial institutions. And so, you know, the way you relate to those is different, right?

Courtney Haggart 16:48
Yeah, it’s, it’s totally different. And I think that just the biggest banks on campus are making an effort to be there and be seen and that’s why they’re So remembered by Gen Z’s because they have a presence and you see them day to day.

Ben Pankonin 17:05
Right? Right. So when you’re thinking about how they might relate to a bank specifically, they’re often looking for that face to face contact. Yeah. And they’re looking for someone that they can have a conversation with and and get some of these questions answered. Yeah. So not necessarily the most financially educated generation right now.

Courtney Haggart 17:28
Want to be we want to learn about it? Yeah, you will. How do you? How do we ask?

Ben Pankonin 17:32
Right, right. So asking those questions, I think our particular challenge now you’re engaging in social media. We’ve talked about some of some of your background, but your following. How many brands would you say you follow a lot of brands?

Courtney Haggart 17:49
I would say 10 to 15 on Instagram.

Ben Pankonin 17:54
Okay, and you sort of named Instagram first. So for brands, you’re seeing Instagram As a platform that you connect with and speak with brands regularly,

Courtney Haggart 18:04
yeah, I would say that’s my way main way to connect with brands is through Instagram. Second would be Facebook.

Ben Pankonin 18:12
Oh, interesting. So if you have a customer service issue with a brand, how would you go about for resolving that on social media?

Courtney Haggart 18:22
The Instagram direct messages actually is how I would prefer don’t like phone calls. I don’t like to email. Yeah, a brand. So I like direct messages just because I know I have that sense of security, and they’re gonna respond within a couple of hours. And that’s comforting. Yeah. So always through direct messages if they have a platform on Instagram.

Ben Pankonin 18:46
Yeah. Well, and that’s, that’s interesting, because I referenced to you earlier, I would choose Twitter. Typically, if I’ve got an issue with a brand, I want to see how they’re gonna respond. And I kind of want them to feel like maybe It could go viral. But um, but yeah, so that’s a that’s an interesting generational difference that, that you choose Instagram. Do you ever message them on Facebook?

Courtney Haggart 19:12
Sometimes I’ll message them on Facebook. It just depends on the channel on which I think I would reach them easiest. Something I do like about Facebook is they have a typically responds within an Instagram does not have that. So that’s what’s nice about Facebook is I can go and say, Oh, they typically respond within 10 minutes. Great. I’m going to message them

Ben Pankonin 19:34
right now sometimes we get on the banking side, we get hung up on jumping from one social platform to another but one of the things we want to help track through is that a lot of times moving from Facebook, or Instagram to Facebook and vice versa is it’s not a big jump. No,

you feel like you make that pretty regularly.

Courtney Haggart 19:56
Yeah, and especially with Facebook now owning and it’s even easier to see that connection and just go between platforms.

Ben Pankonin 20:05
Yeah. So. So a lot of times when we think about them, we think that there’s only one demographic on one platform. Kids these days aren’t posting on Facebook. And you would probably fall into that you don’t post a lot on Facebook.

Unknown Speaker 20:18
No, I am active on Facebook. Yeah.

Ben Pankonin 20:22
Yeah. And I think that’s, that’s a typical thing we’re finding with Gen Z is that they still have a login to Facebook. Don’t ignore them on Facebook. And we’ll talk about a little bit later of why that’s so important. Now, now, Courtney, this is gonna you know, for Tim and I were feeling a little bit intimidated by this one. What Like, who do you follow is influencer marketing.

Courtney Haggart 20:47
So I would say influencers that I follow are people like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner. Okay.

Ben Pankonin 20:56
Well, we figure that the Kardashians is really yeah You know, your primary flower?

Courtney Haggart 21:02
I follow a lot of people from the bachelor as well. Okay, even though I’ll probably get made fun of for that.

Ben Pankonin 21:08
Yeah, Tim, I’ll tweet you later about that.

Courtney Haggart 21:11
Yeah, they, I follow them just because I think that they have interesting things to say. I like watching what they do on social media.

Ben Pankonin 21:22
Awesome. So, so we, you know, have you have you ever made a purchase that you sort of followed an influencer?

Courtney Haggart 21:28
Yes. Actually, it was a subscription to just fab the shoe place. Okay. It’s because a bunch of people from the bachelor were posting about it, and it was following me around and I got a deal using one of their codes. Yeah. And now I have a subscription there that I it’s gonna be really hard to cancel and I totally got me. Yeah,

Ben Pankonin 21:50
exactly. So so when we look at influencer marketing, really influencer marketing is this concept that you know someone who has a following we start, subscribe. mean to them in some of them are, you know, sort of Kardashian level with millions of followers on social media platforms, and some of them are what we call micro influencers, which still have a dramatic following. You know, I follow some, some athletes who don’t have a huge following, you know, they might only have, you know, 10 20,000 followers, but, you know, I follow them, I felt like maybe I met them, they were if they were, you know, at the university here or something like that, and then, you know, all of a sudden, they start to develop that following.

Courtney Haggart 22:30
I think a big difference between a micro influencer and one of the big wigs like Kim Kardashian is, when you’re a micro influencer, you’re having a lot more engagement with your followers because I don’t think you’re pushing ads as much. You’re having more meaningful content, because I don’t want to go on Instagram and see constantly Kylie Jenner by my lip kid by this. I want to see my friends. I want to see a Husker football player, what they’re doing that day. mixed in there. So just having that meaningful content is really important. And I think that’s why micro influencers shouldn’t be overlooked because they they do have a lot of influence.

Ben Pankonin 23:10
Right, right. And so some of those might be because they’re relatable to you. So they feel like they’re similar to you. Now, even when you were on campus, that’s a trend that we’re starting to see is that there are campus influencers as well. Right. Did you did you have any friends who were influencers on your campus?

Courtney Haggart 23:28
I had a couple of people who were tour guides who they were actually required to post a certain amount each week. And it didn’t have to be about the university, anything specifically just to show that you’re active. Yeah. And that was really successful for them and developing a following and making connections just with people on campus, not even necessarily recruiting people, right, which was really, really great for them because they saw it as a job at first, but then they realized, you know, people just want to hear what I’m doing. That’s not hard to share.

Ben Pankonin 24:01
Yeah, we had an intern a couple years ago who was a AAA influencer, which is a great person to know, because he’s giving away some, you know, free burritos and things like that. Right? But, but he’s also, you know, tasked with reaching part of the campus. And they recognized that he could be influential. And so they sort of tasked him with, you know, posting and responding. They’ve changed that platform a bit. But there’s a lot of those types of influencers that are really having great success, and a lot of big brands are starting to use those. So if you’re a smaller brand, there’s great ways to sort of tap into that potential. If you’re trying to reach certain demographics, you need to find people that are representative of those demographics to help you.

Courtney Haggart 24:40
We actually have a question from Jennifer Ben. Okay. She’s wondering what the most significant change in social habits for millennials to Gen Z is? Oh, that’s interesting, I would say the most influential habits.

Ben Pankonin 24:55
You know, I think one of those that you kind of identified was that, you know, That difference of saying, hey, you’re looking at more influencers and you’re looking at more opportunity, like you’re, you’re spending more time there, and you’re looking more at appear and sort of celebrity relationship than maybe ever has been looked at before.

Courtney Haggart 25:16
Yeah. And just the brand itself. I think there’s been a big rise in video content as well, for Gen Z.

Ben Pankonin 25:23
A great point. Yeah,

Courtney Haggart 25:23
everything is centered around videos. I mean, we’re going to talk about Tick Tock later and how that’s just totally taken social media by storm and maybe why that is. So I think that’s one of the biggest social changes between millennials and Gen Z

Ben Pankonin 25:38
when we talked a little bit about twitch right before we jumped full into Tick Tock right. twitches platform has grown exponentially if you were following just three weeks ago. You know, the fortnight World Championships were at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, right there selling out right giller arena to watch people play a video game. And that was just for the finals. Plus all of the millions of people that watch online. There’s a reason why Amazon spent over a billion dollars to buy Twitch. And for those of you who haven’t followed the twitch story in its history, it started as Justin TV, which was literally a show about watching a guy named Justin. And they sort of realized, one, it was exhausting to follow a person all day. He also felt insecure about it. But then, you know, they started following Justin and realizing when their show spiked. It was when he was sitting, playing video games and he was narrating it as he was, as he was watching that. And now that’s become a multi billion dollar startup that Amazon now owns, right? So they’re going to be around for the long haul. Now, this has been a platform to really you know, when we talk about emerging trends, this is one you’ve got to have on your radar. And that is to Talk. So for Tim and I, and those of us who might not be in this generation, can you walk us through tic Tock?

Courtney Haggart 27:09
Yeah, so, tic Tock is kind of just a newsfeed of only videos. The longest video can be 60 seconds, but all of the videos, the average is about 15 seconds. There’s really no rhyme or reason to what the videos are. And I think that’s what’s so great about this platform is there’s a lot of creativity going on and a lot of opportunity to show your uniqueness and show your ideas. And actually, there’s a lot of people who copy other people’s ideas in a different way, and then just go viral. So it’s a very interesting platform that is purely video based.

Ben Pankonin 27:49
Right? So So the only way to make something is to make a video Yes, right.

Courtney Haggart 27:55
You can comment on other people’s videos or share them right but if you want To have your own content, it has to be a video.

Ben Pankonin 28:03
Now, these numbers, these numbers are astronomical hundred and 30 million active users in the United States. The you know, 66% of these users are younger than 30 years old and for many of us who have signed up or logged into tik tok, we feel awkward logging into tik tok because you’re 41% of the users are between 16 and 24. A highly, you know, high growth platform.

Courtney Haggart 28:34
They grew like 70 million in one quarter. I think it was they’ve had an insane amount of growth in this last year.

Ben Pankonin 28:43
So and currently for the youngest generation, this is actually more popular than Snapchat. Yeah. And part of the reason is they’re spending more time and maybe you you can walk us through a little bit of like, why are you Why are people spending so much time on this platform?

Courtney Haggart 29:00
Yeah. So I mean, I obviously downloaded this because you told me to. Sure. Now I’m mad because I’m addicted to it. They’re spending so much time on this platform because it doesn’t take up that much of your attention at the time. Yeah, it’s like you look at your phone, you’re watching all these videos, and then you look up, and it’s four hours later. And that’s four of my six hours of screen time that day. But it’s mostly just so engaging, because every 30 seconds or so I’m getting something completely different. And I’m having a new opportunity to make a connection with someone. So that’s why it’s so addicting and so easy to spend four plus hours on it. Right. I’ve had to put an app timer on it. Nice. Thank you, Ben.

Ben Pankonin 29:45
Yeah, well, I’m glad I can, you know, I can help the next generation out a little bit. Julie makes a great comment. She says, you know, it’s the new vine. Right. And Julie, you’re absolutely right. It is the new fine and auto event advances those things. So it keeps you engaged and watching the next. The next thing. And you know, we we had an experience last week I asked you what was your favorite tic toc that you’ve watched in the last week? And you said,

I’m not sure.

Courtney Haggart 30:16

Ben Pankonin 30:19
And so, you know, it’s it’s an addictive platform, but not necessarily always the most memorable because you’re, you’re, you’re really not

Courtney Haggart 30:26
seeing eye to eye in four hours. 100 plus videos, right?

A lot of them are really funny. But are they that memorable? Not necessarily.

Ben Pankonin 30:35
Right. You can click to advance to the next one very quickly.

Courtney Haggart 30:37
It will it advances by itself. Yeah, don’t do anything.

Ben Pankonin 30:41
Now. Tick Tock has also been under huge fire. For some negative things. One is not being very restrictive to the age range. So the European Union is sued tik tok. There’s been some some highly negative connotations associated with tik tok. It’s a Chinese owned company at this point and there’s there’s a lot of reasons to not jump onto tik tok. Yeah, right. But I think it is the type of platform that we need to understand. And we need to understand what gives that its virality. And what is it that we can harness to connect with with people like yourself that, that do see value in this funny and interesting video? Yeah, happening quickly. So we’ll come back to a little bit of how we might apply that, but know that this is the fastest growing social media platform in the world at this point. it you know, we’ll see if it plateaus here. I suspect that it will, because they’re reaching some numbers, especially in the United States that they can’t really exceed, at least not without expanding that age demographic. They have to start reaching people my age, if they’re going to actually expand that any further So, you know a few things in consumer behavior that are really interesting. Now, Gen Z values this authentic, this authenticity. Now, we didn’t talk too much about your social media use yet, right? But yeah, we use sort of reference that Instagram is a big platform for you. You’re now on tik tok. Sorry about that. And you’re using Snapchat regularly. Yes. Now tell me a little bit of of why you use Snapchat and what do you use it for?

Courtney Haggart 32:32
I use Snapchat mainly just to connect with my friends. And I would say that it’s my top three platform daily on what I use, and I actually mostly use it to message people like text message, but on Snapchat,

Ben Pankonin 32:47
Okay, wait, what so so like, why would you use Snapchat to text message even though it’s not text messaging instead of regular SMS?

Courtney Haggart 32:58
I think it’s the social pressure to reply, because I can see when you open my Snapchat, you can turn your read receipts off on your phone. Okay, I can’t see that. But if you open my Snapchat, then you know that I know. You opened it and now you need to

Ben Pankonin 33:15
reserve so wait. So so for somebody you know, it is now late 30s

that kind of sounds like crazy ex girlfriend stalkerish

Courtney Haggart 33:25
I’m not saying that it couldn’t be used for that, but I wouldn’t say that’s its its main purpose.

Ben Pankonin 33:30
Okay. Okay, so, so what what you’re sort of illustrating here is there’s an accountability. So the friends that you have on Snapchat, you have a higher expectation for them on Snapchat than you do on text messaging?

Courtney Haggart 33:44
Yes. Because if I messaging you on Snapchat, I want to reply within a few minutes, right? I’m not going to Snapchat message something really important to someone. I would just text them. But if I need a quick answer, like where are we going to dinner tonight? Yeah. Snapchat message.

Ben Pankonin 34:01
Cool. Okay, now there’s there’s really a few different ways that you can use Snapchat, right? Like, I can sort of snap you a photo, which Snapchat defaults when I open it to just asking me to take a photo. Right? Which is kind of intimidate ready

Courtney Haggart 34:16
for it?

Ben Pankonin 34:17
Yeah, no, he’s nice ladder. Yeah. Might not be might not be ready. Not studio ready. Right. So So that’s an intimidating part of Snapchat, which which makes it awkward, right so for for people who might not be in that demographic, Snapchat has an ability to cut out people who might not be appropriate for that app. Yeah, right. Another one for a lot of people I’ve talked to that are my age and older say, hey, one of the things I struggle with Snapchat is like I don’t understand it. Right? So it’s like, how did you learn how to use Snapchat?

Courtney Haggart 34:56
I mostly I mean, I downloaded it because my friends did. And the biggest thing that I remember with Snapchat is using face filters. So when you can change your face into a dog or have hard eyes, I distinctly remember the first time I got a snapchat from my friend who had that. And I was so confused because I was like, how did you do this to your face? I’m just aggressively clicking Snapchat trying to figure this out until it popped up. And it’s just been a lot of experimentation. Honestly. There’s not a lot of pressure, time pressure, I would say to figure things out on Snapchat, and that’s why it’s nice to experiment on there. Yeah, cuz you’re not on this constraint.

Ben Pankonin 35:36
Right? So swipe left, swipe right, swipe up, swipe down, tap it hard, tap it, like those are really your actions on Snapchat. And that combination of finding things on Snapchat likes to release things, and have people discover those. That process of user experiences is something that has unlocked potential for them. And it’s also helped to them to restrict other demographics from jumping on there people who aren’t comfortable just experimenting. Yeah.

Courtney Haggart 36:08
We actually had an interesting question from Tim. glad he’s listening because you’ve mentioned him a couple times. He said that he heard he heard that generations, he checks Instagram Stories more often than their feeds on Instagram. I would say that that is true. And I think a reason for that tying that into Snapchat, is because Instagram Stories are exactly like Snapchat, they kind of stole that idea. And in a way, it’s, I have two minutes to get on Instagram. I’m going to check the stories because I can get through much more content in that two minutes than I can on my feed. Right. So there’s a lot of trends that you see crossover between Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and I don’t think that should be ignored. So that’s one of the reasons why Instagram Stories are so popular is because they’re like Snapchat. It’s familiar.

Ben Pankonin 37:00
Right, absolutely. So, you know, we want to understand a little bit of those cross platforms and how we might use them. And so we’re gonna try to talk through some of those examples as we kind of move through, you know, our 200 and 300 level classes today. But as we kind of move through those, you know, we want to keep in mind that the way you’re using these platforms are different. You know, things like we mentioned earlier, you know, you said, I’m not using stories on Snapchat, I’m messaging person to person. That’s the way you see Snapchat, those public messages which, which have more of a virality to them. You don’t care about that on on Snapchat, and most people don’t most of the messages that are happening on Snapchat are private. Yeah, now Instagrams a little different, right? Like, we’re not doing quite as many private messages on Instagram. Yeah, it’s not seeing that trend pick up. I think Instagram would like that a little bit more, but that’s not really happening yet. People are choosing things like Facebook. messenger to do that instead. Now, when we think about advertising, there’s a few things that we want to think about here. Now, advertising in particular, there’s a lot of things when we think about an ad on these social channels is that, hey, we want to figure out what a goal is, how do we inform, educate and sell new products on these platforms? Now, one of the things that we have to back up and say is that, you know, this can be on any one of these platforms, this could be on Instagram, this could be on Facebook, this is this could even be on Snapchat, in some ways, although the advertising capabilities are a little bit different, especially if you’re a smaller brand, on platforms like Snapchat, but we want to figure out how to grab attention. And you know, what is it that makes our abilities different? So when we use Facebook and Instagram, the largest ad platforms we find in the social space would be contained in that’s the reason why we’ve talked about it a lot why Facebook’s worth what they are. Is that they do have an ability to reach. But when we think of the sort of quick facts here of 79% of Gen Z has a Facebook account. So when you’ve read the blog that says, Millennials aren’t using Facebook, it probably means they’re not posting. They’re not necessarily making a new post on Facebook, they have a login, which means a couple things for you. One, it’s that if you are doing any sort of tracking or advertising, when we talk about social media advertising, we can still reach people who aren’t making posts on Facebook. They don’t even have to be, you know, sort of like watching their feed on Facebook. Yeah, if they log in Facebook knows who they are. When they tracked throughout the web,

Courtney Haggart 39:45
Facebook knows everything.

Ben Pankonin 39:46
Yeah. Right. So we can still advertise to them when they’re browsing their local newspaper. Right. So last week when I was in St. Louis, and I checked our newspaper here in Lincoln, and I’m seeing targeted ads For St. Louis, on our newspaper out of Lincoln, Nebraska. The reason for that is that I’ve been logged in two platforms, it knows my location. And my local newspaper isn’t selling all of those ads. So those ads are coming through third parties like Google, and like Facebook. And so that’s a really important thing to consider is that even if you sort of like Gen Z is not posting regularly on Facebook, that doesn’t mean we can’t use Facebook, to target them and find them.

Courtney Haggart 40:33
So think that a question that we’ve gotten, actually from several of our viewers are in order to reach Gen Z, does our bank need to be on Facebook and Instagram? And, you know, I would say why would you not because Facebook now owns Instagram, it’s never been easier to have that crossover. And with Gen Z. Yes, they do have a Facebook account, but we know that they’re more active on Instagram. You can leverage that and run ads across both platforms. Now, it’s never been easier to do that. So I would say, yes, you should be on Facebook and Instagram, especially knowing how popular Instagram is.

Ben Pankonin 41:14
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think, you know, these, having both of these platforms is, is a huge advantage to being able to reach the demographics you’re looking to do. And you can run your advertising platforms across both. So you know, we can run ads on Facebook that also reach them. We talked about this a little bit, but I want to just touch on this is that, you know, when we use Facebook’s audience network, that that doesn’t mean it’s on Facebook at all. It could be on that local news site. It could be in other apps that you might be using. You know, it could be, you know, different banner ads, it could be all sorts of different platforms that we’re reaching those people on. But that that ad network can be a great way to reach a younger audience. You know, when when people are playing Candy Crush right on their, on their iPhone, they’re seeing ads, and most of those ads are sourced through Facebook, right? So all of that traffic, Facebook gets aware of because you have logged into it. So those, those ads can fit different placement types. You know, when we think of the different possible places to place an ad when we go look through a demographic or maybe it’s, you know, in the zip codes that you’re trying to reach and grow your bank audience in. This is one of the the weapons that we want to make sure that we don’t leave out of that arsenal. So a lot of times, you know, we sort of get restrictive when we think of social ads as being something that you see on your feed on Facebook. And that’s just not not the case. A lot of times we want to remind people of what they’ve looked at where they’ve browse to, so they start to remember your brand across other platforms. One of the other ways that we do that is through things like the facebook pixel So when you go log into your bank, you can install a script. A script is much like a Google Analytics script. Usually we do a custom script. So you can have multiple platforms reviewed there. But essentially, it allows us to say, hey, this person was visiting that student loan section of your website, or they were browsing to understand what a student checking account looked like. Now, it’s our chance to remind them of that student checking account, and ask them if they want to meet with someone personally, inside the branch. So that gives us that chance to customize that message and remind them that hey, you checked this out, you were doing some research, come back in and see us, we’d love to have a personal conversation with you. And as Courtney said, that’s that’s ultimately what you’re looking for a lot of times. So, now, Google obviously presents other challenges and other opportunities. To driving that traffic that could be on search results. It could be on things like reviews. There’s a lot of things we’re going to be talking more about reviews in our upcoming webinars as well. Not only just how we look at reviews, but how do we get more reviews? How do we get people to, to engage with our brand and tell their friends about it? Those are really important aspects to looking at that when we look at the Search Network. You know, some of those can be search ads, some of those can be the ads that get placed at the top. You know, some of us skip those ads, but a lot of times you Google a brand name, and that’s the first thing that comes up is the ad for that brand. If you’ve got other banks in your market, you might be advertising above their header for their bank name, right. And there’s reasons to do that, to start to let people know that that you’re an alternative to that other bank as well. So those are some interesting options. There’s there’s other places you know, with And shopping within other networks, but, but really, as we start to look at the Google search terms, that’s something to check out in your market. And, you know, you’re not necessarily advertising against all of the major online banks. Typically they’re restricting their searches to certain areas of the country in which they think they’ll be successful. So depending on how your market shakes out, some of those Google search ads can be, you know, quite a low cost, but it just depends,

Courtney Haggart 45:30
especially during certain seasons, like student checking account, it might be worth it to look in to doing an app or that on Google, there’s a lot of people who are searching that this time of year. Right, and you have the advantage of being local. Yeah. And being unique to that community.

Ben Pankonin 45:47
Yeah, so you know, those ad placements can be can be hyperlocal. You know, it can be just in an area if you’re looking you know, if you’re in a college town, yeah, those are some some things to be considering as well. You know, there’s there’s a lot of different Ways to start looking at that. The display network, we’ll just highlight a little bit. These are the types of ads that you start seeing, you start looking for a hotel in a different area, and then all of a sudden you start seeing different options. Those are responsive display ads, so they work on mobile, they also work on desktop. There’s a lot of different ways to connect with millennials in that sense, and, and the gen Z’s who are looking for that type of travel, you know, international connections. So there’s a lot of different ways to be thinking about that. We’ve got a couple more things here in the shopping network, and video ads. We mentioned that one of those distinctions between millennials and Gen Z is the use of video. And so when you’re looking at videos, there’s some great options to be considering. You know, we talked about our little line dancing video, which is sort of took on its life and I had some embarrassing In emails back of people complimenting or discouraging me from dancing, but that those video campaigns, what they start to do is it starts to develop that relationship in a more enhanced way. One of the other things you can start to do is we said that Gen Z wants to have conversations with you. So that helps you to say, Hey, here’s a face, and here’s the way we would have a conversation. It’s not necessarily in a judgmental way. It’s in a way that promotes that conversation. So, so there’s some great ways we’ve seen some banks highlight that through video campaigns. And really understanding how to how to engage in a more of a conversational type of format. ie, Courtney, you talked a bit about some ways you would really appreciate people reaching out and some things that you engage in, specifically polls and questionnaires Yeah,

Courtney Haggart 47:54
I didn’t when we were talking about this earlier, I always if there’s a post on Instagram, whether it’s a company or an individual asking me a question I can vote on, no question. I always vote on it. And I can’t tell you why I do that. I think I just like having the instant gratification of seeing other people’s results and seeing how I compare to that. But I think I think polls are something that just are a really easy way for people to engage with your brand. And it’s very low cost, it costs nothing to just make an Instagram story, or a Facebook story even just ask them a question and give them an opportunity to tell you what they want. Yeah,

Ben Pankonin 48:37
yeah. So I mean, I love that, you know, it’s sort of like, you know, it’s like the old 17 magazines, right? Like, yeah, like, hey, if we’re gonna fill out a survey, right, like we got to figure out, but those polls and questionnaires really do a great job of that. So, you know, sharing stories from customers are also a really helpful way to be thinking about that. But yeah, I love that feedback of saying, Hey, if you’re asking you Gen Z a question. You’re, you’re probably gonna get some response. Yeah,

Courtney Haggart 49:04
you’ll get an answer. It might not be the one you’re expecting. But yeah, you will get one. I love

Ben Pankonin 49:09
it. I love it. Now, I think this third section really what we want to highlight here is that, you know, the way that we communicate to Gen Z can change if we understand what Courtney is telling us in the beginning of this webinar that, hey, the way we communicate, the way we use platforms like Tiktok can influence the way we use platforms like Instagram or Facebook. Also, the way we think about things like influencer marketing, really helped us to connect with Gen Z in a different way. So you know, when we’re choosing the different types of content and the way we communicate, you know, highlighting individuals, you Midwest is doing a phenomenal job with their blog series they’re highlighting, obviously they do a lot in the egg lending space, doing a great job of highlighting younger folks. Farmers and giving them a face on their platform and giving their customers a face a name and a story that really embrace that. I think that’s a really great example. We’ve seen, and it’s, you know, it’s in that kind of commercial lending space, essentially, you know, in that ag lending. So, when we think about that, that’s a phenomenal way. We’ve seen other banks do that with startups or young entrepreneurs that are taking risks and building their community and starting to to elevate their status as influencers. You were also seeing a lot of trend of lenders being influencers. You know, Natalie’s doing a good job here of sharing some of her story, but when we look at, you know, Gen Z and saying, hey, they want to connect with a brand or a face or a person, you’re giving your lenders a brand and helping elevate that status. They can become the influencers for your brand, which can be really powerful. For, for people to connect to. So another one is sure understanding what we should say on those platforms, and how we message those things. But, you know, it’s not just about self promotion, right? There’s Yeah, there’s this sort of phrase that we get in. A lot of young people are starting to say it where they say, Hey, you know, weird flex, but Okay, yeah. So this is sort of like the, the the trend that we’d say, Hey, you know, that’s, that’s a nice flex, right? Meaning, hey, it looks like you’re trying to promote yourself, as opposed to what you’re doing.

Courtney Haggart 51:38
You’re bragging about yourself too much, but Okay, yes, what they’re saying. Yeah.

Ben Pankonin 51:42
It’s a little weird the first time somebody called me out on that, but you know, it’s, it’s an interesting concept that we’re seeing in Gen Z, is that there’s sort of a looked down upon for flexing, but on the same hand, You want them to know what you have available? Right? Right. So we do want to make sure that we are engaging with them, then we

Courtney Haggart 52:07
actually have a really great question from Terry. And she’s wondering how can we connect to Generation Z without losing relationships with other generations? Oh, that’s an interesting one.

Ben Pankonin 52:19
Yeah. So, you know, I think about that in in the sense of, you know, we don’t have to sort of abandon everything we’ve done before in changing our message. Right, right. There’s no reason that a Gen X, or a boomer would be frustrated, seeing, you know, a young entrepreneur being highlighted as a story for you. Right. Like, I think that’s something that that carries through generations, those stories are really valuable. So when we can highlight those, I think that’s, that doesn’t necessarily alienate another audience. It doesn’t have to

Courtney Haggart 52:58
Yeah. Think that you can differentiate your content, just because we’re giving a presentation on Gen Z doesn’t mean, you immediately need to focus all of your marketing efforts on us. Right. But a little bit would be nice.

Ben Pankonin 53:11
There you go. When and I think even that that sense of of a flex, right, like, I think when we think about that, if I’m trying to reach Gen Z, like, I want them to know that I’m authentic, and that I care about them more, right. Yeah. And that it’s not about me sort of showing off what I’ve done. It’s about, it’s about us understanding you. It’s about that. So I think that’s really, that’s an important part. You’ve talked about this, I think, I think use the phrase a lot of times clickhole. Right.

Courtney Haggart 53:45
But but that bingeing on brands and their content, it’s not just that you looked at one post, and you’re sort of like going crazy on right, or before going somewhere, I’m googling them. I’m looking at their Facebook page, I’m seeing if they’re on Instagram, I’m doing all of this before I even stepped foot into that institution.

Ben Pankonin 54:04
Right. So I think I think those are really important. I think it’s also what gets really interesting. And we’ll probably throw out some videos later here too. But, you know, when we think of a platform like Tick tock, it’s had great virality Gen Z understands it relates to it. There’s no reason we can’t film a tick tock like video and publish it on our Instagram profile,

Courtney Haggart 54:32
right? Or even on Facebook,

Ben Pankonin 54:33
right. When we think of the stories that were publishing on Instagram, those could look like a tick tock story, right. And there’s no reason they could,

Courtney Haggart 54:43
yeah, it’s important to take trends from other platforms and think about how you could use them for your brand that’s relevant to you. So we’re not saying beyond Tick Tock. You don’t need to go after this presentation and create a tic Tock account. That’s not what we’re recommending. But we do want you to just be aware of the influences that these platforms have. And think of ways that you could better market to your audience from these trends.

Ben Pankonin 55:11
Yeah, absolutely. So when we’re thinking about, you know, what do we learn from Tick Tock? What do we learn even from a platform like twitch? Right? There’s no reason we couldn’t film a video like, like you were shooting a twitch video. You know, typically, you’re walking through a game, right? There’s no reason we couldn’t make that game of lending product and talk, talk through that scenario. Like your loan officers running a video game. Those are really fun and creative ways to connect with an audience that that understands gaming, or they understand tic toc, and you can involve some of your younger staff members in that type of process. And it’s a great employee engagement strategy. You know, really, when we start to think of the things that really define the community financial institutions across our country, I think it’s it’s one There’s ways to say, hey, when we think about being local, when we think about building community, when we think about, you know, how we all build in this together and invite people into our story, I think those are all things that really span those generations. Well, I know Courtney, as we’ve talked, do you have any parting thoughts that you’d love to impart on our audience to share with them how they find more people like yourself? Um,

Courtney Haggart 56:28
I would just say, focus on asking questions, if you’re not sure on how to reach a new generation, or even you’re trying to sell a product and not sure who to sell it to ask someone ask, you know, what are the top three platforms that are taking up most of your battery? Or what do you want to see me do if you’re out of ideas, and I think that’s just a really easy fix that people don’t think of because they’re scared to ask the question, but you’ll as we’ve seen today, like We’d love to be engaged. Yeah, I want you to ask me questions. So I guess it would just be to start thinking of things that you could ask and how to make your brand better, and how to just really market to people that’s going to resonate with them.

Ben Pankonin 57:16
Yeah, I appreciate that corny, and thanks for putting in a lot of work in helping us to really understand Gen Z, how we connect with people like yourself. We’re excited about your future, the future for Gen Z’s. And we’re excited to see you know, how that starts to influence, you know, our financial institutions across the country. So, thanks for sticking with us. This webinar, your next month, we’re going to be tackling some more things on reviews. We’ve got a lot of different things coming up some new product enhancements and things like that we’d love to talk about as well. But stay tuned. If you’ve got other ideas for us. Feel free to drop us a tweet, shoot us an email, we’d love to hear from you. And thanks for tuning in again.