A self storage operator's guide to marketing to Gen Z

Updated: Jan 4

Generation Z is here. If you don’t already know, now you know. The digital natives known for their viral TikTok videos and passion for the planet have been growing with vigour thanks to their oat milk pumpkin lattes, and now, they’re one of the most dominant target markets in the economy. In fact, it’s predicted that the maturing Gen Zers will out-earn Millennials by 2031.

While many businesses have just started to understand the intricate minds of Millennials, Generation Z has pitched up to the party completely unannounced and unequivocally cool. Having grown up with technology at their fingertips, Gen Z can sniff out phoney marketing motives and poor tag lines in a second. What worked on Boomers and Millennials won’t work on them. So, it’s time to turn your attention in a new and ‘hipper’ direction. This blog will show you the way.

Who is Generation Z?

We know Gen Z has made quite the entrance into the economy, but who are they exactly? Although often lumped with Millennials, Generation Z has several unique characteristics that make them quite different. Born between 1996 and 2016, they are one of the most racially diverse and best-educated generations yet. Standing 2.5 billion strong, there are few online platforms Gen Zers aren’t active on. They are slightly more pragmatic than their predecessors and have an intense concern for socio and climate-related issues.

How self storage operators can market to Gen Z

Although you won’t be able to get a whole generation onboard overnight, there are several marketing tactics that you can slowly introduce to reach this new type of consumer. As technical whizz kids, almost all require a digital thumb, but with the right marketing agency, you’ll be TikToking and tweeting in no time.

1. Create content that connects

While most self storage operators focus on convincing content that converts, Gen Zers are wooed but something a bit different – genuine authenticity. Having grown up with adverts flashing across their field of vision all their lives, they could care less about what makes your facility the ‘best’ in the business.

Instead, they want to know how it’s supporting real people and solving problems in their community. Using people they can relate to or causes they feel strongly about in your marketing campaigns will yield better results with this bunch.

2. Flex your social fingers

Generation Z live on social media. After all, they practically grew up on digital devices. While Millennials and Boomers were given toys as entertainment, Gen Zers were given tablets and smartphones, making them the most tech-savvy generation to date. Much like Millennials, they spend hours on social media platforms, with some of the most popular apps being TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.

To really reach this type of consumer, you need to be spending as much time on these platforms, if not more. Whether posting relatable motivational tips on Mondays or launching student or young professional ad campaigns, flexing your social fingers is a sure way to boost your popularity with this up and coming generation.

3. Ditch stills for video

We’re no longer living in the age of still images. If you’re not posting quality video content and animations, you can kiss your engagement rate goodbye. Today’s teens are driven to video content, with Google reporting that 85% use the video streaming platform YouTube as a researching tool.

Self storage operators looking to connect with Generation Z need to create engaging video content that is lighthearted and offers them some respite to the ongoing political wars, pandemic and climate crises.

4. Craft a solid online reputation

While Boomers seek the advice and lived experiences of friends and family members, Gen Zers go straight to the source – online review platforms. They will typically read a range of reviews on popular sites like Google and even Facebook before making a final decision. Thus, it’s incredibly important to manage your reputation in this space. Make sure that you have an active business profile on these sites and regularly respond to reviews, whether good or bad.

5. Use influencers

Influencers have skyrocketed into the marketing space, becoming one of the most lucrative and sought-after careers of the decade. Why? Well, because Millennials and Gen Zers listen to what they have to say, whether that’s unboxing the latest Mac eyeshadow pallet or touring your self storage facility.

While the more well-known influencers come with a hefty price, partnering with micro-influencers and local bloggers are a great way to get your brand in front of young people without bombarding them with noisy ads and emailers.

If you’re looking for a group of digital geniuses who have a knack for connecting with all sorts of markets, look no further than Digital First. We offer self storage operators a variety of specialised digital marketing services, including online reputation management, social media and influencer marketing.

Whether you’re looking to increase your social following or Google review rating, we have the knowledge and experience to help brands stand out and succeed online. Contact us today to find out more or get a free online audit today.