Don’t Forget About the Parents of Generation Z, as Featured on MediaPost

Allison Talamantez and Danielle Wiley recently penned a guest column for MediaPost’s Engage: Moms blog on the topic of marketing not only to Generation Z, but their parents. The contributed article is featured below.

“Parents of Generation Z, the name given to those born after 1995, are entering a new life stage as their children stand on the cusp of adulthood. Today’s parents are particularly hungry for content that relates to their needs, much like they received when they were parents of newborns. However, unlike that previous stage in their lives, they don’t have the luxury of looking to best practices from the past as they navigate for the first time what it means to parent in this digital age.

As Gen Z begins to experience the world in new ways, so do their parents. With every teenager exploring a new social media platform (and their own evolving online identity), you can rest assured that their parents are checking it out as well. Some use the opportunity to “keep tabs” on their child’s digital footprint and hone their stalking skills as they attempt to figure out what their kids are doing behind closed doors. Others see it as a way to connect and relate where Facebook or email just doesn’t resonate.

Marketers, take note. We often think of new social media platforms based on Gen Z as the largest user profile. While Instagram, as one example, has not amassed a wide audience of Boomers and Gen Xers, the platform is quite ripe with parents signing up to become familiar with the online destination consuming the attention of their offspring. There is an opportunity for brands and companies to reach a social media savvy Gen Z parent by relating to their specific needs and mindset.

A new baby truly only needs food and sleep in the first few months of his or her life. A teenager on the other hand, requires much more. It seems as if the list of needs grows even faster than the rate of their height, from clothes that fit to face and body care, as well as school supplies and sporting equipment. Not considered splurges, such as new fashion accessories or video games, these necessities often fall under household budget (and do not come out of the Gen Z’s allowance, summer job or savings account).

Brands that focus primarily on a Gen Z consumer but parent purchaser could endear themselves to both demographics by keeping the needs of each in mind. For example, in addition to the option of adding a product to a shopping wish list, offer teenagers the opportunity to send your latest brand news or most recent promotion to their parent for purchase consideration.

You may also consider talking directly with the purchaser, versus end consumer, on this platform where both are engaged. As parents navigate the needs of these new humans suddenly under their roof, they need all the help they can get communicating with them. Offer Gen Z parents conversation starters or tips for decoding their teenager’s jargon. Share a trend or newly popular Vine account with Gen Z parents, allowing them to earn kudos by introducing the latest to their children. If your brand collaborates with an influencer, consider giving parents the opportunity to surprise their teenager with a guest shout out or dedicated post from the influencer for a birthday or celebration. The real gold for marketers lies in uniting Gen Z and their parents creating real conversation for those rare moments offline.”

Marketing to the parents of generation Z

Marketing to Millennials through Influencers

Millennials spend more than five hours a day on social media consuming user generated content (UGC). Studies show UGC is 20% more influential and 35% more memorable to millennials when it comes to purchasing. Because creating and sharing content on social media is second nature to this demographic, marketing to millennials is best conducted through ongoing dialogue on the platforms they frequent.

An effective strategy to start a conversation with millennials is through digital influencers, who bring with them large communities of followers, authentic personal experience and social media platform expertise. According to a study conducted by Variety, U.S. teens are more enamored with YouTube stars than they are the biggest celebrities in film, TV and music. Influencers interact with their followers in an organic manner, building trust that prompts fans to listen, share and take action based on recommendation.

Our Work Marketing to Millennials

How to use influencer marketing to reach millennials

Sway Group has connected brands with YouTube stars for campaigns tailored specifically to the millennial audience and their robust online social networks. In support of ShopYourWay’s (SYW) Back to School efforts, Sway Group, in collaboration with Zeno Group, partnered with teen Internet celebrity ambassadors, Ricky Dillon and JennXPenn, to drive awareness and traffic to the SYW site with unique shareable content. By empowering the influencers to act as brand ambassadors and create their own outfits, they achieved organic reach and buzz among their social media channels and drove traffic to ShopYourWay.com.

Capitalizing on the trend of second-screen viewing during televised live events and the high Twitter engagement of Ricky Dillon’s followers, Ricky was brought on as an SYW brand ambassador for the Video Music Awards (VMAs). An SYW stylist helped Ricky create his unique look, each piece available through SYW.

The campaign achieved 6.7M Twitter impressions, 2.3M fans on Instagram (549.5K likes) and 1.03 YouTube video views. On August 24, 2014, Ricky Dillon garnered 1.4M Twitter impressions and reached his 1.34M fans on Instagram (142K likes) with one image posted at a time primed for peak impressions that answered the age-old red carpet question of “Who are you wearing?”

For more information on our millennial influencers or how to begin marketing to millennials, contact us to begin a brainstorm.

Your Target Consumer is Already Thinking About Summer

Daylight savings time has arrived reminding us summer is just on the horizon. As the days get longer and the temperatures rise, one day soon the school year will end and the lazy days of summer will be here. What does that mean for your summer promotions?

This year:
• 1 in 5 millennials will plan a trip during one of the long holiday weekends.
• 64% of people will celebrate the 4th of July at a cookout, spending $6.2 billion on food.
• Americans will spend an estimated $1 billion on sunscreen products.

Reach consumers during the summer with targeted promotions and a seasonal slant.

Have You Started Thinking About Summer Promotions?

Brands synonymous with the season, such as bathing suits and sunscreen, have likely prepared a summer promotional push. However, the spirit of summer can open up timely hooks for less obvious brands. For example, summer may not seem like a prime time to think about finances, but as women schedule vacations and prepare for the upcoming fall, it is an ideal time to plan ahead.

Last summer, Sway Group partnered with a financial institution to drive awareness and generate buzz around its financial independence campaign. With select influencers sharing their vision of financial freedom during a 4th of July-timed program, the campaign secured 46 million impressions, of which 33 million impressions were generated from a complementary Twitter party that trended nationally during the hour. By infusing personality and integrating a timely promotion, the campaign was widely shared for its ability to capture women in a unique way.

Before television shows go on hiatus and summer hours take effect, let Sway Group help you think outside a traditional marketing plan to capture the attention of your target audience with tailored, high-impact results.

Does Pinterest’s New Smart Feed Have You Stumped?

Last fall, Pinterest unveiled the Smart Feed – a new home feed display ranking each pin based on a user’s interests and Pinterest history. With the new Smart Feed, Pinterest weighs each pin on a variety of factors. Incorporating search terms into the descriptions is the leading factor in how often a pin is seen in a feed, but the amount of engagement a pin receives is the second. The number of repins, comments and likes a pin receives bumps it up in the Pinterest algorithm – meaning pins with high-engagement receive high visibility and continue to gain traction over time.

Capture engagement with new Pinterest promotions to rank higher in Pinterest Smart Feed

For highly visual brands, Pinterest is an excellent way to increase brand awareness and generate long-term impressions and traffic.

Adult women, and even men, are increasingly using Pinterest, with the total proportion rising 7% in the past year, according to Pew Research Center. Through our experience working in this platform, we have seen food and drink recipes, fashion and crafts perform very well. We’ve turned a paper towel brand into a DIY superstar, a commodity food ingredient into a delicious entrée and an undergarment into a fashionista’s OOTD secret. Let us help you brainstorm how to best integrate your brand into a Pinterest-worthy campaign. Below are several of our unique offerings to attract new consumers and engage your current fans.

• Our Pinterest Promotions build awareness of your brand by encouraging fans to pin an image, using the campaign hashtag, for a chance to win a prize. Highly engaged influencers promote the Pinterest promotion on their social media channels and drive their followers to the contest.

• Similar to our Massive Tweet Campaigns, our Massive Pin Campaigns generate viral activity for your brand on Pinterest. We engage 100 Massive Sway influencers to pin one image each, during a 24-48 hour period. Sway Group works with you to include the key messages of your brand before sharing with the selected influencers for distribution.

• Our latest offering is a dedicated one-hour Pinterest Party to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. Followers will RSVP to join the discussion and will be guided by party hosts who will pin curated content (one pin per minute), dedicated to the party theme.

The proof is in the numbers.

Recently, two of our Sway Roster influencers partnered with a top brand to create branded recipes and tablescapes (For you Pinterest newbies, tablescapes is the term for a creatively designed table arrangement that showcases a specific collection or theme). Within one month of posting, the content created by our influencers was pinned 26,891 times, with a total of 38.3 million Pinterest impressions for the brand.

Contact us today to brainstorm your next Pinterest campaign.

Massive Sway Community Recognized with 2014 Bulldog Digital/Social PR Award

The Massive Sway community of bloggers, powered by The SITS Girls (a long-standing acronym that represents The Secret to Success Is The Support) maintains a simple objective: to create an educational space where bloggers can learn from their colleagues and share best practices related to the world of blogging. The community is the leading expert resource for both those new to blogging and veteran bloggers interested in learning everything they can about social media and monetization of their site.

We are thrilled to share that the industry agrees, as verified by our latest recognition with a 2014 Bulldog Digital/Social PR Award for Excellence in Online Communications. The Bulldog Awards recognize excellence in public relations and communications at the highest level. Our Massive Sway community has been selected in the Best Online/Social Media Community of the Year category for demonstrating its leadership position as an expert resource for online influencers.

Massive Sway recognized with 2015 Bulldog Award in Best Online/Social Media Community cateogry

The award celebrates the breadth and depth of the Massive Sway community, with unparalleled reach and weekly paid blogging opportunities. In the span of eight months, Massive Sway’s portal for influencers (known as iSway), which allows community members to register for sponsored post opportunities, added approximately 2,500 new members and continues along this path of growth.

Influencers seek out our network not only as a resource for strategic support and education, but also as a dependable source for steady, high quality work. We continue to grow our network of noteworthy Massive Sway influencers by allowing them to focus on content for their community, while we manage the business side..

Our clients confirm the benefits of an influencer network. The magnitude of our Massive Sway network allows for increased efficiencies in identifying the right influencers. In addition, by outsourcing the project management element of an influencer campaign, all contract negotiations, QA and coordination of post approvals are handled through the network.

As our Massive Sway community continues to grow, so too do our corresponding successful campaigns. Stay tuned for more massive engagement from the Massive Sway community as we continue our legacy of delivering noteworthy results.