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Five brands that rock Gen Z marketing on Instagram

by Cole Brennan
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    In order to engage Gen Z, brands are embracing creative Instagram marketing that helps them stand out in the feed. Here are five examples of Insta content at its best to help inspire your social media marketing.

    You’ve probably heard Gen Z referred to as “digital natives.” Having never known life without the Internet, Instagram is as natural to this generation as corded telephones and dial-up once were to Gen Xers.

    As a result, many brands have begun to embrace creative new ways to engage with Gen Z. So, put down your avocado toast, and let’s take a look at how these brands are thinking outside the box when it comes to marketing—making their content more viral and clickable than ever for these savvy digital natives.

    1. The New York Public Library’s Insta-novels series

    How does a century-old institution built entirely on print media get better acquainted with the digital natives of Generation Z? Take notes from The New York Public Library (NYPL), which has tapped into Z’s Instagram consciousness by making classic novels more accessible via their “Insta Novels” series. This series cleverly transforms pieces of literature into animated, clickable Instagram Stories. NYPL also saves these stories to their highlights reel for future reading—providing a perfect way to pass the time on the subway commute to class.

    blog image - New York Public Library Insta Novels 2. Glossier’s use of user-generated content

    When it comes to your Instagram marketing, you don’t have to write a novel; you can keep things simple, too. Glossier is well-known for their savvy Gen Z content. They knock it out of the park with their highly curated feed, where the brand showcases user-generated content (UGC) on a weekly basis. Glossier’s use of UGC provides a sure-fire way to engage their biggest fans—because the content is made by them, for them.

    blog image - Glossier user generated content instagram

    3. Everlane’s use of behind-the-scenes stories

    Gen Z wants marketing that’s realistic and relatable, which means they love to peek behind-the-scenes of a popular brand. Online retailer Everlane knows their Gen Z audience, and they’re also known for providing customers with unprecedented transparency into their supply chain practices. So, their use of weekly behind-the-scenes Instagram stories in which they answer questions and tease upcoming products is a perfect fit with their brand strategy. After all, social media is all about transparency, right?

    blog image - Everlane behind the scenes Instagram stories

    4. Chipotle’s radical ingredient transparency

    To help rebuild customer confidence in its food safety practices, Chipotle launched its “For Real” campaign, which includes a new Instagram account devoted to educating customers with an inside look at how its food is sourced and prepared. Instagram was just part of a broader marketing campaign aimed at getting back to its roots with ‘radical ingredient transparency.’ It makes you wonder: If you could teach consumers one thing about your brand, what would it be? (Hmm, this transparency thing is starting to become a theme...)

    blog image - Chipotle radical ingredient transparency Instagram

    5. Warby Parker’s creative crossword puzzles

    Online glasses retailer Warby Parker has the prescription for Gen Z Instagram success. In a creative use of Instagram Stories, Warby Parker created an interactive crossword puzzle contest. This game made perfect sense for the whip-smart brand aesthetic that Warby Parker is known for, and it spoke effectively to their Gen Z audience with an interactive game that let fans of the brand play along.

    blog image - warby parker instagram crossword puzzle

    Getting your Insta-marketing right with Gen Z

    Gen Z is unlike any generation before them, which means that marketing to Gen Z is a whole new ballgame, too. Take notes from the brands we mentioned above. They understand what it takes to reach Gen Z on Instagram. 

      Download the report: Gen Z spending habits before and during COVID-19


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      Think digital marketing is all it takes to reach Gen Z? Think again. Download the research report here.