Prepare to be amazed … Gen Zs are between the ages of 10 and 25, making them the youngest generation that is currently traveling, but they have a spending power of over $360 billion in disposable income, according to Business Insider.
It is important for travel advisors to know that the marketing approaches they have relied on to reach Millennials and Gen Xers may not work as well with this up-and-coming next generation - or at least they may have to be tweaked a bit. Here are five strategies for successfully selling travel to Gen Zs.
1. Be where they are on social media.
The “Zoomers” group of young adults and teens grew up with smartphones and on the internet, and has never been without them. They expect the brands they buy from to have a strong and authentic presence on the social media platforms where they are (Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and to a lesser extent still YouTube).
"My marketing for Gen Z is mainly social media, as they tend to be the generation that is most active on social media when it comes to looking for new locations to visit and for what is ‘trending’ or ‘hot’ when it comes to travel,” says Ashley Bennington, travel advisor at JCo Travel.
Travel advisors may also want to invite their Gen Z clients to participate in their marketing on these platforms. Get them tapping, clicking, and swiping your content. Encourage interaction and conversations, use polls and challenges, start a hashtag, and repost their travel stories. Gen Zs love to be engaged on social.
2. Use a lot of video and eye-catching photos.
Gen Zs, also known as “digital natives,” crave video content. This generation tends to have a short attention span, so keep videos brief - some marketing experts say only 8 seconds or less.
Whether using video, photos, or other graphics, make sure they are fun and entertaining - and post regularly.
“At LovinAway, we realize that Gen Z shoppers are looking for aesthetic options; therefore, our marketing focuses on current trends in travel and attention-grabbing graphics,” explains Alyssa Dial, brand manager & lead romance expert, LovinAway.
Further describing her overall social media approach, Dial says: “In a world full of social media, it’s important to lean into the influencers of their generation. That means paying attention to viral content and riding the wave on each platform. For example, LovinAway will create a post that indicates which destinations we booked throughout the week. This tactic shows travelers which destinations are trending and why they should be added to their bucket list. Seeing real photos of real travelers in these destinations creates a realization that it’s possible for them to travel there as well. Fear of missing out (or FOMO) creates a yearning for Gen Zs.”
3. Gain their loyalty.
It turns out that “Zoomers” are incredibly loyal to the brands they trust and/or have grown up with.
Providing an interesting perspective on this point, Bennington says: “When it comes to Gen Zs, their families do a lot of ‘marketing’ for me! have quite a few families where I helped their parents when they were younger or helped parents with empty-nester trips, and they refer their kids to me when they are looking to travel on their own. The word of mouth from their family members, and memories of the great trips they had when they were younger, is the most valuable marketing I can get!”
4. Share sustainable travel options with them.
Socially minded Gen Zs are also more focused on sustainable travel than previous generations. When Dial shares offerings from her preferred travel partners, she highlights how the vendors give back to the destination(s) being recommended and how they reduce their carbon footprint. Gen Zs appreciate when brands share their personal values.
5. Host local events, too, to build community.
Although Gen Zs are known to devour online content and voraciously do their own research online, they also surprisingly take to brick-and-mortar options. This is another opportunity to build community, which is so important to them.
Kelli Bertram, travel advisor, Come and See Travel says that she does most of her marketing to Gen Zs through social media, but she also “hosted an event this past year for women, and we had about 50 attendees. The majority of those women were Gen Zs. At this event, everyone went home with my information and some fun goodies. I always try to do unique things to get my name out there, but to me, it’s all about building relationships with people.”
FROM THE SPONSOR:
ALG Vacations led the pack last year as they launched their “ Ask a Travel Advisor” annual campaign. This campaign opened the doors for Travel Advisors across the U.S., giving them customer leads, driving traffic to their businesses, and showcasing the true value a Travel Advisor brings to consumers everywhere. The strength in this campaign centered on social media, travel and celebrity influencers, and the launch of multiple trending social handles. So, get social and find engaging shareable posts, talk travel with prospective customers, and be inspired to create your own content when you follow ALG Vacations® @AskATravelAdvisorALGV on Facebook and TikTok. You can also tune into our ALGV ‘Travel Beat’ Podcast with fresh travel tips shared weekly. Download from your favorite store today!