Three Lessons the iGeneration Can Teach You About Marketing

If you're a business owner, you may have realized how easy it is to become overwhelmed by marketing due to rapid technological advancements.

In fact, just when you master one tool, app, network, or process, it seems like ten more are released.

So what is a business owner to do? How are we supposed to keep up with the pace of technology and use it to our advantage to most efficiently build our brands?

Well, believe it or not, if you have young children or grandchildren, you have a goldmine of information right in front of you. Yes, that's correct--look no further than Generation Z to answer all of your marketing questions and keep you up to date on the latest trends.

Generation Z, also known as the iGens, are the generation following the millennials with birth years between the mid-1990s and mid-2020s.

Both of my children are iGens, or "tech babies" as I call them, and grew up immersed in technology. Therefore, whenever I need insight into how to best stay on top of my marketing efforts, I turn to them. In fact, my kids are so well-versed with it that I often refer to my 9-year-old son as my marketing expert.

Here are three of the most recent (and lucrative) marketing lessons they've taught me.

Refocus your email marketing efforts on YouTube and Facebook live stream.

Do you focus largely on email marketing but experience less than ideal results? Consider refocusing some of your resources on more innovative tactics such as YouTube and live streaming.

According to a 2014 MMNPL survey, almost 50% of iGens said they go to YouTube to learn about new products, compared to only 25% who read emails from brands.

Of course, even if you're not marketing to this demographic, you must realize that it's not just the iGens who are turning away from traditional marketing and tuning into YouTube and live streams--it's a wide variety of consumers.

I live stream regularly, and I'll be the first to tell you that YouTube and live streaming have helped skyrocket my business. For the first time in history, I'm able to create my own broadcast network, reach hundreds of thousands of people right from my home office, and discuss any topic I want.

This can be much more effective than sending out emails or even pitching an endless variety of media outlets and hoping to be picked up for press coverage. It also puts the power back in the hands of the business owners who know how to capitalize on the trend.

So do yourself a big favor and make live streaming a regular part of your marketing efforts. That's not to say you should ditch email marketing altogether, but you should invest some of your time and energy into both.

Then, after you do a live stream, save the video and upload it to your YouTube channel to reach the maximum number of consumers.

Always show up on social media.

Now that we know the important role YouTube and live streaming can play in your overall marketing plan let's talk about how to capitalize best on this opportunity. And again, we look to Gen Z for this answer.

What do all of the young and successful YouTube sensations, live stream personalities, and social media celebs have in common? The answer is that they consistently show up on social media. They don't post sporadically whenever they feel like it, they treat it like a business, show up daily and put in the work. This is exactly what business owners need to do.

You can do this by creating a social media content calendar, scheduling your social media posts within social media management software such as Buffer or MeetEdgar, and designating a certain time each day for social engagement.

You can also do this by promoting your live streaming broadcasts (which was my son's ingenious idea). Rather than just live streaming when the urge hits, create a live streaming topic calendar and publicize it to your network. Not only will this help keep you consistent, but it will also amplify viewership and engagement by making it simple for your community to tune into topics that matter most to them.

Authenticity will make or break your business.

Thanks to technology, businesses can no longer hide behind their computer screens, pretend to be something they aren't, and win consumers over just with brilliantly thought-out marketing messages.

As we also learn from Gen Z, Consumers today crave authenticity and personal connections. They want to meet the real you through live streams; they want to be involved in your day-to-day, they want to go behind the scenes, they want to interact with you in real time, and they want you to win their trust by offering up some hefty value first.

How can you accomplish all of this as a business owner? Think regarding what your customers would like to learn from you or know about you and offer it in the form of video. Or better yet, ask your consumers what they'd like to see.

For example, if you sell handmade jewelry, use live stream to document the creative process. Or, take your consumers to your trade show. Or better yet, take them with you as you go gemstone shopping and ask them which stones they like the best.

If you're a business coach, turn your blog post on success tips into a live stream. You can also have someone shoot a live stream of you speaking at a conference, or do a live Q and A session where consumers can ask you anything about business.

If you're a health coach, document your own health journey. Walk them through a recipe, stream yourself making your favorite smoothie or doing your favorite workouts, or show them your personal self-care rituals. The options are endless.

Most importantly, think regarding connecting with and not selling to your consumers via technology, and your business will thrive.

These are some of the key lessons I've learned from my own children. What business lessons have you learned from the iGeneration?