Gen Z Social Media Ads: Best Strategies Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Know the Gen Z audience
  2. Choose the right social media platforms
  3. Create engaging content
  4. Use video and visuals effectively
  5. Embrace authenticity
  6. Optimize for mobile
  7. Incorporate influencer marketing
  8. Use analytics to improve strategies

If you've ever asked yourself "which social media ads is best for gen z?", then you're in the right place. Gen Z, the generation born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, is swiftly becoming a prime target for marketers. With their tech-savvy nature, Gen Z has a unique approach to online content, especially when it comes to social media. Understanding their preferences and habits will help you create the most effective social media ads for this young, vibrant, and influential audience.

Know the Gen Z Audience

Gen Z is more than just a group of teenagers glued to their smartphones. They're smart, discerning, and a little bit picky. They've grown up in an era of information overload, so they know what they like—and they're not afraid to ignore what they don't. To create the best social media ads for Gen Z, you need to understand who they are as an audience:

  • They favor visual platforms: YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat are some of their favorite hangouts. According to data from Statista, almost 80% of Gen Zers and millennials have bought something they saw on social media—so you can imagine the potential impact of your ads on these platforms.
  • They're mobile-first: Gen Z is always on the go, and they take their favorite apps with them. They shop, watch videos, and interact with friends all from their smartphones. That means when you're asking "which social media ads is best for gen z?", you should be thinking about mobile-friendly platforms.
  • They value authenticity: Gen Zers can spot a fake from a mile away. They have a keen eye for authenticity and respond positively to brands that show their true colors. When creating your social media ads, remember to keep it real.
  • They respond to influencer marketing: Gen Z is more likely to trust a recommendation from a social media influencer than a traditional celebrity. Integrating influencer marketing into your strategy can be a great way to reach this age group.

Getting to know your audience is always step one, no matter who you're marketing to. But with Gen Z, it's not just about knowing them—it's about understanding their world. Only then can you create social media ads that truly resonate with them.

Choose the Right Social Media Platforms

Choosing the right social media platforms is a crucial step towards creating the best ads for Gen Z. Remember, not all platforms are created equal. Each one has its unique features and user demographics, so you'll need to pick the ones that align with your goals and target audience.

Here are some platforms to consider:

  • Instagram: Known for its visually rich content, Instagram is a hit among Gen Z. They love scrolling through feeds filled with stunning photos and videos. If you have visually appealing products or services, Instagram could be your stage.
  • TikTok: Quick, fun, and full of creativity, TikTok is the newest sensation among Gen Z. Short-form videos are all the rage here. If you can pique their interest in 15 seconds or less, TikTok is where you need to be.
  • YouTube: From music videos to DIY guides, Gen Z loves YouTube for its variety. If you can create engaging video content, YouTube is a great platform to connect with Gen Z.
  • Snapchat: Snapchat is popular for its short-lived content. Gen Z loves the spontaneity it offers. If you're aiming for quick, catchy content, Snapchat might be the platform for you.

Picking the right platforms isn't just about where Gen Z is—it's also about where your brand fits. So, when you're wondering "which social media ads is best for gen z?", consider your brand's personality too. Does it match the platform's vibe? If yes, you're on the right track.

Create Engaging Content

Once you've picked your platforms, it's time to create content that would make Gen Z stop scrolling and pay attention. Remember, you're competing with a sea of posts, memes, and cat videos, so your content needs to stand out.

Here's a secret: Gen Z doesn't want to be sold to — they want to be engaged with. They want content that speaks to them on a personal level, content they can relate to. So let's see how you can create such content.

  1. Personalize your content: Personalized content is like a warm hug — it makes you feel special. Use the names of your followers in your posts, respond to their comments, and make them feel valued.
  2. Make it interactive: Quizzes, polls, challenges — anything that allows Gen Z to participate will make your content more engaging. Plus, it's a great way to get valuable feedback.
  3. Opt for storytelling: Stories are powerful. They can make people laugh, cry, or get inspired. Use stories to showcase your brand's values, your journey, or even your customer's experiences.
  4. Use humor: Gen Z loves humor. They love content that makes them laugh. So, don't shy away from using humor in your content. It'll make your brand more relatable, and Gen Z will appreciate it.

In the end, it all boils down to understanding what resonates with Gen Z. What do they care about? What are their interests? Use these insights to create content that speaks to them. And when you do it right, you won't have to wonder "which social media ads is best for gen z?" — because you'll have the answer.

Use Video and Visuals Effectively

Let's face it: Gen Z is all about visuals. They're the generation that can watch a video, send a text, and scroll through social media — all at the same time. So, to capture their attention, you need to make your content visually appealing.

Here's a question for you: Have you ever watched a video on mute? If you're targeting Gen Z, your videos should make sense even without sound. This means using captions, graphics, and visual cues that can tell your story silently.

  1. Videos are your best friend: From short TikTok clips to longer YouTube videos, Gen Z loves moving content. Use videos to showcase your products, tell a story, or simply entertain. Remember, the more creative and unique, the better.
  2. Images matter too: Not every post needs to be a video. Sometimes, a well-crafted image can do the job. Use high-quality images that represent your brand and resonate with Gen Z.
  3. Don't forget about GIFs and emojis: These little guys are a big part of Gen Z's online language. They can make your content more relatable and fun. But remember, less is more. Don't overload your content with them.

By using video and visuals effectively, you're not just making your content more engaging — you're also answering the question "which social media ads is best for gen z?" And the answer is: the ones that are visually appealing, creative, and fun.

Embrace Authenticity

The world of Gen Z is a world where authenticity is king. This generation can spot a fake from a mile away, and nothing turns them off faster than insincerity. So how can you make sure your ads feel authentic and genuine?

  1. Be Real: Gen Z values brands that aren't afraid to show their true colors. This means ditching the corporate speak and relating to your audience on a human level. Share your brand's story, its values, and what it really stands for.
  2. Speak their Language: And no, this doesn't mean trying to use every piece of Gen Z slang you come across. It means understanding their concerns, their humor, and their world. Show that you get them, and they'll be more likely to listen to what you have to say.
  3. Show, Don't Tell: Anyone can say they're authentic. But Gen Z won't take your word for it. They want to see it. Show your authenticity through your actions, your content, and your engagement with your audience.

So, if you're wondering "which social media ads is best for gen z?", consider this: the best ads for Gen Z are the ones that feel real, relatable, and authentic. They're the ads that show a brand understands them and shares their values. And most importantly, they're the ads that don't just tell, but show.

Optimize for Mobile

Gen Z practically lives on their phones. They scroll while they walk, chat while they eat, and even check their notifications in the middle of the night. So, when you're planning your social media ads, it's absolutely necessary that you optimize for mobile.

  1. Make it Fast: Gen Z has grown up in a world of instant gratification. If your ad takes too long to load, they've already swiped away. Make sure your ads load quickly and run smoothly on all mobile devices.
  2. Think Vertical: Phones are held vertically 94% of the time. So design your ads with a vertical orientation in mind. This includes any video content you might use in your ads.
  3. Keep it Simple: On a small screen, less is more. Keep your ads clean and simple to avoid overwhelming your audience. Use clear, easy-to-read text and high-quality images that stand out on a mobile screen.

So to answer the burning question, "which social media ads is best for gen z?", the answer lies in mobile-optimized ads. They are the ones that load fast, look great on a vertical screen, and are simple yet effective in their design. Remember, in the world of Gen Z, your ad is only as good as its mobile experience.

Incorporate Influencer Marketing

When it comes to marketing to Gen Z, one word should be at the forefront of your strategy: influencers. Gen Z trusts influencers—people they admire and relate to—and it's this trust that can translate into effective social media ads.

  1. Find the Right Match: Not every influencer will be the right fit for your brand. Find someone who aligns with your company’s values and already has a following of Gen Z users. It's all about authenticity, which we'll get into a bit later.
  2. Collaborate Creatively: Don't just use influencers to promote your product, involve them in the creative process. Whether it's brainstorming ad concepts or co-creating content, this collaboration can lead to more engaging and effective ads.
  3. Measure the Success: Like all advertising efforts, it's important to track the success of your influencer marketing. Monitor engagement rates, click-throughs, and conversions to determine if your influencer strategy is working.

So, "Which social media ads is best for Gen Z?" The answer may well be those that use influencer marketing. It's a powerful strategy that leverages the trust and respect Gen Z has for their favorite online personalities. And with the right influencer and approach, your ads can really resonate with this savvy and connected generation.

Use Analytics to Improve Strategies

The world of Gen Z marketing doesn't end with creating and publishing your social media ads. There's another step that's just as important—using analytics to improve your strategies.

  1. Track Your Performance: Social media platforms offer a wealth of data about how your ads are performing. You can see how many people your ad reached, how many engaged with it, and even how many made a purchase or visited your website as a result. But this only matters if you make use of this data.
  2. Test Different Approaches: Don't be afraid to switch things up. Try different types of content, different posting times, different influencers or different platforms. Then, use your analytics to see which approaches work best. Remember, what worked yesterday might not work today. Gen Z is a fast-moving target, and you need to move with them.
  3. Use Insights to Refine Your Strategy: Use the insights you gain from your analytics to refine your strategy. If a particular type of ad is getting a lot of engagement, make more like it. If another isn’t performing well, figure out why and adjust accordingly. This is a continuous process of learning and improving.

So, when asking "which social media ads is best for Gen Z?", the answer isn't static. It's a constantly evolving answer that you can only discover by using analytics to track, test, and refine your strategy. Your best ad today might be different from your best ad tomorrow, and that's okay. The important thing is that you're always learning and improving.

If you're looking to optimize your social media ads for Gen Z, don't miss the workshop 'Effective Social Media Strategies For Creatives' by Shannon. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and techniques to create engaging and successful social media campaigns that will resonate with the Gen Z audience.