Generation Z are those born from 1996 to 2010. Millennials are those born from 1980 to 1995. Myself being born in November 1995, I am in the middle of both millennials and Gen Z, so I wanted to see which category I fit into the most regarding my internet usage.
Matt Kleinschmit’s article on VisionCritical gives insight on how millennial and Gen Z internet usage differs.
On average, millennials use a desktop about 16 hours per week while Gen Z uses a laptop about 11 hours per week. I am definitely a Gen Z in this aspect because I do not own a desktop and have not in about 8 years. Millennials and Gen Z use their smartphones about the same, and Millennials watch TV slightly more than Gen Z. I am a Millennial when it comes to TV because I would rather watch something on TV than on my phone.
In terms of social media, Gen Z uses YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram, while Millennials use Facebook. Maybe I am not a great example for social media usage because I only use Facebook and YouTube, but I identify with both generations here. I am an avid YouTube watcher and I go on Facebook every day.
So after learning about internet usage, how would I want a company to market their product or service to me? And how would I not want them to?
The answer to both of those questions is affiliate advertising.
A trend I have seen in recent years is to use YouTube as a marketing platform. Sometimes I feel childish because I am a 21-year old who watches YouTube more than I watch Netflix, and fans on that site are very young. I have seen plenty of sponsorships or affiliate advertising through my favorite YouTubers, and it has never been effective for me. Partly it is because I am a college student with no money, but there is also something very unnatural about it, especially with companies like Audible.com or NatureBox.
Buzzfeed, a social news site, has a distinction in their affiliate advertising. Oftentimes their staff receive a product for free, or a portion of click-through sales, and write an article of them trying it. There is a “real” vibe to it as the review is not always positive, and I get to see someone’s actual experience trying the product. There have been a few times where I have purchased the product from a review.
Ultimately, I identify with both Millennials and Generation Z in terms of internet usage and product marketing.