Affiliate Marketing
min read

Supercharge your Gen Z affiliate marketing

Written by
Izzy Hall
Published on
April 14, 2023
Last updated
January 22, 2024

What this article covers

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Gen Z shopping habits have changed in recent years, and the last-click attribution model is no longer the most important measure of performance marketing. Now, affiliate marketers should be concerning themselves with the complete, end-to-end journey, both before and after purchase.

Having a detailed understanding of what's important to Gen Z and why is absolutely vital. It helps affiliate marketers understand what young consumers want and how to take their youth marketing to the next level (and ahead of their competitors!).

Our latest guide, Supercharge Your Gen Z Affiliate Marketing, looks at the hottest themes and trends that affiliate marketers need to be aware of, shares actionable takeaways and draws upon exclusive insights.

In this blog post, we're going to give you a sneak peek at three of the trends we discuss in the guide, all with the aim of helping affiliate marketers to supercharge their Gen Z marketing strategies.

1. I don't Google, I TikTok

It will come as no surprise that authenticity is key for Gen Z, but recently they've been taking it one step further: TikTok is their new Google.

Our research recently found that a huge 77% of Gen Zers from the UK and 73% from the US use TikTok, so it certainly makes a lot of sense that this generation are no longer just using the social media app for entertainment purposes. By taking note of this significant shift and building it into your upcoming marketing strategies, you can create content that really drives engagement and helps your brand resonate with Gen Z consumers.

Young Gen Z man

So why is this social media platform the new search engine of choice for Gen Z? Well, time is precious and this young cohort of digital natives want instant, accurate, and authentic advice from their peers. And, thanks to TikTok's algorithm and hashtag system, the search process is simple, with users being directed toward relevant products, events, and places, all filtered by popularity.

3 key learnings for affiliate marketers

  • Be mindful of everything that goes into your TikTok videos. From SEO-friendly captions and hashtags to keywords and text overlays, everything counts in the world of social media marketing!
  • TikTok is the space to humanize your brand in an instant and reactive way. Relevance is essential and videos need to be relatable and convenient for Gen Z audiences.
  • Unlock your brand's ecommerce potential with our award-winning Student Beans Creators. Part of Pion's student discount offering through Student Beans, our peer-to-peer creators get a 104% better click-through rate than big time influencers!

2. Work with nano influencers to boost your Gen Z marketing strategy

The creator economy currently sits at $104 billion, with its future valuation going into the trillions. Whilst previous generations took recommendations from glitzy celebrity partnerships, now Gen Z shoppers are turning to lesser known names to get the latest tips and tricks.

Introducing: the nano influencer. A phrase we guarantee you'll be hearing a whole lot more about in the future.

Gen Z friends in London

Holding between 1,000-10,000 followers on Instagram or TikTok, nano influencers are capturing the hearts (and spending power) of Gen Z thanks to their authenticity, reliability, and responsiveness. Nano influencers have a strong grasp on their audiences and understand their niches, they’re rising in popularity thanks to their willingness to review products that the Gen Z market is actually interested in.

Nano influencers carry more weight with Gen Z, and are also highly cost-effective to work with. Not only do many of them accept gifted products as payment, but they're easier to recruit due to their flexibility and less hectic schedules.

3 key learnings for affiliate marketers

  • Nano influencers on TikTok currently have a 17.7% engagement rate, which is mighty impressive when we compare it to the 4.9% rate of macro influencers.
  • The higher the engagement rate, the stronger the bond between the consumer and creator.
  • Nano influencers can build trusted relationships between consumers and influencers because they can engage directly with their audiences.

3. Deals and discounts drive Gen Z loyalty

Economic uncertainty is dominating the lives of young people, and as predicted, their spending habits are being impacted. Rising inflation means that people are struggling to pay for basic necessities, leaving them with less disposable cash to spend on luxuries. We've found that 80% of Gen Z students are looking to cut down on non-essential spending.

Understanding the issues Gen Z is facing will help affiliate marketers to reach commercial objectives while remaining empathetic to their audiences' concerns - something that's crucial when it comes to driving customer loyalty. Essentially, it's time for brands to step up and support Gen Z.

young Gen Z woman in New York

One great way of doing this is by offering exclusive discounts and deals. In fact, as discussed in the guide, a huge 90% of students consider shopping with a new brand if they offer a student discount.

Choosing the right products to promote and understanding your consumers' environment forms the basis of all strong marketing strategies, and publishers like Pion can help brands to attract, engage, and convert Gen Z consumers. Just because it's a time of financial uncertainty doesn't mean Gen Z wants to stop spending, so get in touch today to find out how you can provide shoppers with the best products for the best prices!

3 key learnings for affiliate marketers

  • Offering discounts and deals helps to draw Gen Z customers in.
  • Whether it's understanding how to best present your offers or how to catch the attention of young shoppers, we can help brands to promote their student discounts and drive conversions.
  • Stay up to date with Gen Z, ahead of consumer and marketing trends by subscribing to our weekly newsletter!

Key takeaways

  1. Authenticity. To reach Gen Z, youth marketers need to adopt a transparent approach to build trust and credibility amongst Gen Zers.
  2. Loyalty. Drive brand loyalty by emphasizing the values and causes your brand supports, helping Gen Z save some cash during the rising cost of living.
  3. Meaning. Influencers are no longer distant figures – Gen Z see them as role models and friends, they want to put their time - and purchasing power - into those they perceive as trustworthy. 

For more insights, case studies and our two remaining trends (the return of long-form content and edu-tainment), download the full 'Supercharge Your Gen Z Affiliate Marketing' guide now.

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