In order to empower the South African youth, we need to give them the right information. But in a society infiltrated with all sorts of messages, how can the right information cut through the noise?
We need to be savvy about how we go about reaching this particular market, because they aren’t interested in reams of text, being told what to do or how to do it. This is a generation that is empowered by tools like the internet and mobile technology, so we need to make sure we’re leveraging off these resources ourselves rather than competing with them.”
Here are five 2017 trends that outline just how the youth should, and can, be targeted in the coming months.
1. Location, location, location: In order to truly reach the youth, the message needs to be accessible to them. It’s important for the right information to be near schools, sports fields and pivotal areas in the community where young people spend their time. A strong and innovative message will be completely missed if it’s not in a place that the youth market frequents.
2. Go mobile: Screen time is unavoidable – it’s what the youth of today use for all of their communication. If you can’t beat them, join them.
3. If content is king, imagery is queen: While a well-worded sentence, a clever paragraph or a strong essay may pack a punch, a picture speaks a thousand words. In 2017, it’s all about infographics and images that tell a tale.
4. Gain their trust: The youth market has the potential to be a very loyal consumer base but you need to build up their trust. Your messaging shouldn’t be condescending or patronising. Get down to their level and give them something that they can relate to. Privacy is also a big deal to the youth market so make sure that you give it to them.
5. Give them an appropriate youth ambassador: If there is a face of a campaign or a brand, who the market can relate to, it will be that much easier to get the message across. Choose a young person who represents your brand and let them run with it. This sets up all sorts of opportunities in terms of networking and interaction too.
Khethi Ngwenya is owner and managing director of SchoolMedia.