How to Tap into the Mobile-First Mindset of Gen Z

Clint Rogers


Clint Rogers


May 13, 2022

How to Tap into the Mobile-First Mindset of Gen Z

Generation Z is a generation unlike any before it. 

While some older Millennials remember a time without smartphones and the Internet, Generation Z is growing up in a period where this technology is all they’ve known. 

Accessing the Internet specifically is a part of their everyday lives and accessing it via their mobile devices is the popular norm. Studies have shown us that Generation Z has a compelling mobile-first mindset that emphasizes smartphone activity over desktop or laptop usage.

Before we learn more about how to tap into this mobile-first mindset of this budding generation, we want to emphasize a few important statistics.

Right off the bat, it is vital to know that 95% of Gen Z owns a smartphone. Not only does almost every pre-teen, teenager, and young adult have a phone, but they spend an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes on their phones each day. About 3 hours of that usage time is spent watching videos (71% of Gen Z users) and 68% of this generation use their smartphones to make online purchases.

If we’re looking specifically at Gen Z’s mobile vs. desktop usage, we will see that they tend to prefer using their mobile device. Their top used features on their phones are social networks (92%) and chat/messaging (91%). While they will often use both mobile and desktop to access these features and others, overall they are much more likely to grab their phone to check Instagram or do a Google search than login to a computer.

Why are these statistics important? These, among many others, highlight that this young generation looks to their phones for messages, information, and entertainment constantly. 

While some may look down on Gen Z for their high usage of their devices, this reality poses a unique opportunity for churches, nonprofits, and organizations to capture the attention of this generation. 

Why not meet them where they already are?

Now that we understand the popularity of mobile usage among Gen Z, what can you do to effectively reach this group of young people? Keep in mind that there is a lot of content vying for Gen Z’s attention; your content must engage in a unique and captivating way. (P.S. Check out our 5 Levels of Digital Engagement to learn more about the different steps to engaging your audience well.)

Here we want to include a few practical ways you can tap into the mobile-first mindset of Generation Z.

Make it easy to get connected

If we know anything about young people, we know that they have a deep desire to develop connections. There are endless possibilities in the world of the Internet to connect with people all over the world. This is exactly the realm we must tap into!

For your nonprofit or organization, extending the invitation to an online event is a great way to build relationships and get to know this younger audience. Virtual Google or Zoom hangouts are a norm for this generation due to their experience with virtual learning, so implementing this is a great connection point.

Another way to get connected with this generation in the church specifically is by implementing virtual connect cards. You can either use a texting automation service or even a handy QR code (they’re not old news — we promise!). These methods make it easier to collect important information from the audience as well as inform them about things happening at your church, youth group, and even young adult ministry.

Produce & curate video content

We cannot emphasize this point enough — video is Content King. For example, TikTok has blown up the past few years among Generation Z. This short-form video platform offers a place for everyone: comedians, content creators, influencers, and more. Let’s just say you’d be hard-pressed to find a teenager who doesn’t know the latest TikTok challenge. 

Instagram has even made the switch to emphasize video and now includes a short-form video feature of their own — Reels. To be sure, Gen Z watches Netflix shows and YouTube videos on their phones, but they spend a lot of time watching short 30-second videos on their social media channels.

We will completely miss Gen Z if we neglect to produce and curate video content. However, this may seem like a scary task to take on if you’re a small organization or church that doesn’t have a huge video budget. The wonderful thing is the types of videos on TikTok and Instagram Reels can be easily replicated and that is the point!

A simple strategy you can begin with is taking the latest “TikTok challenge” or using a trending audio clip from Instagram Reels. Utilizing these features plays well with each platform's algorithm and may even give you a better chance of your video being seen.

Overall, video has to be a part of your strategy to capture the attention of Generation Z. 

Teach them to use their devices… for good!

Let’s face it, there are plenty of unwise and unhealthy ways we can use our mobile devices. However, we truly believe that God can redeem (for good!) even the tools we’ve used for bad.

Gen Z knows how to use their mobile devices better than most of us, and this knowledge combined with the guidance of your organization can do a lot of good.

For example, say you’re a church that wants to share an encouraging quote from church with a younger audience. You can begin by communicating this quote through a captivating and scroll-stopping design. Then, you can share this graphic with young members of your church and invite them to share it with others who may be encouraged by it. 

There is a lot of power in sharing because it opens the floodgates to those who may be out of reach of our existing follower list. Inviting Gen Z to share content that impacts for good can make a huge difference and even reach someone with the Gospel!

If you’re a nonprofit, you can even teach Gen Z to practice their love for philanthropy through mobile giving. A few paid Instagram ads, targeted at those in the Gen Z age range, can be the key to reaching this younger generation and encouraging them to support your mission!

Reaching Gen Z doesn’t have to be rocket science! It is as simple as meeting these people where they are, making it a breeze to make connections, emphasizing video content, and teaching them to use their devices for good!

Our team at PMF Creative makes it simple for you to reach Generation Z on all fronts — including mobile! Our incredible web, social media, video, and graphics team are experts at utilizing these mediums to reach your particular audience and ignite growth. Contact us today to learn how to reach this vital generation and make an impact!

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