The LGBTQ community is said to be the 10th largest economy in the world, making them a bigger economy than Australia, Canada, and South Korea combined! With such a large presence, brands and businesses alike are focusing their marketing and advertising efforts on reaching this unique market. However, there’s a right way and wrong way to advertise to the average LGBTQ consumer. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when planning your next LGBTQ marketing campaign.
1. Reflect on your intentions
Before starting your next campaign, consider these questions:
- Why am I doing this?
- Who am I doing this for?
- How is this initiative going to serve this community?
Recently, we’ve seen a huge cultural shift driven around inclusivity and diversity, which has had a big impact on businesses both internally and through external branding efforts. In order to embrace and authentically capture this unique community, you need to specifically create an LGBTQ-driven marketing and advertising strategy. To start this, you need to ask the key questions above to make sure that what you’re advertising to this community is informative, knowledgeable, and influencing conversations. Your return on investment should come secondary to these bigger initiatives.
2. Ensure representation both on and off the screen
Diversity and inclusion are essential building blocks for any marketing campaign, but that all starts from who is in the decision room. Your company must have policies in place to encourage and support diversity, inclusion, and equal representation before you start marketing with these same ideals. There’s a saying that goes, “If you can’t talk the talk, don’t walk the walk.”
|“If a company that notoriously has terrible discriminatory policies and practices toward the community and no benefits and tries to advertise or get involved in any way they are going to be met with skepticism until they prove otherwise. Unless you’re getting yourself together on the back end all of the money in the world you spend on advertising is completely wasted.” – Jenn Grace, LGBTQ business strategist at Jenn T. Grace International
What does a diverse and inclusive company really look like? Diversity in the workplace means having a workforce built with people from different backgrounds, genders, cultures, socioeconomic statuses — and beyond. It also means that the company or organization has built in core values that foster a sense of belonging and respect for one another.
What might this look like in a marketing campaign? Marketing and advertising is not only about selling a product or service, it’s about how you choose to show the values, mission and brand of your organization. A company that is values diversity and wants to drive that same message in their outward marketing initiatives would start by showing people of all representations — LGBTQ individuals, family members, friends and couples of varied ages, races, sexual orientations, and genders, etc.
3. Choose the right language
It’s easy to fall into stereotypes and cliches, especially if you don’t have the right representation on your marketing team to help add some perspective. It’s important to do your due diligence with market research to make sure your campaign is truly inclusive and on trend with the LGBTQ community. In the 2022 CMI LGBTQ Community Survey, over 14,000 LGBTQ people were asked questions around their prefered terminology. Broken out by gender and age, this is just one example of why it’s crucial to know your niche audience and consider their preferences. The results of the CMI Survey? It was found that LGBTQ and LGBTQ+ are virtually tied as preferred terms, but the shift to LGBTQ+ is on the rise.
4. Don’t market to the moment, join the movement
Companies that welcome employees of all identities, preferences and backgrounds, and continuously stand behind them, are not only helping the company culture but also the LGBTQ community at large. More and more companies are speaking up on public policy impacting the LGBTQ community. While this can put their brands and investors on the line, LGBTQ consumers are looking to support businesses that go beyond marketing and truly lobby for change.
5. Partner with LGBTQ+ organizations and influencers
We all know the value of partnering with other notable brands – together the companies can piggyback off of their reputations and reach each other’s audience, all while spreading their message. Similar to this, companies that seek to market to the LGBTQ community need to consider building meaningful partnerships with LGBTQ creators and brands.
Expand your current customer base with the right messaging. Partner with trusted organizations. Reach a loyal customer base. Expand your overall reach and drive better results. Companies and organizations alike can partner with the National LGBT Media Association to ensure that marketers have the right message that will resonate and convert for the LGBTQ audience. Interested in learning more? Let’s chat!