We live in a wonderfully diverse world. But unfortunately, sometimes, that’s not adequately reflected in what we see on TV, in magazines, and on social media.
As a brand, you have an opportunity and a responsibility to celebrate your audience’s diversity by striving for inclusivity in every area of your business.
It simply makes sense. Your customers are much more likely to connect with a brand if they feel seen and represented by that company and if their personal values align with a brand's. Plus, your staff will feel much more satisfied with their workplace if they see themselves in your marketing.
That being said, diversity and inclusion in marketing goes beyond the visual content a brand puts out — D&I should underpin a company's foundation.
Here’s everything to know about showcasing your strong brand values and how to ensure you have strong diversity with your influencer marketing campaigns.
@lifewithanextrachromosome for Rainbow High
What does diversity and inclusion in marketing mean?
Diversity and inclusion are multi-faceted. First, it’s making sure that the content you put out as a brand reflects what the real world is like. Your audience is diverse, and so your messaging should be too.
Google reported in 2019 that 70% of surveyed Black and LGBTQ consumers were more likely to interact with brands that had advertising that represented their identities.
Remember, though, that it’s not just about visuals. Brands need to back it up with action as well. It’s about assessing the accessibility of your user experience, the makeup of your employees, and the demographics of your core audience.
When considering diversity, you should be thinking about:
• Ethnicity, race, nationality
• Gender & sexuality
• Health & disabilities
• Religious affiliation
• Socioeconomic status
• Veteran status, and more.
While all of these are essential, you should know which of these are most important to your customers. Inclusion isn’t about involving as many different identities as possible but instead about making sure that the people drawn to your brand are reflected in your marketing.
Not only is it good to set an example by being as diverse as possible with your content, but it’s also a smart move from a business perspective.
Your customers want to see themselves portrayed in marketing and advertising campaigns, and there’s nothing better for your brand than a happy customer.
A 2018 study found that 88% of Generation X and 90% of millennials believe a brand with diverse marketing has a better reputation.
@bradleyandsam for Diamond Nexus
Considerations for creating your diversity and inclusions principles
You need to set out your brand’s diversity and inclusion practices before starting an influencer marketing campaign. This will keep you accountable and help you check in throughout the campaign to make sure you’re covering all the bases.
Here’s what you should consider when setting your brand’s D&I principles:
Are you practising what you preach?
Look within the company and the team: has your brand created a diverse and inclusive workplace? This doesn’t just include having visually evident diversity within your staff. Is your workplace accessible for all bodies? Does your team come from various religious, socio-economic, and geographical backgrounds that reflect your customer base?
Get your team’s input for any ideas they have for becoming a more inclusive brand. And in future, when hiring freelancers or contributors, aim to find someone who can represent a perspective you don’t already have on the team.
How well do you know your audience?
To be truly inclusive of your customer base, you need to know your audience inside and out. There’s no point creating digital content if you’re not going to represent your followers accurately. So research your audience, paying attention to age range, gender, income level, location and more.
Some of this can be done with data collection, though it might also be helpful to conduct a survey or social media Q&A with your audience for even deeper insights.
Do you know what inclusivity actually looks like?
It’s not just about having images with people of different ethnicities. Inclusivity is doing things like:
• Celebrating holidays beyond the “standard” ones — including Eid Mubarak, Chinese New Year, Diwali, etc.
• Including closed captions on videos and metadata image descriptions for every photo you share
• Hiring staff with different perspectives
• Sharing user-generated content from your followers
• Cater to languages other than English, if it reflects your audience demographic
@binjalsvegkitchen for Authentic Royal Foods
How to showcase your brand values and explore D&I practices with influencer marketing
Once you’ve got the basics down pat, it's time to show off your brand’s diversity practices and become a stellar example of inclusion within your industry.
Work with diverse influencers
Ok, maybe this one goes without saying. To achieve D&I in influencer marketing, you need to be working with diverse influencers. Look at the list we shared above and make sure you cover every aspect of diversity, not just ethnicity.
For example, imagine a swimwear brand with models that have a visible diabetes injection port. That shows your audience that your brand celebrates diverse bodies– rather than the standard models we’re used to seeing in swimsuits on social media.
Instagram has been around for ten years now, so we’re all pretty immune to the marketing tactics that brands do on there. However, your consumers will see right through a campaign that is all for show. This thought loops back to putting your words into action, setting strong D&I principles in the company and behind the marketing campaign.
Similarly, be sure to work with influencers who also share these values. And if you have strong brand diversity principles in place, it’s much more likely that influencers who have the audience you want to reach will actually want to work with you.
@melindawatts_ for Andie Swim
Aim to establish long-term working relationships with influencers
Your diversity and inclusion principles aren’t just in place to tick a box and look good, and that’s something of which your audience needs to be reassured. One way to do this is by establishing long-term relationships with influencers who represent these values.
We know that consumers trust individual creators far more than they do brands, so any affiliation with someone who aligns with your D&I principles will go a long way in establishing trustworthiness.
Vet your influencers
It’s no good to work with any random person who has a big following. What’s most important is that they align with your brands’ values and share your worldviews. Sometimes, especially if you’re new to the world of influencer marketing, it can be hard to know where to start. There are so many influencers out there, with so many niche followings, that it’s a bit overwhelming!
TRIBE is all about influencers and content marketing. Brands can use our database of creators to find a perfect match, someone you can partner with and trust to create stellar content. Find out why some of the world’s biggest brands use TRIBE.