Joyann Boyce speaking at SMW Bristol about marketing with content that is inclusive

How to do marketing with content that is inclusive

Did you know that 70% of Millenials are more likely to choose a brand if it demonstrates inclusion and diversity within its marketing campaigns? According to Joyann Boyce from The Social Detail, this is a clear sign of  society we are moving to and that today people want brands to stand behind what they preach in terms of the content they produce. They need to be more accountable.

This is where inclusive marketing comes in. We’ve been revisiting some of the great sessions that were delivered at Social Media Week Bristol last year and in this one, Joyann explained how brands can show their diverse values within their marketing campaigns. If you would like to do marketing with content that is inclusive, read on to pick up some useful tips in our PR blog:

What is inclusive marketing?

According to Joyann, inclusive marketing is all about creating content that makes people feel included and which is inclusive of the diverse audience of your brand or company.

She said: “Think about the intersectionality of your target audience – your persona is still valid but it needs a few more layers. It’s important to think more about the world we live in, and how people can engage in the content you create.”

How brands can become more inclusive

Joyann explained that brands can become more inclusive in a number of ways:

  1. Creating considered content

Consider the content you are producing more carefully – remember the H&M “coolest monkey” ad and t-shirt? In today’s world, it’s unbelievable that something like that got signed off without anyone questioning it.

In terms of social platforms, it’s also important to make them diverse and accessible to people with seeing disabilities, and an easy way to do this is to add alternative text to all images you upload. For Instagram stories, apps like Cliptomatic will also add subtitles while you speak, something which can help to make your content much more inclusive.

  1. Not looking at oppressed groups in isolation

A key issue is when branding and marketing look at oppressed groups in isolation such as women, black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people, the disabled, those who are LGBT+ and people over the age of 65. The reality is that we are all somehow part of each group – we should not always be isolated.

  1. Ensure you have genuine representation

It’s important to ensure that you have genuine representation of different groups in your campaigns. For example, bra company ThirdLove launched a campaign in an intersectional and inclusive manner, with consistent content that represented all women from all backgrounds.

A key thing for brands to remember is that if you are building a website for example and are using stock imagery, this is the first point of call for diversifying. Make sure you take a look at websites that are dedicated to diversified stock photography such as TONL and UKBlackTech.

  1. Avoid disingenuous representation

Make sure you avoid disingenuous representation – for example, changing your brand’s logo to rainbow colours for Pride Month if you don’t have representational content of Pride couples for the rest of year. Actions like this can cause people to feel disconnected as it’s not genuine and not consistent.

  1. Avoid appropriation

In addition, make sure you avoid appropriation. A key example of this is the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad which high-jacked the movement of police brutality in the USA. Instead of showing support for the movement, it used an appropriated message that was disingenuous. Sometimes it requires more than campaign – be inclusive and make sure that the context is balanced.

Three steps to supporting a movement

If a brand is looking to support a diversity movement, Joyann says there are a number of things that it needs to keep in mind:

  1. Be a vocal ally by tweeting, retweeting, highlighting active individuals and campaign groups and collaborating with them.
  2. Show your support for relevant causes that are important to the community – however, it’s important to remember that being supportive does not make movement happen. Instead, inspire change by recording interviews, event collaboration with campaigners and charities and being inclusive in the content you create.
  3. Be representative of the movement in your promotional campaigns.

Key points to takeaway

At the end of the seminar, Joyann reminded the audience that it’s important for brands to consider the contexts of their inclusive campaigns to ensure genuine representation and avoid appropriation. She said: “You need to put the effort in, as you can’t just jump in and expect to hit the mark – you need to work out how the campaign will align with your brand values.

“Remember, movements are not a trend, and we can all be part of it by considering what we are putting out there and supporting others.”

Read more about our experiences at Social Media Week Bristol – and if you went along, connect with us on Twitter to tell us what you thought of the events.

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