In the United States, June is recognized as Pride Month, a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ and all their strives towards equality. In honor of Pride Month, we wanted to provide some insight into best marketing practices for the LGBTQ+ audience.
Remember To Be Inclusive
An important thing to remember when marketing to the LGBTQ+ audience, is that your advertising should be inclusive. This means that whenever people are shown in your ads, you should make an effort to include LGBTQ+ individuals. Language or visual references to relationships and families should not only include heterosexuals.
Be Sensitive To Stereotypes
It is always good to be consciously sensitive to LGBTQ+ stereotypes. Avoid positioning the LGBTQ+ audience as a perceived threat for humorous reasons. The unbalanced and outdated depiction of very effeminate gay men or really masculine women may disaffect that audience.
Conduct Good Market Research
If you are conducting market research or crafting new more mainstream marketing campaigns, you should consider an LGBTQ+ perspective. If your goal is to position yourself within the mainstream market, don’t limit yourself to male-targeted messaging. Survey your audience and find out what kind of audience base is truly interested in your business.
Advertise Across Mainstream & LGBTQ+ Specific Media
When taking a look at today’s mainstream media advertising, it may come as no surprise that most of the marketing is targeted at non-LGBTQ+ people. People from this community are exposed to the same shows and advertising though. If you make your business more inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community, they will take notice because of the lack of representation in mainstream marketing.
Just like anything else, there are many different media channels specifically for the LGBTQ+ community. These media outlets are all great opportunities to directly target LGBTQ+ consumers. Most people in the LGBTQ+ community view this media and think better of brands that advertise in the LGBTQ+ media.
Use LGBTQ+ Messaging
There are many different ways brands can use LGBTQ+ messaging in their marketing. Companies like Cheerios and Campbell’s depict LGBTQ+ couples or families in their advertising. The Skittles company continues to show its support for Pride celebrations by shedding its colors. They paired the new look with a letter addressed to the LGBTQ+ community that read: “During Pride only one rainbow matters, so we’ve given up ours to show support.” The goal is to speak directly to the LGBTQ+ community while still being authentic and thoughtful in your messaging.
Show Your Support
If your marketing goal is to be more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community, then just using LGBTQ+ messaging in your ads is not enough. Showing the LGBTQ+ community loyalty as a brand will earn their loyalty in return. Show you care for the community by supporting Pride celebrations, supporting your LGBTQ+ employees, and being present in their communities. When the LGBTQ+ audience utilizes its spending power, they want to know they aren’t doing damage to their own community.
Be Aware Of How Your Messaging Comes Across
Marketers who may not be as in tune with the nuances of the LGBTQ+ community may only market in LGBTQ+ specific media channels rather than including them in mainstream marketing. Try to view your messages from the perspective of the LGBTQ+ community, how does it read to them? Be sure your voice comes across as authentic and not manufactured. Survey your LGBTQ+ audience and find out how your message is reaching them. Use any feedback you get and adjust tone and messaging to best fit what your audience would like to see.
The most important thing is making your LGBTQ+ audience feel heard and understood. All everyone wants is a sense of belonging, and the knowledge that brands actually care and support them gives them that sense. Do this the right way and you can earn yourself a loyal audience.