Consumers today are calling for inclusivity in digital marketing more than ever before. While it may seem easier for big companies with ample resources to set the pace for inclusive marketing, there are many tactics small business can try for themselves.

Here is a starting guide to help your company work towards inclusive messaging that will not only help your audience, but your company’s growth as well.

Things To Consider

inclusive-marketing-glassesThe following is a list of some common inclusivity issues to consider when creating your website, email campaigns, social media marketing, apps and more:

  • Visual – Visual impairments can range from needing glasses to being blind. Consider who in this spectrum would be able to engage with your marketing. A simple approach is to always include audio options for your messaging.
  • Hearing – Video is now becoming one of the most popular ways to communicate with consumers. However, if someone is hard of hearing, you may be missing out on their attention. Consider including subtitles in any content that includes audio.
  • Representation – Attracting a diverse audience starts with your image and message. If someone feels seen and heard by a company, they will more likely want to support it.

Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, recently reported that 43% of Millennials in the U.S. identify as African American, Hispanic, or Asian. That means if you are only excluding multicultural representation from your campaign, you are already stunting potential growth for your company.

It is important to note, however, that inclusive marketing is more than just diversity in an ad campaign. Inclusive marketing promotes acceptance, appreciation and understanding of different identities by making it a space that truly represents and accommodates them.

Get To Know Your Customers

After better understanding what inclusive marketing is and why it is important, you may be wondering how to take the first step. Should you start a new target audience? Scrap your upcoming campaign?

inclusive-marketingThe best first step you can take is simply doing research and looking for customer feedback. Take a look at your competitors and see if they have an approach to inclusive marketing. Research your industry and see where improvements can be made. Talk to your own customers about their experience through surveys, testimonials, or email follow-ups.

These are all excellent ways to better understand where inclusive marketing can take your company.

Look For Natural Synergy

At the end of the day, there is no point in going after audiences that have little to do with your company. If you try and force a connection with an audience who does not relate to your product, it can come off as a poor attempt to get their business.

For example, if you are the owner of a small make-up brand and only hold shades for lighter skin tones, there is a slim chance you will genuinely appeal to people with darker skin tones. If you include a diverse cast in your ad campaign, you might grab the eye of a more diverse audience, but you will lose them once they see your product.

The most efficient way to handle this is to look for natural synergy between you and your audience. You may not be able to alter your product, but look for different purposes in what you are selling and consider minor changes to better appeal to a wider audience. Additionally, test different messaging to see if you can communicate better with a certain community.

Become An Example In Your Industry

Bumble Inclusive Marketing

Bumble, a dating app, created a campaign to showcase its diverse, real life customers that increased interaction between users.

If you feel as though your company might be the first in your field to dive into the world of inclusive marketing- embrace it! It’s a great way to set yourself apart from competitors.

Not only will you make marginalized communities feel accepted and heard, but you will even help your own business. 70% of Millennials and Gen Z consumers will choose an inclusive brand over their competitors. With millennials having about $2.5 trillion in spending power, that’s important information to have under your belt.

Have an older audience? Inclusivity is still important! 3% of Americans over the age of 40 are either legally blind or visually impaired, which equates to about 3.4 million Americans. When looking at people ages 65 or older, the percentage jumps to 17%. Improving mobile and web readability is a great way to be inclusive to this demographic who may struggle with small font and poor line spacing.

This is where your research comes in handy! Know your industry, your audience, and how you can better connect the two. When you take this approach to your inclusive marketing, you will begin to foster an authentic, welcoming, and positive brand messaging that is mutually beneficial.

Please note that while this is an introduction to inclusive marketing, we did not cover all abilities and identities in this article. Inclusive marketing impacts many communities, which is why research and communication are some of the most crucial steps you can take to shift the culture around your company’s messaging. 

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