How to Have More Inclusive Brand Marketing—Authentically

1. Cater to your target audience, not to everyone.

Inclusive marketing isn’t about trying to find a stock photo with every possible demographic crammed into it.

Instead, it’s about knowing your business inside and out, and making sure that your target audience is well-represented in your marketing campaigns.

Remember: Your customers can tell the difference between a forced attempt at inclusion, and one that’s genuine.

And if they feel represented in a real way, they’ll likely be more motivated to support your small business. According to the 2019 consumer survey by Google and The Female Quotient, 64% of all respondents took some action after seeing an ad they considered to be diverse or inclusive.

2. Stay true to your brand.

You may remember the Dove Real Beauty campaign. Their first ad featured a fresh-faced woman sitting down and having her hair and makeup professionally done before her images were digitally retouched and put on a billboard.

Of course, she looked incredibly different from start to finish, with the idea being that what we see in magazines, on TV and online is not reality.

Dove has since built their marketing upon this concept, using women of all backgrounds, shapes and sizes in their campaigns and vowing not to digitally retouch images.

I’m using this example not because I want you to be like Dove. I want you to take a long, hard look at your business’ identity.

If you don’t sell plus-size clothing, including a bigger woman in your advertising will fall flat. If you do sell plus-size clothing, using a thin model will alienate your customers.

Again, it all goes back to having a deep understanding of who’s engaging with your business.

READ: The Importance of Brand Messaging for a Successful Website Redesign

I’m sure you’ve landed on someone’s website and felt like something was just…wrong; or maybe you were suddenly turned off without even knowing why.

Chances are, you quickly clicked back to find a competitor’s website, where you felt more comfortable and secure.

Your visitors could feel the same way if you don’t pay attention to how you come across to your target audience.

In this article, I’m going to share 5 questions you need to answer to determine your business identity and create the most effective website possible.

Read more.

3. Always be empathetic.

In order to reach your customers, you need to tell relatable stories, not just sell products or services.

Discover what your target customers’ likes, needs and pain points are. How will your product or service make a difference in their lives?

Once you’ve got an idea of what makes them tick, tell that story through empathetic marketing. Empathetic marketing means putting yourself in your customers’ shoes to better serve them.

And unlike sympathy, which is feeling compassion, empathy means imagining yourself in another person’s situation.

Your audience wants their needs to be understood and acknowledged. And that goes beyond a multicultural stock photo.

Maybe it’s interviewing an expert who is from the demographic you want to represent, or highlighting testimonials from real people who use your product or service.

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