Is your brand missing the boat regarding these important market sectors? Here’s how to change that.
Defining audiences is a crucial step in any brand’s content marketing strategy. You’ve outlined their ages, genders and locations. You’ve considered their interests, how they communicate and how they shop.
But even still, organizations of all types fall short — often relying on stereotypes — when addressing three important audiences: LGBTQ+, Hispanics and seniors. These are big, broad, diverse demographics. And content and marketing for them requires thoughtful consideration. What are their unique needs? What message will resonate with them? What would alienate them? This needs to be a purposeful priority.
These audiences have huge purchasing power in the U.S. market, and your material — both written and visual — should appeal to them with inclusivity while also carefully avoiding stereotypes.
Incorporating language of inclusivity in your content is the first step to reaching the growing LGBTQ+ community. By taking gendered language (he, she, him, her) out of the mix, you also do the important work of halting the perpetuation of gender roles, and you cater to a wider audience. Anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation can picture themselves in the scene.
Here’s an example: Avoid terms like “husband,” “wife,” “boyfriend,” or “girlfriend.” Choose “significant other” or get creative, like in this article on How to Plan a Budget Friendly Romantic Weekend in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, which uses the phrase “your special someone.” A term like this broadens the concept of relationship beyond the traditional.
If you haven’t been, now is the time to use photos of same-sex couples doing activities or visiting the places you’re promoting — and not just in articles specifically target to LGBTQ+. This is perhaps the best way to let future visitors and customers know they’re welcomed. But be mindful that your content doesn’t then play to stereotypes. Don’t run a listicle of the best gay bars and call it day, for example. For more information, the Human Rights Campaign offers a list of LGBTQ Marketing and Advertising Best Practices for inclusivity of a market sector with an estimated spending power of $917 billion.
Influence Hispanics in meaningful ways in your content, and watch your brand grow. Hispanics are largely underserved in U.S. advertising efforts, yet they are a huge part of the U.S. market (almost 18 percent). And they hold considerable spending power: Nielsen projects Hispanic spending power to reach $1.8 trillion by 2021. Consider also that Hispanics make up 22 percent of U.S. millennials, and Nielsen reports that the spending habits of multicultural millennials have a profound effect on both their older and younger generations.
A Google report, How to connect with U.S. Hispanics online, reveals that 93 percent of Hispanics who recall seeing an online ad take the next step — either clicking through to a website, searching for a product, or buying an item. All of this data shows that brands can’t afford to skip out on creating lifestyle content geared toward Hispanics.
It all comes down to representing Hispanics in the content they’re reading and the Instagram posts they’re seeing. Photo here is crucial; a smart first step is to include imagery of people enjoying travel, dining or hospitality or achieving a goal. Also rely on Hispanic sources! Highlight these physicians, chefs and local experts to tell their story. It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: Absolutely do not pepper language with racist terms like “spicy” or use Spanish language as English slang.
Many brands have glommed on to the millennial generation and have forgotten the large baby boomer cohort. But skipping out on developing content for seniors is a mistake. The U.S. Census projects that by 2029, more than 20 percent of the U.S. population will be over age 65. And boomers are outspending millennials, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And don’t forget, these two seemingly different populations actually enjoy the same things. Outdoor adventures? Check. Cross-country travel? Check. Sustainable shopping? Check. Don’t default to an image of a young person for your next blog post about staycations; don’t automatically run to an image of an older person for a post about gardening. Interests are crossing generational gaps more than you might think.
In written content, be careful of the conversation. Avoid terms like “anti-aging” that portray getting older as negative. Instead, focus on the benefits of age, such as the fun prospects of retirement. Include quotes from seniors in writing geared to the general public, like in this piece about running gear. In healthcare content, senior-focused material is a no-brainer, but be mindful of tone. Avoid condescension and look for opportunities to inspire. This article on fall prevention strategies, for example, encourages individuals to stay active through fitness classes and even offers a link to advice from a pro stuntwoman.