In our ever-evolving world, where people’s needs, wants, and views are shifting, more inclusive and diverse content has become a staple in business marketing.
People want to feel valued, regardless of their backgrounds, communities, social standings, and characteristics.
But, what is inclusive and diverse content? Why is it important? And how can you create this type of content effectively? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about incorporating inclusivity and diversity into your content marketing strategy. You’ll also learn exactly why diversity and inclusivity are so important to modern-day consumers.
Content marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, retain, and engage prospective customers by sharing useful online material (such as blog articles, videos, podcasts, and social media posts).
This type of content isn’t created to sell to potential customers but rather to build relationships with them and stimulate their interest in your business and offers.
Some marketers argue that product-led content marketing is one of the most profitable forms of marketing since it’s customer-focused.
In fact, in 2021, revenue from content marketing was estimated to reach close to $66 billion.
Having diverse and inclusive content means that your content serves and resonates with many people that have different characteristics and are part of different communities. This content trait is becoming all the more important in today’s society, as Gen Z is the most diverse generation in history.
Why diversity and inclusion matters
In marketing, inclusivity and diversity mean that you’re allowing everyone (regardless of their ethnic and social backgrounds, disabilities, or gender) to be interested and feel welcome to use your products or services.
Consumers respond extremely well to this type of content. In a survey by Google and The Female Quotient, 64% of all respondents took action on an advertisement after seeing it as diverse and inclusive.
Furthermore, in a 2021 survey, 40% of Gen Z respondents chose brand diversity and inclusivity as the most important brand values when shopping for beauty products.
In 2022 and beyond, diversity and inclusivity are crucial for business growth and success since customers expect authentic content that makes them feel valued and heard.
How can inclusive content benefit your business?
There are many benefits to creating inclusive and diverse content, including:
1) Get more brand awareness and engagement
Consumers around the world are actively searching for inclusive companies. From 2017 to 2020, “diverse brands” saw a significant increase in search volume. From there, it’s stayed consistent — meaning that people aren’t stopping in their quest to find these types of brands anytime soon.
Therefore, if your brand is filled with inclusive, diverse, and authentic content and you have a unique logo design, more people will become aware of your business and offers.
You’ll also appeal to a much wider range of prospects which will increase your sales potential — and ultimately make you an authority in your industry.
2) Gain more trust and loyalty
In Microsoft’s 2020 Psychology of Inclusion and the Effects on Advertising report, 70% of Gen Z consumers said that they are more trusting of brands that represent diversity in their marketing material. A further 69% of them said that they see these brands as more authentic.
Having a brand that’s perceived as authentic and trustworthy means that far more people will become loyal to your business — and choose you above all your competitors.
3) Higher conversion rates and sales
The ultimate goal of any marketing campaign is to sell, and with diverse content marketing, over time, you’ll see a significant increase in conversions and sales as more people start to become loyal to your brand. After all, it’s a lot easier to retain customers than it is to acquire them.
Tips for creating inclusive content
Here are seven tips you can implement to create great content that supports your inclusivity and diversity strategy.
1. Start internally
Ever heard the saying, “a company is nothing more than its people”? Well, this saying is very true when it comes to inclusivity and diversity.
While a lot of businesses have diverse workforces, they don’t necessarily invite the right people to the table when creating content marketing materials.
By having a diverse team brainstorming content ideas and speaking up when something’s amiss, you’ll be able to avoid including things in your content that may be sensitive to different communities. A diverse team will do wonders for your brand’s ability to collaborate on a variety of social and internal issues.
Instead, your content will amplify diverse voices — which will appeal to a much wider audience and help them better connect with your brand.
2. Better understand your audience
While it’s vital to respect everybody, this doesn’t mean that your content needs to address groups that aren’t interested in your products or services.
For example, if you own a beard-care product company, women wouldn’t be your primary target audience. In the same way, if you’re advertising retirement products, you wouldn’t target college students.
The key here is to do research about your audience and determine every characteristic that can and cannot be mentioned. What’s important to your audience? What’s their point of view on certain topics?
You can find this information by asking different team members who belong to the same group as your target audience, going to industry events, arranging focus groups, asking for customer input in emails and surveys, etc.
From there, you can develop audience personas to guarantee that your content is in line with their beliefs, characteristics, and what they deem important. Remember to consider their demographics and psychographics when creating these personas.
Once you know who your ideal audience is, you can use useful tools such as an email finder tool to help you find more leads and outreach and engage with a more diverse group of people.
3. Use inclusive images
Make sure that your images are balanced and signify openness and connection.
- Try to use images that show connections and relationships between diverse people.
- Include a variety of different people in your images (different races, body shapes, people with unique subsets, etc.), especially of your product in use.
- Give every person in your images similar prominence and make sure that one doesn’t stand out above or below the others.
4. Choose your words well
Inclusivity also comes down to how you communicate with your audience.
The words you use are a reflection of your brand and values. When it comes to content marketing, skip the business language and opt for a more conversational and casual tone.
Not only is it more approachable, but it’s also more readable and allows a wider audience to understand and connect with your business.
The best way to do this is to prime your writers and editors to be mindful of what they write and to regularly consult style guides if they don’t know how certain things need to be phrased.
Examples of words you can include in your content:
5. Make your content easily accessible to everyone
You also need to make your content accessible to people who have disabilities.
For example, you need to think of things such as easy navigation for people who can’t see, using captions in all your videos for people who can’t hear, including transcripts for audio interviews, not only distinguishing options by color, etc.
This way, all people who are interested in your content and product will be able to access and enjoy it.
6. Don’t go overboard
While diversity and inclusivity are great initiatives, your brand shouldn’t go overboard in trying to communicate that it’s diverse. This may have the opposite effect and offend certain segments of your audience.
You need to make sure that your content still reflects sincerity in your commitment to diversity in an organic way instead of forcing it on your audience and coming across as false or unfeeling.
7. Create discussions
You can show your audience that your brand is inclusive and open to change by opening up discussions around timely and critical matters. This way, your audience will know that you care about their views and feelings.
However, you need to make it clear that you are merely there to discuss the matter and not to lead. Avoid making assumptions and bold statements in your discussions without taking a look at the background.
Start creating inclusive content today
Now that you’ve seen how important it is to create and publish inclusive content that speaks to your audience’s characteristics and beliefs, you can go ahead and follow the tips mentioned above to create excellent, authentic content.
Already have a content marketing strategy but don’t know if it’s successful? Look out for these 10 signs to determine whether your content marketing strategy is a failure or not.
Chanté Smith is a passionate freelance content writer, experienced in social media and content marketing. In her free time, she loves to read — both fiction and non-fiction — and enjoys playing with her two fur babies. Connect with Chanté via email at firstname.lastname@example.org