As soon as midnight strikes on June 1, many companies will add a rainbow filter to their logo in honor of Pride Month. However, the support often comes to an abrupt stop in July, when the rainbows disappear. Of course, you can not keep the rainbow filter all year, but the LGBTQIA community sees through the pandering. So, how should you ensure representation in your influencer marketing campaigns?
Why Representation Matters in Influencer Marketing
According to Bedbible.com, LGBTQIA youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Representation helps ensure these children feel validated rather than isolated. You can do this by working with LGBTQIA influencers throughout the year rather than only during Pride Month.
Good LGBTQIA Representation
Good representation in advertising comes down to three factors: inclusion, portrayal, and perception.
Inclusion refers to how you incorporate LGBTQIA individuals into your marketing efforts. The best way to execute this is by includingLGBTQIA individuals in your advertising campaigns, from print advertising to influencer marketing. From a publicity standpoint, modesty is your best friend. If you make a spectacle out of your inclusive influencer marketing campaign, consumers will lose trust in your brand.
How your advertisements portray these individuals is just as critical as including them. You will have the most success if your campaigns do not rely on the influencers being LGBTQIA. Treat them as you would treat non-LGBTQIA individuals
Consumers’ perception of this representation in your advertisements means everything. Sexual orientation must be irrelevant, or it will never be normal. Your marketing campaigns should work with LGBTQIA influencers just as frequently as they work with non-LGBTQIA influencers.
Bad LGBTQIA Representation
Rather than following the previous tips, bad representation relies on forced inclusion, stereotypes, and perception.
Forced inclusion means collaborating with LGBTQIA influencers for the sole purpose of including LGBTQIA people. Think of it as including these influencers for the sake of brand reputation. Trying to force inclusion is the equivalent of saying one cannot be racist because he or she “has a lot of black friends.”
A successful influencer marketing campaign does not rely on potentially harmful stereotypes. Using stereotypes spreads misinformation and further ostracizes LGBTQIA people. Some common LGBTQIA stereotypes can include the notion that all gay men are promiscuous, that lesbians are masculine, or that bisexual people are gay people in denial.
Just like with good representation, perception is key. If it feels forced or inauthentic, the LGBTQIA community will lose trust in your brand. Similarly, you could lose non-LGBTQIA consumers who believe your ad campaign is part of an agenda.
Find Your Influence Can Help
The team at Find Your Influence believes firmly that representation is critical in every influencer program. If you are unsure where to start, leave it to our team. To begin your next inclusive campaign, request a demo today.
Freelance contribution especially written for Find Your Influence by Jason Noury.