October 11th marked the 27th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, a day to celebrate coming out as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally. Visibility is important to the LGBTQ consumer because they've had to hide their identity before coming out, so it is important to acknowledge how your customers identify and show that you support them. According to a Google Consumer Survey from August of 2014, over 45% of millennials are more likely to do repeat business with an LGBTQ-friendly company after seeing an equality-themed ad.
Here’s how to incorporate equality-minded advertising into your marketing mix all year round:
Meaningful Moments: Leverage real-time conversations and events
Pride Month in June and History Month in October are not the only times to acknowledge your diverse customer base. There is steady interest throughout the year for coming out on Facebook and pivotal days in the fight for equality show spikes in coming out. For example, June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme court ruled in favor of marriage equality, had 2.5x more users come out than did on October 11th, 2014 according to Facebook Research. Brands responded to the decision by showing support on social media. A brand needs to know both annual and one-off celebrations for the LGBTQ and Ally community. There are already 4.4 million social mentions for LGBTQ keywords in October!
Similar to how you might listen for back to school shoppers talking about “textbooks” or “school uniforms” on Twitter, you utilize social listening to follow these conversations and use keyword targeting to advertise. For example, after the Supreme Court decision the hashtag #LoveWins was trending among marriage equality supporters or you could listen for “Pride” and “Gay” or “Lesbian” in June.
Thoughtful Targeting: Know your audience and segment accordingly
You first need to think about the individuals that are going to see your ad. Facebook users are able to self identify same-gender attraction; the demographic targeting capabilities on Facebook allow you to target based on gender and relationship preference. The chart below by Facebook Research shows the percentage of individuals who “came out” on Facebook each day as a percentage of those who came out on National Coming Out Day last year.
In addition to the number of people coming out, the same research report shows the number of allies is increasing with roughly 5.7 million Americans liking and following the top 300 most popular LGBTQ pages.
Try demographic and interest targeting capabilities on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that you don’t normally use to reach your equality-minded customers. For example, for back to school shopping you might segment by gender and show different ads to mothers and fathers shopping for their children. You could also try combinations of demographic and interest targeting to segment your equality-minded audience to test performance.
Conscientious Creative: Alter visuals depending on the event or pitch
As an advertiser, you want to show alliance with different groups and you can show that you are an equality-minded brand with your ad creative. Many brands “rainbowfy” their corporate logos during important dates for this community such as Pride. Just like advertising to back to school shoppers using apples and report cards, you could adapt the image or video to cater to equality-minded individuals with symbols or highlight that you support a cause this audience may care about.
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