Marketing to the LGBTQ+ community with value

Happy LGBTQ+ History Month! Targeting your marketing to the LGBTQ+ community? Here's a few tips to make it truly valuable (for the community and your business).

With LGBTQ history month approaching this Feb, many brands – and allies (we hope!) – are looking to engage, market and promote themselves to the LGBTQ+ community. Many brands like Skittles, Sainsburys & Audible all see themselves as equal opportunists.

The right representation

One of the key trends for marketing now is people seeing themselves in the media. This is what people mean when they talk about representation. 

LGBTQ+ people want to see themselves within marketing – from ads and images, to being more consciously inclusive with terms to accommodate a wider variety of life experiences. This could range from using the brand power of bigger LGBTQ+ celebrities, like Lil Nas X, to outreaching smaller influencers like, Matt and Omar.

Twain Tip: 71% of LGBTQ+ consumers are more likely to trust a brand with advertising that authentically represents a variety of sexual orientations.

Where to put your money (and your spending power)?

With the rise of accountability in social media, consumers are becoming more aware of how brands are using their platforms to give rise to social causes. Unsurprisingly, they will show loyalty to brands that continuously support values that align with their own.

Brands no longer need to niche themselves into smaller communities. Take Whiskey, a stereotypical/traditional ‘manly’ drink pitched with a variety of images and experiences that reflect this. How can it be brought into a more diverse and wider audience? Check out Matt (and Omar’s) demonstration on how to produce a whiskey cocktail (without the toxic masculinity or associated homophobia, thanks).

Visibility matters (to your profits too)

Often known as the pink pound, the UK LGBTQ+ market is estimated to be worth up to £6 billion a year.

Twain tip: ignore us at your own peril. 👀

The economic power of pink money - first coined as a buzzword in the 1990s - has been seen as a positive force for the LGBTQ+ community, creating a kind of "financial self-identification" which helps individuals feel like part of a community which values them. We love to see it!

Additionally, 69% of LGBTQ+ respondents say they’re usually one of the first people in their friend group to accept or try new things (compared to 55% of respondents who identify as exclusively straight). This is exactly the kind of trendsetting, influential demographic brands can't afford to ignore if they want to make an impact.

But the value refers to more than the financial sense here. LGBTQ+ spending behaviour reports supporting businesses which target pink money, while actively boycotting anti-LGBTQ+ companies and personalities.

The increased transparency of social media and the research prowess of its’ average user means it has never been easier to follow the money and expose when brands and businesses are supporting, or engaging in, activity that contradicts the values and diversity they’re promoting in their marketing materials.

Additionally, these ‘exposes’ are no longer constrained to finding traditional platforms or media publications to gain an audience. Essentially, every value-orientated consumer has a platform in their pocket. Ready to be posted when a brand or marketing persona reveals itself to be disingenuous to a cause or community.  

So, our #1 tip to marketing to the LGBTQ+ community? Make it authentic or don’t do it at all. 

The good news is there’s a rising number of genuine LGBTQ+ allies so we don’t need to shop with the fake ones. 

With the rise of RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise now showing on all major streaming platforms globally and dominating pop culture, there has been a rise of LGBTQ+ content in mainstream media. Along with the profits margins to demonstrate the economic value of creating more diverse and representative content for all audiences.

We are proud to be a LGBTQ+ and disabled-owned business so we put this at the forefront of all our decisions. From the business decisions to our marketing strategy. And the best news, it’s always authentic because we want to see ourselves (and you) represented. 

There’s a place and a time – and a better way

Finally, if you’re marking a certain awareness month on the calendar, try asking how you can also boost the LGBTQ+ community you’re trying to engage?

Rainbow-washing or pink-washing refers to brands and businesses offering limited edition Pride-themed merch or products when it’s fashionable but swallowing 100% the profits without giving anything back or genuinely engaging with the community. 

We don’t love to see it. 

Shout out to Skittles, a major brand, who consistently plan out thoughtful Pride campaigns that centre awareness, inclusivity but also crucially, direct, positive impact to LGBTQ+ communities

Next time you consider marketing to the LGBTQ+, could you donate a certain amount of proceeds to a specific cause or organisation? Or ask your LGBTQ+ followers for suggestions on who they’d like to see you support and how? You could even match every pride-themed sale of a product or service with a donation. 

Just a little something extra that shows you’re in it for the values (and not just the money kind). 

We love creating content, campaigns and strategies that are impactful – for your brand and the people you can help! Think we can help you think about an inclusive campaign? Get in touch below. 

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