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Inclusive marketing resources to strengthen your brand’s messaging

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Inclusive marketing resources to strengthen your brand’s messaging


Knowing your audience and what they want has always been a cornerstone of marketing, but the standard for modern, successful campaigns has grown to include what your audience cares about as well.

Customers are no longer just voting for brands or products via their purchases. Now, they’re also voting for the future they would like to see the world move towards — a future in which climate change is being addressed, centuries of socioeconomic and racial injustices are being corrected and equality and inclusivity are available to all.

This means that brand values are now part of your unique selling point — and if you’re not promoting values that align with your audience, it’s likely that one of your competitors will. However, inclusive marketing isn’t just a tactic to pander to audiences. It’s here to underscore humanity and the common struggles we face while recognizing and celebrating our differences. 

It can also help propel your brand towards its business goals: More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents to an Edelman study said they bought from a brand for the first time because they agreed with its position on a controversial topic, while 65% said they wouldn’t buy from a brand when it remains silent on issues they care about. And, inclusive ads drove a 23-point lift in purchase intent among consumers belonging to Gen Z, whether the person experiencing the ad was represented or not, according to Microsoft, meaning that inclusive marketing can help drive your sales funnel as well.

To help further your understanding and strengthen your messaging, we’ve compiled a list of resources that can serve as the foundations for your brand’s inclusive marketing efforts.

Evaluate your own biases

Relying on your own judgment when auditing your implicit biases means that you’re the judge and jury, which can lead to a self-defeating exercise. Instead, try resources like Harvard’s Implicit Association Test (IAT).

A result from Harvard’s Implicit Association Test.
A result from Harvard’s Implicit Association Test.

The IAT can help you identify your implicit biases across many categories, like gender and career, skin tone, religion, disability, sexuality, weight, age and more. Once you’ve taken the IAT, share it with your team so that everyone can keep a watchful eye over how their own biases may make their way into your marketing campaigns.

Inclusive marketing resources

Here are a number of resources for brands to consider as they build inclusivity and diversity into their organizations and campaigns.

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Nora Xu and George Nguyen discuss the need for inclusive marketing on Microsoft’s The Download.

There is also a growing tech space featuring solutions which promote diversity and inclusion. Two examples are Knockri, which seeks to to remove bias (and tokenism) from the recruitment process, and Keep Wol, which automates and gamifies diversity training.

Our sister site, Search Engine Land, presents an annual award for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Search Marketing to recognize the individuals and organizations that are driving positive change in the search community. The 2021 winners are Rejoice Ojaiku, for her work in founding B-Digital, “a digital marketing platform aimed at showcasing and inspiring Black talent,” and hasOptimization, a New Hampshire-based agency whose marketing efforts are complemented by their work for both inclusion and diversity across many areas of focus.

Read next: How putting inclusion first can lead to diversity.

Inclusive marketing guides

Google and Bing, the search platforms that are at the center of many of our campaigns, have recognized the value and need for inclusive marketing by publishing their own resources on the subject.

  • Microsoft’s Marketing with Purpose Playbook: Available as a free download, the Marketing with Purpose Playbook is one of the most comprehensive resources for inclusive marketing statistics (which can help you secure executive buy-in) and tips. The 101-page PDF is divided into three important areas for marketing (responsibility, values and inclusion) and covers a wide range of audiences.
  • Google’s All In Inclusive Marketing Insights: Created from the lessons Google learned as it began its own inclusive marketing practices, this resource center has strategies for building teams, making inclusive creative choices, embedding inclusion into your strategy as well as audience insights to help eliminate stereotypes in your creative.

Inclusive language guides

Creating a welcoming environment for diverse audiences starts with the language in our messaging. Below is a list of language guides from various organizations that can help you ensure inclusivity in your creative assets and content.

Accessibility

Accessibility for differently-abled individuals or those that rely on assistive technologies is often considered by marketers to be “someone else’s job,” but inclusive organizations recognize that the responsibility is shared by all. Here are some resources that can help you evaluate and improve your site’s accessibility, while potentially opening up new audiences for your brand and protecting you from ADA-related lawsuits.

Inclusive marketing for your campaigns

Numerous platforms have added ways for businesses to showcase their diversity. Below are some articles covering features that you can use to immediately add an element of inclusivity to your advertising or online presence.

This resource will be updated on an ongoing basis. If you have feedback, suggestions or resources to submit, please send an email to gnguyen@thirddoormedia.com.

This article first appeared on Search Engine Land.

About The Author

George Nguyen is an editor at Third Door Media, primarily covering organic and paid search, podcasting and e-commerce. His background is in journalism and content marketing. Prior to entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, writer, podcast host and public school teacher.

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MARKETING

5 Elements of Content That Will Build Brand Recall

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5 Elements of Content That Will Build Brand Recall

Gone are the days of traditional sales and marketing strategies. In today’s media landscape, driving sales and engagement through content has proven to be a highly successful and cost-effective strategy

Hence, most modern businesses have a content marketing arm that achieves the following by simply creating and distributing content:

  • Address customers’ paint points and gain their trust
  • Improve product accessibility via SEO
  • Increase opportunities for conversion
  • Generate leads
  • Build brand awareness and recall

Unfortunately, competition to reach the right audience has increasingly intensified. And that’s just the beginning of it.

The end goal is to consistently make sales, attain a loyal customer base, and build brand recall. So, how exactly do you achieve that? What kind of content will eventually enable your audience to easily recognize your products and services?

We uncover the five major elements of content that will build brand recall.

#1: Accessibility

Before gunning for brand recall, ensure that your audience can easily find information about your products and services. It’s virtually impossible to be recognized if you aren’t even visible or searchable.

Thus, this is where strategies such as onsite/offsite search engine optimization (SEO), simplifying user experience, improving scalability, expanding channels, and developing customer feedback platforms come into play.

That said, SEO strategies are usually the content marketers’ main focus. Investing in content SEO not only improves your brand’s visibility, but it also drives more conversions to your website. You do so by identifying your customers’ top search terms, optimizing your website’s content, and addressing high volume search queries.

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#2: Relatability

You must identify and understand your target audience before creating any piece of content – whether onsite or offsite. This is when it’s time to utilize data you have on your customers, which can be accessible via tools such as Google Analytics or AHREFs. These tools should give you insights on common search queries, keywords, website traffic, conversion, engagement, and such.

Customer feedback and surveys are also essential in understanding what your customers need. Your content should be able to address their pain points while providing them with information and services on what they’re looking for.

Once your audience find themselves relating to your content, it won’t be long until they purchase your product.

#3: Engagement

Reaching your audience is one thing, but customer engagement is a whole different beast. It’s easy to lose your customers’ attention in a crowded and noisy online economy.

As mentioned, understanding your customers’ needs and pain points is vital to your content strategy. Your content must be something they find useful enough for them to engage with. In short, there must be something in it for them.

There are many ways to skin this cat. You could engage your audience via content onsite with a great customer experience channel before and after they purchase. Another opportunity for engagement is developing social media content that encourages them to participate in your marketing campaign.

In conclusion, your content must be customer-centric before anything else.

#4: Value & Relevance

So, you’ve identified your target audience and learned to understand them, but how exactly do you convince them to choose your product over others? How do you stand out amongst your competitors?

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It’s equally important to understand your own products and services. You must identify your main value proposition, and how this is relevant to your customers. Having a stellar product is a waste if your target market doesn’t know its full value.

Thus, content marketers should communicate a product’s relevance and unique selling point. It’s their job to inform the target audience on how they can benefit from the product.  

#5: Consistency

There’s no bigger obstacle to brand recall than inconsistency. This applies to all types of content – articles, infographics, video ads, images, and social media posts.

For customers to remember you, your message, design, and overall branding should always be uniform and consistent. A disconnect between these elements is confusing and thus makes it difficult for your audience to recognize your brand.

Therefore, a marketing team must streamline uniform messages, value propositions, templates, and editorial and design guidelines before reaching out to the desired audience. In the world of marketing, familiarity breeds brand recall.

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