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How to Create an Inclusive Holiday Marketing Strategy

An inclusive marketing campaign has never been more important in 2020. This year, many brands were held accountable for a lack of diversity, and consumers will be actively watching their next move. 

As the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, Gen Zers gravitate towards inclusive brands. And millennials are no different — a 2017 study found that 80% of millennials care about diversity and inclusion.

Inclusive marketing allows you to represent people from various backgrounds — whether it’s related to race, body size, sexuality, ability, and more. 

And with the holiday season approaching, brands have the opportunity to create content that is more reflective of the world we live in. 

From the messaging in your ads to the imagery in your Instagram feed, approaching your holiday campaign with an inclusive mindset can unite your community and set your brand apart.

Here are some tips for creating a more inclusive holiday marketing campaign that can help drive sales and raise brand awareness. No lumps of coal here! 

Person holding a phone with an image of a table with holiday decor

How to Create A More Inclusive Holiday Marketing Campaign

  • Use Neutral Messaging
  • Diversify Your Content, But Avoid Tokenism
  • Make Your Content Accessible 
  • Share the Spotlight with Inclusive Brands 

#1: Use Neutral Messaging in Your Holiday Marketing 

While 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas, millennials are more likely to celebrate it as a cultural holiday rather than a religious one. 

With this in mind, it’s worth thinking about the language you use to promote your holiday marketing campaign this year. 

While it’s okay to celebrate a religious date, focusing on common values allows you to be inclusive to all religions, faiths, and beliefs. 

Neutral messaging lets you celebrate the holidays by focusing on themes like community, family, and giving back, without the use of religious rhetoric or symbols. 

Take Lululemon for example. Their “Give Presence” campaign reminded customers to slow down, live in the present, and savor family time.

By focusing on the importance of connection and unplugging from our phones, Lululemon’s campaign was not only relatable, but a clever way of celebrating the spirit of the holidays with neutral messaging. 

Similarly, you could also consider focusing on weather related messaging. If your audience is primarily in colder climates, they may be drawn to campaigns that speak to winter activities, snowfall, and cozy indoor spaces. 

 Ready to plan your holiday marketing campaign? Download our free checklist to help you stay organized, keep track of your to-do’s, and launch a successful campaign! 

 

#2: Diversify Your Content, But Avoid Tokenism 

Creating content that includes and speaks to more than one demographic is an important factor when planning your holiday marketing campaign.  

But it’s important not to tokenize models — your content should authentically reflect your community. And it doesn’t end with race. Think about how your target audience intersects with various body types, ages, gender identities, sexualities, and abilities.

Creating a fully inclusive and diverse content strategy cannot be achieved overnight. 

For truly authentic results, your efforts for diversity should be at the heart of your corporate strategy — not just the top of your Instagram feed during the holidays. 

According to LaterCon speaker and Gen Z expert, Larry Milstein, “It’s not enough to simply cast diversity and inclusion…you need to build it into the fabric of your brand.”

This is something that makeup company, The Lip Bar, is well-known for.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

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Their inclusive holiday campaigns are often an extension of their everyday content, so it’s business as usual once the holiday season rolls around. The takeaway? Your content should be inclusive year-round. 

TIP: If you don’t have the budget for your own photoshoots, find more stock image websites to use, or expand your network of influencers so your influencer marketing strategy is more representative of your audience. 

#3: Make Your Content Accessible 

Creating accessible content is not only helpful for those with visual and hearing impairments, but it can strengthen your digital community and improve engagement. 

And making your content more accessible doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive.

One quick win is to include subtitles on all of your video content — whether it’s for YouTube or an IGTV video. With 85% of videos on Facebook being watched without sound, it’s important to ensure your video is optimized for silent viewing.

Another way to create accessible content? Body positivity advocate Megan Jayne Crabbe writes engaging image descriptions in her Instagram captions, which are helpful for people with visual impairments.

You can also take it one step further and include alt text in your Instagram posts or website images. 

Alt text is an invisible description that can be narrated through a screen reader device for those with visual impairments. By providing an alt text description, users can understand what’s happening, even if they can’t physically see it. 

Want more easy ways to make your holiday content more accessible? These 5 tips can be implemented into your social media strategy right now. 

#4: Share the Spotlight with Inclusive and Diverse Brands 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an array of challenges for small businesses, with many experiencing unforeseen losses and financial difficulties. 

With the holiday season fast approaching, now is a great time to shine a spotlight on the inclusive and diverse businesses who contribute towards the fabric of your community. 

It may feel like an unusual move, but sharing really is caring. And in today’s digital-first landscape, a simple act of goodwill can go a long way. 

For example, last year, a pop-up in Toronto made waves with its curation of Canadian products by women-led small businesses. 

While Shop The Abode had a physical location, you could draw inspiration from its focus on community and highlighting founders from diverse backgrounds. 

By collaborating with local businesses and creating a limited-time shopping experience, you can leverage their audience and reach new customers, while showing camaraderie and unity. 

‘Tis the season, after all! 

With these tips, you’ll be one step closer to creating a more inclusive holiday marketing campaign. 

And with inclusivity at the heart of your campaign, you can increase engagement, drive sales, and stand out from the crowd. 

Start scheduling your holiday content now with Later — it’s free! 

 

Written By

Monique Thomas

Monique is a Content Writer at Later who loves helping brands define their voice and content strategy. You can usually find her sipping matcha or adding another book to her ever-growing TBR list. Say hi on Instagram — @mo_thom

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