Getting diversity right in Influencer Marketing campaigns can be tricky. First, you must know your target audience inside and out. Then, you must create content that resonates with them on the platforms they frequent. However, all of that comes only after your company nails its internal diversity practices. That is not a small undertaking. So, if envisioning ensuring your campaigns meet the mark leaves you feeling overwhelmed, not to worry! We’ve got you covered with our seven tips to master diversity marketing.

This post is part of a 7-part series on diversity, equity, and inclusion in Influencer Marketing. Check out the other articles to learn DEI Definitions, The Difference Between DEI and Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, and The Case for Inclusive Marketing. Additionally, get tips on How to Create Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing Campaigns. Finally, discover 7 Mistakes to Avoid in Diversity Influencer Marketing. Last but not least, check out Brands Getting Diversity in Influencer Marketing Right. Want to get the goods all in one place? Download our eBook on Everything You Need to Know About Diversity in Influencer Marketing.

Diversity Marketing

7 Tips for Ensuring Your Diversity Marketing Campaigns Meet the Mark

1. Make diversity a priority.

While diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a hot topic and it may seem like everyone’s doing it, think again! In an Entrepreneur article entitled, “Does Your Team Roll Their Eyes When You Talk About Diversity,” it pointed out:

Unfortunately, many people haven’t or don’t engage in conversations around diversity, despite the data that shows its importance.

Additionally, in the Society of Human Resource Management report summary entitled, “Most Companies Are ‘Going Through the Motions’ of DE&I,” it shared:

After billions of dollars invested in DEI training, tools, tech, and HR strategies, we haven’t moved the needle very far … only one company in five holds itself accountable for DEI in its business practices and 40% see diversity as primarily an issue of compliance.

Clearly, not all brands and agencies are committed to diversity. Or, if they are, they aren’t doing it well. Therefore, the first step in mastering diversity marketing is committing to DEI. In fact, diversity is an inside-out approach. For example, companies that are dedicated to long-term diversity practices internally master the skills required to champion diversity externally. This means that they not only score big on DEI with their team. But also and likely because of it, they create successful inclusive marketing and multicultural marketing campaigns.

Are you worried about your company’s current state of DEI practices? The good news? Regardless of your position or title, you can be a catalyst to help your organization make diversity a priority. 

Learn steps you can take toward improving your brand’s diversity practice. 

2. Recruit creators that reflect and resonate with your target market.

In the Harvard Business Review article entitled, “How Diversity Can Drive Innovation,” it shared the quantifiable difference a diverse workforce can make:

We’ve found that when at least one member of a team has traits in common with the end user, the entire team better understands that user. A team with a member who shares a client’s ethnicity is 152% likelier than another team to understand that client. 

So, once your company is committed to diversity from the top down, take a hard look at how you attract and retain talent. Namely, your recruiting practices, your mentoring and networking programs, equity in opportunities, career paths and promotions, and leadership training. But paying attention to your human resources doesn’t stop with recruitment and training. Additionally, ensure that team members on campaign-creation teams resonate with your buyers persona. This means diverse representation and inclusion in the strategy, planning, and execution stages.

Discover how to implement DEI from start to finish in your diversity in Influencer Marketing campaigns.

3. Create formal mentoring programs.

So, you hired diverse team members. Then, you checked the diversity box and met your quota. But, you know that representation is just a first step. So, now what? Next, ensure that your company’s talent all have access to training, mentoring, networking, and advancement opportunities.

According to a McKinsey interview addressing why diversity programs fail, it points out: 

One of the most effective solutions for promoting women and minorities into management is formal mentoring programs. The key is that they connect people who didn’t know each other before, who are from different departments and a couple of levels in the hierarchy apart.

Mentoring helps advance people’s opportunities. Namely, by connecting them with the right resources, giving them solid action steps, and helping them identify and take advantage of advancement opportunities. This not only creates representation throughout the company but also prepares an organization for greater diversity in the future. When people can see themselves in roles from top to bottom—starting with seeing others similar to them in those positions—they take the steps to progress toward similar roles.

4. Help your team develop empathy.

According to an article in Entrepreneur about diversity, team members developing empathy is key for many reasons. Namely, to increase productivity, to retain top talent, and to improve inclusion. Furthermore, empathy leads to creating diversity marketing campaigns that truly meet the mark. Specifically, those that resonate with a brand’s target audience.

Research shows that a lack of diversity is drastically affecting the retention of underrepresented groups, which costs the tech industry more than $16 billion every year. Without a company’s willingness to engage in inclusive conversations with those most marginalized, the revolving door of diverse talent will spin faster and faster. As a result, many companies are beginning to realize that creating an empathetic work culture slows down that revolving door. 

Additionally, the head of diversity of Apple shared:

… even a racially homogenous team can be diverse because of their life experiences, embracing cultural diversity and minimizing bias are still the primary goals of most innovation oriented companies. But this type of change is inherently difficult for both companies and individuals. It’s one thing to recognize that diversity has value in the workplace, but it’s another thing entirely for employees to come face-to-face with a bias they don’t know how to address. It can be an uncomfortable process, but it’s critical to diversifying any organization and working toward the ultimate goal—empathy. 

In short, it’s not enough to meet a diversity quota. Additionally, you must model empathy and focus on developing an empathic team— one that can understand and share others’ feelings.

5. Don’t focus on diversity in isolation.

In the Harvard Business Review Article, “Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion,” it states:

Part of the problem is that “diversity” and “inclusion” are so often lumped together that they’re assumed to be the same thing. But that’s just not the case. In the context of the workplace, diversity equals representation. Without inclusion, however, the crucial connections that attract diverse talent, encourage their participation, foster innovation, and lead to business growth won’t happen. 

Let’s say that your company has followed all of the above-listed steps. However, it fails to create a safe and inclusive environment, welcoming, listening to, and implementing key feedback from diverse voices. The result? It runs the high risk of not reaping the benefits diversity yields. Namely, and as it relates to diversity marketing, it likely won’t create campaigns that your ideal consumers will jive with. Diversity and inclusion go hand in glove and both are critical for success internally and externally, including on the consumer-facing campaigns you produce.

6. Diminish stereotyping through connection.

Stereotyping often reflects false or unfair beliefs and can impair successful diversity practices. Strongly held viewpoints, even if subconscious, don’t just show up in the workplace—in beliefs about or conversations with co-workers. For example, stereotyping, when left unchecked, may end up working its way into strategy, planning, and execution. Whether we’re talking about corporate communications, marketing, or creative campaigns, stopping stereotyping in its tracks is key to creating diversity marketing that meets the mark.

But, how do you diminish stereotyping? When people see others’ similarities and differences and recognize team members are alike as human beings, stereotyping naturally stops. In the McKinsey article, “Why Diversity Programs Fail,” it states: 

… if you want to change stereotyping at work, the best way to do it is not to try to train it away, but to expose people to people from other groups in their work lives. In effect, you have to start by integrating the workplace. That’s what’s going to diminish stereotypes. 

Additionally, “Research shows that when any training that focuses on the negative consequences of biased behavior (“discriminate and you’ll be fired!”) actually reinforces biased behavior. Another study found that when participants in diversity training programs are forced to agree to an anti-bias viewpoint, they actually feel more biased. When they’re left free to make their own choice, bias goes down as well.”

To reiterate, diversity without inclusion is futile. Focus on inclusion. Namely, create a safe environment where all voices are welcome. And, diversity and the positive benefits it yields will follow.

 7. Know that diversity is not a quick-fix. 

Even when companies follow all the best diversity practices, they may still make mistakes. And, that’s OK. As long as you are committed to diversity and listen to and implement feedback, you’re on the right track. Just remember! Diversity is not a quick-fix that can drive success overnight. Diversity, equity, inclusion, integrity, and inclusive marketing campaigns that truly resonate with your target audience take time. Everything that makes up a solid and strong DEI practice is a long-game, requiring clarity, assessment, accountability, and an organic approach.  

In the Business2Community article, “How to Create a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion,” it states:

The programs that have proven to actually improve diversity—targeted college recruitment, mentoring programs, self-managed teams, etc.—are all long-term efforts. They work at the root cause of diversity (talent supply and management).

Understanding that there are no quick-fixes to the diversity problem should be the first step in implementing diversity. 

Wrapping It All Up

 Even though getting diversity right in Influencer Marketing campaigns can be tricky, there are ways to ensure that you meet the mark. The first step in mastering diversity marketing is committing to DEI. Next, follow these seven tips:

  1. Make diversity a priority.
  2. Recruit creators that reflect and resonate with your target market.
  3. Create formal mentoring programs.
  4. Help your team develop empathy.
  5. Don’t focus on diversity in isolation.
  6. Diminish stereotyping through connection.
  7. Know that diversity is not a quick-fix.

The good news is that when your company, brand, or agency is dedicated to diversity internally and externally, your diversity marketing is sure to drive success. Meaning that it will resonate with the right people and achieve desired results. Why? Because from start to finish, you’ll involve the right people and double-check to ensure your creative content resonates with consumers. 

Next Steps

Want to learn more about diversity in Influencer Marketing? 

The Ultimate Guide: Creating, Launching, and Managing Diversity Marketing Campaigns
The Business Case for Diversity