With a purchasing power of $1.4 trillion (2021 US Census) and a growing population accounting for nearly 6% of the US population (Gallup, 2021), the LGBTQ+ community is highly influential and extremely diverse. During the pandemic, the streaming industry exploded. For the LGBTQ+ community, an essential factor for content adoption and advertising resonance is accurate representation. To create a powerful relationship with this group, brands must first understand this segment and then create inclusive marketing content and strategies.
In June, we celebrated Pride Month with a webinar focused on reaching and connecting with LGBTQ+ audiences across media. Our star panel included Matt Skallerud, President at Pink Media; Brooke Bowhay, Senior Director of Acquisition and Planning at Carat; Ariana Vergara-Johnson, Product Marketing Manager at Disney+ and LG Ad Solutions’ Senior Director of Sales, Susan Edmonds.
Three important takeaways from the webinar included:
- Pride 365: Supporting the LGBTQ+ community cannot be a once-a-year endeavor during the month of June. Brands that create campaigns focused on the LGBTQ+ audience segment only during pride month will be called out for being disingenuous. How can brands show their solidarity with this group all 365 days of the year? 1) By ensuring the people behind the screen creating content and advertising campaigns have lived this life and can authentically recreate it on the screen. 2) By partnering with community advocates who have expertise in the LGBTQ+ domain or are part of the community and using the brand platform to amplify their voices and give them a space to tell their story. Creating a two-way conversation with the audience and understanding from them directly what they want to see represented in a brand’s content is a great first step to connecting with the LGBTQ+ audience.
- Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket: The LGBTQ+ community is especially active on social media and streaming TV. More than 40% of LGBTQ+ streamers spend three or more hours daily on social media (Nielsen, 2021). Short-form content is often the key to long-form content and is the first touchpoint that drives people to watch a longer-form movie or TV show. Tying these two media types together can create a winning strategy. Ultimately, the more facetime you have with your target audience with multiple touch points across screens, the higher the likelihood you will be part of their consideration set.
- Brands must be Matchmakers between Stories, Audiences & Platforms: A brand must decide the story it wants to tell and the audience for that story. Content to convey the story should be authentic, have accurate representation and be built around the specific LGBTQ+ audience segment being targeted — especially when it comes to different generations. Once the story and audience are confirmed, brands can choose which platform makes the most sense to distribute that message. To make the audience-platform match, brands must lean into the data around LGBTQ+ communities rather than making assumptions. Companies like LG Ad Solutions play a major role in targeting relevant audiences through layering on geographic, psychographic and demographic parameters.
The LGBTQ+ community is technologically savvy and has traditionally been early adopters of new technology — whether that is social apps or streaming TV. In terms of ad content, our panel firmly believes that new and unique ad units that take advantage of technology such as QR codes along with simple messaging and creative work best. However, even the best-made ads can fall flat if the audience is not reflected correctly. To authentically resonate with the LGBTQ+ group, content must depict these audiences as whole human beings without simply a focus on their sexual orientation. Brands that truly listen to the LGBTQ+ community and create campaigns that represent them for the multi-dimensional human beings they are, will end up with a loyal customer base. To learn more about how you can connect with this audience, watch our full webinar or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.