May 2, 2022 Content Chat Recap: How To Make Your Content Marketing More Inclusive

How To Make Your Content Marketing More Inclusive

Every word or image you use when talking to your brand community can reinforce or strongly detract from your brand’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. But creating inclusive content is more than following a guide and using specific words. It requires you to deeply understand your individual community members and the many facets of their identity and life.

In this #ContentChat recap, Michelle Ngome, award-winning inclusive marketing consultant and founder of Line 25 Consulting, joins the community to discuss how to make your content marketing inclusive. Read the below recap to learn:

  • How to audit your content inclusivity
  • Common mistakes brands make when creating inclusive content (be sure to avoid these!)
  • Ways to encourage and support diverse team members across your brand

Q1: What is inclusive content?

Inclusive content represents the diverse communities and subgroups that your company serves.

A1: Inclusive content is defined as creating marketing content that represents the diverse communities that your company serves. Consider different subgroups in your target market. Are they represented in your marketing material? #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

A1: Inclusive content involves representing people from all walks of life, not just the most common demographic ~Julie #ContentChat

β€” Nimble (@Nimble) May 2, 2022

A1: Inclusive content is content that includes all people, not just a specific group, or the largest group. #ContentChat

-Jake https://t.co/J39nRqVWqd

β€” Advance Digital Marketing (@Advance_Digitl) May 2, 2022

Language and imagery directly affect your content’s inclusivity.

A1: Inclusive content refers to marketing content that uses language and imagery that helps all the members of your brand community feel welcomed and seen. #ContentChat https://t.co/bnapA80jpH

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

Q2: What are the common mistakes that brands make regarding trying to create more inclusive content?

Too often, brands create content based on assumptions, not research. This leads to one-size-fits-all content that fails to resonate with your entire community.

A2: Moving on assumption. No research. BIPOCs are not a monolith. A lot of us experience intersectionality; therefore, including a standard or stereotypical image will not cut it. Diverse communities want to see a representation of themselves in all areas of life. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

It definitely does feel that over the past two years, at the same time there has been more awareness of equity/inclusive content, there has also been an upsurge in the use of the term BIPOC as an umbrella, which may contribute to that monolith misconception? #ContentChat

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

Yes, there has been a real awakening. There’s a lot to learn but everyone is at a different pace in their journey. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

A2: Too often, brands over-rely upon assumed demographics and try to create one-size-fits-all messaging. I see this a ton in the online gaming world which often assumes I’m a guy (which I am not) or only play casual mobile games (which is untrue). #ContentChat https://t.co/6JVXcvBE6d

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

A2: Deciding to create inclusive content without inclusive insight! Representation needs to be on all levels ~Julie #ContentChat

β€” Nimble (@Nimble) May 2, 2022

It takes a genuine commitment to creating inclusive content that respects your community, instead of viewing it as a way to get good press.

A2: Doing it for the wrong reasons and messing it up.

Usually this takes the shape of doing it for good press, not because it is the right thing. #ContentChat

-Jake https://t.co/SXRK5o3v1h

β€” Advance Digital Marketing (@Advance_Digitl) May 2, 2022

Q3: What steps should teams take to audit their existing content’s inclusiveness?

To audit your content inclusivity, you should first review your internal and external digital footprint. Then, you can revamp your operational processes, such as adding diversity-related topics to the editorial calendar.

A3: 1. Audit your brand communication: internal and external digital footprint. 2. Revamp operational processes such as adding diversity-related topics to the editorial calendar. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

Ensure that your content and imagery align. Original photography and graphics are best for inclusivity.

A3: Make sure the content and image are aligned in context. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

I have definitely been in situations where folks thought using a diverse stock photo was enough to make the content be inclusive (when it really was not).#ContentChat

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

I know it can be challenging and expensive, but original photos are best. Not full proof, but off to a good start. People appreciate the effort. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

I agree. When I worked at Schwab, we shot new photos regularly, to make sure we were presenting an inclusive, on-brand set of imagery to support our editorial guidelines. #ContentChat

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

Yes, I love it. Inclusive and on-brand. This is really important when candidates want to learn the company culture. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

Empower your team to identify and voice concerns about your content inclusivity.

A3: make sure you have a diverse and honest team to give helpful feedback. Also, examine the intention behind the inclusive content. Was it strictly performative or was it coming from a genuine place? ~Julie #ContentChat

β€” Nimble (@Nimble) May 2, 2022

Inclusive also means accessible. Evaluate your site for ADA compliance. We discussed how to create accessible content in this past chat recap.

Inclusive also means accessible. Evaluate the site for ADA compliance. #contentchat

β€” Running Rampant in 2022 (@MelanieMedia) May 2, 2022

Set inclusivity goals. Evaluate how your strategy should adapt based on how your content performs.

A3.1: Do regular evaluations.

Set inclusivity goals for your company and track them quarterly, monthly, as often as you feel necessary. Evaluate yourself and if you aren’t meeting goals, change how you’re doing. #ContentChat

-Jake https://t.co/k8rFjdytwz

β€” Advance Digital Marketing (@Advance_Digitl) May 2, 2022

On the journey to inclusivity: audit brand-level content at the pitch, editing, and final published stage to get benchmarks. Rinse and repeat. #ContentChat

β€” em el (@mai) May 2, 2022

Outside experts and consultants are incredible resources to help you learn more about creating inclusive content.

It can sometimes help to have an external consultant or agency do these sorts of audits. It ensures a more objective perspective having not been involved in the initial content creation. #ContentChat

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

A3.2: If you have to hire someone to set your goals, do it! There is no shame in making sure you are doing it, and doing it right. #ContentChat

-Jake

β€” Advance Digital Marketing (@Advance_Digitl) May 2, 2022

Michelle shares her DEI glossary below:

Right now I have my DEI glossary, but I am working on something more comprehensive. https://t.co/wwptRCwMeZ #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

Q4: How should content marketing teams create a culture that prioritizes inclusivity in their day-to-day operations?

Inclusivity starts with education and acknowledgment. Learn about your team and community as diverse individuals and celebrate differences.

A4: 1. Learn, acknowledge, and celebrate differences. 2. Practice inclusive language in all communication. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

A4: Normalize it, don’t treat diversity like a novelty ~Julie #ContentChat

β€” Nimble (@Nimble) May 2, 2022

Encourage employees to express concerns, and build a culture where it is safe to freely raise concerns at any time.

A4: Normalize and invite employees to express concerns.

If someone feels they are being treated unfairly, make sure they can feel comfortable coming to you with the situation. #ContentChat

-Jake https://t.co/LTJJI1Uh5S

β€” Advance Digital Marketing (@Advance_Digitl) May 2, 2022

Building a culture based on mutual trust is so important. #ContentChat

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

With a consistent effort, DEI should become a part of everything your company does, across every department.

My dream is that DEI goes beyond HR and that people wear the lens in everything they do. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

Q5: How can content marketing teams better support diverse team members and ensure their voices are heard?

Create safe spaces for team members to share ideas, without the risk of repercussions.

A5: Create safe spaces that allow team members to share ideas and provide feedback without their job being at stake. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

This is so important! I think we have all been in that situation where candid feedback that was solicited resulted in some sort of retaliation or retribution from the receiving party. It’s not only unfair, it’s a huge missed opportunity for growth. #ContentChat

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

It’s really about can I share my idea and as a team, we can explore the possibilities. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

Use inclusive language in all your brand communications. Highlight diverse team members throughout the year.

A5: Utilizing inclusive language. Storytelling. Highlighting members throughout the year. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

Pay attention during team meetings to see who most often speaks up and whose voices are silenced. Actively engage team members who do not speak up as often.

A5: Give everyone a voice in meetings, or just as many places you can. #ContentChat

-Jake https://t.co/30F1sN1s8P

β€” Advance Digital Marketing (@Advance_Digitl) May 2, 2022

A5: Make sure everyone has a chance to contribute during team meetings. Pay attention to see who most often speaks upβ€”and if they silence anyone in the processβ€”and who often does not contribute. Remove barriers for people to speak up. #ContentChat

β€” Alek Irvin (@AlekIrvin) May 2, 2022

A5b: But you can’t expect everyone to speak up in a group setting, especially if they have concerns that the rest of the group may not readily accept. Ensure everyone has a 1:1 touchpoint with a manager who can listen and help raise concerns with the team. #ContentChat

β€” Alek Irvin (@AlekIrvin) May 2, 2022

This is very true. Not everyone can stomach public conflict, especially with members of the leadership team. #ContentChat

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

Detach the evaluation of feedback, ideas, and content from the person it came from. This removes some potential bias when the team first assesses the idea.

A5: Find ways to detach the evaluation of feedback, ideas, and content from the person it came from when possible, to remove some of the potential bias that can otherwise affect how it lands. For example, soliciting ideas+feedback anonymously before a meeting. #ContentChat https://t.co/mCN4e97btv

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

Q6: What are your go-to resources for learning more about inclusive communication and content creation?

Michelle and the community share resources for creating inclusive content below:

A6: @CMIContent https://t.co/ogpUbRRX7Z #contentchat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

A6: To help with #diversity statements. @CKadala https://t.co/fxPY3WsAom #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

A6: The APA has inclusive language guidelines document you can download that is a helpful resource: https://t.co/6CxGlujab7#ContentChat

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

A6: @heather_s_olson https://t.co/whM1Umk3zY #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

A6: Well, for me it’s personal experience. I regularly see problems in language that excludes different types of people, such as job postings for β€œcameraman” (instead of camera OPERATOR) or using a masculine noun to encompass all of humanity. #ContentChat

β€” Melissa Chiou (@melissaC_says) May 2, 2022

Q7: Are there any brands that are good examples of creating consistently inclusive content?

Are there any brands that are good examples of creating consistently inclusive content? #ContentChat

β€” Erika Heald Marketing Consulting (@ErikaHeald) May 2, 2022

Yes, Ben & Jerry’s, REI, Twitter, Chase. I know these are large companies but they do a good job of showing lifestyle. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

Of course, Microsoft and Google have great content and resources. #ContentChat

β€” Michelle Ngome πŸ‡¨πŸ‡² (@MichelleNgome) May 2, 2022

It’s always nice to have places to look for inspiration on how to do it rightβ€”thank you! #ContentChat https://t.co/vceF3Ac1v8

β€” Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) May 2, 2022

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top