Brands are getting ready to kick start 2021 with a bang and to reach their business goals for the year. As we work towards growing our business and start attracting more diverse and niche consumers, in this case, we have to facilitate the fact that advance planning is the key.
Marketing and advertising are not only about promoting products. It can go beyond getting the audience to perform a particular action or make a purchase that is best for your brand.
While few advertisements can claim to not promote consumerism, we have an exception in the form of campaigns that promote or celebrate a social movement. Black History Month is one such time where everyone is reminded of the sacrifices made by Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and countless men and women who worked throughout the history of the United States to bring social change.
Every year Black History Month rolls around, brands try to charm diverse audiences by working to appear inclusive and supportive of the African American community. But the real question to remember her is, authentic or authentically inauthentic?
Celebrating Black History Month in marketing means time to plan and execute an authentic campaign that positively highlights Afro-Americans and the multiple identities, backgrounds, and lifestyles they represent.
Here are a few tips to inculcate Black History Month into your marketing campaign and make it more impactful:
Build Deep Relationships with your Audience
No doubt, trying to be more inclusive and showing diversity is a great idea. But if your company finds yourself only prioritizing Afro-American representation in your marketing and advertisements one month per year, that’s not OK. If you are really planning to celebrate Black culture and your African American customers, look at developing genuine and deep relationships with these audiences then do it throughout the year.
Know About the History
It is important to know about the audience you are targeting and also about the event you are planning to celebrate. So, spare some time and learn about Black History, before strategizing the campaign. Where can you start? Build authentic connections to people within various communities and have conversations. You will tend to find a lot of history and perspectives you won’t find in a book. Visit your local library or look online for articles, blogs, and other resources.
Offer Learning Opportunity to your Audience
Each February presents an opportunity for the people to enrich their understanding of Black history, that is, unequivocally, American history.
Black history is also the history of the Americans. Provide an opportunity to your audience to open themselves up to these learnings as there’s equal shame in remaining uninformed. Expect most of the news outlets and publications you might be following to ramp up Black History Month coverage. Moreover, the Black creators will mirror those actions. Don’t limit your capability to absorb this information to just February, cultural curiosity and historical awareness have no calendar date and no ends as well.
Share History Lessons and Facts on Social Media
One of the great ways to celebrate Black History Month is by sharing history lessons on social media. While the majority of the brands will think to spotlight Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks, don’t follow them, be proactive, do your research, and go beyond the obvious choices!
These highlights can be done through feed posts, Facebook Stories, Instagram Reels, YouTube videos, or even blog posts on your website.
Amplify Black Voices
Want to utilize your social media platform to amplify Black voices in another way? Pass the mic!
You can do weekly Instagram Stories or IGTV or Youtube Videos takeovers where Black creators, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders utilize your platform to spread their message and speak about their personal experiences.
Last year in June, singer Selena Gomez passed the mic, and let Black activists and educators take over her Instagram account with more than 200M followers! To share their perspectives on what was happening in the United States.
This is another way to amplify Black voices? Work on a campaign with a Black digital artist to build beautiful illustrations or videos.
For the launch of the Giving Voice documentary on Netflix, which follows students in an annual August Wilson monologue competition, they collaborated with illustrator Monica Ahanonu to develop the stunning artwork of the documentary.
Black History Month is also a great time to sponsor an event created by a Black creator or businesses owned by them. This also allows you to support their content and community without taking up too much space.
Don’t stop your efforts on March 1. Representation all around the year is a major factor when trying to reach communities of color. As per the survey conducted by Adobe 2019, 34% of U.S. consumers stopped supporting a brand because it didn’t represent their identity such as race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. in its marketing and advertising campaigns.
Moreover, if you take up some good initiative, continue the great work and leave your mark with your genuine efforts to bring change to society through your marketing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chandrima is a Content management executive with a flair for creating high quality content irrespective of genre. She believes in crafting stories irrespective of genre and bringing them to a creative form. Prior to working for MartechCube she was a Business Analyst with Capgemini.