There is no question that diversity is important. It has always been. But people of today are more aware of it and actively demand it.
65% of consumers say that they’ll pay more for a product that’s vocal about equality and diversity. 71% of consumers expect brands to promote diversity in their online advertisement.
Unfortunately, brands rarely embody inclusivity. Their messaging never has enough diversity. This is why it is up to you – the content creators – to create more inclusive and diverse content.
What does diverse content mean?
For most, diversity means including more ethnicities or race in their content. But it is so much more. Diversity lies in many intersections of identity. You can create more diverse content by including more:
- Body shapes
- Body sizes
As long as your content reflects the reality of the world and not just the stereotypes, it is diverse.
What steps can creators take to promote inclusive and diverse content?
Be careful with the words you use.
The words we use matter.
For example: when you tell the world that your pronouns are she/her, you acknowledge that other genders exist.
So, be explicit with the words you use. It matters significantly when you’re trying to bring about change.
Besides more inclusive use of words, also ensure that you utilise appropriate language. Often the terminology we use in daily life is not all-encompassing. Be cognizant of what you type in your post captions or blog post.
For example, instead of saying handicapped, use differently-abled or substitute wheelchair-bound with wheelchair user.
Amplify unheard and unrecognized voices.
There are so many stories that go untold or unheard. You have a voice that can amplify them. So, share the mic with someone else. Tell the stories of marginalised groups. It will not only reduce unconscious bias but also debunk stereotypes.
A simple trick to know if you’re giving airtime to more inclusive stories is to ask yourself:
- Am I using my social handles to support creators or people who are underrepresented?
- Is my content addressing stereotypes?
- Does my content help my followers see the diversity in people and evoke empathy?
Create accessible content.
Another way to be more diverse in your content is to make it accessible to people with different abilities. Ask yourself, do my social media posts offer a great experience to anyone who stumbles upon it?
One way to create inclusive, accessible content is to add subtitles to all your videos, Reels, IGTV and Stories. So that people who can’t listen can read.
If you’re a blogger, try using contrasts colours, readable fonts and bigger text size to make your content more accessible to everyone, like people with dyslexia.
Request brands to be more inclusive.
The last step content creators can take to be more inclusive is to demand it from the brand partners. Always remember, as a creator, you hold power over your followers and the brands you collaborate with. When you ask brands to be more inclusive and diverse in their content, again and again, they will listen.
It creates a win-win situation. You get to be more inclusive, and the brand gets to tap into a deeper and wider audience. Did you know 88% of Gen X and 90% of Millennials say that diversity helps a brand’s reputation?
What do you get out of creating diverse content?
By creating inclusive content, you become a loudspeaker for people whose voices are rarely heard. You bring attention to social causes. But you also gain a major advantage every creator wants:
You reach new audiences.
When content authentically reflects your race, your gender, your sexuality or more, you are more likely to interact with it. Why? Because it resonates deeper with you.
Think about it, when we see an Indian in an international movie or brand ad, we pay more attention to it. The same logic applies to social media content.
When your content includes LGBTQ+, differently-abled people or any other minority, you touch the lives of a different demographic. And that expands your audience reach.
A new group of people find your content relatable. So, they not only follow you, but they also share it with others! That translates to more engagement.
Diverse content: need of the hour
Creators, you can no longer sit back and remain passive. You play a crucial role in the conversation about diversity. With more inclusive content, you prioritise representation.
And by doing so, you help everyone involved. The content brings the spotlight to people who need it. You get access to more audiences. And the brand builds a better reputation. So, go forth and embody diversity!