Diverse Content is King

Creating content that appeals to a diverse audience is not just a question of being fair or equitable; it actually makes good business sense.

According to the U.S. Census, more than 50 percent of the American population is expected to be composed of minority groups by the year 2042. Your customers likely reflect an increasingly diverse world.

Growing Recognition of the Need for Diversity in Content

Marketers increasingly are aware of this. The image company Shutterstock recently conducted a survey of more than 1,500 marketers from the U.S., U.K. and Australia to ask about their use of imagery. One major finding: 88 percent of U.S. marketers surveyed agreed with the statement, “Using more diverse images helps a brand’s reputation.” Nearly half (41 percent) of U.S. marketers surveyed agreed it was important to represent modern-day society in marketing imagery.

Of course, diversity is not confined to race and ethnicity; it also means being sensitive to and mindful of people of differing religions, genders, ages and sexual orientation. It’s possible to further segment your audience based on language, parental or marital status, education and income.

Expanding Your Audience

How well do you know your target audience? You likely know your consumers based on criteria like age, gender and income. Within these boundaries, however, it’s important to recognize groups you may not be reaching. Perhaps there are some ethnic or religious groups that reside in your target area or make up your audience base. Gender orientation is another area you may be overlooking.

So how can you offer content that caters to a diverse audience? Consider all the aspects of your content, such as the subject matter, sources and art. In other words, what are you writing about, who are you talking to and what kind of photos or illustrations are you presenting?

Take an example from the healthcare world, where certain ethnic and racial groups are more at risk for diseases such as diabetes. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, the risk for diabetes is 77 percent higher for African-Americans and 66 percent higher among Hispanic-Americans. When you create content about diabetes, it may make sense to interview someone who is in one of these ethnic groups and show a person of color as part of the story.

Presenting diversity in content may extend beyond pictures and general information. It may include language, cultural references and other aspects of cultural and social difference.

Communities in the U.S. and around the world are only becoming more multiracial and multicultural, interesting and varied. Now is the time to determine if you are doing what you can to cater to this increasingly diverse world.