LGBTQ Marketing Agency Tips


Posted on September 30, 2020 by Aaron Johnson

Looking for LGBTQ marketing agency tips? Are you ready to target the right people and diversify your audience? You’re in the right place.

A common mistake many companies make is bypassing a crucial component of the public: the LGBTQ community. This niche group encompasses a multitude of personalities and traits. They are a fun yet serious, smart, loyal, vibrant, and lively bunch.  

You will increase your marketing success if you make an authentic impact within the LGBTQ community. You’ll also be more inclusive and welcoming to any audience, including non-LGBTQ allies.

Your marketing agency or business truly misses out if it ignores the importance of the LGBTQ community. As an owned and operated LGBTQ marketing agency we wanted to share a few helpful tips.

Why target the LGBTQ community?

Not sure why your marketing agency should make a genuine effort to reach the LGBTQ community? We’re here to fill in the gaps. 

First, here are some fast facts:

Key Insights from Industry Leaders about the LGBTQ Market

  • Valerie Vargas, SVP of Advertising and Creative at AT&T: “In everything we do, we want to make sure it comes from an authentic place. We make sure to include diverse points of view and perspectives. We are mindful of the importance of authentic LGBTQ representation in advertising, and understand that supportive messages can inspire new allies, which is why we share them beyond the LGBTQ community.”
  • Lauren Longnecker, Senior Brand Manager at Stoli Vodka: “We are really getting the audience engaged, not just as spectators, but actually showing up in various markets that have a high concentration of the [LGBTQ] community. It’s important to engage with the community 365 days a year, not just show up for Pride in June and then take the rest of the year off. It is very important to us to physically be there, not just making a donation or donating products.”
  • Jen Palmer, Director of Social Marketing and Head of Pride and Allies Employee Network Group at T-Mobile: “Brands have to go all-in if they want to market for diversity and inclusion. Consumers are smart, and they can see beyond the brands who are doing something just to benefit their bottom line, it has to be part of a company’s culture, at every level.”
  • Jeffrey Huang, Senior Manager of Employee Engagement and Events at Salesforce: “When companies don’t focus on inclusion, they risk appearing disengaged, out of touch, or even offensive. However, when they successfully plan inclusive events they better connect with their diverse customers and build lasting brand loyalty. From venue selection to RSVP forms to restroom signage, it’s important to make sure all guests feel seen, heard, and considered.”

How to successfully market to the LGBTQ community in an authentic way:

Start small.

Your LGBTQ marketing agency doesn’t have to paint a rainbow flag mural on the side of your building or march in every big-city Pride parade. Start small and local. In other words, take baby steps. Determine what local non-profits and LGBTQ organizations your business can get involved with, and go from there.

Ramp it up.

Once you’ve successfully covered your small, local ground, consider branching out and taking advantage of bigger opportunities. An example is having a booth at a local Pride event. Then reassess and evaluate the result. A good LGBTQ marketing agency will help you track and monitor key performance metrics to ensure your message is being positively delivered.

Jenn Grace, a LGBTQ business strategist, stated, “That’s where you want to weigh the pros and cons and [ask yourself the question] does this make sense for our particular business. In some cases it might not. Trying to force it is only going to do more damage to the company’s brand and make the community even more skeptical of them.”

Do your research.

As a marketer, you need to conduct research. It’s crucial that your agency is well-educated on the community you’re targeting. Make sure you’re up to date on lingo, current events, and other nuances.

A common mistake is to push LGBTQ advertising and marketing only to LGBTQ specific spaces and media channels instead of incorporating this message into your company’s mainstream marketing.

Look internally.

Evaluate your agency’s beliefs, employees, values, and hiring practices to make sure they align with the LGBTQ community. 

“If a company that notoriously has terrible discriminatory policies and practices toward the community and no benefits and tries to advertise or get involved in any way they are going to be met with skepticism until they prove otherwise,” Jenn Grace said.

Use gender-neutral language.

Whenever possible, use gender-neutral terms. Not just for ads, but on your website, social media, employee handbook, and more. A solid LGBTQ marketing agency will help you define what channels to push specific messages to.

Instead of saying his, hers, guys, girls, ladies, gentlemen, etc., say: they, theirs, friends, folks, team, y’all, guests, everyone, etc. 

Normalize > Stereotype.

There’s no need to put the LGBTQ+ community on a pedestal during Pride Month or go overboard with the “We see you, we support you, we love you!” messaging. Simply incorporate LGBTQ people into regular, everyday depictions of life. 

Normalize gay parenting, transgender kids, queer couples, etc. by representing them in ads or marketing in a casual way. The point isn’t to stereotype or scream, “Check it out! LGBTQ people!” but to simply recognize them as normal people who go to work, make dinner, pet the dog, and kiss their kids goodnight, just like everyone else. 

Business and Workplace LGBTQ Resources 

Further educate yourself by checking out any of the following LGBTQ resources in business and the workplace. This list was compiled by the Library of Congress.

This snapshot showcases the economic and social impact of American LGBT businesses and entrepreneurs. You can also find LGBTQ marketing agencies that will help align your business with specific strategies to enter the LGBTQ market.

This Time magazine article was published back in 2016. However, its discussion on the need for a full accounting of the nation’s LGBT population for legal, health, and economic reasons still resonates to this day.

If you’ve never heard of Dr. Gary J. Gates, he is a well-renowned expert on the geography and demography of the LGBT population. 

Policy analysts and social scientists from Williams Institute offer facts and figures about the LGBT Community.

Nonpartisan fact tank Pew Research Center conducts “public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis, and other data-driven social science research.” Search the site for LGBT to find lots of helpful marketing data. 

  • Same-Sex Couples (U.S. Census Bureau)
    The Census Bureau provides data tables, working papers and other publications on same-sex couple households. As a LGBTQ marketing agency we frequently reference this as a guide with our clients.

LGBT- owned businesses are encouraged to register with the NGLCC. Since we are a proudly owned LGBTQ marketing agency we are registered with the NGLCC.

Pathway Lending is a good place for small business loans and lines of credit.

Social Link is a virtual marketing agency that has proudly worked with a variety of LGBTQ-owned businesses. This includes Sugar Creek, Miranda’s, the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, My Urgency MD, and the National Drag Museum. 

If you’re interested in learning more about inclusion, check out our blog post on diversity and inclusion in marketing or our article on ADA compliant websites and risk mitigation.

If you’re looking for marketing help for your business, we’re here to help! From strategic planning and content creation to website design and development, Social Link has the marketing support you need. We’re your partner for progress and performance.

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