Happy Black History Month! Black History Month, since first being celebrated in 1926 then later officially designated in February of 1986, is now recognized as a time to acknowledge and appreciate Black entrepreneurs and leaders who have shaped the world. Inclusive marketing is so important and as a marketing community, it’s exciting to see so many brands and businesses embracing this month as a way to recognize the rich history, accomplishments, and culture of the Black community!
But, it can be challenging to get it right. So how can your brand continue to celebrate in an authentic and inclusive way?
Today you’ll learn important ways to analyze your Black History Month content from the inside out, how to practice inclusive marketing year-round and we’re sharing a list of Black-Owned businesses that Team Edgar loves!
Authenticity comes first from action. It’s simply not enough to talk about inclusive marketing and supporting these diverse communities. Instead, encourage your organization and team members to take action. Deliberately seek out and listen to the expertise and experiences of people in your team whose backgrounds differ from your own. If your team isn’t a reflection of the diversity you’d like to see, use this as a wake-up call to prioritize your hiring efforts in the future! By closing the gaps within your own organizations, you are working towards shifting the culture towards representation as a whole.
An important step is also being transparent and public about what steps your company is taking to eliminate hate speech and uplift the Black community. As a company, MeetEdgar’s policies have been continuously updated to reflect a strong embrace of diversity, equity, and inclusion as fundamental values. Our employees are required to undergo anti-bias training, as well as create a system of actionable data for hiring. We also aim to seek out diverse partnerships and provide clear value by building mutually reciprocal relationships.
You can learn more in our employee handbook here.
Take a close look at your external marketing on social media!
- Do my visual images, whether stock photos, illustrations or videos, reflect a diverse environment?
- Does my marketing reflect a broad mix of ethnicities, races, nationalities, etc?
- Have I partnered with any Black influencers, business owners, or creators?
Studies, like this one from The Female Quotient and Google, have found that positive representation is important in marketing to ensure your employees and audience feels seen. They reported that people were 64% more likely to “consider, or even purchase, a product after seeing an ad they think is diverse or inclusive”. This is especially important because it means your audience is waiting on you to reflect the reality of their lives! Remember, the focus is not always to sell, but to provide a spotlight on an underrepresented community and add value to your audience.
Another way to celebrate is to buy directly from Black-owned businesses.
Why? Because when you choose to support black-owned businesses with your dollar, you’re contributing to wealth generation, amplifying their work, and uplifting their local communities! Here are 5 Black-owned online brands that Team Edgar loves:
📝 Byrd Career Consulting: helps companies (including MeetEdgar) build diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments for their employees and customers!
🍕 Slim and Husky’s Pizza Beeria: this delicious restaurant in Nashville, TN ties in Hip-hop and R&B culture with custom-built pizzas.
🌱 Leafy Green Creation: is a California based shop dedicated to making the world a more beautiful place, one locally grown plant at a time.
💍 Sahara’s Essentials: an NYC based artist who makes eclectic handmade jewelry on Etsy.
🌶 Essie Spice: this small-batch online shop sells vegan cooking sauces and spice blends inspired by the diverse flavors of Africa.
🍩 Hungry Bunny: sells and delivers delicious home-baked vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free donuts through their virtual donut shop!
Continue the Conversation of Inclusive Marketing
Acknowledging Black History Month is a first step on the long road towards inclusive marketing! Engage with diversity all year long, not just during the months designed to celebrate these underrepresented communities. By doing this regularly, you can deliver future campaigns that resonate at a deeper level. We encourage you to make diversity and inclusion key points of your long-term marketing plan and continue to represent African-Americans in your social strategy!