Reach Beyond Pride Month with LGBTQ Audiences
Publishers and advertisers miss out when they only market to LGBTQ communities in June.
It’s only a single month, one out of a dozen in a calendar year. Since June is Pride month, it’s certainly an important month. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people (and their friends) will be celebrating the world over. Almost every major world city has a Pride celebration between late May and early July.
Marketers and publishers certainly take notice. This is good news. But LGBTQ consumers are incredibly saavy, and we take note of the companies that only talk to us in June. Successful marketers and publishers know that we see authenticity in those that speak to us year round.
This June you will see publishers that never, ever cover LGBTQ issues finding reasons to create their "Pride Issues." Or they’ll be creating listicles that focus on gays or talk about Pride. I can imagine the Pride-focused headlines from outlets as wide-ranging as GQ, Travel & Leisure, The Wall Street Journal and even Ad Age.
I welcome and celebrate the coverage; after all, there are clear societal advances that come with these outlets addressing our community. More awareness leads to more acceptance, so this is good news, to be sure.
You'll see a few advertisers emerge that always seem to pop up each year at this time, too. They’ll sponsor a Pride parade or run a three-week campaign designed to let LGBTQs know that they celebrate with us. This time of year is the busiest for LGBTQ media companies. Just as retail drives Q4 spending, Pride drives Q2 for LGBTQ publishers.
But I want publishers and marketers to realize that gay people actually exist a full twelve months of every year. We appreciate our growing equality on a random Tuesday in February, believe it or not. And we're as receptive to your content and messages in September as we are in June. We spend our hard-earned dollars 365 days of the year.
In many ways, we're more receptive in other months because in June we are inundated with great content and advertising. We might miss your attempts to speak with us because it’s harder to break through the noise this month—so many are vying to catch our attention.
If you are trying to reach us, you might want to rethink your strategy and think about us more than one month of the year.
There are a few examples of those who understand that we’re around all year. On Mother's Day this year, the New York Times published a terrific opinion piece about a gay father's feelings about the holiday. And the media company Mic, which caters to millennials, has consistently good coverage of trans issues all year round.
Just as smart content makers know that our community is alive and well, and consuming media all year long, smart marketers have long embraced the off months rather than just concentrating all of their efforts in June. Campari's SKYY vodka crafted a multi-year campaign supporting marriage equality. Lexus markets year-round and, wisely, only advertises with a light touch during Pride month.
It’s great that publishers pay attention to us during Pride and that advertisers address us in June. But advertisers miss an opportunity if they only think of us in the summer. Just remember: We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re buying stuff all year!