The Importance of Minority Representation in Advertising

America has always been a melting pot of different racial groups, and the number of minorities within the country is steadily on the rise. To remain in touch with the always changing landscape, marketing professionals must make a conscious effort to keep pace with the times.

In the field of advertising, public relations, and related jobs, African Americans only makeup 8.1% of the workforce and Hispanics make up 12.5%, according to information published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, African Americans represent 13.4% of the U.S. population and Hispanics represent 18.3% of the American population, reports the United States Census Bureau.

It’s vital for modern day marketing professionals to know the people they’re trying to reach. But how can advertisers and marketers truly succeed at reaching their audience, if the amount of diversity in the field fails to accurately represent the amount of diversity within this country?

The key to solving this problem is simple. Employ a more diverse group of advertisers to make sure marketing content is created that reaches a more diverse audience, while providing more diversified content for the people who actually represent this world.

Better Connect with Your Audience

Marketing research shows that people are more likely to connect with someone or something when there’s an affinity. That idea holds true in regards to attitudes, values, and a number of more subtle concepts. Simply put, people are more attracted to products they can identify with.

And to identify with a product, it’s important for someone to imagine themselves using it. Naturally, it’s much harder for people to identify with advertising that constantly shows someone different from them.

Today’s more successful marketing campaigns are able to break advertising norms by accurately depicting men and women of color, who have been historically underrepresented in ads. But that seemingly simple concept isn’t always easy to achieve.

A recently published Google blog post on inclusive marketing said, “To tell relatable stories, you also need a deep understanding and empathy for the people you want to reach. Stereotypes are the fastest way to show users you don’t understand them.”

Truly inclusive ad campaigns will always take time and careful thought for that advertising content to be successful. And on the contrary, when advertising misses the mark it can create a host of problems.

The True Power of Diversity

While it’s necessary to understand the larger thought process behind bringing more minorities into the role of creating more powerful advertising content, here’s some additional benefits that a diverse marketing team can help your brand achieve:

Become more creative: An advantage to hiring a more diverse team that fuses ideas from multiple perspectives is that it will help generate more creativity, which in turn will produce more powerful advertising content.

Continue the dialogue about the need for more diversity: Show that your brand empathizes with people across the country who oftentimes feel misrepresented and make sure that all of your work connects with that message.

Avoid missing the mark: Both words and images can have a powerful effect. By adding more diversity to your marketing team, it’s much easier to avoid language that suggests a company isn’t dedicated to trying to help underserved people improve their status.

The Future of Minority Representation via Social Media Influencers

It’s no secret that social media influencers have quickly stepped into the role of being authoritative figures in the world of advertising. Bloggers, athletes, Instagram models, YouTubers, and celebrities are all prime examples of social media influencers.

Top companies are steadily relying on more and more influencers to help market their products.

And that’s because influencers can use their online status to have a major effect on the purchasing decisions of hundreds of thousands of people.

Influencers have dedicated followers who can help companies connect with different groups outside of their usual reach, which can extend an organization’s message to a wider range of people.

But according to a CNCB news article, a number of brands were recently ostracized for their lack of diversity in regards to the influencers who were selected to endorse products.

To stay ahead of the curve, it’s important to work with social media influencers, while keeping minority representation in mind. Major brands are tapping into every type influencer. But your company can be ahead of the rest by investing in influencers from diverse racial backgrounds.

This post was written by Keith Howard. For more information about SwayBrand, contact us at