How To Discover and Embody Extra Underrepresented Voices in Your Content material


When ladies make up a lot of your audience, why does your content material advertising give attention to quotes from Steve Jobs, Invoice Gates, Jeff Bezos, or Richard Branson?

Efficient content material advertising connects your viewers’s needs and desires with the schooling and perception your organization needs to share. That connection is extra impactful when your content material additionally displays your viewers demographics.

It’s time so that you can take a tough have a look at your advertising content material to evaluate how properly it incorporates ladies in addition to different underrepresented communities.

White males aren’t the one nice sources

Convention keynote audio system and webinar hosts love to incorporate inspirational quotes. Final week, I noticed a webinar use sayings from Albert Einstein on invention and Invoice Gates on innovation in back-to-back slides.

A couple of years in the past, I noticed Steve Jobs quoted 4 instances in 4 days throughout coaching lessons, webinars, and digital occasions. Why had all these content material creators chosen quotes from Steve Jobs? Had all these folks throughout various organizations actually adored Steve Jobs? Did a page-a-day calendar function Steve Jobs that week? Was it the highest search end result after they searched Google for a quote for his or her slide matter?

That was once I determined to show content material entrepreneurs the three steps to incorporate extra ladies’s voices in content material. You possibly can comply with these steps to handle any underrepresented voices in content material advertising.

Glimpse your model’s previous

I hear you protest, pondering you have got positively, properly most likely, quoted ladies and different underrepresented voices in your content material. However everybody can profit from a quick test. Overview the final 10 to twenty text-based content material items printed by your model — long-form internet content material, e-books, infographics, buyer case research, trade studies, and so forth. Who’s quoted in that content material?

Subsequent, have a look at your latest audio and video content material – podcasts, webinars, recorded digital occasions, convention recordings, and buyer movies. Do they embody various voices?

In most B2B organizations, ladies and different less-heard voices is not going to floor. It’s even more durable to seek out content material with these voices in industries like know-how, finance, or manufacturing.

Now that you already know the place your model stands, you’ll be able to proceed with plans to create a extra balanced illustration.

Discover underused sources

So, you acknowledge the chance so as to add totally different voices, however how do you discover the folks to cite?  You have got choices, however they could take a little bit work and inventive pondering:  

  • Buyer references: Take a look at your buyer advertising database, group, or consumer group. Is there an ideal beta consumer who can discuss the advantages of your product or companies? Is there a powerful advocate in your buyer group who could possibly be quoted?

For a brand new product launch, I requested a feminine buyer to talk at a convention. Her schedule didn’t allow her to journey to the occasion, however she agreed to be quoted within the text-based content material.

  • Business analysts: Look deeply into analysis from high companies like Gartner, Forrester, IDC, or Constellation to seek out underrepresented voices addressing your matter.

In a earlier position, I typically cited an excellent European researcher whose world information was missed in america. She grew to become a regularly cited supply in our content material, and when she got here to a buyer convention, folks acknowledged her and wished to study extra about her analysis.

  • Business influencers: Most of the strongest voices from underrepresented communities write and discuss your trade. Observe them on social media, construct relationships with them, and invite them to your occasions, content material, and tasks.

Throughout a buyer convention, our crew reshared helpful social media suggestions from an early profession tech influencer on the occasion. This visibility not solely helped validate a brand new product’s place available in the market but additionally helped construct the influencer’s status as properly. She is now a featured presenter at large tech conferences.

  • Firm executives: How various is your govt crew? Which leaders are you able to cite within the content material? Don’t neglect up-and-coming leaders like product managers, product entrepreneurs, and technical engineers.

Construct relationships inside your organization to deliver contemporary and related voices to your content material. Fastidiously consider who you’ll be able to cite right now and who might have improvement. I’ve led media coaching and presentation teaching classes to develop extra ladies as spokespeople in industries dominated by males.

  • Well-known folks: If you need to quote well-known folks, suppose outdoors the field.  I began retaining an inventory of highly effective, completed ladies that could possibly be cited in content material, lots of whom additionally belong to different underrepresented teams.

I’m all the time constructing this checklist and accumulating extra examples. Listed below are just a few concepts of ladies you’ll be able to quote in your content material.

Topic As a substitute of Quoting … Attempt Quoting
Innovation Steve Jobs, Apple CEO and co-founder Reshma Saujani, CEO of Ladies Who Code
Enterprise Lee Iacocca, former Chrysler CEO Ginni Rometty, former IBM CEO
Management Peter Drucker, administration theorist Linda Hill, chair of the Harvard Enterprise College Management Initiative
Firsts Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon Sian Proctor, first feminine industrial spaceship pilot
Storytelling Walt Disney, animation pioneer and entrepreneur Shonda Rhimes, first lady to create three tv dramas which have achieved the 100-episode milestone
Endurance Usain Bolt, eight-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles, nine-time Olympic medalist
Teamwork Mike Krzyzewski, coach of 5 NCAA basketball champion groups Caitlin Clark, NCAA basketball all-time scoring chief
Creativity Pablo Picasso, world-famous artist Frida Kahlo, world-famous artist
Humility C.S. Lewis, writer of books translated into over 30 languages Amy Tan, writer of books translated into 35 languages

Generally, audiences aren’t acquainted with the folks on this prompt checklist — and that’s implausible. The human mind is extra more likely to give attention to what’s totally different, and the individual will study from the much less doubtless sources. What’s extra stunning to your viewers — a quote from a 22-year-old basketball sensation who’s within the morning information headlines or yet one more quote from Steve Jobs?

Showcasing a special voice takes your content material from anticipated and boring to being fascinating and memorable.

Proceed studying about superb individuals who should be heard extra

It’s best to proceed increasing your information of underrepresented, progressive, and quotable sources and ensure they’re seen and heard. To perform that:

  • Learn lesser-known authors. In case you have a purpose to learn a enterprise guide, think about one authored by a lady or different underrepresented group.  
  • Be a part of occasions and hearken to podcasts. Many various voices share necessary insights at digital and reside occasions. Attend one in every of their classes on a subject that pursuits you to see what new perspective you’ll be able to acquire. Should you’re hiring audio system, search various factors of view. Do the identical for podcasts, whether or not you’re listening or scheduling friends.
  • Begin the dialog. Ask your friends who they advocate for knowledgeable recommendation. Who ought to you already know of their community who’s a keynote speaker, writer, or different knowledgeable? Share your finest suggestions with others.
  • Interact clients. Your buyer base contains underrepresented communities. Work along with your buyer reference crew to seek out them to allow them to be featured in upcoming content material.

Don’t cease there

Lastly, think about these two extra issues.

Should you see a webinar, occasion, or assembly that includes solely white males, say one thing. Whether or not it’s a non-public chat with the occasion organizers or a well mannered ask within the assembly, you have got the facility to get folks fascinated by together with different voices.

Second, acknowledge that individuals have unconscious biases and will nonetheless turn into allies on this dialog. Maybe they by no means seen that each management quote comes from Tom Peters and each innovation quote comes from Invoice Gates. A delicate nudge could also be all it’s good to add a various voice.

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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising and marketing Institute