Dating apps and Pride advertising: That’s how LGBTI digital marketing goes

Around six million people in Germany are not heterosexual but belong to the LGBTI community – so they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, Although the target audience among marketers as above average consumption and financially viable, they seem to address only the fewest brands targeted.

“The social acceptance for gays and lesbians becomes more and more natural and more and more companies recognize the benefits of Gay Marketing“Says Marco Steinert. He is the founder of the Berlin-based digital marketer Netzdenker, who has been planning and delivering online campaigns for homosexual target groups since 2009 and advising advertisers in gay marketing. In terms of reach, the company aims to be the largest online marketer for LGBTI publishers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The fact that LGBTI-friendly companies enjoy a good image, especially in the young target group, is by no means new. According to a 2014 Google survey, 45 percent of consumers under the age of 34 are more likely to repeatedly shop at an LGBTI-friendly company. And over half would be one Prefer companies that support equal rights, At the same time, the increasing social acceptance of homosexuality also ensures that planners rarely have the LGBTI community on the screen separately, says Steinert: “This is lost potential. After all, the target group is extremely lively, likes to travel and consume. ”

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The LGB community as ideal online marketing candidates?

What Steinert observes in his job is also confirmed in recent polls: According to a Yougov study, almost half of the LGBs find their lifestyle not sufficiently reflected in advertising. The group is young and too fast 60 percent male, In contrast to the general population, advertisements are mostly not seen on television but online. More than half of the LGBs surveyed even think that linear television is a thing of the past – ideal online marketing candidates.

According to Yougov, LGBs are on average no wealthier, as is often reported by mistake. But they say of themselves: “My style is expensive.” And they are multipliers – LGBs are asked by friends and acquaintances much more often for advice before they buy a product. Further findings: They are considered as trendsetter and like to be noticed. They are among the first in the circle of friends who discover new music artists. In other areas, the group is progressive and environmentally aware. For example, LGBs are almost twice as common vegan like the population average.

Do you reach gays under 30 medial almost only about dating apps?

According to Marco Steinert, the long-term trends in gay marketing result in three ways to best reach the group digitally. Although Facebook knows quite a bit about the sexual orientation of the user and advertising can be played here specifically with appropriate targeting. Gays under 30, according to Steinert, are best reached via gay dating apps without wastage – be it Grindr, Planet Romeo or Hornet.

LGBTI news portals and blogs are now mostly clicked through social media and accessed less directly. The problem with this is that many advertisers categorically exclude advertising in dating apps from the outset. Therefore, media planners in the agencies could not always consider them. A mistake, says Steinert: “Many apps like Hornet are now looking after a high-quality brand advertising environment.”

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The app Grindr is currently promoting its own advertising product (Photo: OMR)

The hip gay dating apps: Grindr, Hornet – and Instagram?

Grindr is now considered the world’s largest gay dating app and claims to have over three million daily users. The highlight of the application is the “Radar” location search, which shows who is currently registered and online in the immediate vicinity of Grindr. According to Steinert, at gay parties this means that people rarely address each other directly, preferring to chat with Grindr first and then check whether the other person in the room is interested in making contact. As intense as gay Grindr use advertising makes it even without detailed targeting as Facebook makes sense.

Hornet positions itself in comparison to Grindr slightly higher quality. The social media app was founded in 2011 by the German startup series entrepreneur Christof Wittig in San Francisco. Wittig has recently made a name for himself when he teamed up with Berliner blockchain tech startup OST LGBT Bitcoin currencythat issued “LGBT token”. Hornet calls itself “The World’s Premier Gay Social Network,” claiming to have more than 25 million users worldwide and a million daily active users.

The app It has three main functions: gays can connect via their “Hornet Guys” profiles as well as meet “Hornet Places”, ie localized LGBT locations such as bars. And with the “Hornet Stories”, a portal with more than 25 new articles in eight languages ​​written by the allegedly world-renowned content creators of the scene, the application also provides its own content. The latter should guarantee a “brand-safe” environment thanks to the fully editorially curated content, where “men can meet each other and their brand” – that is the promise to advertisers.

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Hashtags like “#pride” are displayed on Instagram in rainbow colors (Photo: OMR)

According to Marco Steinert, Instagram is also increasingly being used as a dating app by gays who keep their profiles open, fill them with selfies and search for and find hashtags. Facebook’s photo platform automatically colors rainbows in hash tags such as #lgbt, #pride, # pride2018, #gay, #queer and #lovewins, and also has rainbow stickers and heartbeats for stories on the Pride month of June. No wonder that anyone looking for these hashtags on Instagram is also promptly seeing current LGBTI-branded advertising, such as Condor and Levi’s Germany.

Do not portray LGBTI everyday life as if it were not “normal”

Although there are big advertisers like Calvin Klein, who also advertised on gay platforms with mainstream motifs by Justin Bieber and Kendal Jenner in the 2016 spring campaign. According to Steinert, the community appreciates it very much, though Advertising motifs especially for the target group be created. The trend is advertorials, which represent the homosexual reality of life as “normal” as possible. Good examples are, according to Steinert two young women who are embraced on the beach for a motive of the travel agency Dertour. Or a commercial by Deutsche Bahn, in which a man travels to his friend, a professional footballer, for his games in the ICE.

The pair of women with a baby, Telekom used to advertise for the Family Card last year, also met with a positive response. According to Steinert, such advertorials are at least as much appreciated as general rainbow color equality and diversity acceptance campaigns. “Brand messages are drawn with advertising motifs that represent the normality of LGBTI life and that gay people enjoy using the advertised products,” says Steinert.

However, there is one thing that does not go down well with the community at all: if such campaigns only run in the mainstream media, without directly addressing the LGBTI target groups in their media. “This could then be perceived as lip service rather than a fig leaf to show the enlightened world how liberal you are,” says Marco Steinert.

Use Pride Festivals more strategically for online and offline campaigns

From May to October is Pride season. In the meantime, thousands of CSD parades, Pride festivals, parades and parties are taking place worldwide during these months, celebrating millions of LGBTIs under the motto “Show your Pride”. Marco Steinert observes that advertisers in Germany are much less likely to exploit LGBTI mass events than Brands abroad, where LGBTI online advertising campaigns are strategically extended offline – such as by Netflix or Vodafone at World Pride in Madrid in 2018. ” There is still a lot of potential for brand representation with an attractive target group, “concludes Steinert.

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Netflix poster during Madrid Pride 2018 (Photo: Marco Steinert)

This article was originally published by Online Marketing Rockstars.

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