Case Study: How Influencer Marketing can be used as an App Store Optimization (ASO) tactic
07 May 2020 · 2 min read
Link copied to clipboard!
Influencer marketing is a tried-and-true way to get brands in front of the right consumers on social media. But many aren’t aware of the incredible value & ROI that Influencer Marketing campaigns can drive for app store optimization (ASO) of mobile apps.
This case study will show how we used Influencer Marketing tactics to help mental health app Bloom greatly improve their ASO while generating a 100% Return On Investment using influencers to drive paid member sign-ups.
Case Study: How Bloom App leveraged influencer marketing to amplify results
Bloom is a digital cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) app that helps people manage stress and anxiety.
As a digital therapy app, Bloom wanted to leverage how consumers were planning out their new year’s resolutions for 2020 by tapping into a network of influencers on Instagram to introduce Bloom to their followers. The Bloom team had previously never tried influencer marketing as a user acquisition tactic and hired us at The Hand to run their first influencer campaign in January 2020.
Our Influencer Campaign Tactics, Step By Step
Using the Tagger platform, we quickly identified a list of 4,000+ influencers who were based in the United States, spoke English, reached women between 25 and 55 years old (Bloom’s core user demographic), and mentioned one or more of the following keywords: meditation, mindfulness, manage stress, manage anxiety, and therapy. We were able to find the email addresses associated with these Influencer accounts and programmatically reached out to them over an email drip series sent over a 3 week period.
Once we established an initial baseline response rate, we split tested email subject lines, send triggers and email attachments to improve the response rate by an additional +24% in our second batch of influencers we reached out to. By optimizing the response rate, we were able to yield more user-generated reviews in a shorter period of time. Additionally, we drove more organic searches (eg: “bloom therapy app”, “bloom CBT app”) for Bloom’s Apple App Store page through Influencer reviews.
Over the course of the New Year’s Resolution campaign, we were able to drive over 1.8 million impressions from 75+ influencers who left an honest review of the app. We delivered over a 100% Return on Investment (ROI) using influencers to drive paid member sign-ups.
In addition, we were able to improve Bloom’s App Store Optimization (ASO) efforts by increasing the number of times that people searched for Bloom’s digital therapy app and the number of times people clicked on the Bloom app after searching for non-branded keywords like ‘digital therapy app’ and ‘mindfulness app’.
Continued Success Beyond the Initial Campaign
Based on the success of this campaign, the Bloom team hired a part-time influencer marketing coordinator to continue the influencer outreach program. Bloom continues to double its paid subscriber base monthly, using a combination of influencer, tactical paid social and apple search ads.
While influencer marketing may appear to be a brand marketing tool, influencers can help drive direct response and improve app store optimization (ASO) for mobile apps.
Simon Yiis a growth partner and performance marketing specialist at marketing & advertising group,The Hand.
Worried your ads are being lost in the noise? Influencer marketing has an 11X higher ROI than advertising and lets you speak right to your ideal customer. Book a free demo & our team will walk you through exactly how you can maximize your influencer marketing efforts with Tagger.
Recent months have seen travel brands making an effort to promote their services as the world opens up again. Here are 20+ travel brands using influencer marketing to get people excited to dust off their suitcases...
Travel brands growing with Influencer Marketing
As the world enters the summer season after a years-long period of restricted travel, many consumers are actively planning new adventures and seeking new surroundings.
**Because of the influx in interest and bookings, hospitality and travel brands are making extra efforts to promote their services.** These efforts are most visible in the brands’ turn towards influencer marketing. Sponsored collaborations, shared travel photos, plus sweepstakes and giveaways are just some of the successful tactics these brands have utilized to boost their social media presence, customer loyalty, and brand awareness.
Using the Tagger platform’s affinity, mentions, and growth toggles, we found these travel brands growing with the help of influencer marketing.
1. [Hipcamp](https://www.instagram.com/hipcamp/) (@hipcamp) - An online travel marketplace for campers and “glampers,” Hipcamp has used influencer marketing to recover and even grow post-pandemic. With available stays nationwide, the brand’s sponsored mentions from influencers help increase Hipcamp’s brand awareness and extend its reach across the country. At just under 330k, the brand has grown by 100k in the past year.
2. [Away](https://www.instagram.com/away/) (@away) - Despite losing followers around the pandemic's beginning, Away Luggage has managed to recover and send its Instagram account back towards positive growth in recent months. With a potential reach on their sponsored mentions as high as 36,000, influencer collaborations as a marketing tactic are still working in Away’s favor.
3. [Bonobos](https://www.instagram.com/bonobos/) (@bonobos) – The light-wear apparel brand that specializes in men's wardrobe must-haves has incorporated the use of sponsored posts into its campaigns. With 287 influencer-sponsored posts, Bonobos has been using influencers to showcase their summer wear. Many of their sponsored influencers focus on the importance of proper vacation wear for family trips. Since last year they have gained almost 20,000 followers, growing from 145k to 153k.
4. [Supergoop](https://www.instagram.com/supergoop/) (@supergoop) – The sunscreen brand dedicated to sun care has been a massive hit across all social platforms. The pandemic success brand has been using influencer sponsors to grow its brand engagement and awareness. With nearly 1000 influencer sponsors, Supercoop's utilization of influencer marketing has skyrocketed its engagement rate and reach. In March 2022, their reach was as high as 2.1 million. Popular skincare influencers like Tiktok’s Hyram and Krisy Lin praised the brand on their socials resulting in an influx of followers and growth on Supergoop socials.
5. [Expedia](https://www.instagram.com/expedia/) (@expedia) - As one of the full-service travel brands on this list, Expedia saw a slowdown in follower engagement and growth on their Instagram when travel restrictions began. Still, as soon as August 2020, their page experienced increasing growth. While the brand already had over 1k sponsored mentions with influencers, from March 2020, they have had over 200 sponsored posts.
6. [JSX](https://www.instagram.com/flyjsx/) (@flyjsx) - The hop-on jet service for travelers wanting a crowd-free or airportless experience, JSX has had phenomenal success with its’ efforts in influencer marketing since the pandemic. Growing at a steady pace of over 25k followers since March 2020, JSX’s Instagram growth is thanks to the brand’s high engagement and regular Influencer mentions.
7. [National Geographic Travel](https://www.instagram.com/natgeotravel/) (@natgeotravel) - At 45.7M followers, National Geographic Travel undoubtedly has the most considerable following on this list. While their sponsored posts are few and far between, the real gem of their influencer marketing strategy is that every single post on their page is a collaboration with a creator. Photographers, storytellers, and nature geeks are featured on Nat Geo Travel, and in turn, National Geographic is on their pages. These collaborations, combined with captions that tell more of a story about the photographers, humanizes Nat Geo’s page and increases their brand awareness and reach.
8. [MODERN ADVENTURE](https://www.instagram.com/modernadventurists/) (@modernadventurists) - Curators of national and international group travel trips, Modern Adventure has seen recent spikes in its’ growth. However, much of their influencer marketing is at a micro-level, considering their smaller following size. Their audience is not limited, though, as Modern Adventure’s collaborations with their “tastemakers” regularly highlight their social media page. Their mentions are nearing 140, and with this only being over the past year, their progress is stellar.
9. [SteamLine Luggage](https://www.instagram.com/steamlineluggage/) (@steamlineluggage) - The vintage-inspired luggage brand has generated tons of Instagram engagement and growth in recent months. By keeping their followers entertained with their Instagram story, Influencer mentions, and highlights of customer reviews, the brand has more interactivity with their customers. With just under thirty sponsored mentions in the past year, the mid-tier (follower count) brand has found various ways to interact with audiences.
10. [Hopper](https://www.instagram.com/hopper/) (@hopper) - Though the flight and hotel price predictor experienced a downturn in their follower count at the beginning of 2020, they have slowly but steadily brought their Instagram to a positive growth rate. With 425 mentions since March 2020, their efforts are certainly in their best interest.
11. [Hatattack](https://www.instagram.com/hatattackny/) (@hatattackny) – Despite being one of the smaller brands on this list, Hat Attack NY’s use of influencer-sponsored posts has helped increase its brand awareness. Seventy influencers have only mentioned their handmade woven goods yet have had a potential reach above 20,000.
12. [Airbnb](https://www.instagram.com/airbnb/) (@airbnb) - Another online marketplace for travel lodgings, Airbnb specializes in homestays and vacation rentals. While the brand saw a downturn in travelers and hosts with the beginning of the pandemic, their use of influencer marketing was able to help bring them back into the public eye once hosts caught up with safety and sanitation regulations. Over 3k sponsored mentions and 306 since March 2020 have helped the platform increase its reach, brand awareness, and follower count.
13. [Baggallini](https://www.instagram.com/baggallini/) (@baggallini) - The luggage and carry-on brand Baggallini has experienced slowed-down growth a few times in recent months but still managed to grow its Instagram following overall. Though the brand has a decent number of sponsored posts with influencers, they have also experienced significant engagement and audience growth using giveaways. These giveaways help to boost brand awareness through the widespread coverage of giveaways by influencers and entry participants.
14. [Girl Gone International](https://www.instagram.com/girlgoneinternational/) (@girlgoneinternational) - A community of womxn internationally organizing travel and sharing information and advice for female solo travelers. The brand maintained constant Instagram growth throughout the pandemic and maintained its engagement level. Using Instagram Stories and IGTV, their posts keep audiences entertained and regularly prompt responses, raising engagement rates.
15. [Travelocity](https://www.instagram.com/travelocity/) (@travelocity) - Influencer marketing aided Travelocity’s loss of followers from the beginning of the pandemic as soon as August. This growth spike directly coincides with the brand’s first influencer collaboration of 2020, having no sponsored ads in the months preceding August.
16. [AvantStay](https://www.instagram.com/avantstay/) (@avantstay) - The online short-term rental marketplace features rentals of all kinds, focusing on curating travelers’ experiences. The brand has used influencer marketing over the past year, as seen in its high mentions.
17. [Orbitz](https://www.instagram.com/orbitz/) (@orbitz) - Certainly a one-stop-shop for travel plans, Orbitz immediately saw an uptake in their followers and engagement when they began sponsored posts again in August 2020. Their collaborations with typically mid-tier and micro-influencers have boosted the brand back into social media spaces and, more importantly, increased their audience engagement.
18. [Cheapflights](https://www.instagram.com/cheapflights/) (@cheapflights) - By comparing flight prices, Cheapflights helps customers find the cheapest flight for their circumstances. Their mentions are full of influencers, and they regularly share customer posts, boosting their engagement and customer alignment.
19. [KLM Royal Dutch Airlines](https://www.instagram.com/klm/) (@klm) – Named one of the most sustainable airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines provides an affordable, comfortable, and eco-friendly travel experience. The Post-pandemic travel itch has caused now, more than ever, travel influencers seeking new travel destinations. Due to the rise of travel since last summer, KLM has utilized influencer marketing on their Instagram and has boosted engagement with over 500 influencer mentions.
20. [Jet Blue Airlines](https://www.instagram.com/jetblue/) (@jetblue) – Jetblue has utilized sponsored influencer mentions to expand its brand outreach. With 403 individual influencer-sponsored posts and mentions, their total engagements and potential reach have increased.
21. [Iberostar Hotels and Resorts](https://www.instagram.com/iberostarhotels/) (@iberostarhotels) – With more than 100 hotels and resorts located primarily in tropical destinations, Iberostar is a popular stay for influencers and families alike. While traveling for the last two summers seemed impossible due to the pandemic, as travel restrictions loosen, more vacationers are looking for somewhere relaxing to wind down. Using travel influencer sponsors, Iberostar has attracted more travelers from social media to their various locations.
22. [Vrbo](https://www.instagram.com/vrbo/) (@vrbo) – One of the leading competitors in the rental services industry, Vrbo focuses on curating the best experiences for travelers. With 211 sponsored mentions from influencers including John Legend and Karamo Brown, it is no surprise their potential reach has reached as high as 3.5 million. Using both Instagram and Tiktok, Vrbo has increased its audience engagement and ROI by using sponsored influencer mentions.
23. [Skyscanner](https://www.instagram.com/skyscanner/) (@skycanner) – Despite competing with other full-service travel agencies, Skyscanner has still generated steady influencer engagement. With 130 sponsored mentions and a potential reach on their sponsored mentions averaging over 30,000 this year, Skyscanner has found ways to incorporate influencer marketing into its brand.
24. [Priceline](https://www.instagram.com/priceline/) (@priceline) – As one of the many travel services providers, Priceline researches and compares the best rental car, hotels, and flights for your vacation. Priceline is not new to influencer-based marketing. With over 600 individual influencer-sponsored mentions, they continue to grow as a company.
See how Tagger’s platform can help your brand connect with the right influencer for your campaign.
When preparing for Pride celebrations this year, fashion brands and marketers should consider buying from queer-owned labels in an effort to directly support LGBTQ+ creators.
20 LGBTQ+ Fashion Brands
Pride Month marks a time to celebrate and remember those individuals who have continued to work for equal opportunity and justice for the LGBTQ+ community. When preparing for Pride celebrations this year, fashion brands and marketers should consider buying from queer-owned labels in an effort to directly support LGBTQ+ creators.
LGBTQ+-owned labels provide accessible, inclusive clothing for all identifying persons, with many also contributing portions of their proceeds to nonprofits like The Trevor Project, SAGE, and the ACLU. As these brands grow organically, they have also enlisted the help of LGBTQ+ influencers to promote, leading to phenomenal growth and engagement across social media profiles. Using the Tagger platform’s engagement, affinity, and mentions toggles, we found these 20 LGBTQ+-owned clothing brands growing with the help of LGBTQ+ influencers – that marketers should consider supporting in and beyond June.
1. [Gc2b](https://www.instagram.com/gc2b/?hl=en) (@Gc2b) – is a trans-owned apparel company created by Marli Washington. Gc2b designs comfortable, body-inclusive binders with colorful and color-matching options. Their trailblazing designs were the first to be explicitly patented for cheƒst binding and continue to make great strides in the trans and non-binary community. The brand’s social media is also making great strides- since last year, they gained over 10k followers on Instagram and have been mentioned by celebrity fans like model and activist Rain Dove and actor Emma Corin. With an audience of more than 190k Instagram followers, Gc2b brand awareness continues to grow.
2. [Lockwood51](https://www.instagram.com/lockwood51la/?hl=en) (@lockwood51la) – Founded in Los Angeles, @lockwood51la focuses on spreading their queer-positive agenda through their apparel. The brand has tripled Tagger’s benchmark in photo and carousel engagement, also doubling their video engagement. This engagement has captivated mentions from queer celebrities Gigi Goode, Willam Belli, and Brooke Candy.
3. [Peau de Loup](https://www.instagram.com/peaudeloup/?hl=en) (@peaudeloup) – Sustainable, ethical, and gender-inclusive Peau de Loup creates clothes everyone can be proud to wear. The brand was started in 2012 to create everyday button-downs for female and nonbinary bodies and continues to share its mission to make clothing for bodies, not gender. The brand has tracked steady growth and engagement in the last year, gaining 4k Instagram followers and engagements hovering around 2-5% on each post.
4. [Strange Ways ](https://www.strange-ways.com/)(@shopstrangeways) – Seen in GQ, Refinery29, and Harper's Bazaar, Strange Ways is a queer-owned unique shop that sources directly from independent brands and artists. They feature numerous LGBTQ+ artists on their site and have tracked the attention of over 76k followers. The brand’s social media presence has followed high growth levels, gaining over 10k followers on Instagram and 2k Twitter followers in a year. Their passion and uniqueness as a brand has proven popular amongst their audience, seen in their engagement and impressions doubling in the last six months.
5. [Phlemuns](https://phlemuns.com/) (@Phlemuns) – Based in Los Angeles, Phlemuns specializes in high fashion and inclusivity. Founded by James Flemons, Phlemuns offers quality gender-inclusive designs in hopes of bridging the divide between high-end garments and non-binary apparel. With over 40k Instagram followers, the brand has attracted mentions from celebrities like Lizzo, Kali Uchis, Keke Palmer, and Brandon Flynn. With this attention, it is no surprise they have had a potential reach of over 1 million in this last month!
6. [Stuzo Clothing](https://www.instagram.com/stuzoclothing/) (@stuzoclothing) - Stuzo Clothing is a gender-free clothing company designed by Stoney Michelli Love to invoke thought and emotion. Celebrity fans Lena Waithe, Ruby Rose, and Gina Yashere (who has mentioned the brand over 100 times on Instagram) have all flaunted the brand’s clothing. With 1.3k individual mentions, the brand receives regular recognition from Influencers of different audience sizes. !(/uploads/2022/06/stuzo.png)
7. [WILDFANG](https://www.instagram.com/wearewildfang/) (@Wearewildfang) - Started in Portland, Oregon, WILDFANG’s mission to rethink gender norms and how they show up in fashion is not only helping to break stigmas in the fashion industry but also serves a philanthropic purpose. WILDFANG has donated over 500k to charity since its’ beginning, growing even bigger brand awareness, reach, and customer loyalty. At first glance, WILDFANG’s Tagger metrics show a slight decline in Twitter followers, a metric surprising when the brand’s other social media have such a strong growth rate. Simultaneously, the brand’s number of retweets has spiked. Despite their slight decline in Twitter growth, the brand is still tracking phenomenal engagement and impression metrics showing that growth isn’t the only stat you should depend on for effective influencer marketing!
8. [DapperBoi](https://www.instagram.com/dapperboi/) (@dapperboi) - A clothing line for androgynous individuals of all body types, DapperBoi was started by the wife-and-wife duo Vicky and Charisse Pasche with just a Kickstarter. The brand has since tracked steady growth and in the last year, their Instagram has gained over 7k followers. Featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine, the brand has also pivoted some of its social media strategies to TikTok, with an audience of almost 30k built in the last ten months.
9. [TomboyX](https://www.instagram.com/tomboyx/) (@tomboyc) - Started so owners Fran and Naomi could make underwear that fit who they are rather than what society tells them to be, TomboyX has since expanded their product lines to include more clothing, super-soft pajamas, and underwear for any body type. The brand’s social media platforms all possess steady growth rates and high engagement- over 3.5k organic mentions are recorded across their different platforms. In addition, sponsored mentions are ringing in at 1k, featuring collaborations with fashion models and actual customers.
10. [SUAYSewShop](https://www.instagram.com/suaysewshop/) (@suaysewshop) - A 100% vertical sewing and production shop founded by Lindsay Rose Medoff, SUAY Sew Shop creates clothing from a combination of post-consumer waste deadstock and domestically, organically grown fibers. The brand is making waves in the clothing community for its eco-friendliness and unique clothing repair service. The brand’s social media is also making waves, growing at a 10% growth rate over the last 90 days. !(/uploads/2022/06/suay.png)
11. [Bianca Designs](https://www.instagram.com/biancadesigns/) (@biancadesigns) - Founded by Bianca Negron, Bianca Designs is a small, independent shop featuring pins, creative goods, and other clothing. AT 13.6k followers, Bianca Designs has slowly but surely grown on all platforms, with engagement rates exceeding the Tagger benchmarks- Her engagement rates are hovering around 3-4% on all posts. The brand’s smaller audience allows for a more fine-tuned audience experience, resulting in higher engagement rates.
12. [Humankind](https://www.instagram.com/humankindswim/) (@humankindswim) - A swimwear line designed for any body type, Humankind has been active on social media with audiences. The brand regularly interacts with its audiences with giveaways and the hashtag #WeAreHumankind. The brand’s video engagement is tracking at double the Tagger benchmark, showing their expertise in this kind of social content. The brand has nearly 25k TikTok followers and over 277k TikTok likes. !(/uploads/2022/06/humankind.png)
13. [Telfar](https://www.instagram.com/telfarglobal/) (@telfarglobal) - With humble beginnings after being started at Pace University by student Telfar Clemens, the unisex brand has swept the nation with its signature monogram bag. Favored by celebrities Solange Knowles and Indya Moore, our metrics show nearly 5k others who have mentioned the brand on social media. Their growth shows no signs of slowing as the brand continues to track phenomenal engagement despite their massive audience. Engagement rates in the 3-4% range are typical of the brand’s Instagram, but their Twitter is more impressive, featuring a 7% engagement rate on photos.
14. [Kirrin Finch](https://www.instagram.com/kirrinfinch/) (@kirrinfinch) - Designed by Laura Moffatt and Kelly Sanders Moffatt, Kirrin Finch creates menswear-inspired apparel to fit a range of female and non-binary bodies. Though the brand’s growth is already impressive, its creativity in influencer marketing truly highlights their audience and customers. The brand regularly puts its audience on display with quarterly reposts of influencers and customers using the #MyKirrinFinch hashtag. This tactic has grabbed engagement for these posts as audiences see themselves in the brand. Nearly 200 individual mentions are becoming more frequent, sending Kirrin Finch on a path toward growth.
15. [Flavnt Streetwear](https://www.instagram.com/flavnt_streetwear/) (@flavnt_stretwear) - Streetwear brand Flavnt (pronounced ‘flaunt’) was created with the mission to promote confidence and pride among the LGBTQ+ community and anyone who supports them. Flavnt is the creator of the 1st range of nude binders and has donated over 30k for gender-confirming surgeries. Since last May, the brand’s Instagram has grown by 6k, and their engagements have been tracked at 300-400 per post.
16. [Passionfruit](https://www.instagram.com/shop_passionfruit/) (@shop_passionfruit) - Featured in Vice, BuzzFeed, and even Marth Stewart, Passionfruit clothing and accessories are curated, produced, and designed by LGBTQ+ creators.
17. [Otherwild](https://www.instagram.com/otherwild/) (@otherwild) - Otherwild is a store, design studio, and event space created by Rachel Berks to highlight items made with care by individuals. Their store’s social media does a phenomenal job of bringing attention to their creators, with over 4k mentions from Otherwild’s social media. These mentions have reached almost 650,000 in recent months, which shows the power of a single mention from individual influencers!
18. [The Phluid Project](https://www.instagram.com/thephluidproject/) (@thephluidproject) - The Phluid Project is a gender-free fashion brand founded by Rob Garrett Smith. Their mission to challenge old traditions and embrace self-expression is seen in their clothing line and social media, which serves as a community, activism, and education page. Their Instagram account has grown by 11k in the last six months, boosted by their collaborations with LGBTQ+ influencers. Their mentions also feature a partnership with L period care and Scent Beauty, highlighting how multi-brand influencer marketing can help encourage growth.
19. [Rebirth Garments](https://www.instagram.com/rebirthgarments/) (@rebirthgarments) - Founded by Sky Cubacub, Rebirth Garments provides gender-non-conforming wearables and accessories for people on the full spectrum of gender, size, and ability. Almost 700 individual mentions feature the brand for an average of 15,000 potential reaches per mention.
20. [Bowtie Behavior](https://www.instagram.com/bowtie_behavior/) (@bowtie_behavior) - With just 2.8k followers, Bowtie Behavior’s social media journey may only be beginning to blossom, but the brand has already been featured all over the internet. Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and Verizon Media have published articles on the female-owned handmade bowtie company. In addition, the brand has collaborated with The Phluid Project and other brands while working with micro-influencers.
As part of Tagger's commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, we have made a donation to [The Trevor Project](https://www.thetrevorproject.org/).
Pride is a time to use your platform to amplify minority voices and use your platform for good. Here's how brands can join the party this year (and not ruin it).
How brands can join in the Pride Party (and not ruin it)
_Industry editorial by guest blogger,_ [_Alexis Caught_](https://www.instagram.com/alexiscaught/)_._
The arrival of June marks the beginning of Pride month, and for the first time since the global pandemic hit in 2020, Pride parades, street marches, protests, and parties are starting to be held once again.
In addition to showing up for in person events, there's ample opportunity to show additional support by showing up online. Here’s how brands can ethically join the party (without ruining it).
### **Be Aware of Your Motivations**
Are you celebrating someone else’s big day, or trying to make it about you? Pride is a time to use your platform to amplify minority voices and use your platform for good, not just immediate ROI by committing the next sin…
### **Slapping A Rainbow On It**
Is your “activation”* just a lazy painting-the-corporate-logo-rainbow, or are you actually doing something, fresh, positive, and helpful? We’re sick of [rainbow washing](https://www.wired.com/story/lgbtq-pride-consumerism/), and nobody needs more slap-dash rainbow logo t-shirts. Instead, look for ways your brand can actively engage in improving things and [starting conversations](https://www.thedrum.com/news/2019/07/05/pg-rebrands-fairy-fair-support-lgbtq-families).
_title = 'Learn more about our recent award'
_description = 'Tagger wins GOLD (again!) "Best Influencer Marketing Platform" at Influencer Marketing Awards 2021'
_button_text = 'Learn More'
\*Remember, for those of us in the LGBTQ+ community, Pride isn’t an “activation opportunity” - it’s a personal, emotional and historical part of our community, culture and identity. Which leads to…
### **Don’t be tone-deaf**
It can be tempting for copywriters to “sass up” their comms, and it’s been increasingly common to see brands using catchphrases like “yaaas queen,” and “slay”. But really, if that’s not your brand’s tone of voice and identity, at best it’s inauthentic, at worst it’s offensive stereotyping. This could be avoided if you take a policy of...
### **“Nothing for us, without us”**
Are actual LGBTQ+ people involved in the creation of your campaign? No? Reach out. When working with queer talent, we know our audience, we know our culture and we know what will work and what won’t work. Don’t stifle creativity by keeping queer creators at arm’s length, but rather, involve us in the process and create a collaborative environment for a more genuine experience. This means you need to…
### **Look at diversity & inclusion**
Who is your target market? Find queer people that look like them, and remember...queer people come in all shapes, all sizes, all races and religions, and yes, all gender expressions.
Don’t stunt cast (minorities can tell when we’re being used & baited), but instead, challenge yourself and your team to think broader. And as we’re on the topic of “who’s in the ads”, if you are launching a Pride collection (and to be fair, some of them are really cool)...
### **Select your talent wisely**
The talent in your campaign can make or break it, and bigger follower numbers don’t always mean better. It’s important to properly do your research as brands have been burnt by using LGBTQ+ talent who haven’t developed a history of “giving back” (making it a clear money grab) or have been embroiled in personal scandals. As we’re on selecting talent, it’s great to involve allies but…
### **Don’t centre on straight acceptance**
Pride is not about straight people accepting LGBTQ+ people, it’s about the LQBTQ+ community accepting and embracing ourselves. Don’t make the [mistake](https://www.wired.com/story/lgbtq-pride-consumerism/) one clothing brand did last year and launch your Pride collection by paying straight influencers to post empty aphorisms like “love is love”.
Straight Allies are fantastic, but only when they’ve earned that status through a history of work and meaningful support, not gatecrashers looking to make a buck. Oh, and if you’re coming to our party...
### **Pay the entrance price**
This is the easiest one; if you’re not paying the entrance price, you can’t come in. And the entrance price for brands is charitable donations.
Queer charities desperately need funding, so we can forgive a clunky bit of copy if we can tell your heart is in the right place (i.e. a significant chunk of money is going to an important cause). But, “10% of sales” just isn’t good enough.
I shouldn’t have to state this, but unfortunately, I do...pay your queer talent! LGBTQ+ influencers are mobbed in the run-up to Pride season with brands “kindly reaching out” to send us whatever they’ve been working on. Asking people to market your brand or product for free rudely ignores that LGBTQ+ people face higher financial barriers and hardships. So, make sure you set aside enough money to pay LGBTQ+ content creators. But, also consider...
### **Going Grass Roots**
The one alternative to making a charitable donation is to fund a grassroots community initiative (which isn’t always a charity, but still needs money). All over the country, there are LGBTQ+ [sports clubs](https://pridesports.org.uk/lgbt-club-finder/), [meal services](http://www.foodchain.org.uk), [singing groups](https://www.pinksingers.co.uk), dance troupes, [reading groups](https://paned-o-ge.wales/about.html), as well as independent media sites and podcasts. These things exist because...
### **Pride is not just one day**
While June is Pride Month, and many towns & cities have a dedicated Pride Day, we are LGBTQ+ 365 days a year. We don’t stop being proud, and neither should you. Consider breaking out and uplifting queer voices, causes, and talent other times of the year. (You’ll even get more cut-through as there’ll be fewer competing messages). You should also consider where you celebrate...
### **There is no one 'Pride'**
Just as there is no one monolithic “LGBT community”, there is no one catch-all Pride. Sure, some of them are larger or older than others, but our community is multi-faceted, varied, diverse, and expansive. Consider supporting some of the great younger, more regional, or even more specific prides like UK Black Pride, Trans Pride, Imaanfest - Celebrating our differences, year-round is a surefire way to show your...
And that’s what it comes down to. Being authentic. An external campaign may sound like a great idea, but check your own internal structures and D&I policies in your workplace, and of your suppliers, first.
### **Don’t forget about us this summer**
We're at a time when queer people are coming under fire again (trans* rights [are being repealed](https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/04/23/liz-truss-trans-rights-gender-recognition-act-reform-healthcare-puberty-blockers-backlash/) by the government, and homophobic [hate crimes are rising](https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/14/homophobic-and-transphobic-hate-crimes-surge-in-england-and-wales) by alarming figures) so we need support in the fight year in, year out.
### **Stand with us, and be proud.**
[Alexis Caught](https://www.instagram.com/alexiscaught/) is a queer writer, [podcaster](https://www.qmmunitypodcast.com), [rugby player ](https://www.pitchero.com/clubs/kingscrosssteelers)and first-ever influencer to do a “royal take over” as Kensington Palace gave him access to their Instagram to launch Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.
_This article was originally published on the Tagger Blog in May, 2020. Tagger Media made a charitable donation to_ [_The AKT_](https://www.akt.org.uk/) _in return for this blog post. Please consider contributing._