The World Of Influencer Marketing Is Changing
It’s no surprise that Influencer Marketing has been criticized for its lack of diversity. As many brands used their voices in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the conversation has evolved into how brands and companies can implement equality and diversity in their campaigns – including their influencer marketing campaigns.
Brands are leveraging influencers now more than ever. To be able to succeed in creating a more diverse influencer marketing campaign, one must fully understand that diversity is not limited to one's race but can include every aspect that makes an individual unique. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares 6 steps you can take to diversify your influencer marketing.
Why Is Diverse Influencer Marketing Important?
Diversity encompasses all elements that make an individual unique from one another. This includes one's ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religious beliefs, physical abilities, and so many more. The reason consumers are drawn to diverse influencer marketing is that it's relatable.
Influencer marketing works. More than half of consumers would follow a recommendation by a micro-influencer, and 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement. The reason why consumers love influencer marketing is that influencers are authentic, creative, and most importantly, relatable.
When a brand adds diversity to its influencer marketing it has the capability of reaching a wider range of consumers and a more defined audience, as well as creating more reliability within the campaign. So, if influencer brand campaigns incorporate diversity, followers may feel more represented by the brand and are more likely to buy their products.
When diversifying your influencer marketing, you are working with content creators with different perspectives. If you work with a more diverse group of people, you are telling refined, more insightful stories about your brand.
Social media gives brands the opportunity to create better relationships with their consumers. When diversifying your influencer marketing, you are able to create deeper connections, loyal consumers, and representation for the voices that aren’t typically heard.
One thing to always keep in mind is that diversifying your influencer marketing doesn’t only have to be about race either, it’s about celebrating the aspects that make each and every one of us unique as individuals. When creating a more diverse influencer marketing plan, it is important to take the right steps to get the best results.
Focusing On Social Issues
According to a study by Barkley and Futurecast, there are three vital social issues that rise above the rest at this moment in time:
- Racial Equality
- Gender Equality
- Sexual Orientation
- 64% think companies should stand up for LGBTQ rights.
- 76% are willing to withhold spending if they learn a brand supports an issue contrary to their beliefs.
- 87% of Americans expect companies to support racial equality.
That being said, brands should really take into consideration of the buying power of minority groups.
Step 1: Rebrand Your Marketing
Take a look at your previous influencer marketing campaigns up to the most recent. If the models that you’ve used seem to be repetitive and culturally homogeneous, it may be time to rethink your consumer marketing strategy.
Generation Z is full of individuals that are proud to be different. Half of Gen Z identifies as racially or ethnically diverse, and they want to engage with media that is as varied and diverse as the world that they live in. More than six in 10 Gen Zs say they like seeing ads that show diverse families. They want to see people with whom they can relate, in situations that are similar to their own and engage with individuals from all around the world.
The execution is more important than the initial approach. Many Gen Z’s and millennials say they think it's positive for brands to feature diverse models in an ad, but posting photos of ‘diverse’ models engaging with your brand is simply not enough. Investing some time in considering the unique qualities that make up your target demographics could be key to developing a new message.
Step 2: Create Products For Everyone
Being diverse for the sake of diversity is not enough. Brands must recreate their products and marketing strategies to grow with their consumers' wants and needs. In order to really diversify your influencer marketing, you want to make sure that your brand is capable of including all kinds of people regardless of their differences.
When Rihanna’s cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty came out, she launched 40 different foundation colors that can fit just about any of her diverse clients' skin tones. The brand has even launched more shades, on all ends of the spectrum.
Not only does this brand provide a wide range of colors, but the foundation is light, lasts long, and gives your skin a flawless airbrushed finish. I’ve been using her Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in the shade #330 for over a year and it’s the best foundation I have personally used in a long time.
They stated on their site, “For the 15% of the world's population who live with some form of disability, something as simple as getting dressed can be a challenge. Inspired by their experiences and Tommy's personal history of having children with autism, our team has rethought the design process to uncover solutions that work.” The clothing is modern with innovative modifications that empower people and make getting dressed easier.
By considering the unique qualities that target their key demographics in finding ways to relate with their consumers, these two brands were able to enhance their products for a more diverse audience.
Step 3: Prioritize Authenticity
90% of millennials say authenticity is important to them when deciding which brands they support. Consumers love authenticity. And authenticity is something that a brand cannot fake. People – especially millennials- can identify if an image was created by a brand as opposed to a consumer, and consumers have no problem unfollowing a brand on social media if they feel that their content is inauthentic – yikes.
At the end of the day, authenticity is key – and there’s no way to fake it without getting backlash. But how can you find the right influencers to authentically share your brand? Ask the right questions. Make sure to ask any prospective influencers about how they would post about your brand and offerings. To find influencers is one thing, but to partner with influencers who will convey the message that your brand believes in, is another.
Also, remember that a brand doesn’t have to be perfect in order to create an impact. A Cone Communications survey showed that 91% of Americans say it’s okay if a company is not perfect, as long as it is honest about its efforts. Consumers are looking for transparency and humanity in the brands they choose to associate themselves with. The important part is staying true to your brand and consumers to create a loyal relationship.
Step 4: Searching For Influencers
Influencer marketing is about building brand awareness for everyone through high-quality content, so finding the perfect influencers can be narrowed down to a few key points.
- The quality of their content
- Social key performance indicators (KPIs)
With good quality content, real followers, and high engagement rates, the demographics shouldn’t matter as much. The influencers' physical appearance isn’t the most important part, the quality of their content is. Consumers want creators with a wide range of looks, experiences, and styles.
You also want to make sure that you are searching for influencers that can better represent the communities and beliefs that your brand values.
Sephora is a great example of a brand that has taken initiative to diversify their influencer marketing campaign. The brand aims to build long-term relationships by embracing diversity. In 2019, Sephora announced a search for a #SephoraSquad as a part of their new influencer program, and they’re bringing it back in 2020. The idea of this influencer program is to welcome all influencers, regardless of their race, religion, gender identity, and social following.
Step 5: Be Flexible With The Content Created
Influencers are expert content creators. Their job is to create content for their following, engage with their audience, and stay true to themselves. They know how to create content for their audience.
When reassuring that your influencers are creating authentic content, be aware that you must be flexible with the variety of content that various consumers create. A diverse group of content creators will result in a diverse amount of content creation.
Guide your influencers to create the content that is necessary instead of forcing them to, this way, it's real and authentic. Plus, your followers will be happy to know that the influencer they’re following is supporting all aspects of diversity.
Step 6: Treat Your Influencers As Partners
Just as a business should not determine an employee’s pay based on how they look, or on their gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference, the same applies when working with influencers. Treating them as partners is how you can make the best out of the relationship while still getting your brand message across.
Female influencers get paid less than men, and Women of Color get paid even less. Research done by Women’s Policy Research found that the median earnings for women influencers were as follows:
- White Women: $849
- Black Women: $657
- Hispanic Women: $605
Influencers of color may earn 23%-30% less than white women. When looking to diversify your influencer marketing, be aware that if your brand is claiming to support diversity, show that you truly mean what you say by treating your minority influencers equally as you would anyone else. Make sure you are compensating influencers based on their following, engagement, and the quality of their work.
Leave No One Behind
Diversity Inclusion is a need by consumers and a must in the marketing world. By treating your influencers as partners, you will be able to reach a wider audience with new perspectives. By taking the correct steps, diversifying your influencer marketing could help your brand grow exponentially.
To learn more about Celebrity and Influencer Partnerships check out these blogs!
- How To use Influencers To Advertise During COVID-19
- 4 Reasons to Choose An Influencer Agency Versus Influencer Platform
- Successful Influencer Marketing On A Small Budget
- 3 Ways to Reach Generation Z Using Influencers
- 4 Things To Consider Before Launching An Influencer Campaign