Being a force for good in the influencer marketing industry
Influencer marketing is maturing quickly with ever advancing technologies to help discover influencer partners and tangibly measure campaign impact.
What isn’t evolving as quickly as it needs to however is intersectional representation, specifically the need for influencer campaigns that better reflect the communities in which we live. This is evidenced by the below findings:
White influencers received 61 per cent of brand sponsorship opportunities in 2019
One out of four people live with a disability, only 1% of ads represent them
71% of LGBTQ+ consumers are more likely to interact with an online ad that authentically represents their orientation
Growing up as a gay teenager in a small village in rural Ireland gave me a sense of what it feels like to be in a minority. I didn’t know anyone else who was gay in my local area so was reassured by seeing LGBTQ+ representation in the media. A memorable example was when Mark Fehily from Irish boyband Westlife came out in 2005. He had grown up nearby and it was good to know I was not the only one! In 2021 having LGBTQ+ representation in branded influencer marketing campaigns can be just as impactful.
As marketers we are uniquely placed to lead by example and deliver tangible change in the influencer marketing industry. We are often asked by our clients to identify influencer partners and define the campaign key messages for brand partnerships. Each of these have an impact on how audiences can connect to a brand, their values and their product offer.
We started 2021 by creating a DE&I influencer marketing plan for how we can help accelerate positive change and be a force for good with our influencer marketing work.
From small things like putting a spotlight on diverse talent, to putting systems in place that will externally appraise our influencer campaigns. We never want to be marking our own homework on DE&I but be held accountable for delivering positive change through our campaigns.
As part of our commitment to DE&I we’ve collated One London 25.
This virtual deck highlights some of our London team’s favourite creators from diverse intersectional groups. We’ve profiled these across five categories of interest in the hope this will inspire greater DE&I representation in our industry.
Not only is having diverse influencer talent in our campaigns the right thing to do, it is also what today’s consumers expect.
Ketchum’s Brand Reckoning study last year found that social justice movements and the events of 2020 have challenged consumer values:
74% of respondents cited Black Lives Matter protests as a reason why they’re supporting businesses that improve diversity and inclusion
88% of those Ketchum surveyed believe it is now more important that companies behave ethically.
To conclude I’d like to call out these sound bites from our conversations with some of the influencers featured in One London 25 which both moved and inspired us.
What would be your advice to creators with disabilities?
To go for it! Your voices and stories are so important and need to be heard. Inclusivity means disabled people being represented and you are incredibly valuable. @fashionbellee
If you could offer one piece of advice to creators with same-sex families what would it be?
If we could offer one piece of advice to creators with same-sex families it would be that in sharing your beautiful life, your happiness, your love, you are offering inspiration and hope to an audience who may desperately need the reassurance that one day their lives might come to mirror yours, and that comes with a deal of responsibility to be true to them, and to be present for them – you may be the only listening ear that a vulnerable person has. @meetthewildes
Top tip for brands working with influencers in 2021:
‘Let me do my thing’ Creative control is one of the biggest factors when it comes to creating content. The more brands provide, the best bang for their buck they will get. Both in terms of the content created and how it corresponds with the audience they have. @gabrielsey
Written by Stephen Farrell, Associate Director, Influencer Relations, Ketchum London