“Diversifying” Your Influencer Campaign

So, you want to make your next Influencer Marketing Campaign inclusive? Here are our top considerations before you book our talent who identify as Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian, LGTBQ+, and/or with bodies of various sizes and abilities.

It’s the start of a new year; your brand or agency is probably firming up plans for the year ahead and are beginning to build out editorial/content calendars for the months to come. It’s the time of year where we, at Platform Media & Management Inc, receive outreach on behalf of our creators for days and months of significance like Lunar New Year, Black History Month, International Women’s Day, Pride, and National Indigenous History Month. More often than not, we need to request more information as it pertains to your brand, the campaign, and any social/environmental impact projects.

In the last two years, we have seen a collective shift in our understanding of the human experience. Consumers now more than ever are asking about what brands are doing, saying and creating: from social impact initiatives, to marketing campaigns, hiring processes, diversity and inclusion pillars, supply chain and circular ethical sustainability.

When you look at racism, sexism, queer discrimination, violence against women, missing and murdered Indigenous women and Asian hate we’re seeing that the personal, professional and political are starting to blend and that it is not only necessary but imperative for brands to have a social and environmental impact pillar to their businesses in order to meet the triple bottom line that consumers are demanding. At the same time, brands are focused on growing and establishing themselves as leaders in their industry moving into the next decade and beyond. The next time you’re planning an Influencer Marketing Campaign, consider the following:

Consider the who, the why, the what:

Take the time to evaluate who you are reaching out to and do your research before pitching us. Ensure that you are understanding the nuances of a specific creator’s content and what they typically focus on in both organic and paid content. Why do you really want to work with this particular creator? Are you genuinely interested in building a long-term relationship with the creator and their community? Do you see your brand integrating seamlessly into their story? And finally, what are you doing to make this partnership meaningful for both your brand and the creator? What is your long-term vision as it pertains to social and environmental impact? It is important to always consider the creators ethos, and values when approaching them for a campaign.

Consider budgets + fair and equitable compensation for creators:

If your brand wants to support Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian and LGBTQ+ influencers – it’s not just about the individual influencer. They are all driven by and held accountable to and for their communities. Historically they have been denied and presently been limited the right to participate within the economy and within these spaces of opportunity. Now that we are seeing a shift happen in the mainstream economy and a rise of diverse representation, the way we do business together also has to shift. Consider your request and the emotional labour demands that a campaign might have on a creator. Meeting a creator’s full rates is not only necessary but imperative to healing decades of trauma, discrimination and lack of visibility in white dominated spaces.

Consider your use of language, sensitivities, and strategies for dealing with potential backlash:

Be mindful of your language and how you approach discussing a campaign with a potential creator. Ensure you have done your research on a creator’s background, who they are, the pronouns they use, if they speak to specific topics on their platform, and if it aligns with your brand? If you are amplifying a creator’s content, do you have a communications strategy and response format in place for replying to hateful or derogatory comments?

Consider your company’s values:

In planning for an upcoming campaign are you looking to check a box or are you genuinely interested in amplifying marginalized voices? Many brands have recently started to notice the importance of diversity, inclusion and equity as it pertains to representation in mainstream media but what did your brand do beyond summer 2020? It’s important for our creators to understand your company’s values and what you are doing beyond a day of recognition or during one specific month. Please consider sharing cause-based initiatives with us in your original reach out in addition to your long-term social impact strategy as it pertains to the campaign and beyond.

We’re so excited to see the progress our clients are making in diversifying and developing more inclusive lenses as it pertains to Influencer Campaigns. We are inspired and humbled by everyone’s willingness to evolve and inspire positive change in Influencer Campaigns and beyond. We recognize that it’s ok to make mistakes and it’s ok to not know the answer. We are all continuously learning, growing and evolving together. To the inspired action of 2022, we can’t wait to work with you. We hope to spark both reflection and a larger conversation within our industry. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.