A World Without Racism is Diverse
Diversity in Influencer Marketing
Social media tends to focus on refined and polished images of individuals. Additionally, thinner, ‘prettier’, mostly white individuals tend to be the face of these campaigns. As we all know the majority of the messages and concepts being communicated are filled with unrealistic expectations. Although major strides towards more realistic media messages have been made in recent years, there is still a long way to go. In an article in Forbes magazine, blogger Stephanie Yeboah wrote, “by exclusively using white influencers to tout holiday experiences, beauty and skincare products, and fashion pieces, the story being told is that these experiences are only available to white people. Only white women use luxury skincare. Only white slim women go on a holiday. Only white women wear a certain brand’s fashion pieces. It needs to stop.” Stephanie hit the idea right on the head. By continuing to have limited representation, this not only deters possible customers but promotes the idea that these products and experiences are meant only for these individuals, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
So how can the influencer marketing industry better embody diversity? One can start by spending time pondering the one-of-a-kind attributes that are being targeted before landing on a specific message.
This can be accomplished through…
Creating the right influencer alliance.
Although it may be easier to partner with a firm that is qualified for the project, it might prove to be more beneficial in the grand scheme of things to look for a more inclusive influencer. By focusing on an individual who better symbolizes the values and communities the campaign is targeting, not only will it be more successful since the target consumer will resonate with the face of the product or service, this move will also contribute to the greater diversity movement within advertising and social media, which in turn, contributes to an overall more inclusive and welcoming message.
Ask the relevant questions.
Before landing on an individual to represent your campaign, ask them what they can bring to the table and their attitudes towards the message being promoted. It will prove to be beneficial in terms of ensuring that the face of the campaign actually represents the target consumer. By taking this next step, the customer will notice this effort and be more accepting of the message being communicated.
Real recognizes real. When a consumer sees that the spokesperson is authentic in the message they are conveying, they are automatically more open to the advertisement or idea advertised.
Prove that your organization prioritizes consumer differences.
Actions speak louder than words. Instead of talking about how inclusive or diverse your organization is, show the consumer this through who you select to represent your brand.
When an organization treats influencers as partners, this automatically removes most of the room for error. Additionally, your target audience will be able to see how diversity is prioritized and represented, and ultimately be more open and willing to invest in the product or service being promoted. Especially in today’s climate where diversity is much more than a conversation but a movement, consumers are looking to support organizations that implement these values into their brand image.