Black Creators are Shaping Influencer Marketing: Key Takeaways
Culture & Ethics

Black Creators are Shaping Influencer Marketing: Key Takeaways

Jennifer Adetoro
Jennifer Adetoro

Marking the end of this year’s Black History Month, Digital Voices sat down with core players in the industry to discuss the impact Black creators have in the influencer space. Joining our very own creative strategist Jennifer Adetoro, the panel featured Hayel Wartemberg (head of insights at Word on the Curb), Rosie Festus (global brand manager at Magnum) and Ehis Ilozobhie (content creator). Together, the group sat down to unpack the many ways Black creators are shaping the digital sphere, how brands can work more effectively to create inclusive campaigns and the steps companies should be taking to curb the influencer pay gap. See below for the key takeaways and action points from the session.

Key Takeaways

“Brands aren’t missing the mark, they don’t intend to hit the mark.” - Hayel Wartemberg

We often question the ways in which brands are missing the mark but as Hayel put it quite perfectly, they don’t intend to even hit it. For some brands, there’s no desire to acknowledge Black History Month or Black history as a whole in a compelling way. However, the impact Black culture has on both digital and popular culture means that brands not making an effort to engage with consumers from this community results in a failure to engage with anyone.

Black people are highly engaged

According to Hayel, the Black pound was £3 billion in 2003 and today is now worth £300 billion. Black people are highly engaged, especially as more people from the communities have a disposable income and wish to spend on services and products that engage with them in culturally sensitive and personal ways. Brands that miss the mark are missing out on a huge part of this and don’t have an eye on the future.

“Brands can engage with the Black community outside of just activating in Black History Month.” - Rosie Festus

A key learning, especially following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, is people are sensitive to feeling as though brands are just jumping on the bandwagon in moments like Black History Month. A big signpost for brands that are genuine in their relationships with the Black community are brands that include Black creators in their bigger campaigns across the year. Particularly brands that find moments in the calendar that also feel more authentic for the brand to be highlighting or spotlighting Black creators. 

Ways brands can work to curb the influencer pay gap

There’s already a lack of visibility of what people are charging, which makes it hard for other creators to know how much to charge. As a brand or agency, if we notice a white creator with similar engagement/following to a Black creator is asking for a price considerably higher, ideally it’s our duty to be transparent and encourage them to charge higher. 

“People don’t sometimes understand how much can come from being supported and being seen.” - Ehis Ilozohibie.

One of the ways Black creators shape digital culture is by starting many of the trends that gain traction on platforms like TikTok. However, with some of these creators often receiving a lack of credit, brands can play their part by making sure these voices are still heard and amplified:

  • Ensure there are Black voices in-house. 
  • Due diligence around the creators you’re working with.
  • Use key campaign opportunities to give a range of Black creators a platform - not just the big creators.
  • Grow with creators. We’ve seen this over the years with initiatives like YouTube Black and consistent long-term collaborations such as PrettyLittleThing’s ongoing partnership with Nella Rose.

Watch the full panel here and if you’re looking for more insight on how to effectively partner with Black creators and make your campaigns more inclusive, get in touch!

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