Diversity has and always will be important, and as the modern consumer has a rising awareness of, and passion for, social justice, there is no longer room for brands to sit back and act passively.
The conversation around social justice has highlighted the fact that brands do not represent a diverse enough range of people in their ads, and because of this, there is a spotlight on brands to step up - they should recognise the role they play within this conversation, assess the suitable and appropriate ways they can prioritise representation, and learn that this will benefit both parties involved - increasing diversity in social media ads boosts the reputation of a brand, and even leads to better campaign results, but most importantly, makes the unheard voices recognised.
Below, we unpack why brands need to take diversity more seriously, and how influencer marketing can help.
Diversity is more important to consumers than ever before
It is essential that society champions diversity; celebrating variety within our communities is so important, and increasingly more consumers are demanding that brands do more to represent diversity within their marketing activities.
Influencer’s recent report, Unsocial Media: Embracing Social Metrics, The New Way To Win At Influencer Marketing, found that 65% of consumers would pay more for a product from a company that was vocal about issues like equality and diversity. To add, 62% of consumers say that a brand’s diversity, or lack of it, impacts their perception of their products or services and 71% of consumers expect brands to promote diversity and inclusion in their online advertisement.
The need for brands to do more is simply overwhelming, and the shift in focus can no longer be ignored. As industry expert Rupa Shah, founder of Hashtag Ad Consulting, says: “2020 has opened up a Pandora's box of questions relating to diversity and equality and those issues will remain just as relevant for 2021.”
With consumers’ eyes focused on diversity and equality, now is the time for your brand to step up to the mark, and influencer marketing is a great way to do exactly that - by using a diverse pool of creators you can tap into a wide ranging audience that represents different backgrounds and ethnicities.
Brands have a responsibility to encourage social change, and content creators can help with that
Using creators from a diverse range of backgrounds enables brands to align themselves with social issues that their audience cares about. This is highly important since studies show that 75% of Gen Z claim that being politically or socially engaged is very important to their identity.
In 2021, brands that shy away from using a diverse range of creators may be seen to be exclusive and this can possibly damage their reputation. Conversely, offering a diverse representation in a brand campaign can have positive effects. 88% of Generation X and 90% of Millennials say that diversity can improve a brand’s reputation. Now more than ever, it’s important that brands give serious thought to the creators they work with and try to align with their audience’s values.
Reaching a new audience
Partnering with creators from a range of demographics will ensure brands gain access to an audience that may not ordinarily feel aligned to their products. Showing that a product or service is for everyone is very important, and using a diverse set of creators will bring this message home.
Google’s recent Inclusive Ads Survey found that 69% of black consumers were more likely to purchase from a brand whose advertising positively reflects their race/ethnicity, and 71% of LGBTQ+ consumers were more likely to interact with an ad that authentically represents their sexual orientation. Consumers want to feel represented in marketing campaigns, and by using content creators, brands can reach new audiences in authentic ways.
Increase the reach of campaigns
By running campaigns that feature a diverse range of creators, brands increase the relatability of their product and therefore increase the reach of their campaigns. By creating content that is sharable to a broad range of audiences, brands can increase awareness amongst previously untapped audiences.
A recent Sprout Social study revealed that businesses’ biggest goal for social media is to increase brand awareness and collaborating with content creators is a great way to achieve that goal.
Make the most of the benefits of social media
Traditional marketing (out of home, print, broadcast, etc.) usually produces assets that include a one or two protagonists. This content is then used across a range of platforms but is typically short and static. Because of this, it is difficult to get a message across that caters to an array of audiences. This is one of the downsides of traditional marketing - it is harder to represent a broad range of people.
Social media ads are the complete opposite. Creator campaigns can run over a longer period of time and can include a broad range of creators, who represent ‘real-life people’. Rather than marketing a product using a model or actor who may unauthentically represent one demographic group, brands can work with multiple creators, each representing their own diverse background and behaviours.
Diverse representation in ads is still a major issue, one that will take time to resolve. Brands must seize opportunities to learn and contribute to the uplift of equality and justice, and we believe that leaning on the creator community is a great way to do exactly this. For more information on how to choose the right creators for your next campaign, head over to Influencer.com and get in touch with our team now.