In a recent panel, CreatorIQ sat down with influencer marketing experts from Noire Management, Juvia’s Place, and DKC, to discuss how Black creators change and shape the future of influencer marketing and how brands can effectively tap into their communities beyond performative allyship. Here are 7 big takeaways from the virtual panel, and if you would like to view the full discussion, the video is available at the bottom of the page.
Panel Recording: How Black Creators are Shaping the Future of Influencer Marketing
If you would like to read or share the key takeaways, here is the plain text:
1. Black creators are using their voices to express their authentic selves
#BlackLivesMatter was the second biggest hashtag after #COVID in 2020, empowering Black creators to be their authentic selves on social media and celebrate Black culture and Black Excellence freely. Brands should embrace this, and not try to fit them into the same content categories as white creators.
2. Start from within
In order to effectively market to people of color, companies need to hire Black marketers in the first place, and listen to the ones they already have on their teams. Black influencer marketers in particular are the best resource for finding Black influencers and creators. Embracing Black culture within the company ethos and teams can lend its hand to understanding Black culture and more deeply connect to the right communities and audiences. Companies should welcome Black culture in your company and ask themselves why and how they use content created by Black influencers.
3. No performative allyship
In 2020, during the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement on social media, people began to pay close attention to brands who perform allyship for clout (or profit) but don’t do anything meaningful beyond that. Black people are now less afraid to call out brands for performative allyship, because they’ve been empowered to do so without facing repercussions. Brands need to stop treating Black History Month as a holiday season that is on a set schedule once a year and forget about black culture on March 1st. Working with Black creators and supporting causes that matter to people of color year-round doesn’t go unnoticed.
4. Give Black creators creative freedom
Brands should lean on Black creators to guide the creative direction - they know their audiences, Black culture, they know which products will and will not resonate with Black people. Brands should move away from prescriptive briefs, and let Black creators guide the strategy, from creative to channels. Marketers may be used to seeing the best results on Instagram and Facebook, but when a Black creator tells you certain content will perform better on Clubhouse or other communities, listen to them.
5. Look beyond the Instagram feed and the number of followers
Brands should look beyond what the instagram feed looks like, and pay attention to the person behind it, as well as the audience they have captured. Black people create communities - don’t think of black creators as a monolith, look beneath the surface. Black creators may not have as many followers as white influencers and their content may look different than the manicured instagram feeds we are used to. Brands should embrace Black micro influencers in particular, as they create the best-performing content and have meaningful engagement with their community.
6. Tap into the community
Word-of-mouth marketing is key in Black communities. Seeing a product promoted by an influencer with 1 million followers will be less effective than genuine recommendations guided by Black creators, designed for their community. To search for other Black creators, tap into their network and community to avoid cycling the same 10 very visible black creators - look beyond the simple search and go deeper.
7. Pay Black creators
Nobody should work for free, but Black creators are operating at a deficit due to hundreds of years of systemic oppression. It’s especially important to approach them and negotiate with them fairly and with respect and pay them for their work. Do not expect work for merch. Young Black creators are more likely to promote brands they genuinely like on social media. Brands that care to do the little things, show understanding of the culture and community, approach the partnership collaboratively, allow creative freedom, and compensate fairly, are often rewarded with loyal organic brand ambassadorship.
For more information on how CreatorIQ can help optimize and streamline your influencer marketing efforts in the gaming industry, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.