Empowering Diversity: How Inclusive Influencer Marketing Drives Better Numbers - Hindustan Times
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Empowering Diversity: How Inclusive Influencer Marketing Drives Better Numbers

Published on Apr 23, 2024 02:25 PM IST

People are more likely to engage and buy from brands that promote diversity

One such agency that is promoting inclusive content is Confluencr.
One such agency that is promoting inclusive content is Confluencr.
ByHT Brand Studio

According to a survey by Facebook, 71% of people expect brands to promote inclusion and diversity in their online advertising. People are more likely to engage and buy from brands that promote diversity.

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In the past decade, there has been an evident shift in influencer marketing. Especially in the way Influencer content is presented. One such agency that has adapted to these changes and has been at the forefront of adapting and promoting inclusive content is Confluencr.

What particularly stood out for us was their campaign for the brand Purplle, where they worked with the brand to market the message of inclusivity by picking 5 diverse influencers, they managed to reach over 5 million individuals and drew an engagement of over 260K through this campaign.

Why should you care about Inclusivity and Diversity as a brand?

Gone are the days when people looked up to celebrities and influencers for their perfect makeup or lifestyle. These days, people want to consume real content. This means seeing how people apply makeup on acne-prone skin, how mothers handle everyday responsibilities and struggles, or how plus-sized individuals can confidently rock any attire, jewellery, or hairstyle.

Sahiba Dhandhania, CEO at Confluencr recently in an interview said"We proactively advise our brands to choose a wider set of influencers for promotions, because today the secret sauce is relatability. And, unless you are inclusive, you cannot possibly be relatable to everyone out there. Being inclusive should no longer be a choice for brands, it's a factor that impacts customer's purchase decisions''

As consumers come from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and identities, having diversity in your marketing campaigns ensures that all consumers feel represented and included.

For example, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. The campaign featured images of real women of different ages, sizes, and ethnicities.

The campaign used the theme that beauty is not the absence of imperfections or flaws, but the power to embrace them and still feel beautiful. We saw many women being a part of this campaign. And it showed brands worldwide that people no longer want to see ads or campaigns that glorify perfect skin or flawless bodies.

Since then, many brands have adopted diversity in their initiatives and managed to improve reputation, engagement, and customer retention.

What do diversity and inclusivity look like in influencer marketing?

There is a growing need amongst social media users to see influencers sharing raw and real content. What does that mean for brands that carry out influencer marketing?

It means that the influencers you collaborate with should represent diverse demographics, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, body type, ability, and socio-economic background. By adopting this diversity, brands can portray an authentic and inclusive image, fostering resonance and stronger connections with their consumers.

Like Sephora, they are actually turning this into reality. If you check out their Instagram feed, you’ll find every gender and skin type being represented. This ensures nobody feels alienated.

If you check out Sephora's Instagram feed, you’ll find every gender and skin type being represented.
If you check out Sephora's Instagram feed, you’ll find every gender and skin type being represented.

Deep, a Senior Marketing Manager from Mumbai noted"There's a visible difference in the overall campaign performance when the content is diverse and inclusive. We did a campaign last year for a facial razor brand, and worked with women from North to South India, across skin tones & age groups & professions - and the results were amazing. Not only did it garner better reach, but also better sales volumes."

How can brands ensure inclusivity with influencer marketing initiatives?

Thousands of brands claim to promote diversity. But customers increasingly feel that only a certain percentage of these brands are actually putting it into action. To ensure that the customers are confident, here are certain steps a brand can take to promote inclusivity and diversity.

Create an inclusive brand community

Most companies cater to a wide target audience, including people from different ethnicities, races, or genders. Why not take advantage of that and turn it into an inclusive brand community?

You can actively encourage participation from all community members, regardless of their background or identity. This can be done by creating contests, polls, or discussion threads.

This community can help you reach diverse influencers. In fact, many brands have used these communities to get user-generated content (UGC) that they can repurpose or share on social media.

Lead by example

It’s not just enough to share inclusive content that your influencers make. To encourage more participation, you need to show commitment toward diversity, equity, and inclusion through your actions, decisions, and interactions.

For example, if you’re creating articles for your skincare blog, ensure you are not leaning towards one kind of audience, say those having fair skin. Your content should cater to all skin types. You also need to empower others, stay informed about current events & trends, and listen actively to feedback from under-represented groups. You can also showcase and celebrate diversity within your company as a step towards leading by example.

Seek help from influencers

When you work with diverse influencers, you learn a lot about the target audience that is generally under-represented. You get to hear different ideas, perspectives, and how they use your products/services.

For example, while working with an influencer from the LGBTQ+ community, you can understand what values they hold close to and what kind of brand stories appeal to them. Based on this understanding, you can take their help in creating content for your influencer marketing campaigns.

You can even replicate this understanding for creating social content and other marketing material.

Examples of brands winning it by empowering inclusive influencer marketing

Here are two brands that are absolutely crushing it with their inclusive influencer marketing.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Gates Foundation India leads the way in inclusive influencer marketing, prioritizing size inclusivity by showcasing diverse body types throughout their campaign of normalizing menstruation in India.

This campaign #shushthehush, curated by Confluencr, shows people of different body types coming out and talking about their menstruation journey. They aim to promote normalizing Menstruation through different body types. Making it easier for people to talk about periods without any taboo or stigma. Fostering inclusivity and empowering individuals to talk about Menstruation a bit more freely.

This campaign #shushthehush, curated by Confluencr, shows people of different body types coming out and talking about their menstruation journey.
This campaign #shushthehush, curated by Confluencr, shows people of different body types coming out and talking about their menstruation journey.

Athleta

Athleta, an athletic apparel brand, champions inclusivity through influencer partnerships and empowering campaigns. Instead of focusing solely on creating inclusive athletic wear for all body types and sizes, the brand promotes movement and connection.

One of the featured stories was that of Marsha, a body-positive icon with a rare birth defect, that caused her to lose the lower half of her leg.

Athleta, an athletic apparel brand, champions inclusivity through influencer partnerships and empowering campaigns.
Athleta, an athletic apparel brand, champions inclusivity through influencer partnerships and empowering campaigns.

Through such narratives, Athleta aims to amplify personal power and foster a community of empowerment and well-being.

Inclusive Influencer Marketing: The Road Ahead

Brands are increasingly recognizing the power of representation and inclusivity. By prioritizing diverse partnerships, embracing authenticity, and actively engaging with underrepresented communities, brands can forge deeper connections with audiences while driving positive social change. You can definitely explore conversations with the team at Confluencr, if you wish for your brand to have a more inclusive approach towards influencer content.

Disclaimer: This article is a paid publication and does not have journalistic/editorial involvement of Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times does not endorse/subscribe to the content(s) of the article/advertisement and/or view(s) expressed herein. Hindustan Times shall not in any manner, be responsible and/or liable in any manner whatsoever for all that is stated in the article and/or also with regard to the view(s), opinion(s), announcement(s), declaration(s), affirmation(s) etc., stated/featured in the same.

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