Embracing Diversity In Influencer Marketing: Benefits & Challenges

Embracing Diversity in Influencer Marketing

Written by Juliette Maumelat

December 5, 2023

Beyond Trends: A Deep Dive into Authentic Diversity in Influencer Campaigns

In the ever-evolving landscape of brand communication, the call for diversity and inclusion has reached a crescendo. Embracing diversity goes beyond mere representation; it requires a genuine acknowledgement and integration of various ethnicities, ages, genders, abilities, and sexual orientations. Influencers, as modern-day cultural conduits, play a pivotal role in reflecting the multifaceted tapestry of humanity. However, as brands increasingly jump on the diversity bandwagon, there are common pitfalls that must be avoided to ensure authenticity and resonance.

Diversity as a Core Value, Not a Trend

The surge in discussions around diversity and inclusion is not a passing trend but a societal shift that has gained momentum, particularly through the amplifying channels of social media and activists. In our latest survey with Storystream, we discovered that 54% of Genz want to see more diverse content versus boomers with 24%. Despite this, some brands fall into the trap of treating diversity as a fleeting trend, using it merely for marketing appeal or financial gain. The key lies in internalizing diversity as a core value, penetrating all facets of a brand – from marketing and public relations to employee dynamics and production processes. Authentic inclusion can prompt a revaluation of a brand’s mission and vision, aligning them with the ethos of diversity.

The Danger of Silence

One critical mistake many brands make is launching diversity campaigns without engaging in open dialogue with the communities they aim to represent. Failure to consult directly with individuals from diverse groups can lead to campaigns that miss the mark, fostering controversy and potential backlash on social media. To avoid these pitfalls, brands must prioritize meaningful engagement, seeking input from those directly affected by their messaging.

Navigating Diversity Campaigns

Tips for brands

To embark on a successful diversity campaign, brands must consider several crucial factors:

  1. Careful Selection of Influencers: Choosing influencers who authentically resonate with a brand is paramount. Their passion for the brand or product should be evident, ensuring a genuine connection with their audience.
  2. Cultural Sensitivity: In a globalized world, brands must be mindful of cultural nuances and sensitivities when collaborating with influencers from diverse backgrounds. Respect for differing perspectives and experiences is essential for a campaign’s success.
  3. Promoting Authentic Storytelling: Encouraging influencers to share their genuine stories and experiences, particularly those related to the brand or product, humanizes the influencer and establishes a deeper connection with their audience.
  4. Offering Creative Freedom: Granting influencers creative freedom is crucial. Imposing rigid guidelines risks diluting their unique voice and perspective, potentially undermining the authenticity that makes diversity campaigns impactful.

Benefits of these campaigns

  1. Reflecting the Real World: One of the primary reasons why diversity is crucial in influencer marketing is that it mirrors the rich tapestry of our real-world communities. Consumers today seek authenticity and relatability in the content they engage with. By incorporating influencers from various backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, and lifestyles, brands can create a more authentic representation of the diverse world we live in. This not only helps in building trust but also resonates more deeply with a broader audience.
  1. Expanding Target Audiences: Diversity in influencer marketing allows brands to reach and engage with a wider array of audiences. Different demographics have unique preferences, values, and interests, and by employing influencers who represent various groups, brands can connect with consumers who may have otherwise felt overlooked. This inclusivity not only broadens the brand’s reach but also fosters a sense of belonging among consumers, leading to increased brand loyalty.
  1. Breaking Stereotypes: Influencer marketing has the power to challenge and break down societal stereotypes. By showcasing influencers who defy traditional norms, brands can contribute to a more inclusive and progressive narrative. This not only reflects positively on the brand’s image but also aligns with the changing expectations of consumers who appreciate brands taking a stand on social issues.
  1. Building Trust and Credibility: Consumers are more likely to trust brands that demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity. When influencer marketing campaigns feature a diverse array of voices, it sends a powerful message that the brand values and respects all individuals. This authenticity enhances the brand’s credibility, as consumers appreciate efforts to move beyond token representation and embrace true inclusivity.
  2. Driving Social Impact: Influencer marketing has the potential to be a force for positive social change. Brands can align themselves with influencers who are advocates for social causes, promoting messages of equality, justice, and inclusivity. By leveraging their platforms, influencers can amplify important conversations and inspire positive action, creating a ripple effect of social impact that extends beyond the confines of a marketing campaign.
  1. Enhancing Creativity and Innovation: Diversity fosters creativity by bringing together individuals with different experiences, ideas, and perspectives. In the context of influencer marketing, this diversity can lead to more innovative and impactful campaigns. Collaborating with influencers from various backgrounds can result in fresh, unique content that can stand out in a crowded digital space.

Pride Month with Garnier

To illustrate these principles in action, examining the Garnier case study provides a tangible example of a brand successfully navigating the complex terrain of diversity and inclusion. This year for pride month Garnier launched their micellar cleansing water in a new design: the rainbow flag.

The goal of the campaign? Raise awareness and find the perfect influencer match.

Our mission was to find the perfect influencers to represent pride in the best possible way “to celebrate all skin types, inclusive of all genders, all races, all ages, all sexual orientations.”​ We selected 3 micro-influencers: Antony, a professional dancer, Paula who participated in the TV show “Prince Charming” and Nardos who is working as a model.

The slogan of the campaign was “REMOVE YOUR MAKEUP NOT YOUR PRIDE” and the video was published on TikTok, Pinterest and all of Meta´s social media platforms.

Campaign with Garnier _ Pride Month

Diversity and inclusion are not mere checkboxes to tick but fundamental elements of a brand’s identity. The authenticity of these efforts determines their success in resonating with a diverse audience. By avoiding the pitfalls of treating diversity as a trend and engaging in meaningful dialogue, brands can harness the power of influencers to authentically represent the richness of humanity in their communications.