A FEW THOUGHTS
I’ve been working in the digital marketing space for 10+ years and have led influencer campaigns for many brands. When looking to partner with influencers, often times, the first thing brands/clients look at is the content creator’s follower count. While that is an important consideration for finding partners, I wanted to share more about why brands should not ONLY look at the follower count. Brands often will only look at that number, and rule who will or will not be a good brand partner. But INFLUENCE is so much more than that follower number. Brands can and should look at other data like reach, engagement, and the demographics of target audience. And, there are other factors that aren’t ‘measurable’ that are still VERY important to consider. What unique perspective does the influencer share? When you go to their account and click through their stories, does the person seem to be showing up authentically? What does the actual content itself – the photography, the caption and storytelling abilities – look and FEEL like? What values does the creator hold that are aligned with values that the brand cares about?
When asked WHY people follow influencers, relatability was nearly twice as important as popularity. This is a great reason to not JUST partner with influencers based on their follower count or work with creators with huge followings. Often, influencers with smaller followings are viewed as more relatable (and therefore more trustworthy) by consumers. And, engagement is often BETTER with less followers. One study found that influencers with less than 10K followers had more than DOUBLE the engagement rate of influencers with 10K+ followers.
That being said, 10K *is* an important threshold in the ‘influencer / Instagram-as-a-business world” because you can *finally* use the swipe-up feature in Stories. This allows these talented creators to link their blog/websites, use affiliate links more easily (and therefore make more $$), and in general, opens the door to more opportunities to share their work. Many brands and influencer platforms prioritize follower count over anything when selecting partners – even though they *should* be taking into considerations at other factors, as mentioned earlier.
120+ BLACK CONTENT CREATORS TO SUPPORT AND HIRE!
I originally shared a list of Black content creators with under 10K followers on my Instagram and got so many awesome comments and messages and was able to discover even more! The reason I put that list together is because I’ve been seeing so many incredible Black creators and businesses being shared and circulated around the Internet – which is awesome – but I was wondering – why is it often the same people being shared over and over? I knew there were other incredible Black creators with a powerful, important voice and beautiful content who deserved to be recognized and shared just as much! And, after a good conversation with @moth3rhubbard, I was reminded that in order to have more Black creators become influencers, we need to be sharing and uplifting influencers with smaller followings. I for one would like to see MORE Black influencers. ❤️
From that original list, I there were so many comments and messages about more talented creatives with under 10K followers. Because of the text limit constraints on Instagram and because of the nature of Instagram content moving so quickly and then being forgotten about, I wanted to expand on that post and put everything into a longer more detailed blog post.
Consider this a (free) influencer list of talented Black creators. When I get asked by brands what influencers to work with, I’ll be sending them this list directly. Here you go!
I’ll end with this important reminder. 💛