Why ethnic influencers deserve more recognition! 

Since the Black Lives Matter protests, we have seen brands picking and choosing when to showcase ethnic influencers within their campaigns, but not enough is being done. With brands across the globe being called out for their lack of representation. GottaBe! want to look at the lack of representation on social media through ethnic influencers as we try to understand why ethnic influencers miss out on the opportunities their white counterparts receive. We will share why we think ethnic influencers have all the power and discuss how to incorporate ethnic influencers into your marketing strategy authentically!

Why are ethnic influencers not as highly recognised?

It is easier for many brands to choose the influencer or model with the most likes and followers within mainstream media, but this does not represent all! For years ethnic minorities have been underrepresented online and in mainstream media. Our research shows that 69% of ethnic minorities feel UK media has little to no relevance to them. But it is not just the minority groups that are standing up for change; mainstream consumers are joining the minorities and pushing for change as there has been a movement toward inclusivity. However, there is still a long way to go. Consumers are kicking back, and brands that are not seen to be authentically representing all are being called out on their actions (or lack of). 

Whilst we cannot say for sure why ethnic influencers are poorly recognised within the industry, we can look at the different ways your brand can make a difference. 

How do I make sure ethnic influencers are effectively incorporated into my marketing strategy?

Ethnic pay gap 

One of the reoccurring issues when discussing equality in influencer marketing is the ethnic pay gap. Over 57% of influencers believe their ethnicity impacts the fees they can charge due to experiences that suggest this. 

So, to show influencers, you care, be transparent about your budget and ensure that it is distributed fairly. Like any profession, influencers should be paid for their experience and knowledge. Therefore, following and engagement should be key deciding factors rather than the colour of their skin. While this may mean you miss out on gaining a white influencer in a campaign because your budget needs you to underpay them in order to pay an ethnic influencer fairly. There must be room within the industry for change, and something has to give. 

User-generated content 

Another way your brand can showcase diversity is to share user-generated content with people of all ethnicities. Consumers are more likely to trust their peers and those they can identify with over models as they are more relatable. Using a mixture of models, influencers and user-generated content from people of ethnic backgrounds will show inclusivity to consumers and be far more engaging than sharing models whom all look the same. Following this, your brand will see a higher ROI as consumers connect with your brand. 


Embracing micro-influencers within a campaign will benefit your brand as, typically, their engagement is much better, and they are more authentic to consumers. While the following is much lower than a macro influencer, micro-influencers tend to have a more engaged following and often have a niche. There are many micro ethnic influencers who have an extremely loyal following. When targeted by their favourite influencer, they are more likely to convert into paying customers. 

Avoid checkboxes

Be mindful, as we don’t want you to run each campaign by a checklist as this is obvious, and consumers will see right through. But your brand must take the stance to be mindful of what they post and how often. It is your social responsibility to be a part of the change, and it must start now. Following the advice above, including a range of ethnic models influencers, and resharing UGC from ethnic minorities, your brand will begin to build trust with the communities, which can be built on over time. Brand purpose is hugely important for consumers, and ensuring that your brand is defined and accurate will see returns and loyalty increase.

What lack of representation says about your brand

Lack of representation throughout your marketing materials shows audiences that your product is unsuitable for them. Missing this opportunity leaves a large portion of the population out, and your brand is missing out on this reach. Advertising has the power to shape and influence a generation but has missed the mark for inclusivity for years.

Earlier this year, blogger Stephanie Yeboah wrote for Metro UK about the “blatant side-lining and absence of women of colour” in the influencer agency space. “By exclusively using white influencers to tout holiday experiences, beauty and skincare products and fashion pieces, the story being told is that these experiences are only available to white people,” she wrote. “Only white women use luxury skincare. Only white, slim women go on holiday. Only white women wear certain brands’ fashion pieces. It needs to stop.”

Why should brands represent ethnic influencers more than they currently do?

Apart from the obvious, being the right thing to do. Ethnic influencers have a much higher engagement rate as while their following may not always be as high; their followers are more engaged in their content due to the lack of diversity in the industry. 

By including ethnic influencers in your marketing campaigns, your reach will be expanded across your target audience, and consumers will know your brand is suitable for them. Savvy consumers choose brands they feel they can connect with, and lack of representation or poor attempts to follow trends will see your brand being blocked by all. Gen-Z is leading the movement for diversity and inclusivity and is set to become the largest population on earth, as one-third of the world population falls within this group. If your brand doesn’t start to recognise and adopt a diverse approach to your marketing, it will soon be left behind. 

Ethnic minorities in the UK have an untapped spending power of £300bn, which brands can benefit more than financially when they recognise the power of ethnic influencers. By adopting an authentically diverse approach to ethnic marketing, your brand will see the brand value, recall and awareness increase as consumers can build bonds with your brand. Your social media shows consumers what you genuinely think and who you are. While a brand may claim to be inclusive, consumers will quickly stop believing the claims if there is no evidence. As social media allows consumers to have 24-hour access to your brand, it becomes an extension of who you are, and this should be showcasing your messaging. Including ethnic influencers in your campaigns consistently and equally will soon see consumers from all demographics choose to come back to your brand as your purpose is solidified.

GottaBe! Ethnic help brands connect with ethnic influencers. Contact the team today, and we can help you find the right influencers for your campaign!

Let's see how we can work together