POLL: Brand Purpose Improves Engagement of Influencer Campaigns

We polled the community on The Plug – XOMAD’s “LinkedIn for influencers” network of more than 22,000 trusted social media influencers – to learn about how purpose and social causes impact their content. We found that overwhelmingly, brands with a strong purpose message see more engagement on influencer campaigns.

More than 76% of influencers said they prefer or would only partner with brands who meaningfully support a cause. 

This shouldn’t surprise: another 77% of influencer respondents said their followers place somewhat or high importance on purchasing from brands that support social causes.

“I always take the time to scroll through the brand’s Instagram,” said @fabialamode. “I take notice of whether or not they have they made a commitment (other than a black square) toward being anti-racist. Do our values align? Is the brand embracing diversity and valuing BIPOC voices? As a creator of color, I know I have a platform I can use to be a better ally to the Black community.”

The theme of equity, representation and social justice appeared frequently in polling and feedback. We asked influencers which cause creates the most positive engagement on their content; given a choice of multiple causes – climate activism, social justice, gender equity, public health safety, and education reform (and “other”), social justice overwhelmingly scored highest, at 56%.

Influencer brand purpose poll resultsWhile this finding seems counterintuitive at first, given the polarizing nature of the conversation across the internet, influencers tend to find very positive sentiment and universal messages of support.

“Followers want to see real people, not just the aesthetically pleasing version,” said @nicoliex. “We are telling you that representation is what we want and it sells. Brands that listen show that they genuinely care about the consumer.”

Creators of color, in particular, feel added pressure to more thoroughly analyze potential brand partnerships – adding to myriad other challenges in finding the same types of opportunities as other creators.

“Doing the work of researching, amplifying and advocating for social justice alongside community and culture is hard work,” said @HeavenlySkyes (@HeavenlySkyes on Instagram/TikTok and @HeavenlySkyes_ on Twitter). “It’s typically BIPOC creators who do this work and we’re typically underpaid for the value we bring to digital and pop culture. I just want brands to know that when we enter a partnership, we believe in you, you believe in us and it tells our followers/digital communities that you care by investing equitable capital in our art, humor, and skills.”

Advice for brand marketers:

  • Influencers receive high, positive engagement on brand campaigns that revolve around a social good, and are excited to engage with brands who take their commitment seriously. BIPOC creators, in particular, want to hear from brands creating programs that meaningfully serve BIPOC communities. 
  • If you plan on standing for a cause, it’s no longer enough to simply offer words and images. Your stakeholders – including customers and potential influencer partners – want to see real action. 
  • When you take real action to support a cause, say so. Stakeholders don’t consider it bragging; they consider it mandatory.
Categories: Features
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