A groundbreaking study conducted by Group Black and Nielsen has revealed that Black creators possess larger and more engaged followings compared to their non-Black counterparts. The report sheds light on the tremendous impact of Black creators’ social media content and emphasizes the need for marketers to recognize and value their contributions.

The study analyzed the performance of Black creators across various niches, including lifestyle, fashion, and gaming, on popular platforms like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter from 2020 to 2022.

The findings clearly demonstrate that Black creators consistently outperformed their non-Black peers in terms of overall engagement, follower growth, and media value for brand sponsors. Despite their undeniable impact, Black creators often remain undervalued and underrepresented in influencer marketing campaigns.

Kerel Cooper, the president of advertising at Group Black, expressed disappointment in the industry’s failure to fully recognize the potential of Black creators. He highlighted a 2021 study by Publicis Groupe PR agency MSL U.S. and The Influencer League, which revealed that Black creators earn 35% less than their white counterparts.

The report from Group Black and Nielsen showcases the significant media value generated by the social media content of 300 Black influencers in the lifestyle, fashion, and gaming domains. The term “media value” refers to the combined reach of a creator’s social media content and the average engagement it receives. Comparisons between 100 Black creators and 100 non-Black creators in the lifestyle niche, for example, revealed that Black creators delivered more than 10 times the media value from 2020 to 2022. Similar trends were observed across other content categories, such as gaming and fashion.

The study also highlighted the higher growth rates of Black creators’ followings compared to their non-Black counterparts during the two-year period under examination. Black lifestyle creators experienced a remarkable 194% increase in their follower count, while non-Black creators lagged behind at 53%.

The enhanced performance of Black creators can be attributed, in part, to the online behaviors of Black consumers. The report highlights that Black adults are 71% more likely than the general population to make purchasing decisions based on influencer recommendations and are twice as likely to discuss brands on social media. Additionally, Black consumers are 50% more likely to seek out diverse-owned media and creators, as identified by Nielsen in a 2022 report.

Despite their influential presence and numerous viral trends, Black creators have faced appropriation of their work and unequal treatment in influencer marketing campaigns. Instances such as the Tarte cosmetics controversy, where a Black influencer was excluded from a Formula One race event while non-Black creators were invited, highlight the ongoing challenges faced by Black creators in the industry. Furthermore, some Black creators have reported brands pulling back from their investment in Black History Month influencer campaigns, indicating a need for sustained support and recognition.

The report concludes by emphasizing the importance of more equitable investment by brands in Black creators. It suggests that media value serves as a crucial indicator for both brands and creators to understand the potential impact of their partnerships. By valuing and supporting Black creators, brands can contribute to closing the pay gap and fostering a more inclusive influencer marketing landscape.

The study’s findings shed light on the immense potential of Black creators and highlight the need for greater representation, fair compensation, and equal opportunities within the digital marketing industry. By recognizing the value and impact of Black creators, marketers can tap into a powerful force for driving engagement, growth, and cultural influence.

Categorized in: