Pay Transparency in Influencer Marketing
In recent years it has become evident that the concept of influencer marketing is an ever more present and dominating channel when it comes to digital marketing. Businesses are willing to spend more and more on influencer marketing, as on average such content generates significantly higher ROI compared to mainstream and traditional marketing strategies. Regardless of its effectiveness, influencer marketing remains largely affected by inequality and lack of standardisation among both marketers as well as the influencers, resulting in an ongoing pay gap but also transparency and fairness issues.
It has come to attention that influencer marketing pay gaps are primarily connected to gender and race, where for instance regardless of making up 77% of the industry, females get compensated significantly less compared to those of male influencers. What essentially creates such a division in influencer marketing, is the absence of transparent and standardised measures regarding compensation and earning rates from brand cooperations. This occurs due to the fact that in influencer marketing there is the freedom to negotiate and charge commission based on influencers’ perceived worth. This type of “freelancing” is what essentially makes influencer marketing complicated for influencers as to what they are allowed to demand in terms of payment but also creates budgeting difficulties for the collaborating brands.
What Has Been Done?
The increased awareness of pay disparity in influencer marketing has created the need for greater guidance regarding rates when entering partnerships. Defining appropriate criteria and factors affecting influencer marketing partnerships is thus very critical. One example of attempting to reach rather equitable influencer marketing has been demonstrated by the launch of Influent, a company aiming at helping to communicate compensation between collaborating companies and the engaging influencers. The company is built around the reverse idea where influencers are the ones reaching out to collaborate with their desired brands, and can do that by having access to information about other influencers’ previous experiences with these companies. The CEO describes this business idea by saying that these types of collaborations will lead to much more meaningful and authentic influencer marketing partnerships where both parties are ultimately left off happier. This could be a great opportunity for companies to easily start exploiting the advantages of influencer marketing and creating a better marketing strategy but also allowing influencers to be able to be more in control.
Nevertheless, this is only one of the few recent attempts of minimizing the pay gap in influencer marketing and there is still a significant amount of room for further progress.
Kerpen, C. (2021) How This Entrepreneur Created The ‘Glassdoor For Influencers. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/carriekerpen/2021/10/05/how-this-entrepreneur-created-the-glassdoor-for-influencers/?sh=572f176f3997&fbclid=IwAR1UERAQlsVogrb-hahIdND7ZJ_M2H4oRQjHF1r2VYPfj7C7avKx7d46SR4
Watson, E. Uncovering the Influencer Pay Gap: What Does the Research Show and How Can We Tackle It? Retrieved from https://www.socialday.live/features/uncovering-the-influencer-pay-gap