Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Over half of influencers believe ethnicity impacts their pricing, finds report

57% of influencers believe their ethnicity impacts the fees they can charge, a new report has found. Lifting The Lid: The Influencer Pricing Report, produced by SevenSix Agency, looks at the role race plays in influencer marketing pay disparities, as well as taking a closer look at industry trends and considerations.

The report found that 20% of influencers believe the impact of ethnicity on pricing to be negative, with prices decreasing as a direct result. Of this group, 99% identified as a person of colour. By comparison, only 45% of those who don’t believe their ethnicity affects their prices identified as a person of colour, with 55% identifying as white.

SevenSix Agency conducted research on influencer fees in November and December 2020, gathering quantitative and qualitative data from over 275 influencers, brands and agencies in the UK and beyond. The report uses both responses from the SevenSix Agency survey and key insights from industry specialists to uncover and address the pay disparities that exist between influencers.

69% of influencers believe they undercharge when setting a price for paid partnerships, with this group split across a number of different ethnic groups. However, a closer look reveals bigger gaps between groups; nearly half (49%) of influencers who believe they undercharge and believe their ethnicity impacts their fees are black, followed by 18% South Asian and 13% mixed (black and white) heritage. Only 11% of this group were white, suggesting a link between race and influencer pay.

Less than a quarter (22%) of influencers said they felt confident setting a price for paid campaigns, demonstrating a desire for more structure around pricing within the industry.

Charlotte Williams, Founder, SevenSix Agency, said: “These figures uncover some harsh truths about the influencer marketing space and are proof that we have barely begun on the journey to full diversity and inclusion. They also show a need and appetite for structure and process to support influencers when it comes to pricing, allowing us to remove pay discrepancies related to race. For real progress to be made, we need all parts of the ecosystem – brands, agencies and influencers themselves – to work together. This means having the tough conversations, but also turning those discussions into action that will facilitate positive change, ensuring diversity doesn’t fall off the agenda.”

The report also spoke to brands and agencies, asking for insight on their experiences regarding diversity and influencer marketing. One agency stated that brands “haven’t spent enough time bothering to speak to a diverse audience.” This sentiment was echoed by another agency, saying that brands “can’t just switch it [diversity] on and magically expect profits to come from BAME audiences. It takes time, trust, authenticity.”

Agencies spoke of action taken last summer during the resurgence of Black Lives Matter, with one telling how they have “added clauses to both our influencer and client agreement where both parties need to declare that they are aligned with our actively anti-racist values.”

However, another questioned the longevity of the impact of steps taken last year, stating “When the BLM movement came out, we were impressed with the number of influencers who wanted assurances that a diverse range of talent was being used. However, we haven’t been asked that once since September.”

The report also looked at the measurement of influencer marketing, including the differences between engagement and reach. The full report can be downloaded here.

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