Sandy Esprit lives in Ottawa and has been an influencer for 4 years. With more than 11,000 followers on her Instagram page, the mother of the family presents content focused mainly on beauty and motherhood.
She admits having faced micro-aggressions online, whether from trolls or even certain brands that invalidate her status as an influencer.
When we say that Canada is a multicultural place, that we embrace diversity, inclusion […] This is not always true, she believes.
” All of a sudden, a brand comes along and tells you your business isn’t legit. It’s also not fair to say that just because I’m not white. […] Being African-Canadian, I know the game. »
Jennifer Jackon known by the pseudonym Thejennjackon is also Ottawan. His platform has reached over 31,000 followers on Instagram and over 145,000 on his YouTube channel.
Challenges in real life also apply online: racism, she says.
” There is a huge discrepancy in how much a brand is willing to pay a black influencer and how much they will pay a white influencer. I have a large platform. I need to be paid fairly and to be paid exactly what I am worth, for the amount of work I put in. These are the biggest challenges »
According to Priya Chopra, founder of Double Shot, an influencer and talent management agency, there’s no doubt that a pay gap exists.
While it is difficult to quantify the gap in Canada, a recent study reported that in the United States, the pay gap between white influencers and BIPOC (Indigenous, Black and People of Color) influencers was 29 %. If we focus specifically on the gap between white and black influencers, the gap would be 35%.
Through our research, we discovered that influencers [PANDC] are also more likely to undercut their work, especially when not represented by an agency, notes Ms. Chopra.
She believes that the situation is all the more serious since the measures sought by certain brands sometimes exclude paid content opportunities for BIPOC influencers.
” Brands have come a long way in embracing more diverse campaigns, but the issue of facade diversity is still paramount, resulting in large groups of talent [PANDC] are completely neglected. »
The same goes for Myriam Brouard, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. She explains that the influencers of the dominant culture will also have advantages going beyond remuneration, by increasing their notoriety.
They’re gonna get more opportunities with brands, shows, anything related .
She also addresses the issue of censorship which, according to her, seems to weigh more heavily on cultural minorities.
It’s very easy for black content creators’ accounts to be deleted […] There are more checks being done, more people reporting content as inappropriate.
Towards better conditions for diversity influencers
In order to restore the balance between influencers, some management companies have their own strategy.
Aurélie Sauthier, president of the agency Made In, explains working upstream to make customers aware of the cost per thousand of diversity influencers.
We will seek diversity in our campaigns in all categories.
” Sometimes some [influenceurs de la diversité] speak two languages […]. They are going to have a percentage of their audience in other countries, outside of Canada. What will make that the hearing in Canada will be less important. We try to make the client aware not to focus on a number, but to see it as a whole. »
Professor Myriam Brouard believes that there is still a lot of awareness to be done
at the level of diversity and inclusion in the marketing function.
According to her, it is necessary
recognize the fair value of cultural communities on these platforms.
The marketing expert adds that digital platforms should review their copyright policies so that they are granted to the initial creator of the content. She calls for more transparency on social networks in this regard.
Anglonormativity overshadows the French
Moreover, on digital platforms, these African-Canadian creators use either French and English or only English. Some are convinced that their evolution in influence marketing depends more on the use of the English language to the detriment of French, which they do not reject outside of social networks.
The French-speaking Sandy Esprit chooses to express herself in English on social networks in order to reach a wider platform. However, she says, living her Francophonie through her accent.
Especially if I’m tired, there’s the French accent, she said, laughing.
” If a person asks me a question in French, I will answer in French »
For her part, influencer Jennifer Jackson has decided to use mainly English on her platform in order to attract brands from everywhere, particularly those from the United States.
She still believes that French is an asset for her.
I see it as a plus that allows me to connect with more people, mainly with the Canadian Francophonie.