Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 10

THE PULSE

MARKETING

Ethical Collaboration

Here's how to approach influencer marketing in the age of social
media activism. by Dani Reyes-Acosta
WHETHER YOU LOVE, FEAR, ADMIRE, OR TOtally avoid influencers, they're not going away.
In 2020, we saw the rise of the influencer as
social activist, a major shift in the content-creation supply chain that powers our industry.
The past year didn't just ask us to reevaluate
what a " creator " is and does; it also challenged
us as individuals and brands to reconsider
how we interact with photographers, writers,
scholars, athletes, entertainers, and models . In
particular, creators of color saw massive rises in
their followings and engagement as our nation
turned to content for consolation and education . These interactions were not all ideal,
however. Many BIPOC creators applauded the
start of the new year, if only to close a door on
the painful, often emotionally laborious work
they confronted on social media.
As we turn over a new leaf this spring and
brands look to diversify their customer base,
let's reexamine the difference between activist
and influencer, the role social media influencer
and activists play with and for brands, and how
to cultivate ethical collaboration.
#INFLUENCING
Business Insider now projects the influencer
marketing channel will be valued at $15 billion dollars by 2022. Adjust your expectations:
Influencer marketing rarely directly correlates
to sales. Instead, it's a trust-building tool that
builds off, as well as onto, your brand platform.
Influencers build brand loyalty. They also provide a key means of outreach to new audiences
and offer a powerful tool for holistic platform
expansion. Yet good influencing, particularly
in the outdoor industry, can be tricky. With
many consumers (especially younger, diverse
audiences) expecting an element of activism,
authenticity reigns.
Osprey Packs Social Media Manager Kami
York-Feirn knows good content-in this ex-

10 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ March 2021

pert's opinion, Osprey leads the charge on
ethical, authentic influencer alliances. And she
knows that her customers can sniff out inauthentic content. " You can tell it's a sponsored
post, and it looks out of place to regular people, "
she says.
If you want a deeper, long-term relationship-the kind that can (one day) be directly
tied to ROI-take the time to examine your
brand foundation. What do you stand for?
What do you believe in? And do the influencers
and activists with whom you'd like to collaborate represent the values you aspire to embody
as an organization?

DEFINE INFLUENCER
" In the past, an influencer was someone who
gets paid to simply talk about a brand's products, " says York-Feirn. Podcaster, anthropologist, and Deg Xit'an/Sugpiaq fisherwoman
Deenaalee Chase-Hodgdon echoes the sentiment. " An influencer decides each and every
time they post branded content whether or
not they will uphold a hierarchy that supports
racial and class inequity in and across Turtle
Island...(and beyond), " Chase-Hodgdon says.
In effect, traditional influencers may lack a
holistic view of outdoor wellness.
According to York-Feirn, the " best influencers " -aka athletes, ambassadors, creators,
producers, and brand evangelists-are " the
grassroots, organic brand lovers who redefine
the authenticity of what a brand loyalist should
bring to the table. "
Redefining what an influencer can be in
2021, Chase-Hodgdon says, " being an engaged
person....[entails] looking for opportunities
to exercise compassion, collaboration, and
co-creation to live in reciprocal relationship
with human and more-than-human kin. " Her
vision-and mine-pushes the influencer community to embrace the idea of being a " creator

Deenaalee Chase-Hodgdon

of conscience " and encourages brands to welcome the same.

ENGAGE, ETHICALLY
* " Consider: Whose voice is being heard and
elevated as in alignment with the dominant
narrative, " challenges Chase-Hodgdon.
* Don't ask for free work, anti-racism education, or propose product-for-exposure
relationships to historically marginalized
groups.
* Learn about a creator's platform: What do
they stand for, and where is it in alignment
with your own?
* Carefully balance how much labor (actual
and deliverable-driven vs. invisible and emotional) you're requesting of your creators of
color. While York-Feirn notes that " brands
often lean on social media activists to inform
internal strategy, " it's critical that you actively
support these creators with compassion and
good communication. Otherwise, it can feel
exploitative.
* Learn about the interplay between power
and privilege.
* " Consider what creating an equitable partnership looks like, " says Chase-Hodgdon. " It
will be different for every organization and
person. "
York-Feirn reminds us: " Brands need to
chase the story-figure out what we stand for,
who we want to work with, and then go out and
cultivate that culture. We can show that we're
all in " by supporting activists and creators who
can help us get to where we want to go.
As York-Feirn says, " let's make magic. " O.R.

Photograph by Ian Glass



Outdoor Retailer - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - March 2021

Outdoor Retailer - March 2021
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MAREKTING
RETAIL 101
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
THOUGHT LEADER
THE WEEKLY CHAT
OUTDOOR RETAILER WINTER ONLINE
THIS LAND IS OUR LAND
BREAD + BUTTER
GEAR GALLERY
HOT PICKS
THE VIEW
FIELD NOTES
#REPLIFE
BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Outdoor Retailer - March 2021
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 9
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - MAREKTING
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - RETAIL 101
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THOUGHT LEADER
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THE WEEKLY CHAT
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - OUTDOOR RETAILER WINTER ONLINE
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THIS LAND IS OUR LAND
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 20
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - BREAD + BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - GEAR GALLERY
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 24
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 26
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - HOT PICKS
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 28
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 32
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 34
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - FIELD NOTES
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - March 2021 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow_summer2019
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