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The Purple Goat: “Disabled creators are a huge untapped niche for brands in all industries looking to grow revenue and profit”

UK disability-led influencer marketing agency The Purple Goat is on a mission to empower disabled creators and increase representation in influencer content. Co-founder and CEO Martyn Sibley explains how he plans to do it.

Award-winning UK disability-led influencer marketing agency The Purple Goat has been pushing the boundaries of representation in influencer content since its inception four years ago. With just 0.06% of ads showcasing disability, but with some 20% of the UK population identifying as disabled, The Purple Goat Co-founder and CEO Martyn Sibley instinctively knew there was an opportunity to seize. On a mission to empower disabled creators and influencers to create progressive engaging, representative and influencer marketing campaigns, The Purple Goat has worked with mega brands including Meta, Unilever, Tesco, TUI, and American Express. Today The Purple Goat has more than 10 employees and has become the go-to influencer marketing agency for brands looking to reach new, important audiences with impactful campaigns. In this interview, The Purple Goat’s Martyn Sibley outlines his vision for disabled representation in the UK’s influencer marketing industry.  

How do you evaluate the growth of disabled and diverse content in the UK's influencer marketing industry? 

We specialize in disability influencer marketing to give more representation to disabled people in advertising. We evaluate this with numbers on our Purple Goat social media content, new business, repeat clients, budget spent and the quality/quantity of disabled creators. The more we raise awareness, the more work we win, the more the industry grows.

We are working to close the disability representation gap seen as 0.06% of ads featuring disability Vs 20% of the population having a disability. Regardless of inflation we're a huge untapped niche for brands in all industries to grow their revenue and profit.

How would you describe the evolution of brands' thinking when it comes to inclusion and diversity in influencer marketing?

It was definitely a one-shot mentality when we started four years ago and as an industry mentality. With the proof of how diversity makes genuine business sense in influencer marketing and beyond, we're seeing many more brands returning to work with The Purple Goat.

How much work is there to do when it comes to educating brands and marketers that diverse talents can be inspiring for the broad spectrum of audience targets?

For me brands and agencies like us, and content creators, need to understand the consumer. Disabled consumers sometimes want disability narratives and disability product considerations. Other times a general brand awareness campaign with no mention of disability but having diverse representation is equally powerful. I think brands are sometimes scared of both options because generally this type of representation is new. But they're quickly coming around to it. If anything the disability specific narratives are taking longer for brands to adopt than an inclusive campaign.

How are changes to brand strategies in influencer marketing impacting diverse and disabled creators?  

As brands adopt influencer marketing as a strategy there's more room for content creators to lean in to their individuality and their community's preferences. One area brands need to work with agencies like us at Purple Goat is to ensure that the strategy considers disabled people and access needs of disabled influencers.

How will tech advancements in influencer marketing — from the use of IM tools for campaign management to AI — impact the growth of the disabled and diverse sectors within IM?  

I think most of all influencers, agencies and brands will be more creative, more productive and more inclusive with these tech advancements. Particularly for disabled people they will be empowering tools and level the playing field when historically disabled talent faced more barriers to this industry.

What's your outlook for market growth in the UK over the coming 18 months? What will be the key trends that will impact the market, and the success of The Purple Goat?

We're very bullish as an agency on the outlook. The sky is the limit for brands to work with and grow alongside disabled content creators. Whilst every individual disabled content creator will have better and less success with trends, the real wins come from consistency in publishing and engaging with communities. From there the value is evident to all brands regardless of platform, tool, or AI. It's outcomes that matter, and lots of different inputs can achieve great results when used creatively and skilfully.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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