Curating the Black Millennial Voice: Insights from Blavity’s Lisa Atia

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Blavity can be defined as a tech company for forward thinking Black Millennials pushing the boundaries of culture and the status quo. In many ways, they reflect an audience that shapes the opinions and sentiments of America’s Millennial audience.

We interviewed Lisa Atia, Blavity’s Creative Brand Strategist, to get an idea of how the platform found success, the unique vantage point provided by Snapchat, and new influencers that she’s excited about.

Tell us more about how you came into Blavity and what you do there.

I came into Blavity during the early days. We had a couple of tables in our new office, at which time we had a million unique followers on our platform. I came in to help take our brand to the next level. For us that meant one critical question: how do we convey the power of the black audience and show how their influence translates to dollars in the marketplace?

At this point we have our voice and are a trusted voice of the black community.

Tell us about Black Millennials and the overarching theme of your keynote talk.

When brands say multicultural audience, they typically mean Hispanic audiences only. But, what we have found is that Black Millennials are actually at the forefront of influencing culture and Millennial culture in particular. They drive what’s new and cool, and the size of the audience (as well as their buying power), is growing increasingly faster than their counterparts. Nielsen reports also confirm that Black Millennials are the most engaged on social platforms than any other group.

Brands are now finally embracing this reality and it's because there are metrics to back up those assertions. It is these cultural tastemakers who come to us (through our open submission platform) and let us know what's really important to the community. Through our content, we reflect that back, and in effect, it becomes mainstream culture.

What are some of the best practices you've instilled to encourage sales in your online store?

We amplify a lot of what we sell in the store on Instagram, which is the best way we highlight our online goods. One of our strengths is leveraging our incredible video and marketing teams that help create memes and GIFs, especially during the holidays. It also helps when our CEO and Founder Morgan DeBaun posts from her personal account or retweets a link online.

We see Blavity is on Snapchat. How is it different than your other social media touchpoints?

Snapchat is interesting because it’s one of those channels that really gives our audiences a behind the scenes look and a chance to peak behind the velvet curtain. It transports them directly into the life of our community of social influencers. One thing in particular our audience enjoys are our Snapchat takeovers. We give them access to our account and we get to move through the day's events with them as if we're right there. More of the platforms are creating tools to allow us to do that so we tend to leverage them in different ways.

Any other exciting companies or startups get on your radar? Tell us about some of the influencers/companies that excite you.

There are a couple people in our network ourwhom we’ve featured on our site or who have spoken at our conferences that are doing awesome stuff.


You can – and should – come catch Atia’s talk at NOEW on Blavity and the Influence of Black Millennials. She’ll be live on the Cox Business stage Thursday the 23rd at 2:30. Be there.


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