TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As social media has moved from a “shiny new thing” to an integral element of everyday life, Content and Influencer Marketing achieved top effectiveness ratings among brands and agencies surveyed with continued year-on-year perceptual gains. These and other industry-relevant findings have been revealed in IZEA’s Canada-focused 2018 “State of the Creator Economy” report, commissioned by IZEA Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: IZEA), operator of IZEAx®, the premier online marketplace connecting brands and publishers with influential content creators, and conducted in partnership with research firms The Right Brain Consumer Consulting, Lightspeed GMI, and Research Now.
The study, now in its eighth year and previously known as “The State of Sponsored Social,” features IZEA’s second investigation in Canada of marketer attitudes toward and usage of Influencer and Content Marketing and is the industry-leading independent view of both the influencer and content marketing categories from the vantage points of creators, consumers, and marketers.
The 2018 study also sheds light on the impact of the maturation of social media as a part of contemporary culture and the seeming societal impact of widely-discussed topical issues related to media and privacy.
“This year’s learning must be interpreted through both a broad cultural lens and a narrow marketing-specific lens,” says Jana O’Brien, principal at The Right Brain and chief consultant on the study. “We identified three broad trends that likely shaped the 2018 findings: social media maturation, natural selection, and cultural scrutinization. Social media have clearly matured and become an integral part of everyday life rather than a ‘new thing.’ As a result, consumers seem to be naturally selecting their preferred platforms, picking and choosing which social media best fit into their lives and focusing more on those. And third, in the wake of some shaken trust in all media sources, consumers are scrutinizing all marketing messages more than in any previous wave of our study.”
Against this broad backdrop, the study showed that influencer and content marketing retain perceptual strengths in the minds of both marketers and consumers, with key findings that include:
- Within a general consumer-perceived decline in the effectiveness of all types of marketing messages, Influencer Marketing achieved top effectiveness ratings among brands and agencies surveyed with continued year-on-year perceptual gains, increasing by more than 45 points as reflected by the Message Effectiveness Momentum measure.
- Content marketing seems to absorb the overall image of its parent medium, performing as well or better than traditional advertising in the same medium in consumers’ minds and better in the minds of marketers. Using a credible or well-known source to create content marketing messages enhances consumer message impact.
- The opportunity for consumer engagement in content marketing is rich, as the average Canadian consumer engages online in 14 of the 20 diverse subjects measured in the study, with monthly or bimonthly engagement for most topics.
- More than 50 percent of surveyed marketers’ companies now allocate budgets for both influencer and content marketing, with the median budget level edging up by two percent year-over-year and greater increases in budgets of $700K to $4.99M range.
“IZEA’s second look at the Canadian market in isolation provided interesting findings including continued year-on-year perceptual gains for Content and Influencer Marketing, while at the same time, continued downward trends for traditional advertising approaches,” said Tiffany Heimpel, Managing Director for IZEA Canada. “However, looking at ASC Guideline compliance, Canadian marketers are going to need to become more educated on the do’s and don’ts of sponsored social media.”
This year’s study also revealed insights related to other business topics on the minds of contemporary marketers:
- Achieving industry-wide compliance with disclosure guidelines continues to be a challenge. While most content creators remain aware of the guidelines, this is far from the case for Canadian marketers’ understanding of ASC guidelines. Just 1 in 4 Canadian Marketers claimed familiarity with the guidelines, up only 3 percent since 2017.
- Again this year, nearly 3 in 10 content creators have been asked not to disclose compensation by their clients. Given the sensitivity of the question, the actual level may be even higher.
- Ad blocking software usage is pervasive among consumers, far more present on computer desktops. Over 3 in 4 Canadian marketers say ad blocking does affect their marketing plans and programs.
- Keeping Web content up-to-date is considered a significant challenge for nearly half of all Canadian Marketers surveyed.
A summary version of the 2018 “State of the Creator Economy” study is available today for free download in the Research section of the IZEA website: www.IZEA.com
About IZEA Worldwide, Inc.
IZEA Worldwide, Inc. (“IZEA”) operates online platforms that connect marketers with content creators. IZEA platforms automates influencer marketing and custom content development, allowing brands and agencies to scale their marketing programs. IZEA influencers include everyday creators as well as celebrities and accredited journalists. Creators are compensated for producing unique content such as long and short form text, videos, photos, status updates, and illustrations for marketers or distributing such content on behalf of marketers through their personal websites, blogs, and social media channels. Marketers receive influential content and engaging, shareable stories that drive awareness. For more information about IZEA, visit https://izea.com/.
Safe Harbour Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and describe our future plans, strategies and expectations, can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terms such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “projects,” “will,” “would” or other comparable terms. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding expectations concerning IZEA’s ability to increase its revenue and sales pipeline, expectations with respect to operational efficiency, and expectations concerning IZEA’s business strategy.
Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, as a result of various factors, including, among others, the following: competitive conditions in the content and social sponsorship segment in which IZEA operates; failure to popularize one or more of the marketplace platforms of IZEA; changing economic conditions that are less favorable than expected; and other risks and uncertainties described in IZEA’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. IZEA assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or changes in expectations, except as otherwise required by law.