8-in-10 creator posts may break rules

Edition 103 | Is Reels the real deal?

Issue #103 | Your reading time this week is 5 mins. 45 secs.

The UK’s ad market grew 8.8% to £34.8bn in 2022. Deloitte data shows that 61% of Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to buy a product after they’ve watched a creator review it. Dwell time on Instagram Reels surges (but revenues don’t). And is BeReal for real as it trials RealPeople?

UK’s ad market to top £36bn in 2024

  • The UK’s ad market grew 8.8% to £34.8bn in 2022. This year growth across advertising channels will plateau (+0.5% growth). Ad spend is set to hit £36.3bn in 2024 thanks to a growth rate of 3.9% next year.

  • The UK remains the third-largest advertising market in the world, at a value of US$41.5bn according to the Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report.

  • The UK saw the third-fastest growth rate in 2022, behind Brazil (+9.7%) and Australia (+9.4%).

  • It’s not all beer and skittles though warns WARC. The UK is forecast to post the slowest growth among the top 10 ad markets this year growing by just 0.5%.

Influence is King

This newsletter is supported by Fourth Floor – a digital marketing agency that fully understands the power of influence. Fourth Floor is an insight-led creative, social and influencer agency that enables games businesses to engage audiences, build emotional connections and get results. They build bespoke campaigns by combining any number of their services, which include advocacy, production, commerce and events. Find out how they can help your business at fourthfloor.co 

6-in-10 likely to buy after seeing creator content

  • 69% of consumers aged 40 and younger say creator videos help them to discover new products or services to buy.

  • 65% of consumers aged 40 and younger say that if an online content creator they trust has reviewed a brand’s product they are more likely to trust that brand.

  • 61% of consumers aged 40 and younger say they are more likely to purchase a product after they watch a creator review it.

  • Around 40% of Gen Z and Millennials surveyed are more influenced by being part of a community of followers of a creator or brand than by reviews on a shopping site. These trends may have big implications for the future of advertising.

These figures from Deloitte’s 2023 Digital media trends: Immersed and connected report published 14 April 2023. Sample size: 2,020 US consumers.

Get your tickets for Influencer360

Influencer360 is brought to you by PRWeek and Campaign. The one-day event seeks to unit industry practitioners from leading brands and agencies. Together they will discuss the latest opportunities and threats to the lucrative influencer landscape.

Influential global leaders will come together to share their insights across dynamic and engaging sessions, with a focus on tech innovation, revenue, business growth opportunities, engagement techniques, and content creation. The Influencer Marketing Trade Body is the official association partner for the event #Influencer360 (DECLARATION: I lead the IMTB).

Influencer360 is being held at the Hilton Hotel in Brighton on 17 May

Is Reels the real deal?

Instagram dwell time has swelled by nearly a quarter (24%) since Reels was rolled out said Mark Zuckerberg in a Meta Q1 2023 earnings call last week. Meta’s CFO Susan Li said engagement rates for the feature were up too: “We’re seeing the sharing flywheel take off with Reels re-shares, with re-shares doubling over the last six months.”

Cool, cool, cool, right?

Not if the Reels rise comes at the expense of other Instagram features. According to TechCrunch, Li “acknowledged that Reels are actually cannibalizing some revenue from Stories and feed-based posts, since they’re accounting for some of the time users would’ve spent engaging with that content”. The CFO also warned: “We don’t have line of sight to getting Reels to monetization parity with feed or Stories”.

Part of Meta’s problem with its TikTok-clone Reels is that it’s difficult to stick ads into the stream. That might be a problem for Zuckerberg during his Year of Efficiency.

BeReal trials RealPeople

BeReal is trialling RealPeople in the UK market - “a curated timeline of the world’s most interesting people” according to the launch blurb. This feels less like a strategic product rollout and more like a last attempt by the French owners to put off buying a tin of whitewash to paint ‘Going Out of Business’ on the BeReal shop window.

In July last year, BeReal was killing it - topping the download charts in the App Store. Hailed for its take-down of inauthentic social media. And then nothing. Crickets for nine months before a couple of insignificant, or ill-thought-through product extensions: Bonus BeReal and its integration with Spotify.

“Your friends. For Real” runs BeReal’s tagline. Introducing strangers - albeit famous ones - into your stream via RealPeople feels like the antithesis of the app’s essence.

It aims to harness the hero effect. ‘If top artists, athletes and activists are on the app - then so should I’. Does it foreshadow the introduction of influencer advertising on BeReal? Probably not. The launch announcement for RealPeople says the feature “isn’t about influencing, amassing likes or comments, or promoting brands. You won’t see … product recommendations, or ads disguised as posts.”

Of course, I could be wrong. I hope that I am. I don’t have access to any of BeReal’s data. Hopefully, RealPeople is a product extension based on data and insight, not a nervous attempt to stave off going the same way as Poparazzi which announced last week it’s to shutter next month.

81% of influencer posts need action says Australian regulator

In January the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ACCC monitored the output of 118 influencers on their social media accounts for signs of potentially misleading advertising. Content was monitored across Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.

This week the ACCC released its sixth interim report for the Digital Platform Services Inquiry. It found 81% of influencer posts were potentially misleading endorsements and testimonials.

Education campaigns plus compliance and enforcement activities will be conducted by the ACCC as a result.

Other Australian regulators are addressing influencers giving unlicensed financial advice, promotion of therapeutic goods and cosmetic surgery, and a lack of disclosure of gifts as taxable income.

DIVE DEEPER - Law firm, Social Law Co takes a close look at the ACCC influencer sweep and its findings.

India warns consumers about finfluencers

India’s Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has warned consumers against placing blind trust in finfluencers. She urged social media users to tread with caution while seeking their advice.

News Drum reports the Minister saying that If there are three or four people [finfluencers] giving us very objective good advice, there may be seven others out of 10 who are probably driven by some other considerations. In turn, Buzz In Content spoke with a range of influencers, gathering their views on best practices.

McKinsey survey: Positive & negative impact of social media

Gen Z is more likely to cite negative feelings about social media than other generations. But, it’s not straightforward. Research undertaken in McKinsey Health Institute’s (MHI’s) 2022 Global Gen Z Survey indicates the relationship between social media use and mental health is a complex one. MHI’s data shows technology provides access to supportive mental health resources for younger people. Some facets of social media use can benefit their mental health, such as using social media for self-expression.

METHODOLOGY: McKinsey Health Institute’s (MHI’s) 2022 Global Gen Z Survey asked more than 42,000 respondents in 26 countries across continents questions based on the four dimensions of health: mental, physical, social, and spiritual.

What connects Canning Town’s lighthouse with Pewdiepie?

What links London’s Canning Town lighthouse with top YouTuber PewDiePie? Who knew the east London borough even had a lighthouse? Isn’t this a creator economy newsletter, not a geography bore-fest? So many questions. Bear with me. The Trinity Buoy Lighthouse deep inside London’s Dockland is home to Longplayer. Longplayer is a one-thousand-year-long musical composition. It began playing at the stroke of midnight on the 31st of December 1999, and will continue to play without pause or repetition until the last second of 2999, at which point it will complete its cycle and begin again.

I thought of this infinite creative loop when I read about PewDiePie’s new Twitch venture: The PewDiePie Infinity stream.

PewDiePie might not have a thousand years of content to loop - but the creator does have 4,700+ YouTube videos clocking up over 3,000 hours of content.

WHAT’S THE POINT? To create an additional revenue stream via ad revenue and subscriptions. The Swedish-born creator has teamed up with CoPilot Media for this venture.

Influencer density

Want to bump into an influencer in the street? This list identifies how many influencers there are in different major cities around the world. It then divides the number by the square mileage of each city.

Top Rated Casinos used Influencity data to compile the list. Influencers are defined as personal or creator accounts with more than 10,000 Instagram followers.

Nominations open for bCreator Awards

Nominations for the bCreator Awards opened this week. The bCreator Awards celebrate the best of the UK Creator Economy; creators, creator marketing campaigns and agencies. bCreator (formerly Blogosphere) is celebrating its first decade this year. The 2023 judging committee includes industry titans Sir Martin Sorrell and Sir John Hegarty along with leaders such as Ogilvy’s Rahul Titus, YMU’s Lucy Loveridge, THE FIFTH’S Jess Markwood and I’m representing the Influencer Marketing Trade Body as a judge, too.

Talking with Phyllo

Prateek Panda, VP of marketing at Phyllo asked me on to his podcast recently. Together we:

  • Explore the growth of influencer marketing

  • Uncover the impact of Web 3.0

  • Analyse alternative revenue streams for creators

  • Examine brand safety in influencer marketing

I really enjoyed the conversation and hope that you may, too. Just don’t ask me what the photo is all about. I don’t have a clue. It’s clearly not a picture of me - but who is it?

  • Instagram’s branded content ads get a rebrand - Instagram has re-named its branded content ads to partnership ads. Partnership ads allow advertisers to amplify content from a creator or other partner’s handle, to scale their collaborations, according to the Meta announcement. Advertisers can now boost creator brand collab content paid partnership label.

  • Instagram is promoting UGC with shop on Instagram. Now advertisers can showcase their products using UGC across product pages, shops and shops storefront. Instagram hopes the new push into UGC will help advertisers promote authenticity through community content helping people feel confident in making their purchase.

  • YouTube Shorts will soon help advertisers reach new audiences by enabling them to buy Shorts inventory through Video reach campaigns, which are optimized for brand awareness.

  • ByteDance is on the hunt for a Product Manager in Los Angeles to join a team “working on an AI-powered tool that provides intelligent music creation and audio editing capabilities”. According to the job spec seen by Music Business Worldwide the team’s aim “is to significantly lower the music creation barrier and inspire musical creativity and expression.”

  • Rolling Stone releases its inaugural list of top 20 influential creators - the roster includes the D’Amelio Sisters along with Dylan Mulvaney, Josh Richards and virtual influencer CodeMiko.

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