🤑 How much influencer marketers get paid
116 | New salary and benefits analysis published
Issue #116 | Your reading time this week is 7 mins. 45 secs.
Welcome back to the Creator Briefing.
Phew. Thank the Lord those school holidays are over! Here’s your back-to-school bumper edition of the Creator Briefing.
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UK adspend to hit £35.7bn
UK adspend is expected to reach £35.7bn this year according to AA/WARC Expenditure Report revised figures.
Digital ads are now forecast to account for 76.7% of all spend in 2023 – and 77.6% next year – in comparison to 75.1% in 2022.
Influence is King
UK salary and benefit analysis
London-based media recruitment agency SUMO has partnered with the Influencer Marketing Trade Body (IMTB) to create a comprehensive Influencer Marketing Salary Survey and Benefits Analysis.
The report compiled from survey responses of practitioners working in-house, at agencies or at influencer marketing platforms offers key insights into the top industry employment trends, employee salaries, and benefits.
Employees want more from their employers than a competitive salary.
Career progression is key to staff retention.
Training gap (84% of practitioners say they haven’t received any industry training in the past. 12 months whilst 49% of employers say they have provided in-house or external training).
Sector growth Is creating new career opportunities.
Three-quarters (75%) of influencer marketers are aged 32 or younger. Just 6% are aged 41+ and over half (52%) are aged 22 - 28.
72% are female.
4-in-10 influencer marketers (39%) who work inhouse hold a postgraduate degree. Whilst within agencies just 27% of participants hold a postgraduate degree -- though 60% have a first degree.
An influencer marketer with 4-5 years of experience will earn on average:
£52,500 influencer marketing platform
BONUS: You’re more likely to earn a bonus if you work in-house. Over half (51%) of in-house employees receive a bonus on top of their salary. This is compared with 44% of agency employees and 39% of influencer marketing platforms employees who receive a bonus on top of their salary.
DECLARATION: I serve as the director-general of the IMTB.
New law ensures Chicago Kidfluencers get paid
U.S. state of Illiniois has passed a law ensuring child influencers working within the state get paid for appearing in commercial content online.
The new law updates the state's Child Labor Law to ensure influencers 15 years old and younger get paid.
Those filming the videos (i.e. mum or dad) are now legally responsible for keeping records of any appearances of kids in their content as well as the number of vlogs that generated compensation, reports Mashable.
As well as record keeping parents also put aside gross earnings in a trust account for when the child turns 18. The child can sue his/her parent if earnings aren’t kept aside. The bill becomes law on 1st July 2024.
Child influencers in France became protected by the French Labor Code in April 2021 similar to how child models and child actors are treated.
The Influencer Marketing Lab podcast returns
The Influencer Marketing Lab podcast is back for a brand new season sponsored once again by Tagger.
In the first episode, I sit down with Sammy Albon a former full-time content creator who alongside his twin brother ran three YouTube channels, and multiple Twitter and Instagram accounts. Today Sammy is senior campaign director at award-winning agency What They Said.
The full episode goes live 07 September at noon (UK).
Creators Guild of America launches
The Creators Guild of America (CGA) has launched as the newest in a growing cadre of bodies dedicated to representing the interests of content creators.
CGA aims to “promote and protect the emerging profession of digital content creation”. Future ambitions include accreditation, workshops, networking opportunities, and a platform for advocacy.
The new body hopes to build a collective voice in seeking fair pay, content ownership, royalties, and award recognition.
The Creators Guild of America (CGA) has become one of many new bodies sprouting up in the U.S and further a field designed to protect and nurture the careers of content creators (see above).
Ezra Cooperstein, president of Night - the talent agency which represents MrBeast amongst other creators - set up the Creator Project earlier in the year. Cooperstein told The Information newsletter back in May that:
“We strongly believe that creators are a vital part of the economy and that there is a need for an organization to collectively advocate for their interests,” -- Ezra Cooperstein
SAG-AFTRA opened membership to include creators a couple of years ago after producing an influencer agreement.
Qianna Smith Bruneteau set up the American Influencer Council in June 2020 in order to promote best practices, standardisation, good ethical conduct and transparency.
In the UK, marketer turned content creator, Nicole Ocran formed The Creator Union also in June 2020 to establish fair pay, secure contracts and raise industry standards in the UK.
But, it’s a tough gig. According to VC firm SignalFire there are over 50 million independent content creators worldwide, It’s a Herculean task to bring together such an atomised workforce into a collaborative entity.
Whilst the upside is immense, collecting subs of $99 a year (the rate CGA is charging) is both a logistical headache and a sum that requires mass uptake in order to finance any meaningful change.
Hank Green was the first person to try to professionalise and protect content creators. In 2016 the YouTuber and VidCon co-creator launched the Internet Creators Guild (ICG). Three years later he was forced to shutter it due to lack of perceptible progress and only a small take-up in membership.
Maybe ICG was ahead of its time. Change at an industry level starts with individual change. But perhaps issues of copyright protection, fair pay, and healthcare provision seemed too distant at the time.
Similarly, the Creator Union appears to have been mothballed.
Amazon and TikTok slug it out for social commerce supremacy
It’s a battle of two tech giants’ social commerce offerings -- TikTok Shop vs Amazon’s Inspire.
TikTok Shop is expected to hit $20 billion in gross merchandise value by the end of this year according to Bloomberg. Small beer when compared with Amazon’s 2022 revenue of $513.98 billion. But it’s the speed of TikTok’s social commerce growth which is troubling to Amazon. The value of TikTok Shop is set to quadruple from last year. Plus the Chinese-owned app is prepared to dig deep into its pockets to make its commerce arm a success - TikTok Shop is expected to lose more than $500 million in just the U.S. this year.
TikTok has learned from past logistical missteps and is building its own fullfilment operation. It has also just expanded its social commerce features into key markets, including the US and the UK. It’s severing ties with Shopify storefronts’ integration along the way. And, according to The Information the app has also “drawn up plans to bar links to outside e-commerce sites, such as Amazon, as part of an effort to force people to use TikTok Shop if they want to buy something they see on the app.”
In response Amazon appears to be pushing for glut of so-so creator-generated content to amp products. The retailer is said to be offering to pay influencers up to $12,500 in exchange for a maximum of 500 videos - working out at $25 per video.
Will Amazon’s proposed low-ball payouts produce a race to the bottom for payment to creators? Well, if The Information is correct and TikTok bans linking out to Amazon and other retail sites it’s likely there will be a lot of TikTok influencers trying to replace lost revenue as their work on the platform dries up.
In July, the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) launched DiscloseMe, a comprehensive and user-friendly tool that enables influencers, content creators, and marketers to accurately identify the transparency disclosures for their sponsored posts and partnerships.
The tool, available on EASA’s website, provides information based on the country and language selected by the user, as disclosure guidelines differ across Europe. This feature ensures that content creators have access to accurate and up-to-date information tailored to the jurisdiction of their target audience. DiscloseMe offers comprehensive recommendations, such as suggested hashtags, features, and designs. These recommendations help clearly and correctly convey the marketing nature of posts, aligning with local advertising standards enforced by national Self-Regulatory Organisations (SROs) or local legislation.
Users can easily navigate through all the different information, thanks to the user-friendly interface. The guidelines are constantly checked and kept up-to-date to provide influencers and marketers with the latest regulatory changes and industry standards.
EASA’s Director General, Lucas Boudet, told the Creator Briefing: "EASA is delighted to share its network’s expertise to help content creators comply with applicable rules, and thus – we hope – contribute to fostering trust among consumers and followers."
Ad regulator’s balancing act
The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) walks a tightrope in writing the UK's ad rules. The sister organisation to the ASA needs to ensure the public is protected from any potential harms while also being careful not to place undue constraint on advertisers.
Now CAP has created an infographic (remember them). The graphic outlines its six principles of good regulation (transparent, proportionate, targetted, consistent, accountable and evidence based).
Also outlined are the checks and balances that CAP is subject and committed to.
DECLARATION: The IMTB is a CAP member - its first new member in over a decade and the only dedicated body to represent influencer marketing.
YouTube admits longform content taking a battering in favour of shorts
YouTube creators are favouring Shorts to the detriment of longer-form video. Cristina Criddle writing in the Financial Times explains the two drivers: consumers’ increasing appetite for short-form video which has forced the knock-on effect of brands seeking creator collabs on Shorts.
This is bad news for YouTube owner, Alphabet. Long-form video can carry more advertising inventory and have a higher click-through rate on adverts to ecommerce sites.
Instagram may get ad-free version in Europe
European Instagram users could soon opt in to subscribe to a paid-for, ad-free version of the platform.
According to the New York Times Meta is considering a two-tier system in response to Eureopean regulatory pressure around data privacy rules. It is not yet know if the paid-for option will go ahead or what price point Meta is considering for the ad-free version of Instagram and Facebook.
Whether influencer marketing content would be included in the ad-free version is also not known.
Worth a read
TIKTOK MADE ME BUY IT TikTok holds a major power over consumers contends Meredith Turits writing in BBC’s WorkLife section. Her article picks up on the parasocial bond between creator and audience, the importance of source credibility, the power of video to build a connection with the viewer and why TikTok’s unvarnished content trumps Instagram’s polished aesthetic.
FIGHTING AI IMAGE DISINFORMATION Google is looking to take on AI image disfinformation by trialling a digital watermark. Developed by DeepMind, Google's AI arm, SynthID will identify images generated by machines. The watermark is effectively invisible, but Google’s new tool enables users to find out instantly whether the picture is real or made by machine. [BBC]
FIGHTING THE FAKE KARENS EPIDEMIC Scripted skits of fake Karens ranting, raving and showing their privilege is a new subgenre on the socials writes EJ Dickson for Rolling Stone.
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