42 influencer marketers explain how they set creator pay

124 | With the UK’s Online Safety Act finally a law … what effect will social media platforms’ mandate to automatically take down offending creator content have?

Issue #124 | Your reading time this week is 7 mins. 00 secs.

Welcome back to the Creator Briefing.

With the UK’s Online Safety Act finally a law … what effect will social media platforms’ mandate to automatically take down offending creator content have? What redress will creators have if they believe their content was wrongly removed?

Here are some of the other stories which caught my eye this week:

  • SevenSix Agency’s Top 25 Black Creators of 2023

  • Creator pricing - how marketers agree prices

  • FCA cracks down on crypto

  • Irish influencers receive new guidance from ad regulator

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Online props up flat UK ad spend

Advertising Association/WARC latest Expenditure Report shows UK’s advertising market was marginally up (+1.0%) during the second quarter of 2023. 

As ever there are winners and losers in terms of channel growth. 4-in-5 advertising pounds are now spent online.

H1 2023, the UK advertising market recorded a 1.0% year-on-year increase, equivalent to £17.5bn in spend from January to June 2023 vs £17.3bn the previous year.

Looking ahead to forecasts for the full year, AA/WARC expects ad spend to grow 2.6% to reach £35.6bn in 2023.

As AA CEO, Stephen Woodford points out in the expenditure update: “Advertising continues to show itself as a weathervane for the UK economy.”

Online Safety Act becomes law … finally

The Online Safety Act has finally become law. It’s taken a while. Last December TikTok’s Giles Derrington quipped during a morning briefing at the Houses of Parliament that the Online Safety Bill (as was) had been discussed in Parliament longer than TikTok had been incorporated in the UK. 

The Act promises a safer Internet for children and seeks to empower adults to have better control of what they see online. 

Online and social media companies will now be expected to remove any illegal content quickly or stop it from being uploaded in the first place.

This makes sense. Absolutely. But social media platforms should provide users with a clear, codified set of guidelines for content that is unacceptable. Guidance should include the terms on which content will be automatically taken down. The process by which content creators can appeal against this decision. The duration of this process. 

Meta has been gearing up - expanding its tests on its paid-for Meta Verified service which includes in its features “access to support and help troubleshooting account issues.” Surely that’s code for “gumshields in. Scrum down …we’re about to get a lot of complaints and questions from our customers.”

Here’s the full Government press release announcing the Online Safety Act.

The new laws will roll out in three phases. Ofcom is publishing its first consultation on illegal harms – including child sexual abuse material, terrorist content and fraud – on 9 November 2023.

Ofcom has set out its plans for putting online safety laws into practice, and what the watchdog expects from tech firms, now that the Online Safety Act has passed.

Finally, the BBC offers a pretty good explainer of what the new Bill is, who regulates it and what campaigners say about it. 

Top 25 Black Creators of 2023

SevenSix Agency has curated a list of 25 Black Creators of 2023 that showcases a mix of long-time favourites and emerging talent. The list compiled with the help of Billion Dollar Boy, Digital Voices and Ketchum celebrates the diversity and innovation within the Black creator community.

FCA issues 146 alerts against crypto marketers

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) isn’t mucking about. On its first day of overseeing cryptoasset promotions the UK watchdog issued 146 alerts warning consumers about firms unauthorised to carry out or promote financial services in the UK.

Since 8 October 2023, firms wishing to promote cryptoassets in the UK must, by law, be authorised or registered by the FCA, or have their marketing approved by an authorised firm. Under FCA rules, promotions must also be clear, fair and not misleading, labelled with prominent risk warnings and must not inappropriately incentivise people to invest. These changes bring cryptoassets in line with other high-risk investments.

The FCA recently held a consultation on financial promotions on social media which focuses on influencers. It intends to publish final guidance before the end of the year. 

Creator pricing: 42 marketers share how they figure out what to pay influencers

  1. Generic pricing benchmarks for Instagram influencers are not very helpful

  2. Most marketers ask influencers to share their rates first

  3. Engagement rate is the most used data point in pricing

  4. Content usage rights is the #1 “extra” marketers pay more for

  5. Expected reach & deliverables are equally important in pricing

  6. Reels & Stories are valued more than Posts

Irish influencers receive new guidance from ad regulator

The Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) have published fresh guidance for Irish influencers on the clear labelling of ads on social media.

Key points of the new guidance include:

  • Use the hashtag #Ad

    • A number of different hashtags (#IWorkWith, #OwnBrand) are currently used by influencers to indicate advertising. For the avoidance of confusion, all commercial content should now be labelled #Ad (or #Fógra for Irish-language posts)

  • Hashtags must be instantly visible to consumers
    Posts about own brands must also be labelled as advertising

TikTok’s shepherds, trawlermen and tree surgeons show the riches in the niches

The antidote to TikTok’s ‘get ready with me’ makeup videos shepherds, lobstermen and tree surgeons are finding their communities on TikTok and Instagram reports the New York Times. These creators share rawer, unfiltered views of their working lives. 

TikTok’s easy-to-use software has helped this style of content take off and stands out from Instagram’s often overly-stylised aesthetic or YouTube’s slick editing. 

Harvard taps influencers for mental health tips

In the 1980s too many drivers drove drunk. Harvard university set out to change this. Researchers asked TV writers of hit shows including ‘Cheers’ ‘Dallas’ and ‘L.A. Law’ to script-in references to “designated drivers”. 

The tactic worked. Three years later ‘designated driver’ was such a well-used term it was included in the dictionary. 

Today, Harvard hopes to pull the same trick with mental health and TikTok influencers.

Researchers are attempting to influence targetted TikTok creators and alter their content-producing behaviour via seeding evidence-based information through toolkits

Forty-two TikTok-based influencers agreed to be part of the study and received digital tool kits organised into five “core themes”: difficulty accessing care, intergenerational trauma, mind-body links, the effect of racism on mental health and climate anxiety.

The Harvard approach is similar to Delicious nuggets - the brainchild of The Earth Alliance (see Creator Briefing #121) which offers creators bite-sized, science-backed fact-snacks for creators in include in their content and help them change the conversation about the climate crisis.

The difference is that Delicious nuggets come ‘oven ready’ whilst the Harvard alternative makes influencers work to find key information and include onerous CTAs.

Though the marketing channel is different, one truism has lasted the test of 35 years. Writing in 1988 about the designated driver campaign the Harvard Center for Health Communication wrote: 

“Entertainment not only mirrors social reality, but also helps shape it by depicting what constitutes popular opinion, by influencing people’s perceptions of the roles and behaviors that are appropriate to members of a culture, and by modeling specific behaviors. The strength of this approach is that short messages, embedded within dialogue, are casually presented by characters who serve as role models within a dramatic context, facilitating social learning.”

Meta rolls out ad-free subscriptions in Europe

Meta will offer people in the EU, EEA and Switzerland the choice to pay a monthly subscription to use Facebook and Instagram without any ads - starting this month. 

The ‘pay us or be tracked’ scheme will cost €9.99/month on web or €12.99/month on iOS or Android - with additional accounts charged extra. 

It’s unclear whether brand-sponsored creator content will be included in an ad-free sub. The inclusion of influencer marketing may drive more brands and influencers ‘underground’ and entice them to publish  ‘hidden advertising’. 

This would be bad timing for our industry. Last Frida the EU started an online sweep - searching for online posts from influencers to identify testimonials and endorsements that mislead consumers  (Creator Briefing #122).

It’s also unclear whether the ‘pay us or be tracked’ scheme satisfies EU regulators and suitably protects Meta users in line with the Data Protection Commission (DPC) or Digital Services Act (DSA) or the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Influencers making ‘trauma porn’

“We are not your trauma porn stars,” reads a sign hung by not-for-profit Savage Sisters Recovery, in the Kingston district of U.S. city, Philadelphia. 

For addicts the area is an open-air drug market - sometimes called ‘Zombie Land’. For some YouTubers and TikTokers it’s a content farm.

YouTube channel called USALIVESTREAM has over 650k views of its livestream camera pointed at a corner of Kensington Avenue. 

Supporters of the channel say these video streams bring awareness of the problem. Others say it’s exploitative. Regardless, YouTube and the YouTube channel owners are profiting from human miserly - splitting the proceeds from livestream tips. 

It reminds me of Bumfights - the videos produced in the early 2000s which captured street fights and homeless men performing in Jackass-esq stunts.

IMS Europe: good times and echo chambers

The Influencer Marketing Show Europe was a great success. I got to share the stage with Emma Harman and Oliver Lewis - inaugural co-chairs of the Influencer Marketing Trade Body

We future-gazed, describing our industry three years from now. Influencer marketing plays a pivotal role in shaping consumer behaviour. But, we must all remember: trust is not given. It’s earned. 

The trust our sector enjoys is earned when brands, agencies, platforms and creators act responsibly, taking seriously their obligations to each other and to consumers - these are central tenets for the IMTB. 

The event was the perfect opportunity to catch up with industry peers. Great to finally meet Lindsey Gamble - over in London for the first time. But as influencer marketing moves out of the shadows of a former silo and forms part of integrated marketing programmes we need to become part of larger discussions. 

This is true in the US, also. The U.S. Census Bureau itemises 22,607 American industries, from artichoke bottlers to Zwieback bakers. Yet, social media doesn’t make the list - let alone influencer, content creator or influencer marketer.  

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