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Fewer than 1-in-3 creators feels confident about paid partnership pricing

#142

Issue #142 | Your reading time this week is 5 mins. 45 secs.

Welcome back to the Creator Briefing.

It’s been a minute. Apologies for the radio silence. Normal service has now been resumed. I’ve been travelling. First to Romania as a guest of the Romanian Advertising Council invited to speak at their conference on ethical influencer marketing. Then on to Amsterdam to take part in the European Advertising Standards Alliance’s biennial meeting - more on that in the next week or two.

Here’s just some of what I’ve been thinking about this week:

  • 7-in-10 U.S. consumers follow influencers. And, of those who do, 80% report having taken some form of follow-up activity inspired by creator content. 

  • Trust is #2 strongest driver of brand profitability and effectiveness finds a new report from the Advertising Association.

  • Shein looks to IPO in London. Is the mood music changing for fast fashion and the influencers who promote it?

  • ASOS gains 57% new business transactions via TikTok Shop

  • Will the UK’s election boost influencer marketing?

🙏Can you help me out? Please consider sharing this newsletter with a friend, colleague or student who might be interested in creator marketing. And, if you were forwarded this newsletter, sign up here to get your own weekly copy.

New study: 69% U.S. consumers follow influencers 

Creators are the new guardians of consumer trust. Ed Keller and his Keller Advisory Group are back, this time in collaboration with consumer insights platform Suzy. Together they’ve produced a report which explores the intricate relationship between customers and creators who form their ideas, examining involvement, perception, and impact in today's digital environment.

A U.S, nationally representative sample of 1,164 customers aged 16-54 were interviewed. Here are some of the findings:

  • 7-in-10 (69%) U.S. consumers follow influencers 

  • Of that 69% (who follow at least one influencer online) 60% watch  creator content daily

  • 80% of respondents report having taken some form of follow-up activity inspired by creators

  • Of that 80% more than half (55%) have gone on to research a brand's website after discovering it through a creator.

  • Of that 80% who have acted after seeing a creator’s content 43% have gone on to buy from the sponsoring brand

Creator content beats traditional ads

Consumers who follow creators consistently find creator content to be more exciting, unique, emotionally engaging, relevant, and shareable compared to traditional advertisements. In fact, according to the new report, when asked to compare creator content to traditional advertising across 10 attributes, creator content beats advertising every time across all measured attributes.

Consumer trust in advertisers

I asked Ed Keller via email whether age plays a role in determining trust levels in creator content. Ed confirmed that younger consumers (16-34) find creator content more trustworthy (33%) than older consumers (35-59) (24%).  

Interestingly, the two age groups are aligned in their level of trust in traditional advertising.

Go to platforms

The report examines which social media platforms dominate for customers watching creator content:

  • 78% Instagram

  • 77% YouTube 

  • 66% TikTok

  • 62% Facebook 

Gender split by platform

  • Instagram attracts more engagement from females (85%) than males (75%). 

  • YouTube is skewed male (86%)  in terms of engagement than females (69%).

Respondents also wanted creators to dial down on drama (46%) and over-edited content (46%), suggesting a fatigue with sensationalism and a preference for more straightforward, genuine content.

METHODOLOGY: A U.S.-based, nationally representative sample of 1,164 customers aged 16-54 were interviewed by Suzy from March 22 to 25, 2024. This research complements the Keller Advisory Group's report

Creators Uncovered -  a report we covered in Creator Briefing #127. It’s a first-of-its-kind nationally representative survey of creators.

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Fewer than 1-in-3 creators feels confident about paid partnership pricing

Charlotte Stavrou and her sevensix agency have just released their 2024 Influencer Pricing Report.

Here’s some of what the new data shows:

Confidence in Pricing: Only 30.54% of influencers feel confident in pricing paid partnerships, indicating a need for clearer guidelines and support. 

Ethnic Pay Disparities: White influencers earn the highest average fee for Instagram Reels at £1637.62. In contrast, Black influencers earn 34.04% less, South Asian influencers 30.70% less, East Asian influencers 38.40% less, and Southeast Asian influencers 57.22% less.

Skin Tone Bias: Influencers with a "Deep tan" skin tone earn significantly less than those with a "Light" skin tone, highlighting a 44.63% pay gap.

Age and Disability Discrimination: Older influencers face significant challenges, with those aged 18-39 earning 144.34% more on TikTok than their counterparts over 40.

New report: trust is #2 strongest driver of brand profitability and effectiveness

New analysis from the Advertising Association’s Value of Trust report from Credos, the UK advertising industry think tank, shows trust has leapt from seventh to second place as a driver of brand effectiveness and financial performance.

Brand building over long term pays benefits

The report reveals brands who moved away from building longer-term trust and towards short-term marketing tactics to defend sales during Covid-19 suffered from falls in profit margins and business effectiveness lasting longer than the economic downturn.

Young people more trusting

The Credos study also found that young people are far more likely to say they trust the ads they see or hear, with 50% of people aged 18 to 34 saying they trust ads, compared with 22% of over 55s.

Television remains the most-trusted advertising channel overall, though trust in digital advertising is rising, especially among the young, who are four times as likely as over-55s to say they trust the digital ads they encounter.

METHODOLOGY: The findings are based on several pieces of research, including a YouGov/Credos poll of 107 MPs, IPA Databank data analysed by Peter Field, an Advertising Association/Credos public trust tracker and qualitative and quantitative research from Credos including a survey of 2,002 people, 30 people for a week of digital tasks and nine 45-minute Zoom interviews.

Shein’s IPO flirtation: fast-fashion, sustainability and creator commerce

Shein, the Chinese ‘fast fashion’ giant, could be just days away from listing in London.

The company leans heavily on influencers to promote its products to young consumers via social media. It generated $2Bn in profits last year

But could the mood music be about to change for fast fashion?

The EU is currently considering a proposal to restrict exports of textile waste. Restrictive new legislation could pose a real threat for the ‘stack-em high; sell-em cheap’ clothing companies. 

Additionally, a French bill is passing its way through parliament which, if passed into law, would require the French government to declare a definition of ‘very rapid renewal’. Companies above the threshold would be banned from advertising and face fines on each item sold.  

Shein would certainly fall into this category. It lists about 7,200 new product models every day, according to this French law proposition.

Regulators are also clamping down on environmental claims made by fast fashion outfits. Earlier this year the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) - the UK’s consumer watchdog - secured landmark changes from Boohoo, George at Asda and ASOS (there’s more on ASOS in the story below). The brands vowed that moving forward they would use only ‘accurate and clear’ sustainability claims following a greenwashing investigation.

Anti-greenwashing guidance

The CMA has produced guidance to help businesses understand and comply with their existing obligations under consumer protection law when making environmental claims.

This guidance is set out within its Green Claims Code which falls into six principles. 

I caught up with Cecilia Parker Aranha, Director of Consumer Protection at the CMA for my Influencer Marketing Lab podcast. In our episode we took a close look at sustainability, and how influencer marketers can avoid the charge of greenwashing.

ASOS gains 57% new business transactions via TikTok Shop

ASOS collaborated with 30 ASOS Creators and 30 TikTok Creators, working closely with the TikTok Shop enablement team. The results? According TT’s new case study ASOS exceeded its target of 30% new customer acquisition, with 57% of transactions coming from new ASOS customers.

 

Will UK election boost influencer marketing?

The UK general election has been announced since the last Creator Briefing. Nigel Farage has had a milkshake flung at him (by an influencer). Mainstream media (The Guardian, The Telegraph, Sky News and The Week) have hailed this as the first TikTok election - despite data showing that the real political battleground for influencing voters is Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. 

Will the UK election be good for advertising? £50m in government ad spend has been put on hold amid the pre-election period. But what about the medium term?

Whichever party King Charles asks to form a government following the 4th July vote the influencer marketing sector needs certainty, consistency and continued support for self-regulation.  We have ‘enjoyed’ 12 Secretaries of State for Culture, Media and Sport over the last decade

IMTB sits on a working group within the government’s Online Advertising Taskforce. We’re committed to rolling out new best practice initiatives in Q4. 

Let us hope that whoever is in power continues to have trust in the work being undertaken by the Online Advertising Taskforce. The IMTB is a firm believer in the benefits of self-regulation. It’s the best option for the consumer, advertisers and influencer marketers. 

The UK ad market is forecast to spend circa. £38.8 billion this year according to the most recent Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report

The UK is the second largest market for influencer marketing outside of the U.S. 

Yesterday the European Central Bank cut interest rates for the first time in almost five years. Hopefully, the Bank of England will follow suit easing the burden on start-ups and VC/PE-backed firms; enabling them to switch from cash preservation back into growth mode. Inflation rates of 11.1% and interest rate spikes from Q3 2022 onwards meant ad spend dipped by as much as 40% from these businesses. 

The importance of influencer marketers building trust with politicians

UK politicians who do not trust the advertising industry are five times more likely to support greater government intervention to regulate advertising. 

The Advertising Association’s Value of Trust report (see above) shares results of YouGov/Credos polling amongst 107 MPs in January.

Overall, 39% of surveyed MPs trust the advertising industry, 33% distrust it, and a further 23% neither trust nor distrust the industry.

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