Re­port Spot­lights ‘Au­then­tic­ity’ As So­cial Me­dia Evolves

WWD Digital Daily - - In Focus: Business Insights - BY KALEY ROSHITSH

IZEA’s “State of the Cre­ator Econ­omy” re­port re­veals three key trends for cre­at­ing au­then­tic­ity within in­flu­encer mar­ket­ing.

Once a “shiny new thing,” so­cial me­dia is now so teth­ered to ev­ery­day lives that one would be re­miss to ig­nore the many mar­ket­ing mes­sages that pro­lif­er­ate across plat­forms ev­ery se­cond.

In IZEA’s 2018 “State of the Cre­ator Econ­omy,” the aim is to com­pre­hend this “mat­u­ra­tion of so­cial me­dia” through a “nar­row mar­ket­ing-spe­cific lens.” Rel­e­vant to con­sumers, creators and mar­keters alike, the now eightyear-long study is also in part­ner­ship with re­search firms The Right Brain Con­sumer Con­sult­ing, Light­speed GMI and Re­search Now.

And ac­cord­ing to the 2018 re­port, “more than 50 per­cent of sur­veyed mar­keters’ com­pa­nies now al­lo­cate bud­gets for both in­flu­encer and con­tent mar­ket­ing” and this me­dian bud­get level has in­creased two per­cent yearover-year, with bud­gets within the $700,000 to $4.99 mil­lion range.”

As a mar­ket­place con­nect­ing brands and pub­lish­ers to their creators, IZEA World­wide iden­ti­fied three broad trends in its 2018 study: so­cial me­dia mat­u­ra­tion, nat­u­ral se­lec­tion and cul­tural scru­ti­niza­tion.

This so­cial me­dia mat­u­ra­tion is caus­ing con­sumers to be “nat­u­rally se­lect­ing their pre­ferred plat­forms, pick­ing and choos­ing which so­cial me­dia best fit into their lives and fo­cus­ing more on those,” said Jana O’Brien, chief con­sul­tant on the study and prin­ci­pal at The Right Brain.

Newly re­vealed in this study, con­sumers are “scru­ti­niz­ing all mar­ket­ing mes­sages” more so than pre­vi­ous stud­ies due to “shaken trust” across all me­dia sources.

An­other al­ready trend­ing ob­ser­va­tion in the re­port is the con­sumer move­ment to­ward au­then­tic­ity and orig­i­nal­ity in con­tent.

Within this push for au­then­tic­ity, FTC guidelines cre­ate chal­lenges for in­dus­try­wide com­pli­ance. Al­though most con­tent creators are aware of them, many mar­keters ei­ther ne­glect to fol­low or mis­un­der­stand the guidelines en­tirely.

In the re­port, “nearly three in 10 con­tent creators have been asked not to dis­close com­pen­sa­tion by their clients,” in­di­cat­ing this fail­ure to dis­close as an on­go­ing prob­lem stamp­ing a greater mes­sage of in­au­then­tic­ity and grow­ing con­sumer mis­trust.

In­flu­encer mar­ket­ing rep­re­sents “an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity for brands and creators alike” said Ryan Schram, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of IZEA, and the study high­lights the grow­ing de­mand for au­then­tic­ity and orig­i­nal­ity in con­tent.

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