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Watch IZEA COO Ryan Schram and The Right Brain’s Jana O’Brien present key findings of the 2017 State of the Creator Economy Report

IZEAFest is merely a memory now but the groundbreaking research and actionable insights presented are still as fresh as ever. In this installment of the IZEAFest Session Video Recap series, we showcase our very own Ryan Schram drills down the data from the 2017 State of the Creator Economy into snackable takeaways.

Copiloted by Jana O’Brien of The Right Brain, the session highlights findings from the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind. Now in its seventh year, the reportcommissioned by IZEA and conducted in partnership with research firms The Right Brain Consumer Consulting, Halverson Group, Lightspeed GMI, and Research Now provides an independent snapshot of the effectiveness of digital and traditional forms of marketing from the perspectives of creators, consumers, and marketers in both the U.S. and Canada.

Dig into the details by watching the video below or, if you’re at work, by reading the complete transcript also provided. You can also download the 2017 State of the Creator Economy report here.

Good morning IZEAFest, how are we? Doing well? Excellent.So who’s ready to get nerdy with some numbers this morning?

So who’s ready to get nerdy with some numbers this morning?(audience applauding)

(audience applauding)I can’t hear you, come on.

I can’t hear you, come on. Nerdy with numbers, what’s better than that? Fantastic, I’m Ryan Schram, COO at IZEA and joining me this morning is Jana O’Brien from The Right Brain. We are super stoked to give you an exclusive look, a sneak peek at the 2017 State of the Creator Economy.

This body of knowledge is the largest and most comprehensive independent study of its kind, investigating the world of influencer and concept marketing through the eyes of marketers, creators, and consumers. As the team approached the scope for this year’s research plan, there were a number of things to be mindful of.

First, there is this rapid evolution going on in the social space, from new platforms to evolving content types, increased automation. We wanted a better understanding of the space and the contexts of the world surrounding them. We also were keenly aware that there are expanding marketing approaches going on. Every single day, there’s something new popping up.

Every single day, there’s something new popping up. So reliable, forward focused market metrics were extremely important as we wanted to understand the world around us. At IZEA, we’ve always felt strongly that part of our responsibility of being a pioneer is to use independent research to help shape the future of the industry we serve for all of its constituents.

Seven years ago, we released the first ever State of Sponsored Social Study. Like the category itself, what we seek to learn and share has dramatically evolved over time. What did we do to enhance the study for this year? First, we wanted to do a deep dive on both influencer and content marketing. No one else had done that before. As well as a separate look at the United States and Canada, as well as in contrast to one another, ’cause there are some very keen differences. Importantly, we’ve also chosen to shift the time of year the study was fielded to increase our incidence and sample size. Away from summertime when all of you are on vacation, and back to the fall where we’re back to school and back to work.

To execute on this vision, we tasked The Right Brain to lead this remarkable project in conjunction with their research partners at Halverson Group, Lightpeed GMI, and Research Now. This morning, here at IZEAFest 2017, we’re going to walk you through the key findings from this year’s State of the Creator Economy. From marketers to creators and consumers, both here in the US and to the north in Canada. For those of you who slept through stats class,

For those of you who slept through stats class, were out too late last night having a great time, I promise you we’re going to make this fun and easy to understand. Sound good?

(audience cheering)

Alright, let’s get started and take a look at some of the high-level findings. I think it’s safe to say that no industry wants to be the next flash in the pan. An overnight sensation that has absolutely no staying power. I’m proud to report that this year’s study revealed that for both marketers and consumers, influencer marketing is only growing stronger.

The future of content marketing is equally exciting. Brands are just beginning to scratch the surface of educating, not just hard selling, their customers. And consumers, they’re noticing. As a society, our social fabric in the digital age

As a society, our social fabric in the digital age continues to intertwine. In 2016, fully 7 in 10 regular US internet users age 18 to 70 used social media each month, up four percentage points from the year before. They visited just over seven social platforms each year, about one to three times a day. Also in this year’s study, we found that visual and short form content is what’s really breaking through with consumers. Whether it’s motion based infographics, a listicle,

Also in this year’s study, we found that visual and short form content is what’s really breaking through with consumers. Whether it’s motion based infographics, a listicle, or just a great photo on Instagram, a picture can truly be worth 1,000 words. Another headline this year. Influencer marketing is not only here to stay, it’s quantifiably become one of marketers’ most effective tools. Effectiveness momentum grew with both consumers and marketers this year, off of existing significant growth from the year before.

By taking a deep dive on content marketing this year, we also discovered that credible, quality content is what breaks through all the noise that’s out there today. With perceived effectiveness equal to or higher than traditional marketing approaches. And while content is king, credibility is queen, boosting that effectiveness when an authoring source is identified as a subject matter expert.

To that extent, in a social web filled with junk, or what others may call, fake news, what stands out to consumers is simple. Whether it’s influencer or content marketing, content creator credibility, product experience, and the resulting follower respect is what stands out and drives value. For marketers, quality is the name of the game, along with brand fit and demonstrable success.

But brand fit, it’s a two-way street. This year, creators stated that they’re becoming more selective on where they choose to invest their time. That makes sense, right? We’re all time starved as a society. So from the platforms creators utilize, projects they choose to take on what brands, creators are placing a critical lens on being a partner, not just a paid shill.

So, are we ready to dive in and get geeky?

(audience cheering)

Alright, before we do so one quick note. Our awesome marketing team will be posting this presentation as well as an easy-reference infographic produced by IZEA’s custom content team on the resources page of So feel free to take notes, we’ve already done it for ya. In the meantime, we encourage you to tweet your favorite stats with the hashtag IZEAFest.

Last but not least, I’m very pleased to welcome back Jana O’Brien from The Right Brain.

(audience applauding)

Yes, absolutely. Jana was named a media maven by Ad Age and led research and insight at some of the world’s leading agencies serving the world’s most valuable brands. She is a trusted partner of IZEA and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to have here with us this morning. Please give a warm IZEAFest welcome for Jana O’Brien.

(audience applauding)

Morning everybody.

[Audience] Morning.

I threatened to sing, ♫ It’s research; Research on a Friday morning ♫ to Ryan yesterday. Who doesn’t want that, I mean come on. The great thing is, I always like the gigs where I get to present good news, a lot more than when I present bad news. Today is a good news day for this industry. So let’s get into it.

First, we just want to tell you what we did really briefly. In our Marketer and Creator Study for 2016, we again went to US marketers on Research Now’s B2B online panel and we talked to 602 of them this year. We talked to 250 creators from IZEA’s own in-house Influencer and Content Creator panel. In Canada, we talked to 145 influencers and content marketers, also from the same Research Now B2B panel so we could compare reliably the country findings to each other.

So let’s start with the marketer learning. Ryan will then take you through the creator learning, and I’ll come back and talk about the end consumer and what we learned from them.

First of all, the marketers we talked to this year, as with last year, had a lot of experience across the entire marketing mix. As you’ll see, most dominantly they were dealing with digital type marketing efforts. But they did have good experience across the traditional advertising and media mix. They’re also becoming increasingly familiar with influencer marketing. Among the influencer marketers who we’ve surveyed for three years running, it’s moved up from 6.4 on a 10 point scale to 6.6, and now 7.3 level of familiarity with influencer marketing. And among our content marketers, it’s close to that at 7.1.

They’re also becoming increasingly familiar with influencer marketing. Among the influencer marketers who we’ve surveyed for three years running, it’s moved up from 6.4 on a 10 point scale to 6.6, and now 7.3 level of familiarity with influencer marketing. And among our content marketers, it’s close to that at 7.1.

You’re gonna see that those two groups are very comparable because half of them were both. They did both influencer marketing and content marketing. So there’s not that much difference between the two samples. Marketers even more familiar with content marketing, with influencer marketers being familiar at a 7.8 out of 10 scale, and content marketers being familiar at a 8 out of 10.

They’re not just familiar, they’re using the techniques. 254% of our influencer marketers had done a program in the past year, and fully 70% of the content marketers had done a content marketing program in the past year. They’re using it, and they’re allocating budgets too.

Another piece of good news, over two-thirds, 69% of US marketers and companies that do influencer marketing dedicate a standalone budget for that type of effort for their brand. Though we measured it slightly different this year because of our expanded sample, that’s up from 52% just one year ago.

Organization-wide if you look across all the brands a company handles, a third of the marketers had budgets over a half million dollars dedicated to influencer marketing this year, up from 25% just one year ago. Content marketing brand budget news is also good, over half of US marketers, 58% have a dedicated content marketing budget for their brand, and organization-wide, 29% have budgets over half a million dollars.

So it’s more familiar, it’s being more used, and it’s being budgeted formally in their annual brand budgets. When it comes to this kind of marketing, that familiarity and that investment is also breeding marketer embrace and our Effectiveness Metrics prove that.

If you were here last year or you looked at our studies before, you know we have two key kinds of effectiveness metrics for the entire range of marketing in the mix. One of ’em is pure grading scale. On a one to ten scale, how effective do you think this kind of marketing is? The other is a momentum number, which is versus one year ago, do you feel it’s getting more effective, just as effective, or less effective than it was then?

Both of those metrics say good things about influencer and content marketing among the marketers of America. Let’s start with the grade report.

Content and influencer marketing achieved chart-topping effectiveness ratings this year among those who are familiar with these techniques. At a 7.7 out of 10 and a 7.6 out of 10 for influencer marketing. As you can see, those are all above traditional marketing.

What’s really interesting is if you look at traditional advertising and radio, and magazine and newspapers. They’re down there at the bottom. Not only are they down there at the bottom, but the trend isn’t very pretty for them either. If you look at our last three studies, this year included, you’ll see that traditional advertising is flat-lining, or actually getting less effective.

In contrast, content marketing which we’ve only measured for the last two years is still high at about 7.7 and influencer marketing is getting steadily more effective in the minds of marketing, great news. It’s not just the grade report, it’s also the momentum. If you recall, this measure has always been positive for these kinds of marketing approaches, but it’s super positive this year. At the top of the list at a plus 57 net,

At the top of the list at a plus 57 net, and a plus 53 net positive momentum of being more effective than I thought it was a year ago among marketers. Look at those purple numbers. All those negative numbers are associated with the effectiveness of traditional advertising and the media mix. They’re less effective on a net basis than they were a year ago. What we found in terms of what kinds of influencer marketing techniques are being used, is that the trend is toward the more quick and the more visual in marketing techniques when we look in year on year changes, versus year ago.

What we found in terms of what kinds of influencer marketing techniques are being used, is that the trend is toward shorter and the more visual in marketing techniques when we look in year on year changes, versus a year ago. So videos, photos, and status updates have the largest percentage gains along with blogs this year.

You can see that a Facebook update, plus 18, following a brand, plus 11, a sponsored video, plus 20, a sponsored blog post, plus 16. Mostly quick, mostly visual is where the big growth is. In content marketing, we also saw marketers favoring more quick and visual methods. With their experience with these kinds of methods being highest among photography and infographics, at about half of all marketers reading-oriented levels, like white papers, inside features, and trend pieces.

So what’s important in choosing an influencer partner and getting those programs going?

The answer here, when you look at these numbers, is everything is important. I care about everything being important. But first up is content quality and media metrics. I’ve got to have the quality, it’s gotta be a great partner, somebody that knows what they’re doing, that’s gonna produce great content. But I also need the metrics to prove to me it’s working. Because let’s face it, it’s big data, it’s little data, clients need data today.

Then comes at a close third and fourth level, the traffic and the creator’s reputation. Those are strong numbers, but they just
lag slightly behind pure quality and pure metrics. So we wanted to know this year, and asked for the first time, who’s responsible for content marketing in your organization? This is the first time we’ve ever asked it. Next year we’ll have some trend data on it.

What we’ve found is, kinda everybody’sm responsible for it or has a place involved in it in our organization. First and foremost, brand and account management, followed by the digital web development folks. But also, the creative department, the PR department, the media department, the search department, they’re all touching this. We wonder if this might be creating
some process inefficiencies and lack of centers of excellence that companies might want to pay attention to, and try to center
who’s really in charge so there can be the efficiencies that companies and clients demand today.

More consistent is where the creation is actually done. For two thirds of our marketers, it’s done in-house amongst the studio or writers. 16% use an external agency, 14% use independent contractors, and 6% use a content tech partner. So that’s a really quick look. There’s probably 120 pages of content in the full report that will be released over the next couple of months. But those are the highest highlights.

Let’s do a quick headline focus on what we learned in Canada, from our Canadian marketers in our first wave ever of studying that country.

First of all, just like in the US, influencer marketing and content marketers lean toward the top in terms of overall marketing effectiveness ratings, along with celebrity endorsements which seem to be very much favored by Canadian influencer marketing and experiential marketing.

You can also see that traditional advertising falls to the bottom. I might add, if you haven’t memorized every number you’ve seen so far, that, overall, Canadian marketers rate everything more effective. They’re big believers in the effectiveness
of all kinds of marketing, but influencer and content still rise to the top.

You’re gonna see that’s different than Canadian consumers when we get to that section later. They also are allocating budgets
even more than are being allocated in the United States. 77% of Canadian influencer marketers have a dedicated budget for their brand, versus 69 in the United States. 74% have a budget for content marketing, versus 58 in the US.

So the Canadians are ahead of America. We’ve got to bring some of that belief down here to American marketers. Now you may or may not know that in Canada they have some ASC guidelines that have been recommended and are in the process of being adopted. They may be in process, they’re not very well known yet by Canadian marketers.

You can see that not one person said they were aware of and understand these guidelines among our Canadian marketer sample. Three-quarters said they either weren’t aware of them at all, or they were aware but not really familiar with them. So there’s much work to be done in gaining marketer understanding around proper disclosure in Canada.

So that’s what we learned in a Polaroid moment around US marketers, I’m gonna hand it over to Ryan to talk about creators. Then I’ll come back as the caboose and talk about consumers. –

– Thanks Jana. (audience applauding)

(audience applauding)

Alright, who out there in the room is a content creator, let me hear from ya.

(audience cheering)

Alright, we spoke to hundreds of you in this year’s study and here are some of the highlights of what we found. First, let’s talk about compensation. The creator sample stated that influencer marketing has become over half of their annual income, followed by traditional display ads, contributing about 23% to their livelihood. However, that percentage on display ads has remained effectively flat since 2014. If you look at influencer marketing

If you look at influencer marketing in conjunction with content creation and other freelance work that creators are doing, that adds up to over two-thirds of their annual income on average. Another noticeable shift in creator behavior this year was a decrease in the total amount of time spent developing content each month. We think this could be related to the earlier observations that Jana shared among the increase in platforms tied to short-form or visual content. Or perhaps better tools that now exist to help develop and publish content that’s made by creators.

The frequency of projects is also shifting simultaneously, from a historical weekly pattern to a couple times per month, or even a few months on average. This is likely reflective of the higher prices now being extended by marketers. Lessening the dependence on lower priced or more opportunistic kinds of engagements.

Where creators are creating also aligns with these macro trends. With Instagram leading the growth, along with Snapchat in this year’s study. Once high-flying platforms like Periscope and Tumblr, well they’re tumbling. And rest in peace Vine, as Veronique said earlier. Interestingly, Facebook’s war on YouTube

Interestingly, Facebook’s war on YouTube for housing and creating video assets. It seems to be having an impact here, with a negative 10% decline year over year. For the folks who falsely claim that creators are only out for the almighty dollar, they’re flat out wrong. Being proud to represent a brand and developing content around a product or service that their followers would find most interesting is far more important to creators than just compensation.

Also, take note of the bars talking about ease of process and the ability to screen opportunities. We think this aligns to anecdotal creator feedback that we receive of wanting to optimize those workflows of influencer and content marketing.

Let’s face it, creators are getting bombarded with manual outreach forms, emails, phone calls, direct messages, and it’s highly inefficient for everyone involved. Let’s shift gears and talk about transparency

Let’s shift gears and talk about transparency and disclosure for a minute. The influencer marketing industry as we know it today is well over a decade old. Yet there are still many people who are completely unaware of the FTC’s guidelines. They’re very simple in concept.

Compensation in the eyes of the FTC takes a number of forms, cash, of course free product or service. But also other kinds of soft compensation forms, experiences, discounts or coupons, and if it’s compensated, it’s therefore sponsored. If it’s sponsored, it must be disclosed. Andrew, from the law firm Olshan will be discussing the latest on the regulatory environment tomorrow afternoon right here at IZEAFest.

But here’s the good news. While there was a slight decrease from last year, nearly two-thirds of creators surveyed said they were aware and understood the FTC’s disclosure guidelines. But for the third straight year, the same cannot be said about their
marketer-side counterparts. Only one in 10 marketers are fully aware and understand the FTC regulations, with over half lacking basic familiarity.

Folks, this is not just an IZEA issue, it’s an industry issue. More needs to be done to proactively educate marketers as well as make examples of brands who intentionally disobey these compliance requirements. To that point, we added a new question this year to the study, inquiring when creators were explicitly asked by a marketer not to disclose compensation.

Shockingly, nearly three in 10 creators surveyed said they were asked to not disclose by a marketer last year. We speculate that given the sensitivity of that question, the actual level could even be higher. For those that do properly disclose, two-thirds do so in post, and half do so both in post and via disclosure policy statement on their various social channels.

It was also interesting to see this year, the price per post and price per asset cost expectation discrepancies between creators and marketers that emerged when studying both spaces. For you influencers out there, marketers are assigning expected cost three to 13 times higher on average than what you’re charging. Note that the largest premiums expected though, are placed by marketers on highly visual platforms, like live streams and video. Recurring theme here, right?

For content marketing creators, the story is similar. You’re charging rates 1.5 to 5 times less than what marketers expect to pay you, with graphic production and video production being the largest disconnects. All told, creators are optimistic as they look to the future, but are generally seeking training and education, both for themselves, but also for marketers.

To understand how to optimize the approach to both influencer and content marketing. So we’ve covered the marketers, and we’ve covered the creators, but how does all this resonate with the end audience, the consumers? For that, I’ll turn it back over to Jana to walk us through the highlights.

(audience applauding)

– I love you marketers, and I love you creators, but you’re also consumers, but you might not be normal consumers. I’m here to talk to you about the normal, average, American social media consumer and what we learned about them and how they feel about this space in 2016-17.

So we’ll start with US, then we’ll go to Canada, but first let’s talk about how many folks we talked to. In the US, as we did last year, we talked to a thousand US online social media consumers age 18 to 70, using Lightspeed GMI’s National Online USA Consumer Panel. We went with that same company to survey 300 folks in Canada for our wave one, first effort at the SOCE in Canada. So who qualified for this study?

So who qualified for this study? Let me walk you through qualification, and how you got in and got to finish the survey. Nearly two in five American adults this year age 18 to 70 qualified. We started with everybody who’s online in America, and then we required that they spend at least 15 hours per month outside of email online, that took us down to 74% which is up a few points from last year.

So Americans are spending more time online per month. Then they had to have used at least one social media platform in the past month, which took it down a few points to 71%. Again, that’s up four points from 2015. Finally, we required, since the study is about influencer and content marketing that they had seen at least one influencer marketing message in the past year. That took it down to our sample base of 38% of all online Americans, age 18 to 70. That’s what this is based on in the whole study.

In Canada, it was somewhat similar. 34% qualified for our study. What’s kind of interesting is the 15 hours plus number, 81% is a little higher than in the US, as is the past social media users at 77%. We wonder if just the worse weather in Canada makes people hunker down, stay inside, and just spend a little more time online versus their Americans who have weather like we have here in Orlando today.

Those are our sample bases. Let’s look at what we learned from the US consumer in 2016-17. First of all, this is what I call my skyline chart. What you’re seeing here, the top bar is annual usage, the next one is monthly usage, the next one is weekly usage,  and the next one is daily usage of 11 social media platforms. What you can see is, with all this usage, social media is clearly America’s 2016 social currency, with US online users averaging 7.1 social media platforms used each year. It kind of splits into four tiers like it did last year, with YouTube and Facebook being almost ubiquitous. There’s only a couple of people that don’t use those platforms in a yearly time.

At the second tier at about three-quarters of Americans are blogs, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. At a third level of about half to two-thirds of Americans, is LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr, and God rest in peace, Vine. Finally, bringing up the rear is Periscope at just under half of consumers using it in an average year. What you notice is Instagram and Snapchat don’t have as big a drop off slope between annual and daily usage as some of the others, other than Facebook. The reason for that is it seems that once people start to use it, they start to use it often.

Again, in keeping with our quick and visual content that seems to be the popular trend today. Once they’re there, how often are they there? Well, monthly visitation shows there’s Facebook, and then there’s everybody else. Facebook leads the pack at 101 average visits a month, up 11% versus just one year ago. At the next tier is Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter, and then everybody else falls behind. Again, you see the highest indexes year on year being for those more visual and more quick kinds of platforms.

We like to ask people, “Are you following “famous people, or just regular people “across your social media activities?” It’s not a huge difference, but there’s a little bit of a scooch towards famous people this year, with a one to two percentage point increase
across almost all of the platforms, other than Facebook, in following famous people.

They split into three tiers. Twitter, YouTube, Periscope, and Vine all are very famous people-skewed. Kind of balanced are Tumblr, Instagram, blogs, and Snapchat, with Snapchat being the most evenly balanced of all the platforms. Regular people-skewed are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pinterest. They’re seeing and they’re following more influential people, they’re probably digesting a lot more content.

Our numbers showed they’re seeing a lot more influencer or sponsored social type messages this year. So does that mean that people are saying, “Enough already, I don’t like it, “It’s not very effective.” No, quite the opposite, what we found is more messages actually means more impact.

So let’s get into those grading scales, the one to 10, how effective do you think this is, and how effective it is in the momentum world versus last year. Here’s everything but social media platforms. You can see they’re all rated pretty good on a 10 point scale, from 6.1 for radio DJ sponsored endorsement, up to 7.2 for a TV commercial. Okay, not great in effectiveness. In contrast, all the social media platforms range from a 7.1 for Facebook to a 7.9 for Periscope in terms of effectiveness ratings
from the consumer point of view.

If you lay it all together, there’s only three things outside of social media that live in the range that social media influencer marketing are. That’s quality of product ratings on an online consumer review website, a written review or article on a consumer review website, and even if people think it’s dying, TV commercials. Still effective and in the hunt, but nothing more effective than social media platform influencer messages.

What about content marketing? What we’ve found is ratings of the effectiveness of various content marketing approaches kind of span the spectrum from 6.4 to 7.2. We looked further in the data and found that content marketing approaches were rated equally or slightly higher than regular advertising in the same media. Consumers answered the effectiveness for all of those 41 things, no matter whether they actually listen to the radio or watched TV or read a magazine or not.

We recognize that might be unfair, because if they rated a social media platform they had to use it. So we pulled out only the people who use each medium, and looked at their effectiveness ratings for an apples to apples view. Low and behold, the numbers did go up a slight bit, but influencer marketing messages were still as high, and in most cases higher, than all other of the 41 marketing messages measured this year, and most of them received lower ratings than influencer marketing.

The good news gets even better when you look at momentum. Do consumers think these messages are better, the same, or worse in effectiveness than they were last year. This is all 11 platforms, and they’re all much better in consumers’ minds. These are pretty astounding numbers. A net 32 to 47 percent positive momentum in terms of the percent of people thinking that they’re better than they were last year. Again, great news.

We also quantified for the first time this year content marketing opportunities by measuring how many articles or pieces people engaged in across the 20 subjects that dominate today’s media streams. What we found is, the average US consumer
reads 207 articles and visits 398 websites monthly across those 20 subjects. Representing 20 daily content marketing
opportunities for this industry.

The implication is, frequent consumer subject matter engagement spells a great content marketing opportunity. Just like we did with marketers, we wanted to ask consumers what makes the message more effective from influencers. We gave them a whole range of attributes and had them rate them on a one to 10 scale.

Here are the percent that gave an eight, nine, or 10 on that scale in terms of it being important. As Ryan said in the overview, content creator credibility, expertise, and respect, plus first-hand experience with the product or product category on the part of the consumer are the top effectiveness drivers. They really help a message be more effective. See how much more important than that is, than down at the bottom, the number of followers a creator might have, or how popular the creator might be.

It’s really that personal relationship, just frankly in any part of that relationship between consumers and brands. They want that feeling of a one-on-one relationship, no matter what anybody else thinks. That’s what’s important in driving an effective message. We ask a similar question for the first time

We ask a similar question for the first time on the content creation for content marketing. Because there’s the whole issue of, should you identify the creator or not, does that matter? The answer is it does matter, and the more expert or the more known
the creator is, the more the positive impact is on the net momentum. That’s an overview of what we learned from consumers in the United States.

Let’s look at what we learned in Canada. Just a few of the key highlights for the most comparable measures.

First of all, our skyline chart. Canadian social media platform usage equals the United States for the top three players, but then it kind of lags across the other eight players. This is annual usage, when you go to monthly, weekly, and daily, those differences between the US and Canada get little bit wider.

US uses social media a lot more so far than the Canadians. In terms of frequency, just like in the US, Facebook is king, but then Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter comprise the second level in terms of how often these consumers in Canada go online.

Just like in the US, influencer marketing received right at the top effectiveness ratings, along with a few other message types. Year on year it has top ranking effectiveness momentum versus a year ago. Here’s everything but social media. What’s interesting here is, the marketers in Canada believe in everything more, all types of marketing is more effective than in the US.

But Canadian consumers are more skeptical than their US counterparts. They gave all these techniques about a half a point to a full point lower ratings in effectiveness. So advertising in Canada, they’re a little more skeptical up there. The rank order is about the same, and if you flip over to social media platforms, those numbers as you can see are much higher. They range from 6.2 to 7.4, and if you put it together you see that there’s only a few items in our list of 41 that do as well as influencer marketing in Canada, and none of them do better than the top ranking social media platforms.

In terms of content marketing, same thing. It spanned the whole range from 5.5 to 6.2, but again everything in content marketing was equal to or slightly better than traditional advertising in the same media. So we get that same implication in Canada that we did in the US, we quantified how many websites Canadian consumers visited, or how many articles or content pieces they read per month across 20 subjects, and it totals about 480. Which means you have 15 content marketing opportunities per day for the average Canadian consumer. Huge platform for engagement and brand sales.

That’s it for our consumer learning. I’m gonna hand it back to Ryan to wrap us up.

(audience applauding)

– Thanks, Jana. Folks, today’s presentation like Jana said, is just scraping the surface of the entire body of knowledge she and her team have assembled for us over this last year. We take research at IZEA very, very seriously. Our plan is to continue to release those findings over the coming weeks on both and the company’s various social channels.

Before we wrap up, let’s quickly recap what we learned this morning. First, for US marketers the story is all about increased familiarity, effectiveness and access to budgets. Yes, there’s still some work to do on understanding the regulatory environment
around disclosure, and the consolidation of executional accountability inside marketing orgs needs to be improved.

For US creators, snackable and shareable content continues to reign supreme this year, with an emphasis on visual based assets. Creators have become reliable, informed standard-bearers on disclosure, but in some cases they may be underpricing themselves on certain kinds of projects.

US consumers are taking note of influencer and content marketing more than ever. It’s more effective than ever as a means of breaking through the clutter for marketers as a means to reach them. As they engage though, consumers are seeking creators who are trustworthy and credible in delivering their messages. IZEA’s first ever look at the Canadian market

IZEA’s first ever look at the Canadian market in isolation provided some very interesting findings that Jana shared. Including the practitioners there are more familiar with influencer and content marketing than their US counterparts, and are funding those efforts accordingly with more dedicated access to budgets. Looking ahead, the ASC rolling out an updated code in Canada means the Canadian marketers are going to need to become more educated on the do’s and the don’t’s on sponsorships in the social ether.

Last, while Canadian consumers are just plainly more skeptical about all marketing than US consumers, they still rated influencer marketing the top tier of effectiveness. They’re seeking personally relevant content to consume, which presents a compelling opportunity for marketers this year.

That’s the 2017 State of the Creator Economy.

(audience applauding)

Thank you. I want to thank Jana and the teams at Halverson Group, Lightspeed GMI, and Research Now for all their hard work, as well as IZEA’s in-house creative services team, held by Chad Rousseau and Marty Smith. Thank you for assembling all these great materials.

We’re incredibly proud of this independent look at the industry, and I hope you enjoyed it as well this morning.

Have a great IZEAFest, thank you.

(audience applauding)