Marketers are continuing to increase their spending on influencers, and their primary goals when working with creators are to generate more engagement and reach new audiences, according to a survey from Sprout Social.
Indeed, roughly 6 in 10 of the more than 500 US marketers surveyed as part of Sprout Social’s research into the creator economy are interested in more engagement (62%) and new audiences (60%). For the former goal, micro-influencers may be the best bet, while for the latter, it may be that creators with a wider reach are more valued.
Meanwhile, a majority (53%) of respondents are also seeking to strengthen their communities on social media, while about 4 in 10 are looking to drive revenue (42%) and promote their brand’s values (41%). Sprout Social’s analysts make the point that authenticity is paramount in these endeavors, an argument that makes sense in light of Gen Z’s desire for more authenticity in social media.
The Content That Marketers Want
As for the content types that marketers hire creators to produce, the most consensus surrounds educational content, with half of the survey respondents indicating that they hire creators to produce this type of content.
Following educational content are 3 types closely grouped, with more than 4 in 10 respondents hiring creators to product testimonials (43%), unboxing or reveals (42%) and giveaways or challenges (42%).
At the bottom of the list, fewer are looking for creators to produce trending topic commentary (28%) and skits/comedies (24%).
Consumers themselves are generally looking for similar content from influencers, with research suggesting that they find reviews most valuable, and commentary on current events, as well as memes, to be among their least valuable.
The Platforms and Formats Marketers Want Creators to Use
Instagram is the top platform that marketers plan to leverage for creators in the coming months, per the study: 58% plan to use it for creator collaborations in the next 3-6 months. Next on the list are Facebook (51%) and TikTok (50%), which half intend to use for such collaborations in the near-term.
[Editor’s note: it’s worth noting the real data privacy and national security concerns presented by TikTok usage in the US, as eloquently detailed by Scott Galloway here and Juan Mendoza here. Marketers considering using the app should fully consider these concerns before proceeding.]
Interestingly enough, the smallest proportion of respondents (27%) plan to leverage YouTube for creator collaborations in the coming months. That’s despite viewers of YouTube influencer videos reporting a strong impact from those endorsements.
As for content formats, the survey also delved into the most popular ones for each platform. On Instagram, Story posts are the top format that marketers plan to partner with creators on, followed by Feed posts and Reels. Separate research has suggested that short video formats such as Reels and TikTok are becoming important for marketers this year.
Meanwhile, Story posts are the top planned format for Facebook, followed by Story posts with link tags and Feed posts. On TikTok, Link in bio formats will get the most buy-in from marketers, ahead of Feed posts and Duet or Stitch. Finally, for YouTube, branded shout-outs in videos are tops, ahead of dedicated channel videos and unique links in video descriptions, while for Twitter, branded tweets sit atop the list, followed by branded retweets and branded curated quote tweets.
- Marketers working with creators typically have them post brand partnership content on their creator account on behalf of the brand (45% share), while 27% share have them post on brand pages/accounts and 29% share on both.
- Budget (45%) is the top challenge cited by marketers when working with creators, followed by lack of internal resources to manage creator relationships (36%) and an inability to find creators who align with the brand’s values (34%).
- Three-quarters of marketers say that content creators are sourced and vetted within 1-4 weeks, with half (49%) reporting a 1-2 week time frame, and another quarter (27%) saying it takes 3-4 weeks.
For more, check out the survey results here.