The world of influencer marketing is constantly changing and keeping a pulse on what matters most to creators is essential. In their report Creator economy in 3D: Maximizing opportunities between platforms, brands, and creators, top consulting firm Deloitte uncovers several key data points within the creator economy. Keep reading to learn more about the results and what it means for influencers, brands, and platforms.
Who Conducted the Survey?
The Creator Economy in 3D: Maximizing opportunities between platforms, brands, and creators report was created by Deloitte, one of the world’s most reputable consulting firms. Founded in 1895, the company is widely known as one of the “Big Four” consulting houses, along with Ernst & Young (EY), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), and KPMG. In addition to tax, audit, and consulting services, Deloitte is also one of the most well-respected think tanks, putting out regular research and publications around cutting edge topics like artificial intelligence, the future of work, and consumer behavior.
The current CEO of Deloitte is Joseph B. Ucuzoglu, who is tasked with leading over 415,000 professionals at the firm and approximately $60 billion in revenue. The Deloitte network includes over 150 countries and territories. Jobs at Deloitte are notoriously competitive, however the organization receives regular praise for being one of the top employers in the world.
In May 2022, Deloitte surveyed 400 creators within the United States to learn more about their creative work, their goals, and the challenges they face. Participants included creators from a wide range of niches and industries. Creator audiences ranged from 5,000 followers to more than one million followers.This comprehensive report includes insights into the following topics:
- How much income creators generate from three main sources: how much of their income comes from three primary sources: brand sponsorships, such as affiliate marketing or sponsored posts; follower contributions, such as direct payments or subscriptions, and platform payments, such as creator pools or ad revenue
- How creators rank their top priorities when considering brand partnerships
- How creators rate their primary platforms
- What creators think about new technology trends, like Web3 and NFTs
Data from the survey revealed several insights into the creator economy. The report also includes several key suggestions for brands and platforms looking to improve their relationships with content creators.
Three Key Takeaways
1. Nearly 70% of creators surveyed said their top priority in a brand partnership is relevance to their audience, even more than a brand’s overall popularity. Given the choice between general popularity and audience relevance, creators chose audience relevance by a nearly 3-to-1 margin. Additionally, 37% of creators consider the brand’s values and purpose as a top consideration over popularity.
2. Securing and maintaining brand sponsorships, negotiating contracts, and receiving timely payments are some of the most common challenges faced by creators. 37% of creators find sponsored posts somewhat to very difficult to manage and 60% feel the same about affiliate marketing.
3. 52% of micro-creators strongly agree the platform they use the most helps grow their business, compared with only 29% of creators with more than 100,000 followers. Additionally, 48% of micro-creators strongly agree their platform provides fair opportunities to profit, compared with only 40% of creators with over 100,000 followers.
What Does This Mean for Influencer Marketing?
The first takeaway shows that top creators won’t necessarily drop everything to work for a brand based only on its popularity. Authenticity is key when it comes to maintaining an audience, so it’s important for brand partnerships to fit in as seamlessly as possible with the rest of their content. While monetary value of a partnership is high on the list of values, the results suggest that may not be enough to seal a deal if the brand isn’t relevant.
According to Deloitte, brands looking to solidify relationships with creators should clearly demonstrate how they are relevant to their audience, especially if it’s not clear up front. Creators also place a great deal of importance on a brand’s values and brands who can point out alignment in this area may have a better chance of securing a mutually-beneficial partnership.
The second takeaway highlights some of the biggest challenges faced by the creator economy. Finding brand partnerships was the top concern, followed by getting paid on time and negotiating contracts. The data also suggests these issues are more prevalent in creators with smaller audiences.
While these issues are more in the hands of a creator than the fault of a brand, there are things brands can do to ease the burden. Deloitte suggests brands should set clear expectations at the beginning of a project and stick to the terms of the contract. Creators also prefer long-term, ongoing contracts over one-off collaborations, so brands should consider their overall plan and strategy when bringing a new partner on board.
The third takeaway shows that creators with small audiences are less satisfied with their primary platforms than creators with over 100,000 followers, especially when it comes to business support and opportunities to earn a profit. The report also showed that today’s content creators are on an average of two different platforms. Deloitte suggests platforms should make supporting their creators a priority. This also includes making it easier for creators to resolve technical issues and address concerns around harassment and abusive behavior.
Overall, Deloitte’s data provides a window into what makes today’s creator economy tick. The firm also provides valuable insights for brands and creator platforms looking to take their partnerships with creators to the next level.
Link to the Report
The Creator Economy in 3D report can be found on Deloitte’s website, along with additional insights and research reports on marketing, technology, and more.