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Creator connections: New research explores the latest trends in consumer engagement with influencers, revealing new levels of trust

by | Nov 6, 2023 | Public Relations

The Creator Economy is, as comms pros know, a driving force in delivering authentic content today, trusted by consumers far more than marketing and branded messaging, and these influencers and other content providers have become powerful allies for PR pros. 

But their consumer connections extend beyond generating revenue for the companies that enlist them for influencer campaigns—new research from creator platform Teachable finds that an astonishing 70 percent of consumers feel personally connected to their favorite creators, and just about everyone surveyed (95 percent) have learned something new from a creator. 

Creator connections: New research explores the latest trends in consumer engagement with influencers, revealing new levels of trust

The firm’s inaugural consumer report, Creator Connections, examines the trends and behaviors shaping fans and their favorite creators. The report, based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, tackles everything from the nitty gritty of what goes into high-performing content to the anatomy of developing authentic fan-creator connections.

Among the key findings:

  • Despite algorithms serving up endless streams of content, a majority of consumers only follow and meaningfully engage with one to five creators.
  • 70 percent of consumers say they feel personally connected to the creators they’re most engaged with—and about two-thirds (66 percent) of those consumers say they feel that connection within just a few days to weeks.
  • 40 percent of consumers say their decision to buy creator products or content is influenced by a sincere desire to support creators, and this percentage rises to 50 percent among Gen Z.
  • Beyond entertainment—95 percent of consumers say they’ve learned something new from a creator. What’s more, 80 percent somewhat or strongly agree they’ve made noticeable improvements in their lives thanks to insights or guidance from a creator.
  • Long-form social content is closing in on short-form as Gen Z‘s favorite format. Of note, live streams emerged as the third favorite across all generations. Plus, the majority of consumers prefer less-produced content.

Creator connections: New research explores the latest trends in consumer engagement with influencers, revealing new levels of trust

“It takes a highly engaged community—of fans, followers, students, subscribers, you name it—for creators to achieve long-term, sustainable growth. And that growth is the north star for even the biggest and best creators out there,” said Mark Haseltine, CEO of Teachable, in a news release.”

Creator connections: New research explores the latest trends in consumer engagement with influencers, revealing new levels of trust

“With this report, we set out to understand the trends shaping the people who are logging on, tuning in, and religiously following creators of all kinds,” said Haseltine. “We hope these new insights help not just our Teachable creators, but creators across the industry who are looking to find new and better ways to deliver content, products, and experiences that make an impact—in the here and now, and for some time to come.”

Download the full report here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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