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Influencer update: New study reveals consumer, business and tech trends impacting the Creator Economy—and influencers’ top concern

by | May 3, 2024 | Public Relations

The Creator Economy has exploded over the last couple of years into a self-sustaining revenue model, and the growth shows no signs of slowing. But with growth comes complexity, and the most innovative influencers and other content creators find ways to rise above this ever-increasing pack to forge successful careers. One key to that innovative strategy for influencers—and for the brands that enlist them—is staying on top of the latest trends and developments that are driving success. 

New research from digital commerce and creator engagement platform URLgenius offers a snapshot of what’s new and what’s working in the industry now. The firm’s latest Creator Day Lightning Survey sheds light on the critical aspects impacting the quickly evolving landscape of the creator and influencer economy, including the impact of new technology, shifting consumer trends, brand affiliations, competition pressures, and more.

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More than a hobby

As digital platforms grow and social media companies further develop format offerings and in-app shopping opportunities, over 78 percent of 125 surveyed influencers and creators report their roles as full-time roles or careers.

Technology impact

While 39 percent of respondents feel optimistic about AI in content production, industry headwinds weigh heavily: 88 percent of respondents feel that changes in social media algorithms and platform features will significantly impact their business in the upcoming year.

Market saturation

Half (50 percent) of the creators highlighted the challenge of coping with increasing competition within the creator and influencer marketplace. Intensifying competition pressures push creators to constantly innovate, enhance their content, and strategically differentiate themselves in an ever-crowded field.

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Consumer trends

Significantly more than half (57 percent) of these influencers felt increasing demand for authenticity and transparency would have the greatest impact on their business, followed by expansion of e-commerce and social shopping (39 percent), with a rise for personalized/ customer content and the perceived preference for interactive content (quizzes & polls) nearly tied (28 percent and 25 percent respectively).

Brand love

Amazon emerged as the dominant choice among influencers, with nearly 80 percent expressing optimism about the brand’s potential to boost their business earnings. It was followed by Walmart, Target, and TikTok Shop, which received positive responses from 56 percent, 39 percent, and 20 percent of influencers, respectively.

Brand partnerships vs. affiliate commissions

While nearly all surveyed (98 percent) earn income through affiliate commissions, 77 percent benefited from brand partnerships, but only slightly, with just 12 percent noting brand partnerships account for more than half of their revenue (vs. 73 percent with affiliate commissions).

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While 77 percent of respondents enjoy the compensation model and financial incentives of working directly with brands, 56 percent want more creative freedom in content creation, and 46 percent want longer-term partnerships.

“Each creator’s journey is unique and evolves as their audience develops, but creating multiple income streams is universally critical to turn a passion into a full-time career,” said Brian Klais, CEO and founder of URLgenius, in a news release. “In making our technology freely available to aspiring creators, we hope to give them access to the tools that power their path to success. Our Lightning Surveys provide invaluable insight into the diverse needs of this dynamic community where there is no one-size-fits-all approach. I am constantly inspired by our creator clients who balance the tightrope of income diversification with their audience’s demands for authenticity, transparency, and a frictionless user experience.”

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To mark National Creator Day on April 23, URLgenius is offering free access to its patented technology and insights for creators who have fewer than 5,000 followers on their largest social media platform.

See full survey data here.

The survey was conducted from April 10 – April 17, 2024, across more than 125 URLgenius client creators with 62 percent having 100K + followers across their largest social media platform.

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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