5 key takeaways from a new survey on how creators influence their audiences, including what followers are willing to pay for

  • A new study found what people are spending their money on based on creator recommendations.
  • Education platform Teachable surveyed 1,000 people about their connections with creators.
  • Here are five key takeaways for influencers from the November report.

According to a November report from educational platform Teachable that examined how online audiences engaged with influencers, consumers are handing over their credit cards to pay for merchandise, podcasts, livestream access, and other products sold by creators.

50% of Gen Zers said they buy products or services advertised because they want to support their favorite creators.

The relationship between creators and their followers has grown stronger in recent years, having a significant impact on the influence online personalities have over people’s purchasing decisions.

In fact, according to a separate CreatorIQ study, 67% of brands are spending more on influencer marketing this year than last year due to how much creators resonate with consumers.

Influencers are also being used to drive sales by social media platforms that have gone all-in on e-commerce, such as YouTube and TikTok. Short-form shopping videos on YouTube are becoming increasingly popular, and TikTok has been incentivizing creators to use its new shopping platform in the hopes of capturing their massive online audiences.

Against this backdrop, Teachable surveyed 1,000 people from July 19 to July 26 via the research firm Dynata to learn how audiences interact with creators. Respondents had to indicate that they had meaningfully engaged with at least one to five creators and/or purchased from a creator in the past in order to participate.

Around 20% of the respondents were between the ages of 18 and 24; 30% were between the ages of 25 and 34; 30% were between the ages of 35 and 44; and 20% were between the ages of 45 and 50.

According to Olivia Owens, Teachable’s head of creator partnerships, some creators have used educational content that isn’t traditionally taught in schools and universities to cement their relationships with followers, such as how to clean an oven or personal finance tips.

“We’re seeing more people who want to be educated on topics they can’t easily learn about, and once creators build that trusted connection with the audience, it leads to influence over where they put their money,” Owens said in an interview with Business Insider.

Here are five key takeaways from Teachable’s 2023 study on how creators connect with audiences:

  • YouTube is the most popular and popular platform among Generation Z: Almost 70% of Gen Zers polled said YouTube was their favorite social-media platform and where they spent the most time. Instagram came in second, with 48% of people voting it as their favorite.
  • People typically find creators via their feeds or recommended content, as well as by searching for specific content: According to the survey, one-quarter of those polled discovered creators by searching for specific categories. It also emphasizes the importance of the platform’s algorithm, as 49% said they discovered online personalities through their feed.
  • A majority of people online only follow and meaningfully engage with one to five creators: The survey found that 55% of consumers prefer following and building relationships with a smaller number of creators online. Gen Zers were the odd ones out: 20% of those surveyed followed 15 accounts or more, a that percentage dropped among older demographics.
  • Some Gen Zers devote a significant amount of time to consuming content from a single creator: 20% of those under the age of 24 who were polled said they spent at least one hour consuming one creator’s content. According to the survey, respondents of all ages preferred a video length of six to fifteen minutes. Despite the fact that Owens attributes this to the renewed popularity of longer-form content — as evidenced by TikTok’s introduction of 10-minute videos last year — she believes that short videos help creators initially attract a dedicated audience.”If creators were forced to make hour-long videos out of the gate, they wouldn’t have a good idea of what really strikes a chord with their audience,” she told me. “Short form allows them to understand what information they share resonates with people, and build a base around that.”
  • Consumers are willing to pay creators for goods, podcasts, and other services: According to the survey, 38% of those polled purchased physical merchandise from a creator they followed, 23% purchased a membership or podcast, and 21% paid for livestream access.

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