Canada’s Influencer Marketing & Social Content Marketing Boom Explained

Canada can boast one of the world’s highest rates of time spent online. Adults in Canada will spend an average of four hours a day on digital devices consuming media, according to eMarketer. They are doing this primarily through social networks and online video.

Canadian marketers are very aware of this usage and are following their customers to the platforms where they spend most of their attention. As a result, influencer and social content marketing is a growth industry. The Interactive Advertising Bureau sizes Canada’s digital advertising market to be worth 6.2 billion dollars, with mobile and video ad formats responsible for the highest areas of demand. According to IZEA’s State of the Creator Economy Study, meanwhile, more than 74% of marketers in Canada have allocated budgets to influencer and content marketing.

According to Strategy’s Agency Survey a large number of agencies saw their clients spend more on digital and social (31% and 22%, respectively) in 2017. Branded content was also a popular area of investment, with 11% seeing clients placing more emphasis on original entertainment, while influencer marketing came fourth, with 5% reporting client interest in the space.

Influencer and social content marketing can come in many forms, including text, photos and videos. It can also involve many different platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Snapchat. It involves creative storytelling that engages audiences and leverages individuals with social media followers.

From Campaigns To A New Creative Class

In the past 12 months in Canada we’ve seen a large number of interesting social content campaigns and programs running across all the platforms. Campaigns like Walmart and Interac’s Upstairs Amy, Kijiji Duel, General Mill’s #daretobeakidagain, Canon’s Creator Class and American Express’s ‘You Do You’ campaign.

Canada is already home to the world’s most popular online stars, including Lilly Singh, LaurDIY, Matthew Santoro and ASAP Science, to name a few. It is also home to a rising online creative class adept at engaging audiences and integrating marketers into their content. Just take a look at the roster of social creators represented by Kin Community, Studio71, Much Digital Studios to get an idea.

An Ecosystem Emerges

This confluence of demand, supply and creativity has created a exciting environment where an ecosystem is emerging. There are a number of specialized publishers and agencies that are active in the space. For example, two of the biggest influencer marketing publishers in the world, IZEA and Studio71, have growing offices here in Toronto.

Not to be left out, Canada’s top broadcasters have gotten into the game, launching their own influencer marketing and social content initiatives. Corus has a longstanding partnership with Kin Community, Bell has Much Digital Studios and Quebecor has launched Goji.

There are also a number of native Canadian startups that are thriving in the space including long standing Broadband TV, Cue Digital Media, Profluence, #Paid, Shine Influencers, Influicity, Viral Nation and le slingshot.

All the major media buying agencies have launched business units that specialize in content: Omnicom has Alternator, MediaCom has Media Beyond advertising, Dentsu has The Story Lab, UM has Society and Wavemaker is the new merger between Maxus and MEC.

influenceTHIS was created for Canadian marketing and media executives to seize this market opportunity by bringing together this ecosystem to do business, learn and be inspired from one another. Join us May 15th at District 28 in Toronto for a gathering of the ecosystem. Pre-Book meetings, participate in workshops with other executives and learn from case studies and research in the space. 

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