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Reveals Tweets Gaining Popularity as Social Sponsorship Cuts Into Display Advertising Budget for Many Brand Marketers

Concern for Banners Increase, and Lack of Understanding for FTC Guidelines Are Common Themes for the Fourth Annual Report

ORLANDO, FL — IZEA (OTCQB:IZEA), the leader in Social Sponsorship, announced today the release of its annual “State of Sponsored Social” report. For both marketers and influencers, the rise of social sponsorships accompanies a decline in interest in display advertising. More than a third of marketers are weary of online display advertising, indicating that display is “dead or dying.” For many influencers, content sponsorship has become more lucrative than display, 55.7% say they make more money from sponsorships than online ads.

Compiled from over 10,000 brand marketers, social media consultants, and key social influencers’ input, the report demonstrates the increased importance that marketers put on pursuing social sponsorships, as influencers become increasingly receptive to such sponsorships.

The sophistication of social sponsorships has grown rapidly for both marketers and influencers alike. Marketers’ use of sponsored photos, for example, leapt from 24% in 2012 to 33% this year — and 29% report using sponsored Pins on Pinterest, which wasn’t part of the report in 2012.
Leading influencers increasingly expect cash compensation from brands for mentioning their products or services, but not all influencers are informed about the rules for disclosure, which the FTC requires when compensation is exchanged for content. In fact, 38% of influencers report “no understanding” of FTC guidelines for social sponsorship.

Meanwhile, the time demands of maintaining social media channels underline the importance of monetizing those social efforts: 26% of influencers say the amount of time they spend maintaining a social presence is equivalent to a full-time job.

The report also showed that this year a majority of brand marketers (61%) have pursued the compensation of social media influencers (a 5% increase year-over-year), whether that’s in the form of money, goods, services, discounts, or some other incentive. Among owners of social channels, 92% say they would accept compensation to promote something through their own platforms.

“Brand advertisers and editorial are working more closely than ever to develop mutually beneficial, scalable social sponsorship programs that are both high impact for brands and profitable for creators,” said Ted Murphy, founder and CEO, IZEA. “Increasingly we’re seeing brand marketers dial down their investments in online display, while dialing up a wide variety of sponsored social channels and other native advertising initiatives.”

Other takeaways from IZEA’s annual “State of Social Sponsorship” report:
• Sponsored Tweets are the most popular form among marketers of social influence, with 52% reporting using them. Sponsored blog posts dropped in popularity, by comparison — while 54% of marketers used them in 2012, 51% did in 2013.

• Quality remains a key factor for both brands and social media content creators. Quality of content (41.9%), shares (36.5%) and click-through rates (35.2%) were deemed the “most important measurement of success” for social influence by marketers.

Read the full report

About IZEA
Founded in 2006, IZEA is the pioneer of Social Sponsorship. The company
builds cloud-based marketplaces that connect brands with creators who blog,
tweet, pin, and post on their behalf.

Brands receive influential consumer content and engaging, shareable stories that
drive awareness. Creators are compensated for their participation and
partnership. For more information about IZEA, visit

Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of
Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking
statements are based largely on IZEA’s expectations and are subject to a
number of risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond IZEA’s control.
Actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements as a
result of, among other factors, competitive conditions in the Sponsored Social
segment in which IZEA operates, failure to popularize one or more of the
marketplace platforms of IZEA, inability to obtain additional capital, and changing
economic conditions that are less favorable than expected. In light of these risks
and uncertainties, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking information
contained in this respect will in fact occur. Please read the full statement and
disclosures here: