IZEA Releases 2011 State of Social Media Sponsorship (SMS) Report - Provides Trend and Value Data for Sponsored Blog and Tweet Content

Adoption of SMS Increasing Among both Publishers and Advertisers - More than 50 Percent of Publishers Accepted Compensation for Sponsored Content

Aug 09, 2011, 08:30 ET from IZEA Holdings, Inc.

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IZEA Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: IZEA), a world leader in social media sponsorships, today announced the release of its 2011 State of SMS Report. The report includes data from IZEA's June 2011 survey of nearly 4,000 individuals; including marketers and social media consultants, blog or Twitter content publishers, and advertisers.

Comparing 2011 to 2010 survey data illustrates an increase in adoption of SMS as a more standard practice by both publishers and advertisers. For 2011, 62.8 percent of participating publishers received compensation for a post or series of posts compared to 57.6 percent of respondents in 2010. Publishers surveyed in 2011 were also asked if they monetize their social media efforts through any means, with 91.1 percent answering "I do or would do", compared to 88.4 percent in 2010.

Among the marketers group surveyed, 51.5 percent reported giving a social media publisher some type of reward that came with the expectation of the publisher mentioning their client's brand on a social network. Among the different types of available social content, sponsored blogs remain the most frequently used social media sponsorship medium, followed by sponsored Tweets.

The report polled publishers regarding what they consider to be the most important factor when considering an advertiser's SMS offer. "Quality of Advertiser" ranked as the number one reason, with more than 60 percent of the respondents ranking it as "Most Important." For advertisers who were polled on their most important factor when considering a publisher SMS offer, "Quality of Content" was the highest ranked reason. "From our report, we see that advertisers are consistently looking for top content, and are willing to pay more to bloggers or Tweeters who use that content to engage a quality audience," said Ted Murphy, CEO of IZEA. "And for the content publishers, they are clamoring to work with the top advertising brands, and will actually accept reduced payments in order to gain the prestige that can come from identification with those brands."

Both Twitter publishers and advertisers were asked to estimate the value of a sponsored Tweet from the account of the publisher, with the survey reflecting a $134 and $63 value for each respective group. For sponsored blog post content, publishers noted a value of $190 and the advertiser group's average was $147. "The data regarding Tweets reflects the difficulty for each party to quantify real value," said Mr. Murphy. "IZEA's marketplace reduces values down to performance, and gives a more realistic per-Tweet pricing picture for both parties, eliminating any disconnection. The market for blogs is more mature, thus the much narrower gap in value estimates between both groups. Our platform allows pricing to reach equilibrium where advertisers feel they receive quality exposure and publishers are fairly compensated."

Respondents were asked about their awareness of FTC guidelines covering endorsements in social media. For 2011, the PR, social media consultants and marketing professionals group saw only 24.4 percent of respondents answer "Read and Understand" compared to 29.9 percent in 2010. Awareness among publishers also declined, with 24.7 percent answering "Read and Understand" compared to 29.5 percent in 2010.

"Our 2011 State of SMS Report clearly illustrates some key growth trends for our early-stage industry" said Mr. Murphy. "Social media sponsorship is a very targeted and personal way for advertisers to reach the right audience and for publishers to earn money from their blogs or Twitter accounts. Our platform gives both parties a secure marketplace with equitable pricing and strict adherence to FTC guidelines regarding the disclosures required for sponsored content."

To download the full report please visit http://www.izea.com/sms2011.

About IZEA

IZEA Holdings, Inc., ("IZEA") is a world leader in social media sponsorship, operating multiple marketplaces including WeReward, SponsoredTweets, and SocialSpark. IZEA connects advertisers with social media publishers, helping them monetize their social media presence.  The company has completed over 2,000,000 social media sponsorships for customers ranging from small local businesses to Fortune 50 organizations. For more information about IZEA, visit www.izea.com.

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SOURCE IZEA Holdings, Inc.