Our client, Unilever, concerned about climate change, was determined to drive action in the industry. Their objective was to gain insights into the knowledge, experience, motivations & needs of Creators with regards to sustainability. The ESG Consulting practice and Synthesio teams at Ipsos partnered together with Futerra to dig deeper into the Creator motivations using a combination of desk research, quantitative research, and social listening.
First, we understood the current state of play of the creator mindset and cultural trends using desk research. An insight audit of existing learnings and reports in the space culminated into a set of hypotheses, that were validated in the next phase.
Second, we ran a quantitative survey to engage 232 Creators and explore their motivations and barriers around sustainability. Creators were screened using Ipsos Sustainability Segmentation to ensure a fair representation and better assimilate emerging insights around what drives, motivates or deters Creators. This was supplemented by a social media analysis of sustainable lifestyle content on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, focusing on fifteen hashtags and nearly 4.5 million mentions by Creators across the UK and US. Key metrics such as volume of metrics, interaction and engagement rates gave an insight into the most popular conversations, indicating topics Creators talked about. Our qualitative assessment of the social media content on lifestyle behaviours gave us a deeper insight into Creator’s posts and audience engagement.
Last, we delivered an insight-led report on Creator behaviour using MAPPS, Ipsos’ Behavioural Change framework and a set of action-driven recommendations to engage Creators.
Creators want to talk more about sustainability on their channels. 76% of social media Creators want to mention sustainability more in their content in the future.
Promoting sustainable actions in content is also popular with consumers. 96% or almost all Creators surveyed say they receive positive engagement on such posts.
Brand briefs with a sustainability angle are more popular to Creators and more likely to be accepted. Over two-thirds of Creators say they’re more likely to accept briefs with a sustainability element, compared with normal briefs.
- However, sustainable hashtags form a wide and diverse social media universe making it a difficult space for Creators to navigate and confidently lead.
- Creators feel that they lack the guidance to develop this content effectively:
- 84% of Creators experience at least one barrier which has stopped them from sharing more sustainable or environmental content.
- 38% of Creators feel discouraged from sharing sustainability or environmental content due to fears of greenwashing.
- Nearly a quarter of Creators say they do not feel educated enough on the issues to post more sustainability content.
Arushi Gupta, Engagement Manager at Ipsos, said:
Exploring the motivations of creators in sharing meaningful sustainability content, we found there is a growing appetite and interest amongst this group to contribute towards climate change. However, they need assistance in building confidence and knowledge in this space. 84% reported experiencing at least one barrier that holds them back from sharing sustainability or environmental content. More than 1 in 3 creators listed concerns of greenwashing as a principal barrier to posting more content, highlighting an urgent need for training in this space.
To help address this gap, Unilever, alongside a coalition of partners including sustainability non-profits and a new Creator Council, calls on other brands, agencies and technology companies to join forces with them to help content creators drive more sustainable choices through social media content.
The new coalition of partners includes sustainability experts from Count Us In, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Rare, Futerra Solutions Union, as well as an independent Creator Council – a community of social media content creators across travel, beauty, and lifestyle sectors, specifically brought together to advise on and shape this initiative.
This coalition will work to co-create an industry-wide digital solution that will bring together social media content creators, non-profits and brands to accelerate accurate and effective sustainability content, built upon science and behaviour change theory to encourage more sustainable behaviours. Partners are currently developing a framework and guidelines to ensure the solutions are in line with the very latest climate science.
Unilever partnered with us to survey social media content creators between August and September 2023 from US, UK, Brazil, Philippines across Food and Diet, Beauty & Wellness, Fashion, Home Improvements, Travel, Gaming and Sustainability. A creator was defined as an individual who shares content on their social media platform such as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. All creators completing our survey were sharing content at least once a month and had a minimum audience of 10k followers. They were recruited to the online survey through a specialist recruitment agency. 232 creators were surveyed, with a minimum quota of 50 respondents per market, an even spread across the different platforms. The sample had a mix of follower sizes: 10k+ followers (26%), 100k+ followers (62%) and 1M+ Followers (12%). The survey sample was purposively recruited, and therefore is not representative of the entire population universe. Respondents were compensated with a financial incentive upon completion of the survey. Interested in exploring sustainability attitudes for your audience? Contact us below to learn more.