Social media outlets are set to introduce new creator monetization features. These will open broadly the possibilities for both creators and brands to explore new ways to partner up to make revenue and empower each other to go into the creator’s economy era.
The media landscape has shifted and will be transformed drastically. Before, to get noticed, influencers had to rely on luck at first. Now, anyone who is passionate enough has the potential to earn a business and revenue stream from their true passion, and brands need to be ready to support the rise of this new economic era, as it will allow the decentralization of the traditional media landscape.
The integration of creators and influencers is a new generation of business. Alongside established techniques, this modern method of conveying information can impact an audience. Creators and influencers work to establish reputation and trust with their audience through engagement. With that trust comes great power.
A new generation of partners can leverage trust to promote a brand without ads. A holy trinity of strengthened bonds between the creator, the brand, and the audience.
The creator’s economy: Passion through creation.
The development of the creator’s economy didn’t happen overnight. It unfolded in parallel with the evolution of Web 2.0 and the digital acceleration social media channels provoked. The evolutionary step into decentralized media and web content has enabled the rise of passionate individuals to create loyal communities across digital, that have overcome all sorts of boundaries, including geographical. This evolution has enabled creators to show their passion and skills across many platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok, allowing this new economy to open the possibilities for new marketing strategies to take place to generate new revenue streams and relationships building with the audiences.
The influencer marketing industry: Business through passion.
Web 2.0 also paved the way for influencer marketing to become as huge as it is right now. Currently, there are half a million active influencers on Instagram, 69% of American marketers allocate most of their budget for the platform. Influencers seek to monetize their own brand by promoting others, as well as looking for new ways to grow their own brands and reputation across channels. Micro-influencers who concentrate on a particular niche maintain around 100,000 followers. A small amount, yet dedicated and so “influenced” into purchasing decisions. These creators are as much authority as any celebrity or macro-influencer.
A shift in marketing.
For most creators, it isn’t all about the money. While there has always been some method of monetizing in the new digital landscape, these aren’t always reliable and are not always a testament to the creators’ true passion and skills. It also takes a lot of time to get noticed and in most cases, the passionate creator loses more money than they earn. This is due to the cost of development, web hosting, content edition software, and other accessories. These are the basics required for content creation.
But large brands are beginning to see the value in the creator’s economy and some have begun to apply proven influencer marketing methodologies to partner with micro-entrepreneurs. Today is for brands and businesses to support the rise and sustainable growth of the creator economy, in order to keep the success of influencer marketing going, and the value this strategy brings when building valuable, purposeful, and long-lasting relationships with the audience.
Free information for any topic imaginable.
The decentralization of web-based media has caused a power shift in content distribution. No longer do users need to rely upon large networks for their information. Now, people across the world are able to browse their favourite blog, watch videos, read online news, and reach their favourite content creators or digital talents in just one click, enabling the rise of a more engaged and empowered audience. Furthermore, the decentralization of information and communication has enabled that even the smallest niches will have somebody creating content and driving traffic and awareness to them.
Creation as a digital concept.
Web content creation comes in many forms such as articles, videos, podcasts, and others. In the right hands, monetization in some form is possible. Livestreaming has grown over the last few years. Twitch, the most popular video game streaming platform currently has 9 million active streamers. The number 1 streamer, “Ninja”, has almost 17 million followers. The marketing potential for active and regular audiences is almost second to none. Platforms such as this are helping creators such as Ninja monetize their content. In turn, they can help by promoting products to a wide and relevant audience.
The monetization of creation.
There are various methods of monetization using online platforms such as Twitch. This social commerce can be leveraged from a marketing perspective. Twitch allows users to subscribe to its “Partner Program” where ads are in live streams. Influencers like Easterling earn large sums for sponsored posts and placements. With 54 million followers on TikTok, this kind of reach can not be underestimated. Instagram is a little more robust in how creators can monetize their content. Popular methods include sponsored posts, and video/photography licensing. Furthermore, in May 2021, Facebook announced new revenue streams possibilities for creators on Instagram by introducing new native affiliate tools, shop tabs for creators-owned brands, and earning monetizable badges during their Livestream sessions.
Publicity through passive promotion.
From an influencer marketing perspective, now is an exciting time for brand campaigns. With the power in the hands of creators, brands are in a position to inspire and innovate in their approach to the market, by collaborating and co-creating with influencers. This has the potential for results that the largest advertising budgets cannot achieve.
The creator economy has opened the possibility for the influencer marketing industry to inspire the audience to create authentic and creative user-generated content (UGC) through engaging and innovative campaigns. Brands are now able to nudge their audience to become part of their marketing campaigns along with their favourite and most beloved creators and go beyond the traditional marketing effort of owned media. The power of earned media has never been greater.
Platforms like TikTok are already further developing their platform tools for brands to tap into the power of UGC. With Spark, the new advertising tool of TikTok, brands are able to sponsor organic content that is already trending, and that is in line with the brand’s narrative guidelines. Through this model, creators are now approached by brands looking to amplify their clips through a paid advertising strategy.
New features for monetization.
Established social media platforms have always had the potential for monetization. In the past, it was difficult for most people. New features are available and influencer monetization will become easier and more common. Instagram recently introduced “Live Badges” that are available to buy during a stream where the creator keeps all revenue. Facebook and Twitch have implemented something similar. Facebook has “Stars” and Twitch has “Bits” and the creator earns $0.01 per item on each platform. Also, Twitch users can subscribe to their favourite channels for which the creator gets 50%.
Instagram is paving the way.
Instagram is generating new tools that will aid creators in monetizing their content. And open the possibilities for brands to innovate in their marketing efforts and collaboration deals with digital talents. Creator shops and a new branded content marketplace will be soon rolling to markets beyond the US in the upcoming months.
Creators who want to advertise and sell their own products will be able to do so. Existing products can link to creators' shops via personal and business links. Also, new shops can open with connections to established merchandising platforms. These include Bravado, Represent, and Spring.
Branded content marketplace.
An exciting feature is that the platform will match brands to influencers. Matches will best appeal to a brand’s particular audience and demographic. This new system will allow brands and creators to collaborate with a shared vision made possible by aligning a brand mission to creator content. Creator content is then aligned to a brand mission in the hope of driving business and passion together.
The integration of 2 paradigms.
The financial incentive for quality content means creators strive to do their best. Not only to develop the best digital content on their platform but by engaging audiences too. Because of this, the best content creators are now becoming creative directors for themselves. This means that creators strive to create better content for more revenue from partners and more revenue from partners means better content, so everyone wins.
Full episode at Influencer Marketing Uncovered podcast
Key takeaways and learnings.
- The rise of Web 2.0 has decentralized media from the hands of the few to the many.
- Passionate creators are able to convey their skills through digital content and make a living out of it.
- Through proper influencer marketing and creator partnerships, brands can be promoted effortlessly because of strengthened bonds between them and the audience.
- Instagram is leading the way in rewarding brands, content creators and influencers with tools to merge online shops and shared goals.
- Brands are now combining the creator economy and influencer marketing to form solid ad campaigns that cover celebrity, macro and micro-influencers.
- Monetary incentives are driving the quality of content while content quality is being driven by revenue incentives.
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