The terms “influencers” and “content creators” are terms that were invented merely a decade ago when social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter were starting to gain some serious presence in our lives. Especially for the generation of Gen Z and onwards, social media and smart devices practically grew up with them. They were the first generation to not have experienced a life without the Internet.
Given the widespread prevalence of social media around the world, companies and brands have flocked to these platforms to market themselves to younger audiences — and it worked.
These days, social media marketing is honestly quite the norm for businesses who are looking to outreach to the wider masses. And the competition is fierce. Companies have started to dedicate an entire department to social media marketing and that alone speaks volumes about the prominence of social media today.
“Influencers” and “content creators” have become synonymous with social media. As social media platforms continue to dominate our lives, the creator economy continues to grow and flourish.
Here are four reasons for you to make sense of why the creator economy is booming and how brands can get a slice of the pie of this flourishing scene.
Let’s first unpack what the creator economy entails exactly.
To understand how the creator economy works, you’d first have to know how social media marketing functions.
Gone were the days when social media platforms were for you to innocently connect with your friends and family members. Today, business transactions and monetization make up a significant portion of the social media experience.
Celebrity or influencer endorsement deals are common social media marketing strategies. The definition of a social media “influencer” is often ambiguous. However, the common consensus is that an “influencer” would be an individual who has a big enough social media presence to outreach to their followers online. This is usually determined by their number of followers, likes, and views.
Reaching out to as many target audiences as possible is the main goal of marketing. That is how businesses brand themselves and sell their products or services to people.
Hence, brands often pay these influencers with a large online following and presence a sum of money for them to promote their products by dedicating a post about them. When common folks like you and I see a celebrity or influencer endorsing a product, we are more likely to associate positive opinions with them as there is an underlying human connection that makes us believe that if someone else has tested the product, his or her good reviews should be reliable.
That is how the creator economy works — brands pay people with a presence on the internet to promote their products.
Why the Creator Economy Is Flourishing
Today, the creator economy is one of the fastest-growing economies, and here’s why.
More than three-quarters of the world owns a smartphone. That’s more than six billion people. And among the six billion, a study conducted by Statista found that nearly four billion use at least one social media platform. Now, that’s a large number and definitely screams “high potential”.
As long as you have a smartphone and internet access, the road to entering the creator economy and becoming a social media influencer is right there for you. You just gotta go and grab the opportunity. Not to mention also that downloading these social media apps are free.
Making money off the Internet is a viable and attractive career path for many people today. There are so many ways to monetize online content these days through affiliated links, revenue-sharing streams, and more. If you want to know about how content creators make money, that’s a whole other topic that deserves its own article.
For now, what you need to know is that the creator economy can be highly profitable if one puts in the time and effort to hone his or her niche. From video editing to blogging and live streaming, people can make a living off their online lives.
The unpredictability and endless potential of being in the creator economy, on top of the previous two points, attract many new creators each day.
If a creator is able to stand out from the crowd and offer a niche, say being a talented makeup artist, brands that are in the beauty industry will start to take note and even reach out to them.
Besides endorsement deals and product sponsorships, the creator might even be invited to exclusive events or even collaborate with makeup brands to invent their own makeup line. Since each creator is unique in what they offer, the possibilities are really endless.
This exciting journey is a selling point to many creators. After all, the sky’s the limit, right?
Since creators have spent a significant portion of their time curating their profiles online, they are bound to know more of the dynamics and trends that businesses might not know too much about.
By collaborating with online creators, businesses can tap on their vast knowledge of the online world to outreach more efficiently to the targeted audience.
While this might sound exciting and all, remember that the competition for social media marketing is fierce. Users tend to scroll past content that does not appeal to them so you must be able to capture their immediate attention.
Before you make any decisions, you have to consider several things.
A budget covering the cost of sponsorship and marketing campaigns has to be finalized before you contact any creators.
People value authenticity and younger audiences can detect any bullshit (excuse my language) from miles away. Your partner creator will have to be able to deliver your brand’s message without sounding too phony.
And finally, it is important to do thorough research on your potential creators. Are they able to engage with their audience? Did they get good reviews from previous partnerships?
Spend some time evaluating them before putting all your eggs in one basket.
You can also get assistance from specific marketing agencies. Some of them provide influencer marketing services which can help you find the right influencers for your budget and niche.
And there you have it! Hopefully, this article has provided you with more detailed insight into the creator economy. The dynamics of social media are always evolving so if you’re keen on entering the creator industry, or you are just intrigued by it, be sure to stay updated! All the best.