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Brand Growth in the Creator Economy

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The Creator economy is truly global, and in today's day and age, content is king. With 4 billion people active on social media, brands are increasingly forced to look beyond traditional advertising methods in the uphill battle to win the attention of potential customers. 

Marketing possibilities are limitless in the constantly evolving world of social media and e-commerce. Fueled by social media platforms, an interesting dynamic between brands, creators, and customers has begun to take shape over the past few years. 

During the global pandemic in 2020, we saw the digital landscape make exponential growth, with the average user's screen time soaring up to 13 hours a day, according to a study completed by Eyesafe Nielsen. With people spending more time on their phones, the total market size of the Creator Economy grew enormously up to $104.2BN and only looks like it will continue growing. 

We’re seeing content creators come from all corners of the world with a passion for every field and industry. Due to this, user attention has shifted from the traditional advertising strategies brands have used for decades to now watching influencers and creators online. 

In recent surveys, 70% of marketers reported that influencer-generated content produces higher traffic levels than any other form of marketing. 

What was once considered cutting-edge no longer works. The days of one-direction communication are over. What’s the latest trend in marketing communications? The Creator Economy. 

What is the Creator Economy? 

The Creator Economy can be described as the class of businesses built by independent content creators, curators, social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers that monetize themselves, their skills, or their creations. 

More than 50 million people around the world consider themselves creators. While 46.7 million are considered amateurs, 2+ million are professionals in their field and making content full-time for a living. 

There is a new era of authenticity over fabrication, where the connection between the creator and their audience is based on raw, credible reviews and recommendations. Consumers now demand content from relatable, real-life everyday people compared to fabricated, perfectly stylized, and highly produced campaigns shot in studios. 

The Power Behind Each Social Media Platform: 

The world of social media is extensive, dominating, and ever-changing; blink, and you will miss the latest trend or algorithm change. While many platforms share similar features and trends, each app provides unique individual strengths and attributes that complement each other.

When developing a brand's social media strategy, there are many factors to consider. What are the brand's goals and key objectives? Which apps are their primary target audience using most? Does the platform align with the brand's image?

Almost 57% of the total global population is on social media today, and the number of monthly active users (MAU) varies between each platform. 

Most popular social networks worldwide as of January 2022, ranked by number of monthly active users
We Are Social; Various sources (Company data);Hootsuite: DataReportal; Kepios© Statista 2022

Meta, formally known as Facebook, is one of the longest-standing social media platforms, with 6 million active advertisers ranking it at number one for all business-related requirements. Meta provides businesses with various tools and options to reach their audience through text, images, video content, and stories. Another Meta owned platform, Instagram is predominantly known as a visual platform, ideal for showcasing products and services with options from photos, videos, stories, reels, live videos, and IGTV for long-form videos.

Youtube, owned and managed by Google, was one of the first video-sharing platforms and offers short-form (lasting up to 7 days) and long-form videos and is often called the second largest search engine after Google. The main demographic using Youtube ranges from age 25 to 44. 

Despite only launching in 2017, Tiktok quickly dominated social media and climbed to the top 10 most used applications. The app also surpassed Facebook and Google as the most popular destination on the internet based on how much web traffic a site generated in 2021. The app allows users to create and share videos from 15-seconds to 10 minutes and has various tools to edit and enhance them. 

TikTok's innovative forward-thinking started creating live-streamed shopping events when partnering with Shopify. Their first pilot with Walmart featured TikTok’s new “shoppable product". The event was hosted by a leading TikTok content creator Michael Le who has a global following of 43+ million fans.  

When brands synchronize their vision with creators and use the power of e-commerce, the possibilities to create authenticity and enthusiasm multiply and create unstoppable conversations.

With the development and accessibility of business tools and decentralized platforms, creators are presented with options to build sustainable businesses for longevity and bolster through the next wave of growth in the e-commerce industry. 

So How Exactly Do Brands Turn Clicks Into Cash? 

Stock image E-commerce
Created by freepik

Brands are increasingly shifting budgets to power creator-driven marketing campaigns, as research reveals that 60% of marketers report consumers prefer influencer-generated content over brand-produced content. Compared to brand-promoted content, creator-driven campaigns see 8x higher engagement on social media, leading to more revenue in the long run.

Brands are constantly faced with the demanding task of targeting niche audience segments and creating specialized content to reach these demographics, which can be a timely and costly challenge. Incorporating the Creator Economy into campaigns provides brands with a direct line to their niche audience in an efficient and practical approach. 

Creators are experts in understanding their audience's traits, humor, and culture. Producing well-thought and stimulating content specifically customized to connect with their audience is their profession, uniquely positioning them to leverage the trust they’ve built with their audiences to promote brand products.

The pandemic started a boom in e-commerce in 2020 that was driven by convenience and necessity. It is believed that retail e-commerce figures in the US will grow 16.1% in 2022, reaching $1.06 trillion. B2B e-commerce will also see an increase of 12% from last year, up to $1.77 trillion in 2022

With most social media platforms now providing their own in-app shopping tools for consumers, brands have the opportunity to drive e-commerce by collaborating with A-list creators and influencers, ultimately amplifying their message to millions simultaneously.

Different Strategies To Incorporate The Creator Economy: 

There are many ways brands can incorporate the Creator Economy into their marketing campaigns. 

Brand ambassadors are a great strategy to create a positive image and help humanize the brand by showcasing how the product works in real life. Ambassadors are essentially the brand's voice and help drive sales and encourage consumers to try new products. This form of marketing can provide excellent ROI and a highly effective way of spreading the brand's message. 

Other methods can include sponsored content, product placement in videos or live shows, co-branded merchandise, collaborations, or affiliate marketing.

Final Thoughts: 

Over the last few years, we have witnessed industry giants such as Nike, Adidas, HelloFresh, Lynda, and many more spread their name worldwide by tapping into the new booming era of the Creator Economy. Whether a micro or macro-scale campaign, using creators and influencers is undoubtedly the trend we see brands heavily investing in. This ever-changing paradigm continues to invest in providing the resources and tools for creators to flourish and monetize their content. With Web3 on the horizon, the possibilities for the Creator Economy and Brand Marketing to collaborate are simply boundless.