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Attention marketers – the creator economy is booming

There are approximately 50 million people who identify as creators, and the opportunities for them to monetize their content and form brand partnerships are endless. Let’s take a look at some of the changes some social media platforms have made in just the last 2 months.

  • YouTube partners with Shopify to provide shopping tools for brands and creators
  • Instagram announces payments in chat
  • Instagram subscription test adds 3 new features
  • Pinterest Shopping adds 4 new features
  • Twitter introduces branded likes
  • Twitter is testing long-form notes
  • Meta launches new monetization tools
  • Pinterest launches idea ads and paid partner tools
  • New shopping links for Google AdSense
  • 5 new tools for LinkedIn creators to get more followers and visibility

Marketers are on board. With all these opportunities, it’s no wonder 74% of marketers plan to spend at least a quarter of their social media budget on partnering with content creators over the next 3-6 months. However, with recession fears looming, budget and lack of resources are two obstacles many of these brands face.

Brands are about more than just sales. Of brands interested in collaborating with content creators, Sprout Social reports that 62% prioritize generating more audience engagement. 60% want to reach new target groups. And surprisingly, only 42% prioritize generating additional revenue. 53% of marketers want to strengthen their social community and 41% want to promote their brand values ​​by relying on creators. Sprout Social also reports that authenticity is ranked as the second most important creator skill.

Case study: GoPro. GoPro has found great success by collaborating with a diverse group of developers, from pro athletes to mom bloggers. In 2015, Todd Ballard, Senior Director/Lifestyle Marketing at GoPro, spoke about their success at a conference in Chicago.

Ballard argued that the brand’s “family of ambassadors” plays a critical role in consistently delivering the kind of up-and-coming, inspirational material that encourages consumers to buy its devices.

“What has made GoPro really successful to date is finding these trendsetters and influencers in every market and in specific niches,” he said. “It’s a kind of inside-out marketing where you start with the influencers and let them influence the masses.”

As a result, GoPro generated $4234 million in 2011 and by 2012 sales had doubled to $526 million and in 2013 to $985 million. By 2017, it had over 3 million YouTube followers and was YouTube’s top branded channel.

Where do marketers and creators advertise? Marketers expect to use Instagram (58%) followed by Facebook (51%) and TikTok (50%) to collaborate with creators in the next 3-6 months. While these platforms are also top of the list for consumers, with more than half planning to spend more time on YouTube, only 27% of marketers invest money in collaborating creators on the platform.

According to Sprout Social, 45% of brands let creators post on their own accounts, and only 27% post on brand pages. Content posted to a creator’s account gives the ad a more organic feel and has the potential to expand brand reach.

What post creators. Educational content takes the top spot according to Sprout Social. Brands look to creators to create authenticity and show consumers how to use their product or service. Prospects want to know what to expect after purchasing a product or service, and organic educational content delivers that.

Unboxing and reveal content are also high in popularity and are great ways to share the brand experience.

Testimonials, giveaways or challenges and a behind-the-scenes look are other types of content that creators can use to grow their following and promote brands.

Feeds and Stories and Posts. Oh my. Instagram and Facebook still dominate when it comes to where you post. But in terms of type of format, story posts fit the bill.

Finding the right creators. Finding the right creators to promote your brand can be tedious. But once you have some basic benchmarks for reach and follower count, the process is a bit easier. According to Glewee, a platform that connects creators and brands, the following are minimum thresholds to consider when recruiting creators.

Start your Creator program. 40% of companies with 5,000 or more employees involve their legal department in the copyright search. If your business falls into this category, make sure you properly manage contractual considerations. Sprout Social reports that when it comes to timeframes, a one to two week timeframe is standard for 49% of marketers and three to four weeks for 27%. Fast action is preferred, especially when your promotions are time sensitive. You also want to ensure an easy, seamless, and professional process so the creator feels your brand is organized and legitimate.

Why we care. It’s 2022 and with all the new platforms and features being rolled out, developers have the upper hand. If your brand has the budget and can benefit from organic marketing campaigns with an authentic voice, leveraging builders could help your brand gain followers, trust, and engagement.

If you’re a creator looking to monetize your content, promoting brands is a great way to do just that. If you have a large following on social media, use one of several tools, platforms, and features to help you find brand partnerships.

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About the author

Nicole Farley is a contributing editor for Search Engine Land and covers everything PPC. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a love of true crime, podcasts, travel and snacking.

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