Why creators create and why your brand should care

SocialTag co-founder Anushree Jain writes why partnering with content creators is the need of the hour for brands

BuzzInContent Bureau
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Anushree Jain

Brand stories are no longer enough to capture an audience's attention. Today, customers are more inclined to connect with brands on a personal level. To succeed in the dynamic world of marketing and content creation, you must begin telling your stories differently. Partnering with content creators as the voice of your brand is the need of the hour. As they grow their audience, this is a great time to cultivate your customer base. 

How big is the creator economy?

While the creator economy was born almost a decade ago, marketers and businesses have started to realise its value only recently. It became more prominent when Covid-19 hit us because people quite literally swarmed toward digital media content. About 50 million independent content creators exist across different platforms today. 

Digital content creators, influencer marketers, and related start-ups make up the ecosystem of the creator economy. With an increase in market size from $20 billion to a staggering $104.2 billion, the creator economy is expected to experience unprecedented growth. Numbers alone cannot explain the true potential of the scenario, but that's not enough for founders to grasp its true value.

How did we get here?

The explosion of the creator economy can be attributed to the massive change in media consumption.

There has been a fundamental shift in the media consumption patterns of consumers. People no longer consume media exclusively through newspapers, television, and radio. Covid-19 spurred lockdowns and acted as a catalyst in pushing audiences to consumer content via social and digital platforms. Content creators who identified their own niche and customised content according to their audiences' interests emerged as winners. Today, brands and companies place a high value on creators and influencers because reach and relatability are more important than ever.

As users resonate more with independently created content, traditional marketing tactics like celebrity endorsements no longer generate the same hype. This is what several big brands often struggle with - building a relationship with end-users through authenticity. Thanks to social media, along with the creator's fanbase, brands can now collaborate with fellow content creators as well. Brands can take advantage of this wide reach by having creators promote their products or services. 

A level playing field for all

There are nearly 4 billion smartphone users worldwide who use at least one free social media platform. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are investing heavily in technology and features that enable users to produce and share high-quality content. And these integrated editing tools and clickable content technologies have made the process of creating content easier. 

Moreover, the rapid rise of creator-focused start-ups is also contributing to the boom of the creator economy. In the past, only a fraction of content creators were able to earn a substantial living off their skills; the rest were clueless as to how to leverage their content. By offering creators equal opportunities, marketplaces bridge this gap in the creator market. Smaller creators can not only develop content, but also build, manage, and monetize their followings with these apps. 

A great example of this is brands like Sephora, Nike, and Coca-Cola which have used micro influencers as well as macro influencers to reach out to the right audience. One instance is the #cocacolabelgium campaign which was taken live with influencers with less than 100K followers and received massic traction.

Opportunities for monetisation

The ability to rope in niche audiences has given creators the power to demand better monetisation avenues from social networking platforms and fair compensation from brands. A creator's earnings are influenced by factors such as their niche, engagement rate, and location. 

Creating content is also a side hustle for many with day jobs. Regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time creators, improved monetization avenues encourage them to stick with a platform. To help influencers and creators diversify revenue streams, social media platforms upgraded their monetization tools. 

Apart from all the existing creator-friendly features on Facebook (Meta), they also have a revenue-sharing model in the pipeline, one that won’t charge any share from the revenue earned till 2023. Twitter, on the other hand, acquired Revue in 2021 to allow creators to earn through newsletters. In addition, they added features like Super Follow (pay-to-access) and Tips (uncut payments from users to creators). 

Internet accessibility and penetration

In spite of having the second-largest population, India had lower internet penetration than other countries. The scenario changed when broadband players introduced unlimited internet packs at highly competitive prices. India's internet consumption has increased in recent years, to the point where 1.5 billion Indians are expected to have access to the internet by 2040. 

As the numbers increase, creators will have access to a bigger market with more followers. International brands are also realising the potential of our region, Netflix being one of the most prominent examples. Mr Beast, the popular YouTuber, has also started tapping into the international audience base by dubbing his video content into different languages and is planning to target the Hindi-speaking audience soon. 

Opportunity in diversity

India, as we know, is diverse in religion, culture and dialect. We cannot ignore the fact that all 800 million internet users in our country won't relate to every piece of content online. Brands can, however, use this to their advantage since creativity is not bound by geography or language. 

People from varied backgrounds and regions have been able to showcase their skills on the internet due to the Indian penetration of the creator market. The massive flow of regional content across different languages ensures that even if users cannot follow one creator due to the language barrier, they will have access to creators who create in the language they understand.

Moreover, multilingual creators are providing some of the greatest opportunities for brands to tap into a regional audience concretely. This wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. 

The road ahead.

The creator economy is here to stay. It has initiated a shift in power due to which creators are no longer under the pressure of brand narratives or underpayment. Finally, they can create authentic content, which they can monetize through various platforms. 

Brands, however, should identify creators who can specifically cater to their target audience strategically. Once that's done, partnering with a content creator can prove to be an excellent business strategy for founders to enter the booming global economy whereby they can easily connect with their target audience.

creators creator economy influencers SocialTag Monetisation