Opinion: Creator economy and its many outfalls

Rohan Tyagi Triller

Rohan Tyagi, Vice President, Triller India speaks about the evolution of the influencer and creator community and how just creating content or having followers isn’t enough. He gives a view of what creators need to do to reach the next level.

We all remember a time when there was no such thing as an “influencer”. We knew what it meant to be influential but being an “influencer” was not yet what it is today. In fact, when the word began being used more commonly it even evoked, what the kids call “cringe’’. The concept gained legitimacy pretty rapidly, however. Today being an influencer or being a part of the creator economy is aspirational, a serious business an actual career.

Only a couple of years ago BBC conducted a vote on what would you rather do professionally – a whopping 51% wanted to be influencers against being an astronaut!

The last decade saw social media platforms turn common folk into celebrities commanding huge social followings. The unprecedented disruptive success of influencers also known as creators gave birth to a new economic model called the creator economy where regular people build large audiences online and monetize their passions and skills by sharing video content, playing games, or other forms of creative work.

Today the total value of the creator economy is anticipated to be $104.2 billion in 2022. And this is growing each day.

Sounds pretty straightforward right? Create good quality engaging content and rake in millions! Well, it isn’t. The creator economy is full of potential and here to stay but it is also highly competitive. With a market size of 50 million content creators, an influencer marketing industry size of $13.8 billion, and many new start-ups in the space it will take a little more from creators to make the right impact.

To stand out and make the best of what the creator economy has to offer in way of monetization there are a few things creators should keep in mind.

The Right Synergy

For creators, at the outset picking the right platforms is important – considerations of technology, monetisation tools, brand leverage, and the audience they draw cannot be overlooked in establishing your own space. Each platform serves a different purpose and caters to a different audience in terms of age and interests. How does one go about making this decision? Identifying your audience is the starting point of this process, whether your audience is comprised of millennials or GenZ, fashion lovers or sports enthusiasts, and so on.

Having selected the right platform based on your audience perhaps what’s most crucial is growth potential. What do I mean by this? Besides being a space to offer exclusive content or courses to monetise which other ways does the platform support your journey? A few identifiers would be access to partners in the platform’s network enabling additional opportunities, tools that give insights into content performance and offer more direct connectivity to brands, and the platform’s investment in supporting its existing and potential creator base through IPs and creator first access to its network.

 Content Must Come With Companion Content

The one-and-done strategy no longer works. Audiences now consume content in several ways and on different platforms. The ability to move across content platforms has taught consumers to want more from their content and to want flexibility in accessing it. Never again will we see a new piece of content or media being put out as a stand-alone piece. Be it a new TV series, movie, or even the news, none can solely exist on one platform. There is a demand and expectation around bonus content. It behooves marketers and creators alike to touch base across multiple platforms to maximise the return on investment.

Also Read: Average price per ad decreased by 8% y-o-y: Meta Q1 2022 Report

Leveraging NFTs 

Web3 is here and now. The market for Web3 digital products is growing rapidly. With the power of Web3, creators can reap enormous benefits from NFTs. Creators can sell content as NFTs so fans can “own” a piece of their content.  Now at this point, much has already been said about NFTs, however, in the simplest terms, NFTs or Non-Fungible tokens are digital assets that represent real-world objects like art, music, in-game items, videos etc. They are bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency, and are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos. They are one of a kind and have a unique identifying code.

In the age of virality, NFTs enable a more secure way of monetising content. Creators can program in royalties so they’ll receive a percentage of sales whenever their content is sold to a new owner.

In addition to converting existing content to NFTs, creators can also create unique and new content for NFTs and link NFTs with other products and services.

Integrating NFTs in brand collaborations would also change the influencer-marketer relationship fundamentally. A creator would now be paid royalties every time content from the collaboration is used as opposed to the usual one-time compensation in the beginning. For the brand, this reduces upfront investment and eradicates the issues of traceability.

 Micro-Influencers With Macro Impact

Gone are the days when millions of followers and an aesthetic feed were what was required to be valuable for brands. Today brands understand the conversion potential of authenticity and a genuinely engaged audience of micro-influencers.

Consumers view micro-influencers as “people like me” and are more likely to buy based on their recommendations.

Brands leverage influencers and creators to decrease the overall cost of acquiring a customer. Compared to their larger counterparts smaller influencers have a highly engaged audience. Reaching Hyper-specific creator followings of smaller creators allow brands to capture specific customer bases enabling them to drastically decrease their cost per 1000 impressions. There are three things brands are looking for when selecting a micro-influencer and therefore their audience as part of their curated set of consumers – niche, audience demographic and engagement.

Influencer marketing campaigns are not only intended to drive engagement and capture reach, one, perhaps the most important goal is to have customers by-products. It’s not enough to just post content and have tens of thousands of followers, what matters most to a brand is the consumer base it will be able to reach through you, therefore building your niche and winning over the trust of your audience is critical.

Building A Community For Stability

In the ever-evolving world of social media, it helps to build a community. Social media communities are online properties in which members relate common experiences and interests. Now, these could be communities of interest, task, or vocation. Communities help in deepening your relationship with your audience and also in exploring additional revenue streams. There is no set way of forging an online social community, it’s mostly a matter of exploration and time. Look at it as a way of safeguarding the online space you’ve created for yourself and yourself from losing all your hard work because the algorithm now works differently. 

A new business ecosystem is being built around creators and content. The scales are now tipped in favour of influencers who have the unprecedented potential and opportunity to build and earn in verticals beyond just entertainment.

The article is penned by Rohan Tyagi, Vice President, Triller. You can connect with him here.