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What you need to know about the creator economy

The creator economy is growing, and so are advertising opportunities within it.

3 min read

Social Media

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The global creator economy is growing, and advertisers are taking notice. The Interactive Advertising Bureau kicked off NewFronts this week with a segment on harnessing the creator economy, a signal of how important creators are becoming to advertisers.

Around 200 million people are classified as creators in Linktree’s 2022 Creator Report, which contains valuable insights into the work of creators, including how they monetize what they do and the ways that brands are partnering with them. The study found there are 4 million creators with more than 100,000 followers, 41 million with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers, and 139 million with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. Another 23 millions are “recreational” creators with fewer than 1,000 followers.

The biggest takeaway from the research is that there are a wealth of opportunities for brands to collaborate with creators. 

Which platforms are creators using?

Facebook is cited as the biggest platform for 16% of beginner and 22% of experienced creators. Some 12% of beginners favor TikTok, compared to 6% of experienced creators. 

How are creators making money?

The most popular channel for monetization is for creators to sell their own physical products, cited by 23% of niche creators and 18% of non-niche creators. 

Affiliate marketing is the second most popular way for creators to monetize their content, followed by influencer marketing and ads. 

However, 59% of beginner creators have not yet monetized, and 46% of full-time creators earn less than $1,000 in annual revenue from this line of work. 

The opportunity for marketers

An estimated 72.5% of marketers from US companies with 100 or more employees will use influencer marketing this year, according to eMarketer.

“Social commerce in particular has made influencers very powerful,”  Influence Central CEO and founder Stacy DeBroff told Insider Intelligence. 

And social commerce is just one part of the creator economy that has Hollywood, agencies and brands interested in reaching the followers of both existing and up-and-coming talent. 

“[T]he creator economy could easily rival Hollywood in terms of economic impact and job creation, just as it does today in terms of cultural influence,” said Robert Kyncl, chief business officer at YouTube, as quoted by The Hollywood Reporter

Linktree’s research not only shows the scale of creators available to marketers, but also demonstrates a role for brands in helping creators monetize their content while also reaching engaged, loyal audiences through authentic messaging. 

The key for marketers is identifying and attracting the right influencers, and then establishing long-term partnerships.

“Developing relationships is key to influencer success — treat influencers as business partners rather than media vendors,” Bailey Lauerman’s Emily Mazurek told SmartBrief.

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