In the ongoing evolution of the economy, it’s now the creator who holds outsize sway in the marketplace. Part budding entrepreneur, part social media influencer and part emerging brand, these individuals are taking advantage of the wealth of digital platforms and resources available to build an audience, market and sell their product (lifestyle, creativity, recommendations or more recently actual products of their own design.) and earn an income. This ascendency has been further spurred by the recent pandemic, which accelerated people’s collective time online and finally provided many would-be creators the time and opportunity to pursue their side hustle as their main career.
For the growing number of digital communities and platforms (think Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Substack, OnlyFans, etc.) where these creators ply their wares, attracting and retaining talent has taken on outsize importance, both for their ability to bring in new audiences and drive incremental revenue. As a result, these same companies are rolling out a host of new creator tools and features to facilitate fan engagement, content production and monetization. Similarly, the startup and VC worlds have been quick to capitalize on opportunities to better serve this segment, with emerging attention being paid to offering access to financial and operational resources. And finally, brands are still very eager to leverage creator cache through affiliate marketing programs and product collaborations to reach younger, digitally-savvy consumers.
As many of the popular creators of today look to transform themselves into the brands of tomorrow, this is a must-watch space with valuable insights and disruptive potential.
As major social networks and emerging platforms look to grow their audiences, they recognize that the quality of content being shared on their channels matter. In an attempt to woo individual talents and creator collectives to focus their activities and cater to fan communities on a specific platform like TikTok or Facebook, these companies are setting aside significant funds to be distributed to top creators who achieve predetermined metrics or milestones.Influencer Marketplaces
As social media’s importance as both a marketing and sales channel for brands and businesses continues to grow, the role of influencers of all sizes as a way to attract and engage audiences expands as well. As this marketplace becomes more sophisticated from understanding an influencer’s fan demographics to tracking relevant campaign KPIs, both companies and creators are turning to new platforms for connecting and managing their relationships.Plug & Play Operations
Creators and entrepreneurs typically have the creative ideas but they don’t necessarily have the business savvy and operational resources to build and scale, particularly when transitioning from marketing their influence to manufacturing and selling physical products. To provide access to critical backend support and infrastructure required to make this leap, a number of emerging services are creating a suite of interconnected solutions like sourcing, production, commerce and logistics that can be used a la carte or as part of a bundle. While some of these companies operate on traditional fee-based structure, others are offering additional financial flexibility by taking a percentage of sales.
Social media giant Facebook is dipping into its war chest to court content creators in a new offensive against competitor tech platforms.Bitclout Finds Success By Taking Liberties With Its Creator Coins
Designed to let users bet on the popularity of public figures by buying tokens associated with their profiles, influencer marketplace Bitclout uses its blockchain-based technology to tie digital value directly to actual people and their actions and reputations in the real world.Leap Builds Omnichannel Stores For Modern Brands
New York-based retail-as-service company Leap provides just about everything its customers need to open and operate a store, outside of the merchandise. The scalable, turnkey platform for omnichannel retail helps modern brands and eCommerce businesses provide a best-in-class brick and mortar experience to their customers.