What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is one of the many tools of online marketing. It consists in using influencers and internet personalities to market and advertises a product or a service instead of the brand communicating directly with the consumer.
Influencers make their living out of building a relationship with their audience, providing content in exchange for following and engagement. Influencers are creative and have something to show to the world, and they will use a platform to display it to the world. People will get into these platforms, and consume the produced content, share it with their friends, and like and comment. Interaction is great for influencers since the following by itself is not enough for brands, they need to see if the influencers are able to keep the public engaged.
Then, brands use influencers as the “face of the company” to materialize the idea they want people to have of them. In the end, a company will seek for those personalities who fit their branding and sponsor them by sending products or making paid partnerships, establishing a mutual relationship, and fuelling the creator economy.
The most popular platforms
There are many platforms an influencer can make revenue from and that companies can use in their favor. Here are some of them:
Youtube was the first platform to motorize the creator economy and give creators compensation for their views. This is called “monetized content” and will motivate creators to keep up with the good work. Youtube calculates how much a creator will get based on their views and engagement rate. If the engagement is high enough, this is enough to support one person and be their only font of income. However, many influencers take advantage of the sponsoring opportunities and make extra cash from partnerships.
Different from other platforms, Instagram will now reward its participants with monetization. The main way of making money out of Instagram is called affiliate marketing, and it’s based on the partnership between brands and content creators. The creators will look to create an “aesthetically pleasing” feed and stories while posting frequently and interacting with their followers. Once a certain number of followers and engagement is reached, they will start getting offers from brands wanting to collaborate. This moves the creator economy in a different way than other platforms. In this one, since creators depend on brands to give them revenue, the content is a lot less organic and looks more fabricated since creators want to please brands.
On TikTok, the most recent of them all, making money out of the platform is something quite new. There are three main ways to make money on TikTok:
- Branding themselves and attracting sponsoring brands
- Using it as a tool to promote their own business
- Being part of the “creator fund”
TikTok is a little different from other socials. Others will pay a small amount per view or engagement, while TikTok creates a huge account of money distributed among creators. When they hit the mark of 10K followers and 100K views in 30 days, along with other qualifications, they can apply to be part of the creator found. The amount you receive depends on a series of factors, such as views, engagement rate, likes, and comments.
However, the most viral creators will receive, at best, a couple of thousands of dollars, and smaller profiles can’t make a living out of it. Consequently, they search for other forms of revenue income, such as brand sponsoring or opening their own small business and using the platform to promote it.
Twitch is a newer platform when compared to the others. It focuses on gamers and video game streaming and is one of the most communicative platforms, meaning that the content creator will talk and interact directly with their audience through chats and lives and will create a closer and more trustworthy relationship with them. Because of how genuine some of them can be, it becomes very attractive for brands to sponsor them, send products, and have paid partnerships. This attracts many brands to the platform and makes it a good environment for people to make a living out of gaming and e-sports.
How can brands use influencer marketing?
Brands can use influencer marketing by associating themselves with the personality of the content creator. By choosing someone happy, their brand will have happy energy, by choosing someone who is a professional, the brand will have professional energy. They do this to communicate to the niche audience directly and on a personal level. This is the brand’s attempt to humanize itself and be closer to the audience it wants to reach.
The future of influencer marketing
The future of influencer marketing is promising, both on the ends of the content creator and the sponsoring brands. For the creators, as generation z becomes more present on social media, averaging on 8 hours of screen time a day, and generation alpha getting even worse, there is a lot of demand for content creation, influencers, and streamers. More people are making a living out of it instead of just doing it for fun, as they would a decade ago, which opens space for brand sponsorship.
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