Unlocking Brand Loyalty: the Power Of the Creator Economy
By Tom Seest
At WebsiteBloggers, we help website bloggers develop strategies to create content, traffic, and revenue from website blogs based on our experiences and experimentation.
Consumers increasingly value UGC created by creators and their peers when making purchase decisions, increasing brand loyalty and trust in the process.
Consumption for Gen Z is an expression of individual identity and social responsibility; therefore, companies must reevaluate their value proposition accordingly.
Table Of Contents
Gen Z is an extremely tech-savvy generation, growing up surrounded by technology and being highly digitally confident. They don’t hesitate to use photo editing apps or video games for content creation and have an ownership and sense of control in the creative process – something brands can take advantage of, trusting Gen Z to deliver authentic, genuine pieces.
Confidence extends to how they consume products and services as well. Consumers today are more likely to research before making purchases, taking risks on products that might not work out and innovating new ways for brands to connect with their target markets. This shift is altering what it means to be a consumer as well as how brands connect with them.
As a result, the creator economy is expanding quickly; market projections suggest it could reach $200 billion by 2026. This trend is being propelled by consumers, particularly Gen Z, who depend on influencers and creative content online when making purchasing decisions. A survey conducted by Firstup found that 64% of Gen Z and millennial respondents “really enjoy and feel loyal to” creators and influencers surveyed; additionally, they tend to favor brands that prioritize being good global citizens with flexible working methods.
As such, it is crucial for financial institutions to establish partnerships with creators in order to reach their audiences. This involves adapting communication channels to modern networks as well as working with young entrepreneurs who run one-person businesses.
These entrepreneurs are searching for more effective means of earning money. So they have taken to the creator economy as an avenue for alternative income sources, like earning through content monetization or even starting their own company. A study by Adobe 2022 indicated that almost half of Gen Z creators monetize their content – this means it is crucial that FIs consider ways they can support Gen Zers to excel within this emerging industry.
In order to engage this generation of customers effectively, financial institutions (FIs) must embrace the creative spirit driving the creator economy. Specifically, this requires taking an approach that recognizes independent content makers’ role in shaping culture and developing engaging communities online.
Many Gen Zers are turning their creativity into a business venture – whether that means building a shoppable interior design app, fashion line, or Woolmark platform to highlight the clothing industry’s dependence on unclean energy – in their free time. Gen Zers value independence and are eager to find opportunities that enable them to establish their own working patterns – with 52% having side hustles (compared with 30% for both Millennials and Gen Xers).
Social media content creation is often an avenue for the entrepreneurial endeavor, yet not only YouTubers and Instagrammers are reaping the rewards. According to Adobe’s research, over 165 million people now produce their own material, with Brazil and Korea being among the most prolific content creation markets.
Gen Zers have grown up online, so they are accustomed to creating and posting their own videos and images online. Apps make this task even simpler for Gen Zers; combined with their technical savvy, they enable them to produce personalized and relevant content online.
This has opened up new avenues for content creators to monetize their work as advertisers seek ways to target Gen Zers in the content they produce and share, leading to an unprecedented surge of creators making money off of their work in recent years. As a result, more creators than ever are earning income from their content creation efforts.
News Daddy,” by Dylan Page, is an excellent example of this success story on TikTok. His channel amassed 8.7M followers through engaging news content aimed at young audiences – becoming the #1 news account during the pandemic season due to its relatability with viewers.
This trend has led to the growth of platforms that enable creators to monetize their content, such as Patreon and Fanfix. Fanfix was co-founded by three Gen Zers in their early twenties who co-founded and recently sold it for a multimillion-dollar sum, sparking debate over whether or not its founders were undervalued due to their age; however, Harry Gestetner and his two cofounders managed to do what many tech entrepreneurs twice or three times their age could not: turn their ideas into profitable businesses that turned profitably.
The creator economy is an emerging generational trend that gives Gen Z the ability to monetize their skills, passions, and ideas and operate them as one-person businesses. The movement allows them to build followings that share their voice while reaching loyal audiences that appreciate what they have to offer. Brands who want to reach this demographic in authentic ways and help them build and monetize their audience have an incredible opportunity. Generation Z doesn’t engage with traditional brands who push products onto their target audiences – they prefer working with creators who have an authentic relationship with their followers instead. Knit, a platform that assists brands in making customer-centric decisions through agile video feedback, has collaborated with Gen Z influencers such as Blake Michael and Mr. Beast, who boast over 5 million followers each. Both influencers possess strong ties to their audiences.
With 50 million content creators and community builders around the globe who make up the Creator Economy, its global reach is not simply an emerging trend – it’s an established business model that’s revolutionizing how we live and work. Thanks to accessible yet powerful content creation software and hardware democratizing this sector, opportunities are created for anyone to start, manage, and expand their own content business with relative ease. COVID-19 forced many into seeking alternative income sources; Gen Z’s tech-savvy made taking advantage of this shift easy for them.
Gen Z may find the creator economy more fulfilling than traditional jobs; they’re free to pursue their passions without being tied down by traditional workweek schedules. Monetizing content quickly is also easier, and flexible schedules can be met more quickly with this option than older generations who are typically tied into 9-5 work weeks.
While being their own bosses can be appealing, young creators can sometimes experience burnout and mental health issues as a result of trying to produce engaging content and keep up with demand. Platforms like Fanfix that allow creators to make direct earnings from followers have helped these creators overcome these hurdles and build sustainable business models.
Gen Z is one of the most influential buying generations yet and utilizes the internet and online platforms like Tiktok to make purchase decisions and seek recommendations from creators and peers alike. Therefore, brands should take an influencer-first approach by working closely with independent influencers who are shaping culture while building engaged communities online.
Creators aren’t only making money through ads on their content anymore; they also monetize merchandise, coaching/consulting sessions, speaking engagements, and premium content creation services like Fanfix that offers subscription content monetization to creators – enabling them to focus more on delighting their most ardent fans rather than trying to attract a wide audience with clickbait content.
The Creator Economy has provided people a way out from traditional jobs, join meaningful conversations, promote their art and achieve financial independence. But this dynamic new method for earning money and finding community isn’t solely benefitting Gen Z; all generations are reaping its advantages.
TikTok News Channels demonstrate how the Creator Economy empowers consumers to become their own media. Dylan Page, known as the “News Daddy,” amassed 8.7 million followers by producing news that resonated with his viewers’ interests while remaining true to himself and offering a consistent, relatable setup along with engaging video content that became instantly recognizable – such as that created by News Daddy himself!
As with Tiktok creators, many of the top creators on Tiktok are also vloggers who review products they’re using in their videos, which consumers turn to before purchasing a TV, laptop, or toothbrush – for instance, the Dyson Airwrap has been searched 4.6 billion times on Tiktok and has earned its top reviews millions of views!
Brands must recognize the impact of the Creator Economy when marketing to Gen Z audiences or risk becoming irrelevant and ignored by this demographic. Brands should spend time where Gen Z exists, such as platform-specific channels such as TikTok or online communities where creators exist, offering value in exchange for their attention and being transparent, honest, and genuine when connecting with these audiences; otherwise, they risk becoming invisible.
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