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There is an old truth that if you do what you love, money will follow. For some influencers, that has proved true; The emergence of platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitch and TikTok has provided creators with the means to share and pay for what they like with millions of people.
Consider the crucial role: By sharing their home game online, six voice actors were able to turn dungeons and dragons from special interest to mainstream sensations. Even people with curious hobbies can make a living on social media if they gain enough visibility – Netflix recently launched a show featuring baking influencers who specialize in creating ultra-realistic cake replicas of everyday items, for example.
The basic philosophy behind influential culture is that if your content is engaging enough, you should be able to make a living by creating it. Up to 42, according to the 2020 MediaKicks report Million Influencers are currently active on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. But while the creator’s interests are almost endless, there are no opportunities for his financial success.
Monetization offers limited income – and only for some creative
There is no doubt that influencers with an established audience can make a good living. According to CNBC estimates, YouTubers who have 1,000 subscribers and generate 24 million views each year could earn about $ 100,000. However, monetization is not provided for new creators; Users are required to have at least 1,000 subscribers and receive 4,000 “valid public viewing hours” in a single year. Qualification For YouTube’s Partner Program (YPP).
Moreover, it takes time and effort to create high-quality content that attracts subscribers – and when an aspiring influencer chooses to create full-time content, they lose the financial security trap that nine-five jobs would otherwise have provided. Those who qualify for monetization, if their advertising revenue does not provide sufficient revenue, may need to supplement their revenue to continue.
Some creators may try to fill the funding gap by offering their subscribers monthly subscription options through platforms like Patrion. However, many mid-level influencers turn to more attractive, if risky, option: brand partnerships.
Brand partnerships can provide critical financial support – and undermine authenticity
Today, influential marketing stands as a $ 13.8 billion industry. In theory, it’s a perfect partnership – brands want to target audiences with specific interests, and influencers can offer a platform to reach them.
But sometimes, airtime sales feel like sales to viewers Out,
“Using their own social media channels, influencers often give the impression that they are personal rather than a business relationship with the brand and products they promote,” the researchers explained in a study published in. Interactive Marketing Journal Earlier this year.
The study’s authors note that this trend could pose a problem for small content creators because consumers do not expect them to have the same corporate relationships that a mega-influencer – say, a celebrity – could have.
“If nano influencers declare a paid relationship, consumers may feel cheated because they expect the post to be a personal recommendation,” he explained. “Thus, consumer expectations are negatively discouraged, which reduces the credibility of the post and undervalues both the brand and the influencer.”
Brand partnerships also have ethical implications. Popular YouTube mixologist Greg Titian touched on the issue last December, when he posted a video review of two automated beverage-making machines.
“Bartesian has been contacting me for a long time about doing something about sponsorship,” Titian said. “And I didn’t answer, like… I can’t use your machine in a sponsored thing because I have to review it, and I can review it if you give it to me for free or pay me to review it. Not at all. I had to pay for it myself. “
There is no doubt that brand partnerships provide an invaluable funding option for full-time creators. However, taking the wrong brand – or just showing off Lots Brands – This can backfire if viewers start viewing content as too commercial or dishonest.
But how can influencers maintain their integrity without breaking through the process? Some lucky ones can go viral and gather enough viewers to make a living through monetization; However, most will need to balance promotions and authentic content to stay afloat. The risk of alienating the audience is permanent and inevitable; A poorly handled post can turn away valuable viewers for good.
But what if content creators have the opportunity to pay not only to accept authenticity but to be true to their audience? SocialFi – Cryptocurrency-powered social media – can only give content creators the opportunity they need to thrive without relying on brand partnerships.
SocialFi can empower creators to deliver authentic content
SocialFi puts a DeFi spin on social media engagement. On crypto-powered social networks, users can earn tokens by creating or joining content; Over time, these social activities can translate into significant real-world earnings if a creator is popular enough.
Although SocialFi is a relatively new concept, it doesn’t seem out of place – if anything, the idea represents a natural step forward in the platform’s progress. Instead of asking customers to learn new behaviors, SocialFi apps will only monetize the activities that users are already engaged in every day.
The movement has already begun; Last fall, Twitter Bitcoin began to allow tipping For the creators. At the same time, Binance Smart Chain announced that SocialFi would be an important area to focus on for its $ 500 million investment program. Sola Ventures, an incubator focused on developing innovative Solana-based applications, similarly shared the goal of raising 3 100 million to fund Web3 social startups.
The importance of these advances to content creators cannot be underestimated. If SocialFi adopts en masse, creators can leave behind morally challenging corporate partnerships and rely on their audiences for funding.
Audiences can, for their part, play a more active role in empowering their favorite creators to provide authentic content. Consumers are undoubtedly willing to do so – just look at Patrion’s latest partnership numbers. Today, the creator-funding platform hosts more than 6 million active subscribers who have collectively distributed over $ 2 billion to creators.
Or, consider viral examples like author Brandon Sanderson’s 2022 Kickstarter. In just 35 minutes, Sanderson’s campaign to fund four new books surpassed his 1 million goal. As of this writing, the campaign was at its peak of about 35 million.
The reality is, if people want specific content, they will do whatever they can to help the creator create it. SocialFi can provide digital creatives with a means of delivering content without the risk of leaving the audience without relying on advertising and partnerships. This is the next step in the evolution of social media – SocialFi can ensure that money is created for creators who share their interests with the world. Will Follow
Sakina Arsiwala is the co-founder of Taki.
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