Over the last 20 years, how we consume entertainment and media has drastically changed. Back in the day, we had accepted that the Marilyn Monroes and Elizabeth Taylors of the world were of a different species, unattainable in lifestyle, image, and wealth, only existing behind the gates of MGM to a world now where anyone and everyone with a smartphone can attain status. While I wouldn’t dream of comparing the likes of Emma Chamberlin to Marilyn Monroe, my point is concerning influence and wealth. Many dismiss the concept of content creating or influencing (depending on your audience) as a genuine career. Still, you have to consider the undeniable fact that Miss Chamberlin, at the age of 19, bought herself her first home in West Hollywood for 3.9 Million dollars. Now, of course, Emma Chamberlain is a success story at the most extreme side of the creator economy spectrum, but she is not the only one living on her content creation.
Content creation refers to the work used to hopefully sway viewers to embrace a trend or purchase a product. There are many kinds of content creators, some of which, like Emma, are personalities themselves influencing viewers because they want to be like her. Others, for example, make UGC or user-generated content that brands can use for “organic” appearance advertisements. While to make UGC, you may be an influencer in your own right; you are more likely just making clean content that marketers hope looks like a natural person using and praising their product. Of course, there is also the degree of influence to consider. With this desire to appear honest and real many marketers look to smaller accounts, dubbed “micro-influencers,” to promote their products. If you haven’t guessed it by now, what makes the creator economy go round is the social media platforms they frequent but more so the brands sending them products and writing checks. Now to be clear, it isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. A tiny portion of the influencer economy is making the big bucks, but just enough people do that everyone else believes they can. A survey by the Morning Consult in 2020 of 2,000 13-38 year-olds found that 54% of respondents wanted to be an influencer, and 86% would be willing to post sponsored content. In other words, the influencer economy isn’t going anywhere. Such a high demand for this career can inspire anyone looking to join in, as well as inform company owners who are either hesitant about the whole debacle or worried they waited too long to jump on the bandwagon. There are many nuances to the creator economy that may feel intimidating to utilize from the outside looking in. Still, you can better understand the driving forces behind many of today’s purchasers by understanding the opportunity of a micro-influencer as a trusted messenger for your product or service. Many are influenced to purchase products or hope to influence others by buying products. Either side of the coin puts anyone unwilling to accept and use the creator economy to their benefit at a severe disadvantage in today’s consumer climate.