There’s one undeniable fact about the rapidly expanding creator industry.
Over the past few years, the explosion of growth in creators on social media and influencer marketing has resulting in a thriving creator economy. The influencer marketing industry is set to grow to approximately $21.1 Billion in 2023. With this growth comes the potential for enormous upside for both creators and brands.
Creators can capitalize on this upside by monetizing the attention of their hard-earned audiences. For savvy creators, this offers nearly uncapped earning potential, with many creators quitting their day jobs and pursing content creation full time. One of the most effective ways to capture this opportunity is through brand partnerships—69% of content creators say brand deals are their most lucrative revenue source.
On the other hand, brands are able to reach new audiences through creators in a more genuine way. Partnering with creators allows brands to build trust, generate social proof, and capture attention by marketing through the social media channels of creators. After all, social media is now where consumers spend their time: the average social media consumer uses seven social media platforms per month, and internet users spend an average of 2.5 hours on social media per day—and this is only increasing year over year.
But let’s back up. These business opportunities are still relatively new—it’s only been a little over three years since TikTok skyrocketed to popularity, and the market has scrambled to keep up. Because of this, there is still a lot of uncertainty and chaos in the brand deal process on both sides:
- Creators need ways to find the best, most lucrative brand deals
- Brands need ways to find the best creators to reach their marketing goals and get the highest ROI
Beacons is working to bring clarify and efficiency to this process through automation and data. The tools that Beacons are building for creators solve the uncertainty by:
- Providing creators with the best materials to pitch and win brand deals
- Providing brands with the information they need to find the best creators and reach their marketing goals
Below, we’ll dive deeper into the best ways that creators and brand can use data to reach their goals with the powerful combination of Beacons and Phyllo.
For creators: Find the sweet spot between creator monetization and authenticity
Creators might feel like they’re faced with a Catch-22.
As a creator, you want to capture every opportunity to monetize your hard work. You want to find brand deals that will allow you to sustain yourself financially, especially if you are a full-time creator.
But at the same time, you need to build your brand in an authentic way. You don’t want to come across as a “sell-out” to your audience or promote products you know they won’t be interested in.
There are three key ways that creators can strike this balance:
- Proactively pitch yourself to brands that align with your content
- Optimize your rates to make sure you don’t leave any money on the table
- Keep an up to date media kit so you’re ready to communicate your value when brands reach out
By doing these three things, creators can find the best brand deals for them and make the most of each deal. This is how you’ll strike the best balance between monetization and authenticity. Let’s dive deeper into each of these points.
1. Proactively pitch to aligned brands
If you want to find authentic partnerships, the best way to do this is by proactively reaching out to the brands you want to work with. Don’t wait for them to find you. Instead, take matters into your own hands!
Pitching might sound like a lot of work, but as long as you use the right tools, you can make it fast, easy, and successful. The most important thing is for your pitch to quickly and clearly communicate how you’ll help that brand. That’s why you need a strong media kit to present your creator stats and engagement data in the best light.
Luckily, creators can set up a media kit like this in a few clicks. A Beacons media kit is powered by Phyllo to seamlessly connect and fetch a creator’s most up-to-date stats across all of their social platforms. Plus, the media kit updates automatically, eliminating all need for manual admin work. It is designed by experts to include the most important information to communicate to brands:
- Follower count
- Engagement rate
- Total posts
- Average likes and views
- Age , gender, and country breakdowns for audience demographics
- Recent posts
The result is a beautiful and easy-to-read pitch that includes the information brands care about.
Outbound pitching is most effective when it’s done consistently. But what if you’ve never written a pitch like this before, don’t have time to spend, or feel stuck? This is where to use a tool like Beacons AI Brand Outreach. This automates the pitch-writing process for creators by using the power of generative AI to craft personalized messages in seconds based on:
- Your personal information, with a link to your Phyllo-powered Beacons media kit
- The brand you’re pitching
- Elements you select, like tone and length of message
- The platform you're using to send the message, like email, LinkedIn, or Instagram / TikTok DMs
- Specific services to pitch
- Showcase past content and top statistics
The AI is trained on successful messages to brands, so creators can save time and effort and get more responses by leveraging automation to work smarter.
Optimize rates to leave no money on the table
Charging the right price matters for your work matters. Here’s why creators need to find the sweet spot for pricing:
- If you’re undercharging, you have the opportunity to charge more per brand deal (and make each one more impactful to your income
- If you’re overcharging, you can realign your prices to what brands expect and begin landing more brand deals.
If creators aren’t sure where to start, they can get a baseline rate using Beacons’s Pricing Calculator. It’s designed to help creators find the optimal prices according to their audience size and platform. You always have the opportunity to adjust your pricing based on additional factors like usage rights and exclusivity—but when you have no idea where to start, calculate your base rate and go from there.
Keep engagement stats up to date
When you’re a creator who is open to brand opportunities, it’s important to be ready to present your most up-to-date stats at any time. However, the process of manually updating your media kit is tedious and takes a lot of time.
Here’s where automation can save you hours each week. With a Beacons media kit, your engagement stats will automatically update every week (or, for creators on the Pro plan, every day) without you lifting a finger. Thanks to Phyllo, this data is authenticated, 100% accurate, and is only fetched with the creator’s explicit consent. This is a huge unlock for creators to make sure they are well prepared for every opportunity, whether it is inbound or outbound.
For brands: Find the creators that will help you reach your marketing goals
On the brand side, the right creator presents an incredible marketing opportunity: the ability to reach an engaged audience with social proof build into the pitch. Fans already trust the creator’s opinion, which is why influencer marketing can be much more effective than other forms of advertising.
Yet in spite of the clear potential, finding that perfect creator and understanding the expected ROI from a creator partnership can be a challenge for a few reasons:
- Each creator has their own unique audience with a particular composition and different engagement style
- Fans may engage differently with sponsored content than with organic content, which can be difficult to predict
- Social media campaigns are great at driving awareness, but it can be harder to measure downstream conversions
So how should brands overcome these obstacles to create successful influencer campaigns?
- Review the engagement data that matters
- Look for past partnerships as evidence of success
- Consider working with micro influencers to reach more engaged audiences
Let’s explore how brands can implement each of these strategies below.
Review engagement data
What engagement data really matters when you’re evaluating a partnership with a creator? Reviewing the right data helps brands “size” the partnership opportunity and get a sense of expected engagement.
The top metrics for brands to consider are:
- Audience size (follower count)
- Audience demographics (age, gender, location, and niche)
- Engagement rates on various platforms
Sometimes creators will preemptively send this information—if they don’t, brands can ask for this information outright. Pitch materials like the Beacons media kit present this information in a clean and clear format, and thanks to an integration with Phyllo, these stats are always up to date, making it easy to review the data and evaluate the opportunity.
Look for past partnerships
A good way to understand how sponsored content will perform on a creator’s channel is by looking at how past partnerships have performed.
Brands can start by looking at creators’ channels to find past examples of sponsored posts, and then looking at the likes and comments on that post. How do they differ from engagement on other organic content?
If a brand is viewing a Beacons media kit from a prospective creator partner, they’ll be able to see the creator’s past partnerships linked in one place and learn more about exactly what the creator delivered for each.
There are certain metrics that might be harder to uncover as a brand, such as clicks and conversion data for a particular sponsored post. You can ask the creator for this information if they have access to it (sometimes past partners may choose not to share this data, even with their creator partners). But even if you’re not able to see these downstream metrics, publicly visible engagement data on past partnerships will give you a good sense of how a creator’s audience interacts with sponsored content.
Consider working with micro influencers
What if you’re a brand who’s looking to go beyond awareness and really drive clicks and conversion? Niche micro influencers provide an opportunity to reach a more highly engaged audience.
Though micro influencers have smaller audiences than the “big creators” that typically do brand deals, [surveys over recent years] have found that the majority (77%) of marketers say micro influencers are their ideal influencers to work with.
Creators with smaller but strong followings typically reach a unique demographic and, on average, have more engaged audiences that interact with their content at a higher rate.
As a brand, working with a micro influencer can be a good opportunity if:
- You want to reach a highly niche audience. If a creator’s niche audience aligns with your brand, you have a chance to speak directly to your target demographic.
- You want to spend less money on the partnership. Micro influencers’ rates are typically lower than those of a larger creator.
- You want to drive downstream conversions. You can reach, on average, audiences with higher engagement rates by working with micro influencers.
Different campaigns have different goals, so sometimes you might want to spend more and go big by partnering with a large creator to drive brand awareness. However, if you’re just dipping your toe into influencer marketing or have tight ROI goals to adhere to, a micro influencer partnership may be better aligned with your goals.
Furthermore, if you do want to explore working with micro influencers, the Beacons-Phyllo integration through Beacons media kits has got you covered to get the most accurate engagement data possible. Beacons uses Phyllo for consented account connections, ensuring 100% accurate micro influencer data which otherwise wouldn’t be possible through other solutions that typically only report statistics for larger accounts.
Bottom line: Data will power the future of brand deals
Whether you’re on the creator side or the brand side, the way to succeed in the quickly growing creator economy is by leveraging data to make informed decisions:
By using tools powered by automations and AI, creators can set themselves up to be more successful with less overhead effort.
Similarly, brands can rely on data-drive pitch assets to remove uncertainty from their marketing process and find partnerships that align with their goals.
Creators can access all of the tools they need to pitch and land the best brand deals for free on Beacons today. One account gives you access to 14 integrated creator tools to unlock these monetization opportunities and streamline your creator work with ease.
Companies building for the influencer marketing and creator economy can leverage 100% accurate, secure, and scalable data with Phyllo to create tools that benefit brands and creators. Get a free demo today and discover the APIs that power the creator economy. And to learn how Beacons implemented Phyllo successfully in their workflows, download the case study!