How Have Creator Collaborations Changed?
While influencer marketing is a newer addition to the digital marketing mix compared to other more traditional tactics, it’s been making waves as a major strategic element over the past several years.
With its rapid success also comes constant change — both within the creator economy and on social media platforms as everyone scrambles to get a piece of the proverbial pie.
One of the most important elements of influencer marketing is creator payment.
We conducted a comprehensive survey collecting feedback from 500+ content creators, which yielded a data-driven analysis of creator pay to evaluate how it has evolved over the last year across different social channels.
Our analysis resulted in a host of valuable insights and is available to download for free. But before you dive into the full report, let’s explore a few top insights.
1. Overall, creator income remains in flux Year-Over-Year (YoY)
Creator respondents have encountered pay fluctuation year-over-year.
47% of respondents say they make up to $500 each month while working as content creators in 2022 compared to 51% of creators making this same amount per collaboration in 2021.
Of this group, 23% of them have made $250 or less per month in 2022. In addition, 41% say they make between $501-4,000 per month with only 3% of respondents making more than $10,000 per month.
Additionally, some creators say that the amount of new brand collaborations has increased YoY. 57% of respondents have noted that they are working on more brand collaborations this year compared to last year.
Still, 23% say that they are working fewer jobs and 20% say that their workload has not changed at all.
Respondents have also noted that when it comes to underrepresented creators, those who identified as Hispanic, Latinx, or of Spanish origin said that they locked in partnerships valued at $500+ per contract.
2. TikTok Creators Are Earning More YoY
According to creator respondents, TikTok collaborations paying less than $250 are becoming less frequent. For creators who charge $250+ per TikTok collaboration, the number of collaboration opportunities (and average earnings) is trending upward.
In fact, brand collaborations on TikTok that are offering $501-1,000 have increased by 8% YoY.
Overall, higher-ticket rates are likely becoming more commonplace because of the production cost associated with TikTok content. Other factors have influenced TikTok rate changes like more brands on TikTok and steadily growing inflation in the worldwide economy.
3. Some Twitch Creators Are Earning 15% More
Twitch has seen a rise in creator collaborations valued at $251-$1,000. Specifically, collaborations valued at $501-1,000 have seen the greatest YoY increase at +15%.
Pricier collaborations, while harder to come by, are often attributed to creators with higher follower counts and stronger engagement power.
To support creators, Twitch has released tipping and other monetization features for audience members to gift additional compensation to individual streamers. These payments are not associated with brand collaborations, but allow creators to earn more from their work, even on sponsored content.
Often, the offered collaboration rate is relative to the creators’ experience, content quality, and proven accolades.
4. Some Pinterest Creators Are Seeing An Increase In $251-2,000 Collaborations
Pinterest’s highly visual content algorithm has started to prioritize and reward creators who are producing short-term videos and carousel stories. Nonetheless, singular in-feed posts are still a popular option for brands who are looking to test the waters of influencer marketing on this channel before fully investing.
Mid-range rates for Pinterest collabs are seeing the greatest overall increase YoY. The amount of creators making $251-$500 per collaboration is up 7% from last year. Additionally, the frequency of creators making between $501-$1,000 per collab is up 4%.
Meanwhile, collaborations valued at $0-$100 are down 9%, and sponsored content opportunities valued at $101-$250 are down by 5%.
5. YouTube Is Seeing A Substantial Drop In Collaborations Less Than $500 Per Post
Second to Instagram Live, YouTube is seeing the highest increase in collaborations valued at $1,001 or more. This is likely attributed to the high production cost needed to produce a long-form video on this channel.
Even with YouTube Shorts capitalizing on short-term video trends, traditional YouTubers are less likely to work with a brand offering less collaboration compensation — unless, of course, the task fits the output.
Where Does Creator Pay Go From Here?
When it comes to brands and content creators working together, the answer to “how much payment is fair?” will likely always be a moving target. When we consider what a creator’s time is worth, we have to consider the production cost, their level of engagement, content quality, and so much more. There may never be a “one size fits all” payment rule for creators — and that’s not a bad thing.
One consideration that can’t be denied is that when creators and brands work together, the stronger the relationship, the better. Equitable pay and fair compensation practices are more likely to occur when brands trust their creator partners — and recognize the hard work they put into producing great content.
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