March 16, 2021: What a busy week it has been for influencer marketing! Still confused about what a NFT is? Interested in the new ways creators are monetizing their influence? Did you hear about Clubhouse’s latest announcement? Well what are you waiting for?! Let’s get started!
In today’s edition:
- Everything you need to know about NFT’s
- Your update on all things creator monetization
- Clubhouse awards its top creators
Your Guide to NFTs
NFTs are the newest form of cryptocurrency in a blockchain that is uniquely their own.
I’m still confused about what an NFT is…
We know, it’s hard to wrap your head around. NFT stands for non-fungible token. To sum it up, it’s the trading of completely unique digital items… think one-of-a-kind baseball cards. Sure, copies can be made, but only one person has the original.
So it’s like modern day art collecting?
Kind of. NFT’s have gained traction in the last few weeks primarily through the trading of digital art. Someone even just purchased a $69 million NFT at Christie’s, an auction house now getting in on the NFT buzz. Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski became the first pro athlete to launch a set of his own NFT trading cards. Let’s not forget that Jack Dorsey, the billionaire co-founder and CEO of Twitter, is trying to sell his first tweet and the bids have gotten as high as $2.5 million. Oh, and our weirdest example? Elon Musk just released a song about NFT’s, that he is going to sell as an NFT. Soooo meta.
How can brands get involved?
Leave it to Taco Bell for being a first-mover on the NFT front by releasing and selling out of digital tacos – yum? With the highest bid going up to $700, Taco Bell released five different taco-themed NFT collections. It’s this kind of quick, forward-thinking activation that creates a blueprint for other brands to follow.
To be blunt, it’s only a matter of time before flocks of influencers start creating NFTs – some already are (spoiler alert: next story). Our prediction? NFTs are about to be as common as influencers creating merch.
We know influencers are eager to find new ways to monetize, but how do brands fit into this new landscape? A future where brands will collaborate with influencers to create NFTs is not out of the question. In fact, it’s very likely to be a reality in the coming months as NFTs continue to rise in popularity and be sold for higher and higher prices. Taco Bell may have set the tone for brands creating NFTs, but we are eager to see how other first-movers pave the way.
Not Unrelated: Creators Have New Ways to Monetize
There are an increasing number of apps gaining popularity that give creators the opportunity to monetize every aspect of their lives, as reported by The New York Times.
What’s new with NewNew?
Being an influencer has let creators become their own small business owners. But what happens as the market gets more and more competitive? People think outside the box! A startup called NewNew has created a platform that has essentially created a “choose your own adventure” app. Creators post polls giving users the option to vote on which action they take part in. The catch? Users have to pay to vote. Influencers are creating value in normal everyday experiences so that users feel compelled to buy real moments in others lives.
We see endless opportunities with this app: having input on a beauty guru’s next makeup line, telling your favorite author what to add to their next novel, or simply picking the outfit in your favorite influencer’s next Instagram.
But wait… there’s more.
PearPop allows fans to actually pay for an interaction from a creator of their choosing. On TikTok mega-influencer Noah Beck’s page, you can have him duet your TikTok for the steep price of $10,000. Don’t have the cash? Well don’t worry because some creators are using Rally.io to create their own cryptocurrency to use towards their brand and essentially create an independent economy between them and their fans. Other creators are even utilizing NFTs to sell multiple second clips of their YouTube videos to let viewers become shareholders and gain a percentage of the ad revenue from the video. The list goes on and on…
And Facebook is getting in on this?
Facebook also recently rolled a variety of updates to let users monetize their activity on the platform. With an increased focus on short-form content, a video that is one minute long can now include an interruptive ad. Before, this was only possible on a three-minute video. Facebook is also changing the eligibility criteria to have in-stream ads so more creators can take advantage of this opportunity. They’ve also revamped their Stars features that allow users to pay for stand-out messages and special badges while taking part in livestreams. And believe it or not, there’s more (hint hint: monetization for gamers).
Creators are continuing to make money from a variety of influencer-to-consumer (ITC) revenue streams, which has largely been accelerated by COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, many creators have shifted their businesses and personal brands from the confines of paid sponsorship opportunities on the IG feed to also include non-sponsorship revenue opportunities. Some examples are selling merch, products, subscriptions and everything listed above. Picture this: your personal brand is centered around traveling, concerts, and being social. You need to make up for that lost income somewhere!
Influencers are always going to remain relevant because they are the voice of the consumer and quick to adapt to changing behaviors around them. Consumers, on the other hand, will continue to follow them to be informed, inspired and uplifted — especially in times of crisis. The line between influencer and entrepreneur is more blurred than ever and now’s the time for brands to to take notice and support influencers trendsetting endeavors.
Clubhouse Gets Crafty
Clubhouse is launching a Creator Accelerator Program to give rising creators the resources they need to grow on the platform.
Creators of all types can apply, but only 20 will be chosen to get Clubhouse’s help bringing their ideas and creativity to life. Those selected for the program will receive at least $5,000 in guaranteed monthly income. Within the application, creators are asked what tools they would like to see on the platform. Some options to choose from are post-show analytics, recording features, monetization/tipping, and brand partnerships/sponsor matching. Basically, Clubhouse wants to reward its top performers and help them bring new users to the app.
With Twitter launching Spaces next month (their Clubhouse copy-cat) and the countless other apps trying to get in on the social audio space, it makes sense that Clubhouse wants to continue with the momentum they already have going. Like we’ve said many times before, platforms that put creators’ experience at the forefront of the app will win creators’ platform of choice. And, where creators go, users will follow. We’ve seen this approach most recently from TikTok, who has focused on creator well-being and reaped the benefits. Between its Education Hub, Growth Summit, and Creator Fund, it’s no secret that TikTok wants to give its creators everything they need to succeed, and now it looks like Clubhouse is following that wise path.