Could the creator economy create a global culture fit?
What is the creator economy?
I am sure you have heard of the creator economy and its unlimited possibilities! No? Ok, let’s have a quick refresher!
Creator economy has emerged with the inception of applications like TikTok, Instagram, Kuaishou, Doyuin, Teachable, Udemy, and a host of applications where celebrities, working professionals, students, homemakers can create their own content and monetize it. People who stay and grow within the creator economy long enough are soon called influencers, vloggers and can create a fad like following.
What impact is the creator economy having across the globe?
In China, the time spent on live streaming exceeds time spent watching all forms of TV put together, and in the USA youngsters under the age of 25 are spending more time on Twitch and YouTube than all forms of TV. This shift from a traditional approach of viewing content which was strictly made under the oversight of large establishments to the empowerment of anyone who has good ideas with the ability to create content and upload on one common online world has created ripple effects on the way we view brands, consume products, receive our news. These changes gave birth to what we now call the creator economy! Exciting!
Apart from brands leveraging content creators to advertise their products and services the creator economy has given a new lease to freedom of expression. Youngsters are now able to create content that other youngsters can relate to all the time. This proved to be especially helpful during the ongoing pandemic where viewing TikTok and other content-creating apps unleashed the creative side of all ages.
Based on data from relevant marketing agencies around the world excluding China, a recent survey has shown that approximately 39% of marketers want to increase their budget on influencer marketing. The influencer marketing industry is estimated to be worth $10Billion USD. According to data, even influencers with 5000 to 10,000 followers have an engagement conversion of 6.3% which is very high compared to influencers with a large following and less engagement. Another reason why the creator economy has been growing so fast is that majority of the viewership comes from Gen Z. According to a recent study 77% of Gen Z enjoy consuming content made by influencers because it shows them the “real people in real situations” that they can relate to.
Similarly, in China, consumers over 18 years old spend approximately 58% of their time on internet activities which have led to hundreds and thousands of RMB spent by Chinese consumers on social, video, and streaming platforms.
Other key factors as to why the Chinese and western consumers trust influencers and content on social media is due to the personalization of communication that is relatable to the audience. Some KOL’s and influencers have valid credentials which also assure viewers of their advice and hence encouraging their purchase decisions.
Lastly, the trust and authenticity that viewers can feel from the content plays a major factor in developing the trust or relationships between influencers, customers, and brands. However, this does bring an interesting question to mind. Are the successes of the creator economy limited only to helping brands, businesses, and other money-making establishments?
Could these qualities and talents be used for something bigger? Could KOL’s and influencers bridge the gap between people from different countries? Reduce the differences, encourage more people-to-people relationships to help understand one and another? It certainly sounds like there is potential.
Important entities like World Health Organization (WHO) and other governmental bodies, news agencies also used social media platforms as an opportunity to spread content to a large demographic of youngsters. However, with so much positivity, creativity, freedom of expression, a question does come to mind, with all these changes happening so fast- Where is all this going? What is the future of the creator economy? What more opportunities does it present? And what are the implications of creating content that is not moderated or verified immediately?
The untapped potential of creating content
Amidst the onslaught of Covid 19 around the world, many leaders adopted a protectionist, nationalist agenda and went as far as stigmatizing Asian people across the globe. With rampant misinformation spreading across social media in every country there has been growing dissent, alienation towards people from different countries. History has proven that dividing the world will only result in colossal damage to mutual interests in the world. Unifying and understanding each other one step at a time and working on problems the world faces together is the best chance we have.
The data mentioned above suggests that even before the pandemic plenty of fake news has been circulated across the world. Just as content in the creator economy has become popular because Gen Z understands the content creators and sees themselves in it, similarly we may need more Gen Z content creators to rise to the occasion and contribute to fixing our slowly breaking world.
Today’s political leaders have proven to not understand the youth’s needs and continuously place profitability and economic goals over and above everything. As the world grows more apart here are few suggestions for which creative Gen Z’s can step up and create content to build a bridge between different cultures across the world:
· Present content from different cultures with humor
· Bridge the gap by recognizing the cultural differences and accepting them
· How to avoid stereotypes
· Appreciating every culture
· Sharing experiences
The world is growing with differences but at the same time growing with opportunities. Students, working professionals are continuously seeking better pastures for their careers. A lot of times we are simply working remotely with colleagues from different countries who come from different cultural backgrounds. In such a time-sharing content from social media is one of the few ways to understand each other to strike a working rapport. Starting off on the wrong foot can have ripple effects of negativity and the interconnected world of social media can spread opinions rapidly. One misunderstanding is all it takes to plant the seeds of uncertain foundations.
Sometimes relocating to another country can prove to be a daunting task but knowing about the culture from beforehand and keeping an open mind can work wonders for us. Understanding different cultures are still happening and happened many years ago. Surely, reading books, watching movies, and talking to one another remains one of the most important ways to acquire cultural knowledge and intelligence. But if that were the case then why are we still living in such a chaotic world?
To conclude, in an internet-dominated and connected world it's of paramount importance to adapt according to the trends and create content for the future working professionals, leaders, parents, and contributors of tomorrow. The future is in our hands. Let’s build bridges together.
Author: Adit Rastogi