The creator economy is on an upward trend, and while recommendations have always reigned supreme when it comes to purchasing decisions the advent of social media has only amplified this type of marketing.
A study conducted by Google found that younger generations use TikTok and Instagram as search engines for discovery instead of Google.
It should come as no surprise that brands are moving away from legacy marketing methods and opting to prioritize influencer marketing.
Influencers are using their social media platforms to promote brands and products they love, and by doing so, they help consumers research, discover, and purchase these items. But where should creators be focusing their energy and time?
A recent report by Aspire highlighted the most profitable social media platform for creators. According to this research, Youtubers have the highest income potential when compared to influencers focusing their efforts on other platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.
So, if you’re a content creator or influencer who’s interested in learning about the income potential that each platform has to offer you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the key takeaways from Aspire’s report, as well as some helpful insight on other reasons why earnings can vary that aren’t related to social media platforms.
Let’s take a look!
Who Conducted the Survey?
The “How Much To Pay Influencers Report” was conducted by Aspire with the sole aim of understanding influencer rates and platform differences in earning potential.
Aspire is a leading influencer marketing platform that helps brands build campaigns, communities, influencer networks, and affiliates in order to help scale their operations using innovative approaches.
According to Aspire, the survey methodology included insights from a group of 1,000 creators within different industries and niches, with varying audience stats, and alternate platform preferences. They then combined the survey responses with Aspire’s internal data.
It’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of creators that were surveyed for this report were located within the United States.
The study’s aim is to provide insights into the earning potential of creators in a more platform-specific manner.
The report demonstrates that Youtube creators have the most financial success when compared to creators focusing on other platforms. In fact, 6% of Youtubers stated that they earn over 10,000$ per month from Youtube in the form of ad revenue and sponsorships – which is a way higher percentage than creators earning a similar amount from other platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, with only 2% to 3% of influencers reaching that income threshold per month.
Furthermore, 50% of Youtubers reported recurring monthly earnings of 500$ or more. Again, the percentage was found to be higher when compared to Instagram’s 40% and TikTok’s 36%.
While the initial investment for brands is usually higher when collaborating with Youtube, it’s a platform that delivers impressive engagement metrics.
The report found that Youtube influencers achieve an engagement rate of 50% plus, whereas TikTok and Instagram creators on average don’t surpass a rate of 2-3%.
The survey used a combination of shares, likes, views, and comments to define the engagement rate percentage.
Another aspect of Youtube is that creators who film longer video features tend to delve further into the finer details such as product features, which makes the platform a great option for brands that are selling more complex products that require further insight or tutorials.
The survey also found that while the creator economy is growing concurrently so are influencer wages. With 48% of creators reporting an increase in income over the last 12 months. Whereas only a mere 15% reported a decrease.
Over half of the creators who were surveyed stated they earn over 500$ per month from brand collaborations. This shows a year-on-year increase that is reflective of the growing value of influencer marketing – in fact, the report also found that over 60% of consumers favor influencer recommendations, compared to 38% who prefer to receive marketing content directly from brands.
Despite the rise in creator rates, 83% of influencers stated that they would still be open to working with a brand in exchange for free products, as long as it was a brand that they genuinely loved and the product received is of high enough value to make the content creation effort worth the time.
This means that separate from influencer rates, creators are more willing to partner with brands whose core values are in alignment with their own.
Ultimately, the data from this report highlights the reasons why brands shouldn’t snooze on Youtube.
And, when it comes to creators who are focusing their efforts on other platforms but are interested in understanding how they can increase their income potential, Youtube appears to be the answer.
What Does This Mean for Influencers And Content Creators?
As the creator economy evolves, Youtube is clearly positioning itself as the platform where creators who are wanting to maximize their earnings with better brand partnerships should go.
The fact that creators have the ability to provide their audiences with more detailed information about a brand’s product paired with the higher engagement rates makes the platform appealing to both brands and influencers alike.
The report also highlighted ten factors that aren’t related to platform specificity that can affect influencer earning potential:
- Reach: It’s worth noting – even though it’s pretty much understood and recognized throughout the creator industry – having a higher follower count will ultimately lead to higher earning potential. This is because a macro-influencer will reach millions when compared to a smaller micro-influencer with a lesser following. The earning potential increases because the creator with a larger audience has the ability to spread the brand’s message at scale.
- Engagement: Your engagement metrics also play a vital role in earning potential. Things such as saves, comments, and likes are important indicators that brands asses when wanting to understand your audience’s interactivity and level of trust. An influencer with high engagement metrics can ultimately charge more for a sponsored post.
- Content requirements: Influencers and content creators are known to charge extra on top of their base rate depending on the type of content the brand is wanting to be delivered. This makes sense, considering the amount of time and effort that a Youtube video takes to create when compared to an Instagram reel. If the brand is asking for a combination of different content types, influencers are known to create a custom package.
- Usage rights: Micro-influencers often consider brands repurposing or sharing their content as a major opportunity for exposure, and are happy to allow the company to use their content free of charge. But, many creators are putting their foot down and asking for payment in exchange for the ownership of their content. The pricing for usage rights can vary, with the length of time and where the brand will use the content being key factors to consider.
- Exclusivity: When an influencer signs an exclusivity clause with a brand it prohibits them from promoting, posting, or being connected to competitor companies for a specified amount of time. Therefore, creators charge an increased rate which oftentimes takes into consideration the potential loss of earnings from other brand collaborations.
- Verified checks: Influencers and creators with verified profiles have always been able to charge a premium. But, who knows if this metric will remain a symbol of trust moving forward, as social media platforms are keen to continue rolling out pay-to-play verified checkmark features.
- Free product value: As mentioned earlier in this guide, 83% of creators are open to working with brands in exchange for free products, as long as the product value is close to what they would normally charge for the sponsored post or higher. This is important to remember when negotiating because as a creator you can ask for the difference to be paid in cash.
- Industry: Another metric that plays a role in earning potential is the industry you’re in. If you’re in a niche that’s saturated such as fashion, beauty, or lifestyle, you’re left with less room to negotiate as the competition is steep. Niches such as travel and food offer higher income potential due to brands expecting more professional content.
- Experience: This one is obvious – the more experience you have as a creator the more you can charge. For instance, creators with a smaller audience on Youtube may still be able to charge higher rates due to their large Instagram following and years working as an influencer. A good way to showcase your experience is via a media kit.
- Work history: Long-term partnerships reign supreme when it comes to income potential. As a creator, you can renegotiate terms as you build rapport with a company and generate results. You can start off at a lower rate, but once you’ve proven your value revisit the payment structure.
Link to the Report
The survey not only provides valuable insight for marketing departments across the globe but also for creators looking to grow their income potential.
By understanding the platforms that hold the most value and generate the best results when it comes to influencer marketing, brands and creators alike can adapt their strategies and focus more of their attention on Youtube.
As the creator economy continues to grow and evolve, it’s important for influencers to stay ahead of platform trends in order to truly succeed in a highly competitive space.
The “How Much To Pay Influencers Report” by Aspire can be found in PDF format via this link.
Aspire also hosts an entire section dedicated to creator resources on its website, some of which include case studies, reports, data-driven strategies, news, and trends.