Creators are the Media

Examining the ROI of creator-led brand campaigns

Good morning. Yesterday, Taylor Swift teamed up with Google to launch a series of puzzles that promised to reveal new song titles on her upcoming re-release of 1989 once users hit 33 million correct solutions. Her fans completed the mission within 24 hours, causing the singer to top Google’s trending charts and prompting us to ask the question: What can’t Swifties do?

Study Finds Creators Yield High Brand ROI

A recent study investigates how much value creators bring to brands. / Illustration by Moy Zhong

What is the actual dollar value of investing in creators?

Brands got $2.40 back in brick-and-mortar sales for every $1 they spent on creator content in 2021 and 2022, according to a new study from creator talent management company Whalar.

Here’s what else Whalar found:

Based on over 20 of Whalar’s creator-led marketing campaigns in the CPG personal care category in the US and UK from 2021–2022.

Despite representing only 0.7% of overall media investment, creator content accounted for 2.6% of brands’ total sales impact.

  • Translation: Creators are having an outsized impact on consumer purchases relative to other media like TV, online video, and social.

  • FYI: More than 60% of marketers plan to increase their creator budgets over the next year, according to a report by social media marketing company Open Influence.

The return on investment (ROI) for brands that spent on creator content was 2.6% in 2022, up 38% from a year earlier.

  • Translation: ROI, which typically diminishes over time for traditional advertising media, improved over time for creator content.

  • As a media touchpoint saturates and brand saturates, you start leveling off,” Whalar President of Measurement and Analytics Gaz Alushi told us. “So for us it shows the creator economy is only continuing to grow.”

What does this mean for creators? They should be compensated in a way that reflects how effective their content is for brands.

“[Creators] have the right to go to the brand and say, ‘Let me do it in my way—in a way that respects your brand and product, but also respects my audience,’” Alushi said. “And that's where the creators actually have the ultimate power here because they get to dictate this is what's actually going to land best.”

Ninja Announces Fitness Platform for Streamers

Gaming creators Maddynf (left), Zemie (second from left), and Shotzzy (third from left) are ambassadors of the 4SIGHT fitness platform. The app was developed in part by Tyler “Ninja” Blevins’ Ninja Labs. / Vivior 4SIGHT

Professional gamer and streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins just announced a new platform called 4SIGHT, which aims to help streamers boost their well-being by gamifying health and fitness.

FYI: Blevins recently shared plans to focus on building several business ventures (including his new podcast) outside of gaming.

The streamer joined esports company GameSquare in February as chief innovation officer, tasked with developing new products and business opportunities through an internal incubator called Ninja Labs. 4SIGHT is the first product launched by Ninja Labs.

How it works:

  • Users connect wearable fitness devices like Fitbits or an upcoming wearable Blevins made with tech company Vivior to the 4SIGHT platform.

  • They’re then presented with monthly “missions” (led by star streamers, starting with Blevins) to compete with peers.

  • Winners get prizes ranging from gaming accessories to cars.

Zoom out: When Blevins took on the new role, he promised to “leave a lasting impact on the [gaming] industry.” It appears that wellness-focused 4SIGHT is his first effort to do so.

Twitter Users Resist ‘X’ Rebrand

For many users, the old bluebird still beats the app’s ‘X’ rebrand. / Illustration by Moy Zhong

69% of X (formerly—and maybe currently?—Twitter) users are still referring to the platform by its old name, according to a new survey by The Harris Poll and AdAge.

Why it matters: The X rebrand (and removal of the trademark blue bird logo) in July came with promises from owner Elon Musk to turn Twitter into a “super app” with a focus on payments and video streaming.

FYI: More changes might be coming. Musk suggested putting the entire platform behind a paywall on Monday.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • John Green’s campaign to slash tuberculosis test prices celebrates a big win.

  • Koji releases a link in bio app to help creators sell custom-built, no-code AI tools.

  • Turn your influence into income by teaming up with Fiverr—their influencer program is accepting creators here.*

  • YouTube demonitizes actor Russell Brand’s channel after Brand was accused of sexual assault by several women.

  • F1 creator and commentator Lissie Mackintosh collaborates with fashion brand Reiss and McLaren Racing.

  • Fashion creator Emily Oberg's Sporty & Rich brand is expanding into skincare.

*This is sponsored advertising content.

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