The market grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to a projected whopping $16.4 billion industry in 2022. The idea of influencer marketing isn’t new, but its ways have had a great transformation over the time and development of technologies. First ‘influencer’ collaborations can be traced back to the 1700s, when a famous potter and entrepreneur produced a special tea set for Princess Charlotte, who was undoubtedly an influencer of her time. With Youtube it is quite simple, content creators receive on average 3-5 $ per video. Youtubers often collaborate with brands and display the products in creative ways.
Influencer marketing is currently one of the most popular and effective ways for brands to get exposure among their target audience. The market grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to a projected whopping in 2022.
No wonder, according to public polls, around trust influencers when it comes to products advertised by their favorites. To be fair, the idea of influencer marketing isn’t new. It’s always been there, but its ways have had a great transformation over the time and development of technologies.
First ‘influencer’ collaborations can be traced back to 1700s, when, a famous potter and entrepreneur, produced a special tea set for Princess Charlotte, who was undoubtedly an influencer of her time. This collaboration had an immense effect on the high-end British society and had helped to grow the business massively. It’s safe to say that until 21th century influencer marketing had been based on the same concept as three hundred years ago, and only with the help of social media it has managed to reach totally different heights.
In 2005 a couple of regular guys from PayPal create their little startup for exchanging videos named Youtube. 2010 - Instagram is officially available in AppStore. These two platforms have completely changed the playbook and created a whole new type of celebrities, and only TikTok has had a similar kind of impact ever since.
Of course, over the time as some people had started gaining following on the two platforms, they also began to come up with ideas how to gain money from their hobby. With Youtube it is quite simple, content creators receive on average 3-5 $ per on their videos. Youtubers also often collaborate with brands and display the products in creative ways.
Apart from that, some influencers collect donations during Twitch streams and offer payed subscriptions while maintaining main presence in Youtube or other platforms at the same time. One of the most successful examples is Ninja, a professional gamer and blogger. Three years ago when he had about 12 million followers, Mediakix estimated that he earned around $5.5 million yearly. At that time, about80% of Ninja’s revenue was made up of subscriptions.
For Instagram and TikTok influencers advertisement remains one of the most popular ways of monetization their content. Advertising someone’s product, you’re getting either commissions on sales or agreed rate in accordance with your social media outreach, or sometimes both. However, more and more frequently bloggers tend to develop something of their own.
There are multiple for influencers to start their brand or product. First of all, financial freedom. Most of the influencers rely on costs from partnerships with brands online. However, such a job can’t guarantee a secure future and relying fully on ad customers can play a cruel joke. And secondly, creating something makes it possible to be your most authentic and creative self. Brand collaborations usually imply following a particular strict instruction and image.
It’s also important to bear in mind that only big influencers generate great income from subscriptions on Patreon, Twitch and similar services, and micro- / nanoinfluencers are having a hard time to cover all of their expenses exclusively with revenue from Youtube/ TikTok.
Currently dream to become bloggers in the future, and the number of the latter is growing exponentially. That is why the most financially smart move for modern small influencers right now is to create some sort of product, so let’s take a look at some of the examples of successful launches.
Matilda Djerf is a face of Gen Z fashion and the epitome of the Scandi ‘IT girl’ aesthetic. Her following on different platforms exceeds 3 million people from all over the world. Earlier in her career she would mostly cooperate with beauty and fashion brands, but now Matilda seems to be more invested in her own clothing brand – Djerf Avenue. According to The Australian, the brand made a reported $12 million sales during 2021.
Speaking of influencers, it’s hard not to mention the Kardashian and Jenner family, who blew up after the reality show ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’. Basically everyone in their family has some sort of brand. Kylie Jenner produces makeup goods, skincare and used to have a clothing line with her sister Kendall; Kim Kardashian also owns makeup brand – KKW Beauty, another clothing brand and she is the face of a game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.
When it comes to games, Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg, who’s mostly known for his Let’s Play videos surely has a grasp on them. In partnership with Outerminds Inc,. he released four games of his own - PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist ,PewDiePie’s Pixelings, Poopdie, and Tuber Simulator. The last one even ended up being the most popular among the free-to-download applications in AppStore, overwhelming the servers of its publisher. Beyond that, PewdiePie has his apparel line and a book. In general, comprising all of these and some other small ventures, the networth of Felix is .
Creating a whole game to earn money costs a pretty penny itself. Development and maintenance of professional software is currently affordable only for very big, worldwide famous influencers. So what’s the best solution for micro influencers? Although they dominate the market , most of the time complex, hard-to-develop digital products won’t be accessible for them. That’s when low-code steps in.
Lightroom/ VSCO presets, personal online consultations, printables, e-books, podcasts and music are just a small portion of all of the available ways of monetization for influencers unwilling to spend thousands on software. Another highly profitable way is cooperation with already existing companies to produce some type of item under the blogger’s name. This can apply to merchandise and to digital products as well.
Let’s also take a look at Roblox - a global platform for user-created games. Megan Letter, known under her nickname , initially started as a Youtube blogger filming Let’sPlay videos on The Sims. Sruggling with her bills, she switched to role-playing games on Roblox and started developing games of her own, the most popular of them being Overlook Bay. Its concept is also based around role-play: raising pets, decorating homes and meeting new friends is what this thing is mainly about.Now Overlook Bay alone brings her a steady income stream between .
Similar to Roblox, a sandbox for finding friends and dates lets create their own matching algorithms to connect followers in a gamified way. Not only does this benefit them financially (access to matching rooms is paid, and creators of them get commissions), but also it helps to keep the audience engaged.
Another solution that does not involve coding but lets influencers become a part of Web3 communinity is NFT. is one of the first celebrities to embark on this journey – he has already created his own collection consisting of pictures that Logan describes as being taken in ‘transformative’ 99 days of his life. In addition, the blogger released the NFT game called, that lets users buy hatchable eggs which give rise to exotic animals in the form of NFTs.
And last but not least, numerous content creators opt for creating and selling digital products other than beforementioned. Basically, it can be anything, starting from VSCO presets and ending with online courses on managing personal finance and spirituality, the list is non-exshaustive.
With the rise of technology and social media we can see a dramatic increase in the number of influencers. There are currently between of them on Instagram , and between Youtube influencers (including only bloggers whose platform is bigger than 100 000 followers). And even though earlier they would just profit from brand deals, undeniably, now influencers are driving whole industries and creating their own unique products that can appeal to any need and definitely are worth attention.