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The creator economy boom, bust, and need for SEO!

The creator economy boom, bust, and need for SEO!

30-second summary:

  • The content creator economy has created the influencer marketing boom which has been accelerated and growth heavy
  • However, bubbling under the surface is a growing climate of inflated risk, unstable ROI, and a shooing-away of vital practices in lieu of, what can be perceived as, a “faster track” to success
  • Influencer and CEO of Gamactica, Anthony DiMoro shares a topline view of influencer marketing, social channels, and the need to use SEO for amplified digital marketing results

Not long ago, many internet marketing strategies were divided into very specific categories, from search engine optimization (SEO) to search engine marketing (SEM/PPC) and from online reputation management (ORM) to social media marketing (SMM), aside from a few wrinkles, these were the roads most often traveled.

Fast forward to today and the climate has shifted, as brands look for viable ways to penetrate the creator market, and build ROI in a very turbulent space that has a number of variables and differing angles.

The content creator economy has been mostly responsible for the boom of influencer marketing, and the boom has been so accelerated, growth heavy, that it has created a lot of successes. But with those successes, bubbling under the surface, there has also been a growing climate of inflated risk, unstable ROI, and a shooing-away of vital practices in lieu of, what can be perceived as, a “faster track” to success.

Where Instagram once ruled, seemingly by itself, TikTok is now becoming a major threat, so much so that Facebook is making sweeping changes to catch the trend of success that TikTok has had.

TikTok hasn’t just pushed Facebook, it has also pushed platforms such as YouTube to incorporate their own version of short-form video content, ‘Shorts’.

But, is it funneling the marketing dollars to show the viability of these trends?

The marketing spending, on this newer wave of content marketing and social media marketing, is illustrated below, via The Insider.

stats on influencer marketing, the creator economy and SEO

Source: The Insider

There is no denying what the creator economy has become.

But as the creator economy continues to burst through ceilings, it has practically reached a point where now there is an inflation of creators, but more and more aren’t cashing in. And it begs the question – does this apparent dilution hinder the overall successes of the platform and the creators?

According to The Information, more than 39,000 TikTok accounts have more than one million followers. Whereas more people are finding fame, not everyone is cashing in on it.

A snapshot of why every social media channel wants to be TikTok

It’s fair to assume that this can negatively impact brands that use influencer marketing as a pillar of their digital marketing strategy.

TikTok’s short form approach is more closely associated with television content, where entertainment is at an instant push of the button, or in this case a swipe of a finger. But is it the best form of new influencer marketing that delivers viable ROI?

Or, are platforms such as YouTube, where channels have a more long-term journey to success, reliant on branding and community building, delivering far better returns for advertisers and companies?

Surely, there is no clear answer here, and it varies from industry to industry and niche to niche, but TikTok’s success and immense popularity are forcing a shift in the creator economy that is having a serious impact on other platforms.

Amazon’s Twitch platform continues to stand atop the live-streaming game, but how long will Twitch streams be a major player with all the issues the platform has had to navigate through, such as toxicity, hate, and harassment?

And is it fair to consider Twitch streamers as vibrant aspects of influencer marketing the way that TikTok creators and YouTubers clearly are?

Furthermore, while platforms seem to fluidly move with the market trends, Twitch has seemingly stayed the course, for better or worse. Perhaps it’s a bullish vision, or perhaps even Twitch is out of touch in this aspect.

Businesses are showing the willingness to invest market dollars into platforms that have a vibrant influencer marketing value to them, and agencies are focusing on serving these needs.

“Working with content creators and influencers is different than traditional advertising for sure” Brendan Gahan, Partner & Social Officer at Mekanism said earlier this year (via Gamactica).

“Ultimately, the way to be successful with an influencer campaign is to make sure that three things happen:

  1. The audience gets the content they love
  2. The creator has a great experience
  3. The brand gets it’s message across

“When you’re not working with creators you are really starting from a blank slate. It’s wide open. But, the beauty of working with creators is their community. That community (in theory) knows them, trusts them, pays attention and wants to hear from them. As a result, advertisers need to collaborate. They need to focus much more on those first two points.”

A one-track approach could be a potential pitfall

As with most things, being diverse in your approach is key, and this point comes into focus more as we continue to delve into the industries providing the content that drives influencer marketing.

Where we celebrate the successes of this new form of digital marketing, other aspects are being left behind in certain spaces, such as gaming and content creation.

But we have gone over this a few times in the past.

However, little has changed, and despite the metrics, despite the proven formula, and despite the years of data, the absence of SEO continues to be troublesome.

And as the influencer marketing landscape continues to evolve, it will have its own struggles and present its own “risk and reward” and “boom or bust” scenarios, forcing the vertical to shift yet again, and platforms to reshuffle.

It still remains difficult to keep SEO in respective corners, where local businesses in Florida use Miami SEO, and surgeons use Medical SEO, but content creators and influencers don’t.

It seems short-sighted to continue that trends, especially as internet marketing evolves to bring influencer marketing into the spectrum.

Only time will tell.

The SEO element

While many may not automatically, initially, link SEO and influencer marketing together, there is a lot of symmetry, and it begs the question as to why SEO isn’t incorporated in most influencer marketing campaigns.

Influencer marketing is mostly about building relationships and optimizing those relationships in a manner to create impact, and ROI potential – the two appeals of a successful marketing campaign.

But coupling it with SEO is a “cherry on top” of the sundae.

By using SEO to boost the content marketing aspects of influencer marketing, there can be a real added value to both the impact and visibility of the campaign.

We, at Gamactica, have demonstrated that SEO can be viable within the industries and niches of gaming and content creation, both on an organic global level and a targeted search level. This indicates that these specific elements can indeed work to boost potential success, ROI, and impact for any influencer marketing campaign.

These integrations are critical in evolving the influencer marketing landscape so that it is more viable and valuable as these niches and industries grow and evolve. It also helps the SEO sector push forward to become more organically immersed in the new age of digital marketing.

Anthony DiMoro is CEO of Gamactica. He can be found on Twitter @AnthonyDiMoro.

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