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More brands are invested in the creator economy than they’ve ever been. For this reason, creator platforms – such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok – are expanding their content-building and social commerce features.
A notable milestone in the evolution of the creator economy was Instagram’s Creator Week in June. If you work with influencers, here’s the inside scoop of what went down for Instagram creators.
Creator Week occurred for the first time ever on June 8-10, 2021, and featured exclusive events to empower the creator economy on Instagram.
Live participation in Creator Week was by invitation only, but IG was diligent to post many of the virtual events on the @creators page for fans.
There’s strong evidence that Facebook plans to make Creator Week an annual event, though there has been no official announcement about when the next Creator Week will take place.
Instagram’s @creators page is not unique to Creator Week. Facebook launched the channel long before to build its own creator community.
“Our goal with the @creators account is to educate creators all over the world about the latest product launches and best practices for growing their Instagram account.”– Instagram Insider, Summer 2021
Influencer marketing managers should know that their Instagram creators are most likely tuned in to news and tips on the @creators page. It is perhaps the single-most popular creator-specific channel online.
Instagram Insider is a publication (also existing before the Creator Week launch) built especially for IG creators. In celebration of Creator Week, Facebook launched an Instagram Insider special edition.
This particular issue featured hot topics relevant to the creator economy, as well as guest speaker introductions for Creator Week breakout sessions.
Are you wondering why you should care about Creator Week if you’re a brand?!
Many of the topics and forecasts discussed in the latest Instagram Creator Week provide unique insights for ecommerce brands.
Here are the top five reasons why you should learn more about this major Instagram event.
Creator Week acknowledged that the number of active creators is enormous. Additionally, many of those creators are taking serious steps to develop a professional brand.
That means that brands have more influencers to choose from than they did just a couple years ago.
This trend is great news for brands. Using the right tools and methodology, you can be more selective about your influencer outreach and enjoy more collaborative relationships with serious-minded creators.
As the creator economy develops, full-time Instagram users want more ways to monetize their brand. It’s in Facebook/Instagram’s best interest to help creators in this way, because professional creators only get better at crafting content when it becomes their professional career.
Creating an influencer payment structure is a key piece of any influencer program. As Instagram opens more cash flow opportunities for creators, it should have a two-fold impact on brand collaborations.
First, creators will have a better self-awareness for their worth. Brands that already have a reasonable compensation structure in place shouldn’t feel nervous. But if you’ve tried to get by solely on product gifting campaigns, your ability to collaborate with Instagram influencers may grow more difficult.
Second, creators will be able to generate money from multiple sources, thereby lowering the threshold that might have them compromise their authenticity or worth. This is great news for brands. You’ll be able to negotiate with your influencers leaving more room for negotiations because influencers will not depend solely on you for their livelihood.
Instagram made it clear that they plan to push out new content and engagement opportunities for creators. These features continue to improve creators’ ability to connect with their audience.
By that same token, the easier it is for influencers to create genuine, relatable content, the better it will be for consumers once that influencer accepts a brand collaboration. Within a robust creator space, influencers can focus on what they do best and partner only with those brands that match their values, tone, and voice.
“When people trust someone’s endorsement of your brand, when they can sense the relationship is real, they believe it—and they’ll buy.”– GRIN, Authentic Influencer Marketing
When influencers have a stronger relationship to their audience and brands have a strong relationship with their influencers, brand-influencer partnerships become more authentic. That authenticity helps brands lower their customer acquisition costs and increase customer loyalty during and after their influencer campaigns.
If you were ever unclear about how to build and maintain thriving relationships with creators, Instagram offers a great example for how to do it. The @creators page alone will show you how influencers think, what they need, and how to engage with them.
The reason that IG’s first Creator Week was such an enormous success was because the platform prioritized creator relationships.
Brands can explore those posts on @creators (particularly those posts dated June 8-10), read the comments, and gather ideas for how they can successfully manage their own influencer communities.
If you have a team of marketers managing your social channels, that means that your brand requires a creator mindset, too. Anyone who creates content can get value from the wealth of information dispersed during Creator Week.
Brand marketers can still enjoy access to many of the tools and workshops that occurred during Instagram’s event. And depending on whether Facebook/Instagram plans to launch another one, members of your team may be able to attend future events.
On day one, Instagram launched various workshops tand educational panels with lead IG creators and members of the Instagram staff.
One of the most popular workshops included a discussion on algorithms, “Algorithms Myth Busting with Laurise McMillian.”
Instagram also announced an upcoming Affiliate Program that includes a streamlined process for influencers to promote products and receive commissions on those sales.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg also popped in to share a snapshot of upcoming creator features within Instagram.
Creator Week day two turned creators’ focus onto the synergy between mainstream press and creator content. A panel of lead reporters led classes on media training and offered some actionable tips for getting the attention of major publishers.
Top-performing influencers also led a seminar on how to partner with brands. One class, “From Getting Products to Getting Paid,” specifically guided aspiring influencers on how to acquire their first lucrative brand deal.
On day three, workshops focused on content curation and continued the discussion on brand-influencer collaborations.
One of the highlights of day three came with a visit from Instagram and YouTube sensation, Saweetie. She led a seminar on seasonal content, “Essentials for a Pretty Summer.”
The two major updates announced during Creator Week are:
The Instagram affiliate program should assist brands who partner with influencers on Instagram. Creators can select to promote a product at checkout, so long as you maintain a shop on the app.
“Times are changing. The influencer job is legitimizing and people are trying to recognize, ‘Okay, this is my job. You need to pay me for my time.’”– Marisa Pardo, Vice President of Brand Partnerships and Engagement at ABLE
Instagram’s Creator Week signals a new era in the creator economy – an era where a professional career in social media content is more accessible to those who commit to building an online community on their preferred social channel.
By keeping tabs on these developments, brands can inform their outreach and influencer management processes. And as Instagram develops more ways for creators to produce authentic content, social commerce trends will follow. At the end of the day, social media is growing into a vibrant world where community and consumer shopping collide.
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