Influencers have become an entirely new subsection of digital marketers. They are content creators, videographers, audiotechs, and social media mavens. They have to master it all! (And they usually have to do it on a budget.)
Naturally, they have to figure out how to get paid so they can eat somehow. Doing what you love on social media is great. Getting paid for it is not always as easy as it looks.
But there are plenty of ways to get paid working as an influencer, and you can make use of a different combination of these strategies across several platforms. The possibilities are endless.
Here are 6 ways influencers can make money on new media.
Affiliate links differ from the classic conception of advertising in the sense that influencers that include affiliate codes are more often than not directly recommending a product. That said, affiliate links do give influencers a vested interest in enticing their followers to buy a product, so it would be silly to try and dissuade their audience of the benefits of buying.
Affiliate advertising works as follows: influencers are given a code or a link by a company that the influencer then distributes to their followers. This vehicle is usually attached to content relating to the item.
Then, ideally after disclosing the affiliate relationship between themselves and the company, influencers will usually give an overview of the product or service and perhaps even a review. Finally, they direct their followers to the link or code which more often than not gives followers a discount for using the code.
If their followers purchase, influencers are given a commission off the price of the item sold. Some of the details vary, but the core tenets are pretty steadfast.
Traditional advertising sets up a salesman like paradigm between influencers and followers, wherein they sell a product or service to their fans or followers with the intent to persuade their fanbase to buy.
This differs from affiliate advertising in that influencers are paid directly by the company to advertise the product. They are not paid via commission, but they are usually bound to disseminating positive reviews or simply by wearing their brand.
Sponsorships relate closely to classic advertising efforts but differ slightly in that they are more geared towards very specific, very tailored brand messaging. Whereas advertising encompasses everything from billboards to even sponsorships, sponsorships usually involve the distribution of talking points and tailored messaging.
Sponsorships are the most popular answer to the question of how do youtubers get paid. Certain brands have built their entire advertising strategies around supporting content creators on video platforms like TikTok and Youtube.
Collaborations can be very lucrative for influencers and their brand partners. For example, some makeup influencers have collaborated on products with makeup brands to then yield hundreds of thousands of dollars for themselves as a result.
Some hobbies and niches lend themselves more naturally to collaborations than others. For instance, makeup is very easy to make cheaply and very popular, which is why there is a ton of competition among makeup and beauty influencers. There is just a ton of profit to be made.
Meanwhile, a minimalist might not make as much in collaboration checks because the nature of their niche does not lend itself to big sales or consumerism.
Streaming has become a new way to make friends in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which gripped the world in spring of 2020. Torn away from one another and cordoned off, we turned to the web and found eachother there.
And we were streaming so much more than video games! Books, television shows, commentary, comedy, sewing, DIY, car repair—if you can think of it, someone is streaming themselves doing it.
In addition to other revenue streams, some content creators on other platforms look to streaming vehicles such as Twitch or even Facebook. This keeps their audience satiated between other pieces of content.
E-Books and Courses
And after influencers have cultivated a following robust enough to sustain itself with less frequent content updates, influencers tend to retreat inward. Or they jack up prices to make accessing them and their private lives incredibly pricey or hard to obtain.
This temptation towards exclusivity that a lot of rising influencers eventually grapple with can yield big bucks in private coaching, e-books, and virtual courses that disseminate information on the influencers’ areas of expertise.
For many fans, just the chance to talk to their favorite influencer on a one-on-one, first name basis is enough to pay the premium price tag of most of these courses.