Influence Weekly #235 - Seven examples of brands engaging in social commerce

Influence Weekly #235
June 3rd, 2022
Executive Summary
  • The 2022 Patreon Creator Census
  • Seven examples of brands engaging in social commerce
  • Snapchat unveils dynamic ads service for travel advertisers
  • Artists Are Getting Fed Up with Labels' TikTok Demands

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Great Reads

The 2022 Patreon Creator Census
Patreon announced the results of their first Patreon creator census, which shares detailed insights and a behind-the-scenes look at Patreon creators and their audiences. 

Net Influencer/Influence Weekly cover the key takeaways from this census and how you can have greater monetary success and audience retention on Patreon. 

It’s not surprising that Patreon creators would spend a good deal of time promoting their Patreon accounts when Patreon is a significant part of their income. So, how much time did the average Patreon creator spend promoting their Patreon?

According to the census, 79% of creators promoted their Patreon at least once a month, but only 49% promoted their Patreon weekly. Most of these creators promoted their Patreon on their other social media platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, notably in both the videos themselves and the description. 

Lyle Stevens, CEO And Mavrck Co-Founder On Buying, The Metaverse, And Creator Economy
Lyle Stevens shares, “They [Later] have been a pretty big participant in the creator economy by helping creators and influencers schedule their visual content on these social platforms.”

The beginning of this acquisition began with the Mavrck team looking for better measurements about how a creator can create down funnel performance for brands. 

Lyle notes, “We all know one of the biggest frustrations of influencer marketing is that marketers want more measurements, creators want more monetization to make more money, but neither side has a great way to close that gap, or the best way to measure in order to understand the best way to pay.”

He explains that traffic is an interesting metric that he and his team were surprised wasn’t used more by brands as a key measurement when deciding which creators to work with. 

Lyle Stevens shares that they surveyed a handful of brands and found that many were interested in using this metric rather than traditional metrics like engagement and follower counts. The data may be especially useful for working with micro-influencers and nano-influencers who don’t have huge audiences yet but can still drive significant traffic. 

YouTube, TikTok Amp Up Creator Monetization Race
YouTube and TikTok are going head-to-head on new ways to pay their content creators.

YouTube Shorts will now incorporate an expanded array of ads on its short-form video feed, Business Insider reported Tuesday, which could potentially lead to Shorts creators receiving a cut of ad revenues. Meanwhile, TechCrunch reported yesterday that TikTok is beta-testing LIVE Subscription, a new model which allows fans to directly compensate creators.

YouTube Shorts, which previously showed limited ads from select advertisers, will now expand to ads purchased through YouTube’s main video platform. While creators won’t immediately benefit from the change, YouTube plans on analyzing the Shorts ads’ performance to determine how it will pay creators, BI reported.

Currently, YouTube Shorts’ $100 million creator fund only pays out top performers and is set to end later this year. While creators on YouTube’s main platform receive a 55% cut of ad revenues, BI reported that Shorts creators have thus far found monetization difficult.

"The Shorts Creator fund isn't anywhere near large enough to incentivize larger creators to stick around or generate unique content for the platform,” Shorts creator Nicholas Crown told the publication. “Without ad rev sharing, creators generating millions of impressions on Shorts often make pennies from the occasional pre-roll ad that runs through AdSense on a Short.


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Campaign Insights

Mango partners with influencer Camille Charrière
Set to go on sale in November 2022, the limited edition collection includes slip dresses, coats, mini skirts and accessories.

More details about the collection, including a price range, will be revealed closer to the launch date, the Spanish retail giant announced on Wednesday.

Charrière, who has collaborated with Mango as part of its #MangoGirl influencer campaign since 2017, co-hosts the podcast Fashion: No Filter alongside Canadian influencer Monica Ainley.

Seven examples of brands engaging in social commerce
Social commerce is maturing. As Accenture states in its ‘Future of Shopping‘ report: “Rather than a handful of big retailers and brands selling to mass markets of millions, we’re now seeing millions of individuals and smaller businesses selling to one another within a vast social commerce ecosystem.”

Consequently, social commerce is expected to grow three times faster than traditional ecommerce to reach a value of $1.2 trillion by 2025 (Accenture research, 2021).

So, which brands are doing it? Here’s a look at how some have been experimenting with social commerce during the past 18 months.

Why Playtex Is All Over TikTok
You’ve probably heard of Playtex Sport before, but mother/daughter duos are obsessed with them right now because they’ve discovered that the tampons are quite literally designed to go with the flow. And ahead of summer—arguably a family’s most active season of the year—period products that actually perform are more important than ever.

These particular tampons prevent leaking with 360-degree sport-level protection, meaning you can stay confident while exercising on your period, no matter what that looks like for you.

And it’s not just moms and their daughters who are loving Playtex. Fitness influencers who know all about the power of working out on your period are on board

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Interesting People

How I Monetized My Viral Baby Yoda TikTok Account
My TikTok triumph started in early November 2020, as I paced around my NYU dorm room searching for a place to store a wig I’d worn for days before Halloween. I couldn’t find anywhere to put it. Looking at the Baby Yoda doll on my desk, I thought it would be cute to put the wig on top of its green, plastic head. I admired my creation, filming a clip of her to Ariana Grande’s “POV.” That initial video racked up 40,300 likes almost instantly. Combining my great passions, beauty and the Disney+ hit series The Mandalorian, I became the momager of two fully glammed-out, “yassified” Baby Yoda dolls.

It was exciting seeing my follower and view counts increase after posting my first makeup application video. Complete with mink lashes, colorful wigs, extravagant makeup, and glitzy bling, “Baddie Yoda” and “Baby Yoda Gothie” amassed a fan base of 89,500 followers and accumulated 754,700 likes since @BabyYodaWiggie’s inception. Within a year I was cashing out upwards of $100 prizes from the TikTok Creator Fund on my recreational Baby Yoda account.

TikTok has a surprising number of ways to monetize your account on its platform. For those over 18, once you reach 1,000 followers, you gain the ability to livestream. That means you can accept LIVE Gifts—diamonds that can be converted into actual money—from viewers. Fans purchase coins to then obtain gifts to award creators. They can buy anywhere from 65 coins for $0.99 to 16,500 coins for $249.99. Diamonds are worth 50 percent of a gift’s coin value, and then TikTok also takes a 50 percent commission. Basically, if you get awarded a gift worth 5,000 coins, you’ll receive diamonds each worth $0.50. Over time, these funds add up. 

D’Amelios help UConn athletes grow their personal brand with D’Amelio Huskies Collective
If anyone knows anything about growing a social media following, it’s social media influencer, Tik Tok father and UConn alum, Marc D’Amelio.

Tik Tok father and UConn alum, Marc D’Amelio, launched the D’Amelio Huskies Collective in early May, a NIL collective exclusively for University of Connecticut athletes to help grow their social media following.

D’Amelio was very hands-on early on about wanting to help boost the fandom at UConn and doing so with the athletes will help along the way.

“I owe everything to the UConn college,” D’Amelio said in an earlier interview, explaining how deeply the connection he felt with the college during the three years he was there. “Three years of your life fly by, except for those [years]. Those three years are so impactful because of the many memories.”

At least one athlete from each men’s and women’s sports at UConn will have the opportunity to be a part of the NIL collective. The athletes will fill out information such as age, grade, sport, position and interests on the website.

After they’re picked to be a part of the collective, D’Amelio will mentor the athletes in creating their brand and building their social media following. He will help connect student-athletes with the respective companies that fit their interests for brand deals.

Meet the young entrepreneurs opening up influencer world to NI businesses
Having met through a tech startup in 2018, Francesca Morelli, 25, and Chloe Henning, 24, combined their skillsets to set up Vava Influence, Northern Ireland's first dedicated influencer marketing agency.

With Francesca having worked for her family business, Morellis' Ice cream, and Chloe having a wealth of experience in social media influencing and modelling the pair collaborated to fill a 'gap in the market'.

Francesca explained: "Chloe was embedded in the NI social media and blogger scene at the time, and started inviting me along to jobs and events with her. I quickly noticed the untapped potential in the influencer marketing industry in NI which had a great community of talent, but no dedicated agency managing anyone, unlike the South of Ireland and the UK.

"Everyone was working on freelance jobs with little guidance. As well as that, many business owners wanted to work with influencers but didn’t know how to go about it, what to pay, or what to expect. With Chloe’s contacts and experience in the digital marketing industry and with my family business background, it just made sense to go out on our own. We knew that if we didn’t make that move soon, someone else would."

With their business only set to turn two next year, the pair are celebrating a number of successes including heading up Northern Ireland's first-ever TikTok house.

This 25-year-old crypto YouTuber quit college, made millions last year
In late 2018, Brian Jung, then 21, decided to drop out of college to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. His South Korean immigrant parents were taken aback: Jung had some part-time e-commerce side hustles that earned about $200 a day, but they didn’t offer the long-term financial security of a college degree. 

Jung also had a YouTube channel, which was more of a hobby than a full-fledged business. But he was confident in his decision: “I had to tell my parents, ‘I know you’ve worked really hard and I know how scary this is going to be, but I’m not going to finish school,’” Jung tells CNBC Make It.

He was determined to make things work, despite the uncertainty. And he did.

Now 25, Jung has pivoted to YouTube full-time. He earned around $3.7 million in the last year, largely from his personal finance-focused channel, which has more than 1 million subscribers.

Looking back, he says the decision to drop out of college to become an entrepreneur was a “pivotal moment” in his life: It allowed him to put more time into the channel and grow it into a business.

Industry News

Snapchat unveils dynamic ads service for travel advertisers
Snapchat has launched its Dynamic Travel Ads product to help brands create different ads according to their products and services.

The social media platform says it will serve the most relevant ads to "Snapchatters" interested in travel, whom it claims are 37% more likely to book travel after seeing an advertisement.

Snapchat says the ads have a number of unique benefits for travel advertisers including targeting according to a Snapchatter's interest in travel and locally relevant campaign delivery using the company's visitation data.

The company says Etihad reduced the cost per flight search fourfold using the dynamic ads product and achieved "a 307% increase in ROAS (return on advertising spend) as well as a 76% decrease in cost per purchase compared to their non-dynamic campaigns."

Phil Dodwell, marketing media lead for Etihad, says the airline was able to "maximize relevance by matching customers to specific destinations, dramatically improving performance metrics across the booking funnel in the process."

Why NYC’s Restaurants Rely on TikTok More Than Ever
Madison Shapiro sat in a half-full dining room when she first ate at Nomad’s Skirt Steak on a rainy Monday last December. At the time, the clientele at the weeks-old restaurant felt corporate to her — there, in her estimates, because of the steakhouse’s proximity to Penn Station.

Shapiro, who works in the marketing department at Shake Shack, is one of the four sisters behind @sistersnacking, a TikTok account that posts NYC restaurant reviews. She was attracted to Skirt Steak’s somewhat gimmicky menu after she read about it online: For $28, customers get a plate of skirt steak, a salad, and unlimited french fries.

She was surprised to find that she actually enjoyed the steak, and the following day, Shapiro and her sisters posted a positive review of the under-the-radar neighborhood newcomer. Within the first hour, the video had received 100,000 views, Shapiro says. By nightfall, it had reached a whopping 1 million views. It was the most viral restaurant review that the two-year-old account has posted to date.

The online fervor translated into tangible sales at Skirt Steak. According to owner Laurent Tourondel, a line of at least 100 eager customers wrapped around the block the day after @sistersnacking posted their review. It’s largely been unwavering ever since. The level of success, which he credits in part to Shapiro’s account, was “a complete surprise,” he says. He especially didn’t expect Skirt Steak — given its office-heavy Manhattan location — to attract such a young crowd.

TikTok is testing a ‘clear mode’ for a distraction-free scrolling experience
TikTok is testing a new feature that would allow for a distraction-free scrolling experience on the app, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. The new feature, which is called “clear mode,” is currently in limited testing with select users. Clear mode gets rid of all of the clutter on-screen, such as captions and buttons, when viewing content on the app.

The new setting was spotted by users and highlighted by social media consultant Matt Navarra on Twitter. The screenshots posted by users show that once clear mode is activated, you’ll no longer see usernames, captions, audio information and more. In some cases, it appears that you can get rid of the like, comments and share buttons as well in order to have a completely distraction-free viewing experience.

Users who are part of the limited test and have access to clear mode will see the option when they tap and hold the screen. Once you do so, the “Clear Mode” setting will appear under the “Add to Favorites” button in the menu. Clicking on that will trigger the distraction-free viewing experience.

If fully rolled out, the new feature could be a welcome addition for people who want to get rid of the clutter on-screen and just focus on the content they’re viewing. Clear mode could also be useful in instances where usernames and captions end up covering important parts of a video. In addition, viewers will often comment “crop” on a video, indicating that they want the user to reupload the video so that it can be screenshot and cropped without any captions or buttons obstructing the content. Activating clear mode could get rid of this problem.

NFTs and the creator economy are on a collision course
If it feels like the NFT trend is already fairly ubiquitous, then, to coin a phrase, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. NFTs may be one of the most talked-about trends happening on social media, although until now, NFTs haven’t featured much within social media. But that’s set to change. 

At the start of this year, Twitter launched a limited feature that allows users to upload NFTs to their profile in the same way as a profile picture. At an event at SXSW in late March, Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to integrate NFTs into Instagram “in the near term” – and those plans materialized faster than most expected. Instagram head Adam Mosseri just shared on Twitter that the photo-sharing platform is rolling out the “ability for creators, and people, to share NFTs that they’ve made or that they’ve bought, either in Feed or in Stories, or in messaging.”  

YouTube is also getting in on the act. A February announcement brought news that the firm will launch new creator tools, enabling video makers to sell their content as NFTs. Spotify is also reportedly (subscription required) exploring NFTs, having recently posted job ads for Web3-focused positions. 

The value of being able to use an NFT as a profile picture may seem somewhat questionable, but these last two developments perhaps give the biggest clues as to the potential benefits of including NFTs in the established social and media landscape – monetization. 
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Great Paywalled Content

Artists Are Getting Fed Up with Labels' TikTok Demands - Rolling Stone
When singer Trevor Daniel topped one billion streams on Spotify for his breakout track “Falling,” the 27-year-old joined the ranks of Billie Eilish, Drake, Justin Bieber, Cardi B, and Ed Sheeran and other major global artists to hit the milestone.

Daniel can credit the emo-rap track’s success largely to TikTok. Despite its 2018 release, the song took off two years later as millions began to download the video-sharing app while cooped up at home during the onset of the pandemic. Daniel’s viral jumpstart led to collaborations with Selena Gomez and Lil Mosey for remixes of “Past Life” and work with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Julia Michaels on “Fingers Crossed.” 

Daniel hasn’t released any new music since last November’s EP That Was Then, despite having songs in the pipeline — evident in the snippets Daniel has been posting. However, he tells Rolling Stone that until one of the teases takes off on TikTok, his tracks seem destined to stay in limbo.

“It’s just been pretty much impossible to put out music,” he says. “It feels like I’m at the DMV. Every time I go to deliver music, it’s like, ‘Oh, well you need to do this … post on TikTok more … tease these songs so we can see which ones they react to more. I do that and then I don’t really hear anything. Because what they’re really expecting, even though they say they’re not … they want it to go viral again.” 

Abercrombie & Fitch Teams Up With Influencers Dede Raad and Emily Travis for Collaboration - WWD
Abercrombie & Fitch, a division of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., will launch a getaway-inspired capsule collection co-designed with Texas based influencers Dede Raad of Dress Up Buttercup and Emily Travis of Champagne and Chanel.

The duo were handpicked by Abercrombie based on their sense of style and their highly engaged communities. The collection was designed with Abercrombie’s young Millennial customers in mind.

“When ranking things our customers were looking forward to this summer, taking vacations with their friends was at the top of their lists, so it only made sense to partner with Dede and Emily, two real-life best friends, to bring this getaway-inspired collection to life,” Carey Collins Krug, senior vice president and head of marketing, Abercrombie Brands, told WWD.

The collection, which launches Thursday online and in all Abercrombie stores across the U.S., features several styles of ready-to-wear that Raad and Travis worked on together with the Abercrombie design team in Ohio.

“Visiting the Abercrombie headquarters in Ohio and working on this collection with the team there was a dream come true for me,” said Travis, who has 1.1 million followers on Instagram. “The team really listened to us in terms of design and fit and what our community really wants to wear.”

How Influencers Hype Crypto, Without Disclosing Their Financial Ties - The New York Times
Logan Paul had a message for his six million Twitter followers: He was “all in” on a new cryptocurrency called Dink Doink.

According to the project’s creator, Dink Doink investors would receive shares of a cartoon character, entitling them to a portion of the proceeds if the googly-eyed figure ever appeared in a TV show or movie. Last June, Mr. Paul, a 27-year-old boxer and social-media influencer, praised Dink Doink on Twitter and in a public Telegram chat, before endorsing it again on his podcast, “Impaulsive.”

But by mid-July, the price of Dink Doink had plummeted to a fraction of a cent, and Mr. Paul was facing an online backlash. In his endorsements, he had failed to mention some relevant information: He and the project’s creator were friends, and they had come up with the idea for the cryptocurrency together. He had also received a large allocation of Dink Doink coins when it launched.

“I don’t know what went absurdly wrong,” Mr. Paul said in an interview. “That’s the project from hell, and I just wiped my hands of that.”
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