The influencer marketing landscape is changing. Now, that’s not a statement many people would find alarming. It’s always changing. But when you watch the industry like I do and for as long as I have, you see the tea leaves. And when they perk up a certain way, you sense a change is a brewin’.
Mavrck is out this week with its annual Creator Compensation Report. It’s a yearly survey of several hundred content creators that asks specific questions about how much they make, what type of work fuels that revenue, what kind of brand deals are they working and the like. It’s usually an insightful measuring stick to see where your brand is trending … are you paying well enough or not enough … are you offering the types of value others are and such.
I started telling you about six months ago that the brands I and CIPIO.ai were working with had started to shift what they were asking for. Many were foregoing the traditional ask for influencer marketing collaborations, opting instead for just user-generated content.
Brands want content to fuel their paid and organic social. That’s good for companies like CIPIO.ai. We go get UGC on scale for brands. But it’s not a great sign for influencers who monetize their audience as much as their content.
Now, that alone is only one tea leaf if you will. And influencers can still create content for payment and still benefit from UGC-driven campaigns.
But Mavrck’s new Compensation Report has a few more tea leaves turning up of interest.
Rachael Cihlar is Mavrck’s vice-president for corporate communications and public relations. She is busy getting this handy compensation report out to folks, but took some time to visit with me to go over some of the findings and talk about their implications.
Some things I explore with her include these nuggets, surfaced by the report:
- The rates offered by brands are lower than previous years
- Affiliate compensation offers seem to be on the rise
- More than half of creators say affiliate income is a part of their array of earnings
Does this mean brands are starting shift away from sponsored content and brand collaboration deals in favor of more performanced-based compensation? Or are these numbers just a settling of the market? Only time will tell, of course, but the time we have with Rachael today gave me the opportunity to ask how she interprets the data.
She and I do that on this episode.
Links for this Episode:
- Rachael Cihlar on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/influenceexpert/
- Mavrck’s Website: https://mavrck.co/
- Mavrck’s 2023 Creator Compensation Report: https://info.mavrck.co/creator-compensation-report-2023-new
- Scale UGC with CIPIO.ai: https://jasonfalls.co/cipio
This episode of Winfluence is presented by CIPIO.ai. We are helping brands transform their digital marketing with user-generated content videos and images at scale. Come see us at CIPIO.ai. If you want me to personally show you the platform and how we can solve your digital marketing performance problems with high-performing UGC, just go to jasonfalls.co/cipio … fill out that form and I’ll personally set up time to chat with you.
Rachael Cihlar Episode Highlights (AI Generated)
00:08:09 Growth of affiliate marketing for creators explained.
00:12:11 Creators’ reluctance for performance-based incentives questioned.
00:15:17 Real influencers don’t always have millions of followers.
00:19:53 Influencer pricing depends on brand and goals.
00:22:56 Creators making modest income diversify revenue sources.
00:26:47 Market dictates rates, influenced by seasons, economy, growth.
00:30:20 Data and nuance highlight call for creator equity and bargaining power in SAG-AFTRA strike.
00:34:24 7% decrease in rates, but some exceptions.
00:39:26 Check out the helpful compensation report.
Rachael Cihlar Episode Transcript (AI Generated)
Jason Falls [00:00:00]:
Do you want Instagrammers or TikTokers to post about your brand? Or do you actually want to engage creators who influence their audience to buy your product? If you’re in the latter of those two, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to winfluence the Winfluence Marketing Podcast. Hello again, friends. Thanks for tuning into Winfluence. The Winfluence Marketing Podcast. The influencer marketing landscape is changing. Now, that’s not a statement many people would find alarming. It’s always changing. But when you watch the industry like I do, and for as long as I have, you see the tea leaves. And when they perk up a certain way, you sense a change may be a brewing. Maverick is out with its annual creator compensation report. It’s a yearly survey of several hundred content creators. It asks specific questions about how much they make, what type of work fuels that revenue, what kind of brand deals they’re working, and the like. It’s usually an insightful measuring stick to see where your brand is trending. Are you paying well enough or not enough? Are you offering the types of value that others are and such? Now, I started telling you about six months ago that the brands I and Cipio AI are working with had started to shift what they were asking for. Many were foregoing the traditional ask for influencer marketing collaborations opting instead for just user generated content. Brands want content to fuel their paid and organic social. That’s good for companies like Cipio AI. We go get UGC on scale for brands, but it’s not a great sign for Winfluence, who monetize their audience as much as their content. Now that alone is only one tea leaf, if you will. And influencers can still create content for payment and still benefit from UGC driven campaigns. But Maverick’s new compensation report has a few more tea leaves turning up of interest. Rachel Seiler is Maverick’s vice president for corporate communications and public relations. She’s busy getting this handy compensation report out to folks, but took some time to visit with me to go over some of the findings and talk about their implications. Some things I explore with her include these nuggets surfaced by the report the rates offered by brands are anecdotally lower than previous years. Affiliate compensation offers seem to be on the rise. More than half of the creators say affiliate income is part of the way they earn money. Now, does this mean brands are starting to shift away from sponsored content or brand collaboration deals in favor of more performance based compensation? Or are these numbers just a settling of the market? Only time will tell, of course. But the time we have with Rachel today gave me the opportunity to ask how she interprets the data. She and I will do that coming up in a few moments. Now, I mentioned what Cipio AI does in helping brands scale the acquisition of user generated content. That’s certainly appropriate to our discussion today. You should know, I’m involved with Cipio AI sort of as my day job. I am the company’s EVP of marketing. Why are we helping brands transform their digital marketing with user generated content, videos and images at scale? Well, I’ll tell you why. Shopify data shows user generated content quadruples your ad click through rates, UGC drives as much as seven times more. Engagement on social media, UGC improves website conversions by as much as 29% and email click through rates by as much as 73%. UGC is also more trusted by consumers than even traditional Winfluence content, which is another nugget appropriate to know in our conversation with Rachael today. Cipio AI can plug you into your own community of users, find those who create great content, and help you engage them to do it for your brand. Your digital marketing performs better. You don’t have to go looking for content to use for paid or owned campaigns, and we’ve got a team to manage it all for you. If you like, come see us at Cipio AI. If you want me to personally show you the platform and how we can solve your digital marketing performance problems with high performing UGC, just go to Slash Cipio, fill out that form, and I’ll personally set up time to chat with you. That’s Jasonfalls Co cipio. Seriously, folks, we can make your marketing perform better and take a handful of content problems off your hands. So Jasonfalls Co slash cipio. Are brands cooling on Winfluence and shifting to performance based compensation as a trend? We’ll dig into Maverick’s. Creator compensation report with Rachel Seiler, next on Winfluence. Rachel. Thanks for bringing us. Maverick’s Creator compensation report. It’s always good to ground ourselves in new data from the creator set, but before we dig into that, I want to make sure folks know a little bit more about you, just for context and all that good stuff. We know you’re Mavericks VP of Corporate Comms and PR, but I think that undersells your experience in the space. Take us through your journey through influence marketing and how you built the career and credentials to put you where you are now.
Rachael Cihlar [00:05:31]:
Thanks, Jason, and thank you for having me. Really excited to be here. Yeah, I would love to give some additional information about my background. So I have been in the influencer marketing space for over a decade, which is probably hard to believe for the folks who maybe have only been hearing about it in the last few years, but ten years ago, it’s what we called blogger programs. And I worked for a software company that was similar to Mavrck, but we were connecting brands and marketers with bloggers to write long form content about their brand or products. And throughout the years, I’ve migrated to other technology companies and agencies and have been at Maverick for the last four and a half years. And I just love this space. I think it’s incredibly interesting. And now, ten years ago, my parents were like, what do you do? And now they’re like, oh, anyone who hears about the creator economy or influencer marketing knows what you mean when you say that, because we all follow creators online. We all are influenced to either purchase something or look more into a product or a service or a brand. And so it’s cool being on the forefront of an industry that continues to grow and enables all these people to make a living, which is really what we’re here to talk about today. And not just rates, but really how it can change people’s lives and allow them to really pursue their passions.
Jason Falls [00:06:51]:
Yes, and I’m glad at how you described the longevity in the career, because I love when people come to the show and they say, I’ve been around since before Winfluence marketing, since 2016. And I just roll my eyes and like, oh, my God, really?
Rachael Cihlar [00:07:08]:
Jason Falls [00:07:09]:
So thank you for not making me feel as old, even though you’re welcome. We’ve been around together for quite some time. That’s good now, okay, so let’s talk about the compensation report. I think the first thing that jumped out at me when I was looking through this year’s report was the increased presence, or at least what I perceived to be an increased presence of things like affiliate marketing and performance based compensation indicators. I know even early in the report, you’ve got an anecdotal quote from I think it’s Maria Hammonds, who is a content creator, longtime content creator, and she said two things that were very significant, which is obviously why you guys called them out in the report. First, she said rates offered by brands are much lower than they have been and that she’s seeing a lot more affiliate programs than before. My question really is, are these indicators that brands may be turning the corner away from sponsored content and focusing more on performance based compensation?
Rachael Cihlar [00:08:09]:
Yeah, so that’s a great question. And just want to preface, too, this is the third year that we’ve done this report, and so we’ve seen a lot of changes over time. And to your point, we have seen the growth of the affiliate marketing space. It’s been around forever. But I think it’s becoming even more popular for creators versus the more traditional publishers who have engaged in the affiliate space in the past. And what I mean by that is, traditionally it was more like media companies or people who had websites who were leveraging affiliate links to make some commission off of that versus your everyday Instagram, TikTok, YouTube creators. And so we really have seen that grown. And I think that’s for a few reasons. One, I think that as influencer marketing has grown, so much more creators have entered the space, so it’s way more saturated. And so the ability for a creator to make a living and make all of their income off of sponsored content is maybe not as easy as it was years ago, even two years ago. And so I think that means that we’re seeing more creators get into that affiliate space because it’s a little bit more of a passive way to work with brands in that they don’t have to go through more rigorous process of creating a brief and submitting an idea and posting that, getting it approved by brands. In a lot of cases, if you have to do draft review or legal review. And so they can just kind of pick up this affiliate work as much as they want and they’re in control of how much they want to post those links, how often, which brands they work with, versus waiting on brands to come to them and offer an opportunity. So I think that makes it easier for creators to kind of also go about that avenue while probably still engaging in sponsored content. I think we’ve also seen in some ways some backlash. There’s always been backlash at times for brands who are perceived as being overly advertorial when working with creators and really making sure that that outcome of content looks and feels one certain way. But creators and users or followers like us, we want authenticity. And so when it comes to sponsored content, you need to be a brand who also promotes that authenticity. And so if you’re not doing it that way, then maybe you don’t have as many creators who want to partner with you either. And so for creators to have that flexibility to find ways to generate income that is in line with their audience and the type of content that they produce and promote, then that’s going to make it more appealing maybe to work with affiliates. But I think we’re also seeing rates be a huge factor in whether or not both brands and creators want to work on sponsored content. From the brand side, we’ve seen creator rates grown a ton. We see brand new TikTok creators who have maybe only been around for a couple of months but have amassed a large following in a short amount of time because of some viral content or what have you. They will go from never having worked with a brand to commanding several thousands of dollars for one TikTok post and for brands who have maybe tried to get in at the ground level with these creators as they grow, they might not be able to afford those rates anymore and vice versa. We know the economy is tough and so brands budgets are being cut every day. So that makes it tough to always have the same vision when it comes to what we can pay as a brand or what as creators we should be charging for content, right?
Jason Falls [00:11:33]:
I like that answer in a lot of ways because A, it makes me think of it from a different perspective, which I hadn’t really considered, I guess, my prejudices, because I’ve been doing this for so long and I kind of have a certain way of thinking. And thank you for course correcting me are that creators in general don’t want to do affiliate programs because in my experience, creators don’t have any confidence behind the fact that they can actually do performance based and make any money. And so if this shift is as much or even just a little bit creator driven versus brand driven, then that sort of changes the complexity of my thought process in it.
Rachael Cihlar [00:12:11]:
Well, I do have a comment based on what you said and creators knowing that they can drive performance, and there is some truth there because I spoke with one of our customers who is from an affiliate agency and she has said when she puts out opportunities, they do a mix for their payment model. So it’s a flat fee that’s a little bit lower than maybe some creators are typically charging for content plus performance based incentives for affiliate links. And so when they hear creators say, no, we won’t do that, what they interpret is, oh, we know you can’t drive those sales, and so you don’t trust your own ability to do that. And that’s okay. If they’re not going to be willing to sign up for it, then it has an affiliate brand or a company who works with affiliates, then you don’t want to partner with them. And so I think it’s probably a healthy balance of knowing what are your brand goals and what are you looking to achieve, and that might dictate then who you partner with and same with the creator, what do you know that you can achieve?
Jason Falls [00:13:13]:
Yeah, well, I also think it’s good, again, if a lot of this is creator driven, that’s a good sign for brands because creators are getting it, they’re understanding, hey, not only can I fill a gap here because as you indicated, affiliate performance and affiliate relationships are much easier for the creator to balance. They don’t have to jump through as many hoops, et cetera. But I think what that also indicates is that more and more creators might be teaching themselves how to or perfecting the art of driving performance, which is going to benefit brands in the long run too.
Rachael Cihlar [00:13:46]:
Yeah, and listen, we run programs that are both based on flat fees and performance based incentives. And at the end of the day, it’s a decision that the brand has to come to of like, what do we want to achieve and what’s important to us. And both models can work. So it’s not to say that one is better than the other, but it may vary based on either the campaign that you’re launching, the type of product that you have, especially if you’re a very high value or high priced item with a lot of consideration that goes into it. Affiliate links might not always make sense for buying a car.
Jason Falls [00:14:20]:
Right, it’s true. But I’ll tell you what, man, if I had affiliate links for all these expensive software packages I’ve worked with over the years, I’d probably be retired right now.
Rachael Cihlar [00:14:30]:
Jason Falls [00:14:31]:
Goodness gracious. So going back to the indication, and I know it was anecdotal it didn’t necessarily surface as pronounced in the data, but back to Maria Hammonds’s assertion that she’s seeing a lot more affiliate programs from brands than before and that the rates are lower at Cipio. We’ve been persuaded by the brands we work with to almost shift our focus a little bit to user generated content rather than traditional influencer approaches, which is, I think, also an indicator that brands might be less interested in paying influencers and more interested in getting better value out of these engagements. Am I wrong in continuing to draw those parallels, or does that sit okay with you?
Rachael Cihlar [00:15:17]:
Well, I think that there are certain preconceived notion around what an influencer looks like. And to a lot of folks, especially those who maybe aren’t as familiar with the industry, it is the people who you have name recognition for, who have millions and millions of followers and who have just really robust online presence. That’s not always the ideal influencer for most brands. We work primarily I mean, we work with what we call the spectrum of influence. So anyone from nano creators all the way up to the kind of celebrity like mega creators, but most brands are not going to find the most success in working with the celebrities of the you know, you and I know that Kim Kardashian is not really the model of the average influencer. She’s a celebrity who isn’t a high quality content creator either. She uses her social platform to further her celebrity. But the real powerful creators, I think, are in that creator middle class and what we call micro and mid tier creators, macro creators, but even smaller than that. And so when it comes to really understanding who’s going to drive the most value for your brand, so many brands will discount those smaller creators because maybe they don’t have millions of followers, but they come at a more affordable price for your brand. A lot of them are hoping to grow as they become bigger creators, and their rates will grow with that. But if you have such a great relationship with them on the ground level, then you can help be part of that growth, too, and maybe build better relationships with them, lock in more reasonable rates for your engagements with them. Maybe become an ambassador who posts for them and has longer contracts with those brands. And so I think that those people can still drive real engagement, drive the things that brands are looking for, like ROI. So whether that be sales or another type of conversion, all of those things are truly possible with people like micro creators, who, by the way, look a lot more like your average consumers. Working with a ton of them at scale is actually really reasonable to do, especially when you work with someone like Maverick. But I think that that is kind of when you read through some of the questions that we get, it’s like, well, let me help demystify what winfluence marketing really is and what the opportunity looks like when you can partner with creators who are really great at what they do but don’t always have millions of followers.
Jason Falls [00:17:46]:
Yeah, it’s funny when clients talk to me about strategy for winfluence marketing and they say, well, I want to use this type of celebrity, this type of mega winfluence, that kind of thing. And I say, okay, well, we’ll do that for you, but let me also lay a foundation of good Micronano user generated content that’s going to fill your content coffers. And they go, what? What does that mean? Like, well, that’s part of it too. There’s a spectrum, as you mentioned.
Rachael Cihlar [00:18:14]:
There’s also a stat that we talk about, which is approximately one in four of your customers has influence to some degree. And so even though I only have, I don’t know, call it 1500 followers, if my engagement with those followers is really high, then working with ten people like me is probably more beneficial than working with one creator who has 100,000 followers even. And so just understanding that, that you can tap into your existing customer base, who already loves you, who would probably talk about your product if you gave it to them for free, or if you threw them some coupons your way, or if you incentivize them in some other ways, then why not explore that strategy too?
Jason Falls [00:18:54]:
Yeah, careful, you’re going to start selling here. Let’s go back to Maverick a bit. I know you’ve been there four years and just I want to ask this question, and I’m sorry to put you on the spot. If you don’t have the answer, that’s fine. But I would imagine you’re not necessarily in your role managing client accounts daily. But I’m curious if your teams are seeing that shift in any way. Are brands asking for more performance based competition and or less influence and more UGC? I know you’re all client bases run the gamut, but I wonder if that sounds familiar, because if so, then we’ve got another data point. That sort of my assertion or my hunch here that I’ve been talking about for six months is that brands are starting to say, we don’t like the way this whole sponsored content winfluence marketing thing has been going. We need to find ways to make it more efficient. So I wonder if you’re hearing or seeing those same things from your customers.
Rachael Cihlar [00:19:53]:
Yeah, well, I’d say it depends on the type of brand that you’re talking about. At Maverick, we work with consumer brands, mostly enterprise consumer brands. And so when you look at, like, a CPG brand, for example, affiliate marketing isn’t as strong for them. Because if you’re talking about a product that costs $3, then the margin that creators are going to make on that is so low, it’s not really worth it to them. But generating a lot of user generated content or influencer generated content that then they can use on their website, on their social channels, in ads. Of course, all of this is paying the creator in order to do that that is hugely beneficial. And so that’s when flat fees for content creation and disseminating it to their audience totally makes sense. When you get into more luxury brands or people with higher price points for their products, even fashion brands, that is where maybe you’re looking at Paper performance model or you’re looking at a hybrid model. And what a lot of our brands will do is they will look at that spectrum of influence and say, what kind of approach do we want to have that works across this entire spectrum of Winfluence? And how might that incentive vary based on what that creator can offer us and what’s the best way to work with them? So for those really high tier creators who are maybe in that macro or mega space, they have a high following. The content that they create is really high quality. They will charge for things like Exclusivity, whatever you maybe are wanting to play them for. A flat fee performance might not make as much sense for them because they know that they can make more money on sponsored content. That’s okay. Maybe you find some who are willing to do a mix of both. And then for micro creators or even mid tier, maybe you’re doing a hybrid approach where it’s paying for the flat fee, really high quality content and also paying them for performance and allowing them to kind of prove themselves. Too of like, hey, if we actually can drive sales, then maybe we’ll be able to work with you more often, or we’ll be able to bump that engagement or even what you’re making from those affiliates. And then for the lower tier, it’s probably flat fee and product in some cases too. And so having a tiered approach based on what’s best for the winfluence, what’s best for the outcome of what you’re looking to achieve, and what fits in your budget is really an approach that a lot of those types of brands will take because it allows them to really diversify the type of content that they’re getting, the type of creator that they’re engaging with, and really allowing them to serve multiple goals that they might have in their creator campaigns.
Jason Falls [00:22:29]:
Very nice. So the data in these reports often shapes out the way you kind of think it will. Creators with fewer followers make less money. Creators who are younger or with less experience tend to make less money. But I was somewhat surprised to learn that the average full time creator is pulling in an average of $2000 to $4,000 per month. That doesn’t seem like good full time compensation to me. What is there to read into that?
Rachael Cihlar [00:22:56]:
Well, I think one, this is a sample size of about six to 700 creators who took this survey. And so it’s certainly not going to be all encompassing. And a lot of the creators that we work with tend to be more of the micro or mid tier persuasion. So they’re not the name brand creators who are filling this out, who we know can command tens, hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsored content. And so I think it’s a little bit of who we were talking to, but I also think it’s representative of the industry. Not as many creators are making and pulling tens of thousands of dollars per month from sponsored content. So it’s know, when people say like, I want to be a creator when I grow up, they think, oh, I want to be like Charlie D’Amelio or whomever and make tons and tons of money and know really incredible brand deals from it. But the average creator is not making that much and it’s because they are part of that creator middle class. If you think about the average income of Americans, it’s not that high either. And so a lot of these creators are working creators. They have to really make the most of what they’re doing to make a living. And so $2,000 a month might not seem like a lot, but they also are building up that clientele of people who they’re working with and brands that they can work with of the different sources of income. What I thought was really interesting about the report, too, is looking at the different sources of income. Yes, they are diversifying across sponsored and affiliate content, but more and more creators are also looking into those owned channels in which they can generate income that isn’t dependent on social media. So if you think about subscription platforms like Patreon or substack newsletters or even creating and selling their own merchandise or online courses are really popular amongst that community. Those are all more ways that creators can monetize their winfluence and really also build some longevity into their careers and really owning that audience that they’ve cultivated that started primarily on social good stuff.
Jason Falls [00:25:00]:
Another thing that popped out in this report that I want to get into, we’re going to get into after the break. The narrative in the report includes content creators talking about adapting their rates. I think that’s even more evidence that brands might be shifting, but we’ll dig into that in a moment. We’re talking the Maverick Creator compensation report with Rachael Seiler. Don’t go away.
Rachael Cihlar [00:25:23]:
Jason Falls [00:25:29]:
Back on Winfluence with Rachel Seiler talking about creator compensation and the Mavrck creator compensation report for 2023. You can find links in the show notes to get that handy report for your own self. Just head to Jasonfalls Co Rachelciler for that. And that’s R-A-C-H-A-E-L-C-I-H-L-A-R. But I actually have a handy new way to do that. Well, you can also go to Jasonfalls.com, click on articles in the upper right, find the episode with Rachel’s lovely face. And there it is. But there’s a new feature that I’ve been practicing or testing lately. If you see the Rachel Siler episode post on Instagram, I’m at Jason Falls there. All you have to do is go into that post, comment with Hashtag Report, and my pals at Stampede Social will hit you with a DM with that link. So that’s a pretty cool way to get it. So find the post on Instagram with Rachel comment Hashtag Report, and it’ll automatically be sent to you via DM, so you don’t have to write anything down. All right, before the break, I told you that the report goes into content creators talking about rate adaptation. This emerged as a big theme. Rachel, explain to folks what creators are saying about the evolution of their own rates and why they’re focused on evolving and adapting them.
Rachael Cihlar [00:26:47]:
Well, I think for anyone, market dictates what anyone can charge, whether you’re in a salaried position like we are working for a corporate organization or if you are a creator or a freelancer. And so you have to adapt your rates based on what’s happening out there. Some good examples of more seasonal adaptation of rates is probably the holidays. We know that the fourth quarter is the busiest quarter for brands. That means it’s also the busiest quarter for creators. They need to be creating so much content to promote sales that are happening before the holidays, to promote anything that’s happening during that era, because that’s what brands are doing. They want you to go purchase their product, whether it be for cooking or for presents or what have you. And so we know that there’s seasonality when it comes to rates. Probably also means that there’s maybe a dip where people can charge a little bit less because they’re not getting as many opportunities thrown their way. So there’s always going to be that kind of supply and demand based on just what’s happening and when brands are sending out most of their opportunities for sponsored content. However, there’s also these macro trends that dictate how creators are charging, including what’s going on in our economy. So, for example, 2020 March, what do you think was happening? Everyone was like, shoot, I don’t have a job, or I’m forced to work from home. And so that means that maybe I need a better work from home setup. And so I’m looking at what creators are promoting, or I need to know how to bake sourdough bread, and so I need to go see how those creators are talking about what products they use and all of that. And so that was an opportunity where creators could say, either I need to make more of my income right now because I’m worried about the future. So I’m either going to lower my rates. To accept more opportunities or I’m in such high demand by certain brands that I’m going to raise them because I know that this is really important to them and it’s just natural negotiation tactics. Now, something else that allows creators to adapt their rates is if they start to grow. Of course, if they’re growing their following, if they go viral on TikTok and they got 100,000 followers overnight, then what do you think they’re going to do? They’re going to increase their rates, but they might also be bringing on an agent or a brand manager or someone who’s helping them run their business. And so that’s going to mean that they need to charge a higher rate because they’re giving a cut away, or they’re bringing on new technology or tools that allow them to do their job at scale. And so those are all things that might dictate a change in rates. So I think you can’t always pinpoint one reason why a creator is changing their rates, but you have to look at what’s happening right now, but also what’s happening in their growth trajectory as a creator that is maybe allowing them to charge more.
Jason Falls [00:29:31]:
Sure. Well, and you made a great point about the economy. I mean, when you’re scared that you’re not going to be able to close deals, price is the first thing that you can tinker with to make that happen a little bit easier. So that makes a lot of sense.
Rachael Cihlar [00:29:42]:
And negotiation is very natural in this industry. It’s not like people say, oh, here’s $1,000 and take it or leave it. It’s definitely a negotiation time for creators and for brands.
Jason Falls [00:29:54]:
That’s true. Very true. So one of the report’s conclusions, though, is that creators are demanding higher compensation for their work and brands are increasingly willing to pay it. That’s not necessarily my read from the data. And we’ve already established that I might have my head in the sand and not be looking at the whole thing. So that could be the reason. But that’s not my read from the data at all. How do those two things jive, or am I just not reading deep enough?
Rachael Cihlar [00:30:20]:
Well, I think that there’s what the data tells and then there’s also some of the nuance that we see when we are more intimately involved in the industry. One is this call for equity amongst creators. And we’re actually talking at a really interesting time as we are in the middle of this SAGAFTRA strike. Now, if you’re not aware, I’m sure you are, but some of your listeners might not be aware. SAGAFTRA is now open to creators. It has been since July 2021 or so. And so now creators can be part of that union or the guild, and hopefully it will benefit them. But I think a lot of creators aren’t actually as familiar with SAGAFTRA as they should be. And the union was really formed for actors, not for creators. And so their bargaining power for creators is probably not as strong as it could be as well. And so knowing that we’re in kind of this situation where it is putting the spotlight back on what unions like SAG do for creators and their ability to negotiate and actually receive Equitable pay, it’s a huge talking point. At the moment because there is a lot of power in the hands of creators, especially for brands who are being struck right now as part of the strike. So Amazon, Disney, you know, you name it, and it’s up to those creators whether or not they want to work with struck brands because it could impact their future ability to be part of SAG, which they’ve outlined. So I think reading between the lines of both what’s in the data, but also what we know is going on in our industry as a whole, the other piece that we didn’t have enough data to really read into this too much. But there has been a lot that’s come out about just pay equity amongst creators of different races, ethnicities excuse me, LGBTQ plus Creators. So I think knowing all that, creators want to know that they are getting what they’re worth and that there is some bargaining power to be had and brands are more willing than not to kind of come to the table and at least have those conversations. And so not all brands, of course, there are definitely those who just don’t care. But for the brands who want to have longevity in the creator space and want to maintain good relationships with creators, they are going to be willing to play ball.
Jason Falls [00:32:40]:
Well, and to be fair to the data, just to bring it back to center a bit, because I know that I have kind of my own sort of direction for the conversation here, but I don’t want to misrepresent the data either. Only 7% of creators say they have decreased their rates, compared to 49% who are increasing their rates overall. 44% of creators report an increase in brand collaboration offers. 40% say they’ve received more opportunities this year. And the corresponding decreased numbers there are 33% and 35%. So we’re not necessarily in a recession when it comes to creator compensation at all.
Rachael Cihlar [00:33:14]:
Yes, that’s exactly right. And there’s a ton of other really interesting data in the report that we are happy to share and there’s a lot to dive into, so it’s hard to cover every element, but we like to look at what’s happening year over year. But also what are some of these really interesting kind of micro trends that might become macro trends in the future.
Jason Falls [00:33:36]:
All right, so this is my interpretation of data at work because I just thought of this. Let me extrapolate the rate increase decrease numbers, just for argument’s sake. I don’t know if you’ll ever find many creators who would say, like, honestly, they’ve decreased their rates, whether that’s because of ego or some other reason I find it hard to believe anyone would admit that. So when 7% are saying they’re decreasing their rates, I can read that as another tea leaf for my side of the argument that, hey, there’s something happening here, that brands are either pushing for decreased rates or more performance based competition creators are decreasing the rates. So I would read that as something is up. Am I wrong?
Rachael Cihlar [00:34:24]:
No. But I think 7% is relatively small in the grand scheme of things. But I think that you do have a point. Probably not everyone is going to own up to if they decrease their rates. However, this was an anonymous report, so we’re not saying exactly who decreased their rates so brands can go try and work with them. And so it’s not really in their best interest to not be truthful in something like this. But we also know that they’re probably talking about as a whole. There are going to be creators who maybe decrease their rates for certain opportunities or certain types of brands that they really want to work with because they say, hey, I don’t know if this brand will be able to match my current rate, but I really love them. I want to work with them, I want to build a relationship with them. So I’m going to decrease it for this opportunity. And then maybe over time they’ll see that my quality of content is great, that the performance is there and so they’ll come and meet me eventually. And so I think that that’s probably more of the truth of the situation, is that for the right opportunity, both a brand or a creator will match if they really want to make it happen.
Jason Falls [00:35:31]:
Well, and I’ll also offer up this. I’ve had a couple of clients that I’ve worked with for several years now, and the ones where we have relationships with a given creator, that creator is charging overall less now than they were three or four years ago. Because of the longevity of the relationship, the reliability of the income. They don’t charge the same rates that they would with a new client because there’s familiarity there.
Rachael Cihlar [00:35:57]:
You’re exactly right. And that’s why so many of our brands employ things like ambassador programs, because they want not only is it better for the relationship between the creator and the brand, it’s also better for their followers. Because when a creator is posting, I don’t know, let’s say one sports drink and then the next week posts another one, they’re going to be like, well, which one do you really like? But if they are consistently posting for that brand, and by the way, the creator then becomes an extension of that brand because over time they really learn what their messaging is, who they’re targeting, they also get to experience that brand so many more times because of that. So that builds trust between the brand and the creator’s audience. And that’s so important. And so it is in the best interest of the creator and of the brand to really develop those long term relationships, not only for performance, but also for the economics of it all and making sure that that creator has longevity in their career, too. Who doesn’t want a contract that spans a year versus a one time campaign opportunity?
Jason Falls [00:37:00]:
Heck yeah. 12,000 for two months versus 70,000 for twelve months is a hell of a lot better. Deal all the time.
Rachael Cihlar [00:37:07]:
Jason Falls [00:37:08]:
Well, as I started the conversation, I said it’s always good to see the data, refresh our perceptions and know where things are heading. I guess your interpretation of the data will vary, but Rachel, thanks so much for spending some time helping us decipher it. I’ll remind people where they can find the report. Maverick and you on the interwebs.
Rachael Cihlar [00:37:25]:
Yeah. So you can find us at Maverick co the report will be on our website, but you can also find it. We’ll be promoting it all over our social channels, so please download it. You can find us on Instagram, on TikTok, on YouTube, on LinkedIn, all of those places where we not only share really great research and reports like this, but also content about influencer marketing, about working with, know, other webinars and speaking events and what have you that we’ve seen Jason at. And so, yeah, please come find us. And if you have any know, feel free to reach out to me directly. It’s Rachel at Maverick, co we love talking about this and we love to have some healthy debates and arguments, too.
Jason Falls [00:38:06]:
And I don’t think this is necessary for everybody out there, but just in case, Maverick only has one vowel, the A-M-A-V-R-C-K.
Rachael Cihlar [00:38:15]:
There you go. Thank you so much, Jason. Yes. M-A-V-R-C-K. Yep. So find us there. And yeah, we’d love to talk about this. If you ever have any questions, let us know.
Jason Falls [00:38:26]:
Awesome. Excellent as always. We’ll put links in our Show Notes again. The new quick way to get those is to find Rachel’s beautiful face on the COVID photo of this episode on my Instagram account. I’m Jason Falls. There. Find that post comment with Hashtag report. Our friends at Stampede Social will DM you from my account with that link. That’s a new, convenient way to easily deliver links to those of you watching or listening on the go. So you don’t have to remember to write anything down. So find the post on Instagram comment with Hashtag Report and you’ll get a link for the episode Show Notes. Or you can go to Rachael Siler. You can also find the [email protected]. Click on the articles in the upper right. Find the one with Rachel’s. Lovely picture, Rachel. Siler. That’s R-A-C-H-A-E-L-C-I-H-L-A-R. Rachel, thank you again for the insights today. I appreciate you being here.
Rachael Cihlar [00:39:17]:
Thanks, Jason. Appreciate you having me on.
Jason Falls [00:39:26]:
Excellent stuff there, gang. Do go get that report and see for yourself all the different nuggets of information they break down the compensation levels by industry, follower count, and all sorts of other ways. It’s very helpful to brand and agency folks to help you know what kind of offers to make. Might even help you negotiate some fees down, depending on who you’re reaching out to. And for you content creators, the report is useful the other way, helping you argue for more compensation, comparing your own rates to what others are doing. Check it out at jasonfalls co rachelsiler. That’s R-A-C-H-A-E-L-C-I-H-L-A-R. Or use that handy instagram approach. Comment on the episode post on my Instagram feed with Hashtag Report and the link will be magically. DM to you. Thanks to my pals at Stampedesocial. If you enjoyed this episode, please do share it with someone else who may as well. And if you’re enjoying Winfluence overall, help us grow and tell someone about the show. You probably know someone who might want to know more about influence marketing. Send them to winfluence.com or share a link to this episode on your social network of choice. If you have a moment, drop Winfluence a rating or review on your favorite podcast app. We’re on them all. The show’s now on video as well. Just look for Jason Falls Winfluence on YouTube to see the show as well as hear it is a production of Falls and Partners and presented by Cipio AI. The technical production is by MPN Studios. Winfluence airs along MPN, the Marketing podcast network. Thanks for listening, folks. Let’s talk again soon on.