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服务网红,成为科技公司的新一波“淘金热”

服务网红,成为科技公司的新一波“淘金热”

Alexandra Sternlicht 2022-12-04
在淘金热中,出售铁镐和铁锨往往比挖矿更赚,这点也体现在“网红经济”中。

齐妮亚·阿东茨(中)使用许多网红都在用的在线工具,创建了一家繁荣发展的公司。图片来源:COURTESY OF XENIA ADONTS

在商场打工攒研究生学费期间,齐妮亚·阿东茨发现她的时装照片在Instagram上疯狂传播。最后引起了品牌商的关注,品牌商开始向她支付高达400美元的报酬,让她在社交媒体上发布照片宣传他们的服装。她发现自己作为网红一天的收入,超过了作为商店迎宾员一周的收入,于是她辞掉了在零售店的工作。

如今,31岁的阿东茨在Instagram上拥有210万粉丝,她继续在社交媒体上为芬迪(Fendi)和Elemis等奢侈品牌商宣传产品。她还创建了一家可持续性时尚公司Attire,目前有14名员工。阿东茨在美国纽约的工作室里说:“网红的工作压力远远超过外人的想象。”她刚刚结束了与位于法国巴黎的品牌商团队和不同商业顾问的远程会议。

为了在社交媒体上发布照片和经营自己的小公司,阿东茨使用了各种在线服务,例如项目管理平台Notion、视频编辑工具InShot和市场营销管理工具Unum等。它们都属于一个繁荣发展的小型产业,以创作者为服务对象。创作者是在Instagram、YouTube和TikTok等社交媒体上发布照片和视频作为谋生手段的网红和小企业的总称。

最近几年涌现出大批公司,向创作者出售他们所需要的技术工具,或者帮助创作者获得品牌商的赞助协议。与此同时,越来越多面向各类客户的老牌公司,比如软件公司Adobe等,受到了网红们的青睐。

原因很明显:据求职平台Zippia估算,创作者经济的总价值达到1,000亿美元,该领域有45万全职创作者,有庞大的广告预算,而且对于那些能够令工作变得更方便的工具的需求持续增长。

这种趋势体现了一句古老的商业格言:在淘金热中,出售铁镐和铁锨往往比挖矿更赚钱。

然而随着全球经济陷入动荡,科技行业开始大规模裁员,现在的问题是创作者经济和该领域的大批初创公司是否会受到影响。据咨询公司安永(EY)统计,作为预测新兴科技公司前景的关键指标,美国风险投资在第三季度较去年同期下降了超过一半,减少至370亿美元。

视频和照片编辑工具是新公司扎堆的诸多领域之一。创作者有时候会在专业编辑的帮助下,利用这些工具编辑他们拍摄的原始影片。许多创作者会使用Adobe的Lightroom和Photoshop等业内拳头产品,但业内也涌现出了新一代专门面向社交媒体的工具,例如Lightricks的应用程序,包括受大众欢迎的Facetune等,让用户可以在泳装自拍照上添加六块腹肌等特效。据PitchBook表示,Lightricks最近的估值高达18亿美元,显示出其巨大的发展潜力。

有些公司帮助大牌创作者在网上发布内容,并获得广告收入分成,这是另外一个热门领域。比如,Jellysmack将客户的视频剪切成数百个版本,然后在社交平台上发布,获得了数十亿次观看量。

Spotter的做法略有不同,该公司采取了音乐行业的策略,买下创作者的全部作品,例如YouTube视频,然后收取这些视频产生的广告收入。该公司表示,一些创作者的作品售价高达1亿美元。Spotter的首席执行官亚伦·德贝沃伊斯表示:“有越来越多的创作者能够通过更多方式赚钱。无论如何,创作者经济的规模会不断扩大。支撑创作者经济的平台将获得最大成功。”

找到最优秀的创作者为某些产品代言,可能是一个复杂的过程。现在有数百万网红,许多网红的社交媒体内容所涉及的兴趣领域较为狭窄,而在各行各业有成千上万家公司希望聘请他们。

为了解决这个问题,有许多公司发挥了中间人的作用,比如初创公司Influential。Influential利用人工智能确定品牌商和网红的最佳组合。该公司的网络中有300万网红。例如,来自美国中西部一位精通DIY的网红妈妈有1万粉丝,由她来代言劳氏公司(Lowe’s)销售家装产品的社交媒体广告,或许比在DIY方面没有知名度的好莱坞明星更适合。Influential公司的首席执行官瑞安·德特尔特称:“人们说我们现在就像是处在蛮荒西部时代,但创作者经济尚处在成长期。”

预测到未来的巨额回报,风险投资者投资了至少部分专注于创作者经济的初创公司。Creator Ventures是一家成立两年的风险投资公司,投资了多家创作者经济公司。该公司的联合创始人萨沙·卡列茨基表示,最初,许多初创公司的目标是通过网红推广自己的产品。在取得一定的成功之后,这些公司开始努力向食物链上游移动,将目标瞄准了大型客户,这为它们带来了更多收入机会。卡列茨基说:“传统的创意经济是从创作者开始的,然后拓展到品牌商。品牌商实际上是新创作者。”

当然,许多创作者经济的供应商并未实现盈利。如果得不到风险投资,他们最终可能消失,而这种情况在下行时期经常发生。但卡列茨基比较乐观。他相信,在当前的经济动荡时期,针对广大受众的网红广告具有相对弹性。但他预测小众产品营销将越来越少,尤其是因为最近苹果公司(Apple)修改隐私政策,导致针对个别群体投放针对性广告变得越来越难。

阿东茨认为自己从三年前从事工资微薄的零售工作,变成现在年收入七位数(她拒绝透露自己的具体收入),都要归功于她所使用的技术工具和在线服务。否则她可能继续自己最初的职业道路,去攻读研究生院然后成为一名银行业者。(财富中文网)

齐妮亚·阿东茨(中)使用许多网红都在用的在线工具,创建了一家繁荣发展的公司。

在商场打工攒研究生学费期间,齐妮亚·阿东茨发现她的时装照片在Instagram上疯狂传播。最后引起了品牌商的关注,品牌商开始向她支付高达400美元的报酬,让她在社交媒体上发布照片宣传他们的服装。她发现自己作为网红一天的收入,超过了作为商店迎宾员一周的收入,于是她辞掉了在零售店的工作。

如今,31岁的阿东茨在Instagram上拥有210万粉丝,她继续在社交媒体上为芬迪(Fendi)和Elemis等奢侈品牌商宣传产品。她还创建了一家可持续性时尚公司Attire,目前有14名员工。阿东茨在美国纽约的工作室里说:“网红的工作压力远远超过外人的想象。”她刚刚结束了与位于法国巴黎的品牌商团队和不同商业顾问的远程会议。

为了在社交媒体上发布照片和经营自己的小公司,阿东茨使用了各种在线服务,例如项目管理平台Notion、视频编辑工具InShot和市场营销管理工具Unum等。它们都属于一个繁荣发展的小型产业,以创作者为服务对象。创作者是在Instagram、YouTube和TikTok等社交媒体上发布照片和视频作为谋生手段的网红和小企业的总称。

最近几年涌现出大批公司,向创作者出售他们所需要的技术工具,或者帮助创作者获得品牌商的赞助协议。与此同时,越来越多面向各类客户的老牌公司,比如软件公司Adobe等,受到了网红们的青睐。

原因很明显:据求职平台Zippia估算,创作者经济的总价值达到1,000亿美元,该领域有45万全职创作者,有庞大的广告预算,而且对于那些能够令工作变得更方便的工具的需求持续增长。

这种趋势体现了一句古老的商业格言:在淘金热中,出售铁镐和铁锨往往比挖矿更赚钱。

然而随着全球经济陷入动荡,科技行业开始大规模裁员,现在的问题是创作者经济和该领域的大批初创公司是否会受到影响。据咨询公司安永(EY)统计,作为预测新兴科技公司前景的关键指标,美国风险投资在第三季度较去年同期下降了超过一半,减少至370亿美元。

视频和照片编辑工具是新公司扎堆的诸多领域之一。创作者有时候会在专业编辑的帮助下,利用这些工具编辑他们拍摄的原始影片。许多创作者会使用Adobe的Lightroom和Photoshop等业内拳头产品,但业内也涌现出了新一代专门面向社交媒体的工具,例如Lightricks的应用程序,包括受大众欢迎的Facetune等,让用户可以在泳装自拍照上添加六块腹肌等特效。据PitchBook表示,Lightricks最近的估值高达18亿美元,显示出其巨大的发展潜力。

有些公司帮助大牌创作者在网上发布内容,并获得广告收入分成,这是另外一个热门领域。比如,Jellysmack将客户的视频剪切成数百个版本,然后在社交平台上发布,获得了数十亿次观看量。

Spotter的做法略有不同,该公司采取了音乐行业的策略,买下创作者的全部作品,例如YouTube视频,然后收取这些视频产生的广告收入。该公司表示,一些创作者的作品售价高达1亿美元。Spotter的首席执行官亚伦·德贝沃伊斯表示:“有越来越多的创作者能够通过更多方式赚钱。无论如何,创作者经济的规模会不断扩大。支撑创作者经济的平台将获得最大成功。”

找到最优秀的创作者为某些产品代言,可能是一个复杂的过程。现在有数百万网红,许多网红的社交媒体内容所涉及的兴趣领域较为狭窄,而在各行各业有成千上万家公司希望聘请他们。

为了解决这个问题,有许多公司发挥了中间人的作用,比如初创公司Influential。Influential利用人工智能确定品牌商和网红的最佳组合。该公司的网络中有300万网红。例如,来自美国中西部一位精通DIY的网红妈妈有1万粉丝,由她来代言劳氏公司(Lowe’s)销售家装产品的社交媒体广告,或许比在DIY方面没有知名度的好莱坞明星更适合。Influential公司的首席执行官瑞安·德特尔特称:“人们说我们现在就像是处在蛮荒西部时代,但创作者经济尚处在成长期。”

预测到未来的巨额回报,风险投资者投资了至少部分专注于创作者经济的初创公司。Creator Ventures是一家成立两年的风险投资公司,投资了多家创作者经济公司。该公司的联合创始人萨沙·卡列茨基表示,最初,许多初创公司的目标是通过网红推广自己的产品。在取得一定的成功之后,这些公司开始努力向食物链上游移动,将目标瞄准了大型客户,这为它们带来了更多收入机会。卡列茨基说:“传统的创意经济是从创作者开始的,然后拓展到品牌商。品牌商实际上是新创作者。”

当然,许多创作者经济的供应商并未实现盈利。如果得不到风险投资,他们最终可能消失,而这种情况在下行时期经常发生。但卡列茨基比较乐观。他相信,在当前的经济动荡时期,针对广大受众的网红广告具有相对弹性。但他预测小众产品营销将越来越少,尤其是因为最近苹果公司(Apple)修改隐私政策,导致针对个别群体投放针对性广告变得越来越难。

阿东茨认为自己从三年前从事工资微薄的零售工作,变成现在年收入七位数(她拒绝透露自己的具体收入),都要归功于她所使用的技术工具和在线服务。否则她可能继续自己最初的职业道路,去攻读研究生院然后成为一名银行业者。(财富中文网)

While working at the mall to save up for graduate school, Xenia Adonts saw her fashion photos going viral on Instagram. Eventually, brands noticed and started offering her up to $400 to post photos on social media that trumpeted their clothes. Realizing she could earn more in a day as an influencer than in a week as a store greeter, she eventually quit her retail job.

Today, with 2.1 million Instagram followers, the 31-year-old continues to hawk products on social media for luxury brands like Fendi and Elemis. She also started her own sustainable fashion company, Attire, which has 14 employees. “Influencers work much more than people on the outside think,” says Adonts in her New York studio, a day after meeting remotely with the brand’s team in Paris and various business consultants.

To post photos on social media and otherwise run her mini empire, Adonts uses online services like project management platform Notion, video editor InShot, and marketing manager Unum. They are part of a booming cottage industry that caters to creators, the catchall term for the influencers and small businesses that make a living by posting photos and videos on social media such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

In recent years, legions of companies have sprung up to sell creators the tech tools they need or help them land sponsorship deals with brands. Meanwhile, more established businesses like software maker Adobe, which caters to all kinds of customers, are increasingly being adopted by influencers.

The reason is obvious: The creator economy, with its 450,000 full-time creators, huge ad budgets, and growing appetite for tools that make the jobs of everyone involved easier, is valued at a combined $100 billion, according to career search platform Zippia.

It’s just the latest take on the old business adage: In a gold rush, selling picks and shovels is usually far more lucrative than mining.

But with the global economy sputtering, and the tech industry in a layoff frenzy, the question is whether the creator economy and its constellation of startups are headed for a reckoning. U.S. venture capital investment, a key indicator of the outlook for fledgling tech companies, fell by more than half in the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago, to $37 billion, according to consulting firm EY.

Video- and photo-editing tools are just one of the many areas that new businesses are piling into. Creators—sometimes with the help of professional editors—use the tools to tweak the raw footage they take. Though many creators use industry staples like Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop, there is also a new generation of social-specific tools such as Lightricks, whose apps, including popular Facetune, let users do things like add six-pack abs to their bathing suit selfies. In a sign of its status as a high-flier, Lightricks was most recently valued at $1.8 billion, according to PitchBook.

Companies that help the biggest creators post their content across the internet and take a cut of the ad revenue in the process are another hot niche. Jellysmack, for example, cuts the videos of its clients into hundreds of variations and then publishes them on social platforms—generating billions of views.

Taking a slightly different tack, Spotter has adopted the music industry strategy of buying up a creator’s entire catalog—YouTube videos, for example—and then collecting the ad revenue those videos generate. Some creator catalogs can sell for $100 million, according to the company. “There are going to be more and more creators making money in more and more ways,” says Spotter CEO Aaron DeBevoise. “It’s going to expand no matter what. The platforms which enable that to happen will be the most successful.”

Figuring out the best creators to enlist for pitching individual products can be complicated. There are millions of influencers, many of whom focus their social media posts on narrow interests, and thousands of companies in various industries looking to hire them.

To solve the problem, a number of companies have emerged, such as the startup Influential, that act as middlemen. Influential uses artificial intelligence to determine which combination of brands and influencers—it has 3 million in its network—would work best together. For instance, an influencer who is a DIY-savvy Midwestern mom with 10,000 followers may be the better fit for a Lowe’s social media campaign to sell home-improvement products than a major Hollywood celebrity with no DIY cred. “People say it’s a bit of a Wild West, but we’re in the teenage years of the creator economy,” says Influential CEO Ryan Detert.

Predicting big paydays ahead, venture capitalists have poured money into startups that are at least partly focused on the creator economy. Initially, the goal for many of those startups is to get momentum for their products with influencers, says Sasha Kaletsky, cofounder of Creator Ventures, a two-year-old venture capital firm that has invested in a number of creator economy companies. Then, after some success, those businesses try to move up the food chain to larger customers, which opens the door to more revenue. “The classic creative economy route is to start with creators and expand to brands,” Kaletsky says. “Brands are effectively the new creators.”

Of course, many of the creator economy vendors are unprofitable. And if starved of venture capital, as often happens during downturns, they could die off. Kaletsky is optimistic, however. He’s convinced that influencer advertising that is targeted at broad audiences will be relatively resilient during the current economic upheaval. But he expects that marketing of niche products will dry up, particularly because of recent privacy changes by Apple that make it more difficult to target ads to individual groups.

As for Adonts, she credits the tech tools and online services she uses for work with helping her rise from a minimum wage retail job three years ago to now earning seven figures annually (she declined to be more specific about her earnings). Otherwise, she may have ended up pursuing her original career plan—going to grad school and becoming a banker.

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