- Influencer marketing platform Mavrck raised $120 million in December from Summit Partners.
- The company leans towards data-driven influencer campaigns and TikTok as it looks to 2022.
- Insider spoke to CEO Lyle Stevens to find out what trends the creator economy is betting on.
Last month ,
Mavrck has raised $120 million from Summit Partners as it looks to acquire a larger share of the more than $4 billion US influencer marketing industry.
The company plans to use the money to grow its team and create data tools for marketers looking to target consumers with influencer campaigns. For Mavrck, hiring more data scientists and engineers will help the company meet the moment, especially as technology platforms become a popular way for marketers to find influencer talent.
Finance comes at an interesting moment in the creative economy. Tens of millions of people now consider themselves content creators. Influential startups raise billions. Social media occupants like Snap and Facebook (now Meta Platforms) are turning to augmented reality and the “metaverse”. TikTok, owned by ByteDance, has replaced Instagram as the app of choice for young users.
Insider asked Mavrck CEO Lyle Stevens about the trends in the creator economy that will take off in the coming years, and which ones he thinks will fade. Here are four main points from our conversation:
1. TikTok will dominate influencer marketing over the next five years
It’s no secret that 2021 was a year of great growth for TikTok.
The company has crossed 1 billion monthly active users globally, and attempts by Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube to release fake products have done little to stifle TikTok’s popularity. Mavrck told Insider that she saw a 390% increase in the number of activations on TikTok by her customers between 2020 and 2021.
“Where we’re seeing the dollars pouring in now is a huge shift from Instagram to TikTok,” Stevens said. “TikTok has now created a better algorithm feed than Instagram, from what we can tell. And the shift in dollars to TikTok is only accelerating.”
One caveat: While TikTok is having a moment, other platforms could replace it if formats like augmented reality or “metavers” that haven’t been identified yet work, Stevens said.
“We believe TikTok will own the next five years,” he said. “However, five years from now, we believe that the pendulum can swing again to meta [formerly Facebook]. “
2. Influencer campaigns are becoming more data-driven
In the early days of influencer marketing, tracking down a social media post for in-store sale was difficult. But with the development of e-commerce and sales referral technologies, the ability of marketers to understand how influencers drive sales has greatly improved.
“The lines are blurring between what is affiliate marketing and what is influencer marketing today,” Stevens said. “More performance-conscious marketers are coming into this category due to shifts in consumer behavior, and this allows us to take a more measured, data-driven approach to influencer marketing versus the traditional, historical brand building or brand awareness approach.”
3. Live audio apps may not be here to stay
2021 was a tumultuous year for live audio apps as the Clubhouse took center stage and platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn began testing fakes.
But coordination may fade in the coming years. Clubhouse, for example, has seen its user base drop sharply in the latter half of the year, according to data from analytics firm Apptopia, and some creators have struggled to make money from the app.
Stevens said that the idea of live audio-only creators is overrated from the influencer marketer’s point of view.
“We just don’t see the yield and the value there,” Stevens said. “We’re all sitting at home in closed positions and working from home as we’ve probably been longing for a new way of communicating. But it was really just an old way of communicating via conference call.”
4. More and more people will leave their “traditional” jobs to become creative
In 2021, American professionals across a variety of industries quit their jobs in what has been dubbed the “Big Resignation,” and some of these workers are choosing to make money as content creators via platforms like Substack, OnlyFans,
Stevens said he believes the number of people identifying themselves as content creators will rise to 1 billion over the next five years – a number he acknowledged as “ambitious”.
“A lot of people are just becoming content creators and not entering the workforce as a traditional knowledge worker, you know,” he said. “They create a blog, TikTok, or YouTube.”