LinkedIn influencers making money, a shake-up in the YouTube merch world, and artists using TikTok to boost sales
Hi, and welcome to this week's Influencer Dashboard newsletter! This is Amanda Perelli, and I'll be briefing you on what's new in the business of influencers and creators. First up, I got the scoop this week on changes happening within the world of YouTuber merch. The prominent YouTube merchandise company Mad Merch is switching its strategy and cutting some influencer clients. Mad Merch has worked with top influencers like James Charles and Liza Koshy in developing branded merchandise like T-shirts and other accessories. Now Mad Merch is shifting its focus to "select mega influencers" and retail stores, versus selling directly to consumers. In the past, Mad Merch has successfully sold influencer merchandise in stores like Target for clients like JoJo Siwa. I spoke to Faizan Bakali, president and chief operating officer of Mad Merch's parent company, Mad Engine (a top supplier for licensed apparel), who confirmed the change. Read the full post here. You can read most of the articles here by subscribing to BI Prime. And if this is your first time reading Influencer Dashboard, subscribe to the newsletter here. Artists are using TikTok to drive thousands of dollars in sales and find new customers
Business-savvy artists are using TikTok as a marketing tool to drive sales and attract commissions. My colleague Dan Whateley spoke to four artists — Annie Morcos, Elizabeth Nigro, Bree Eral, and Alexandria Bishop — on how they have leveraged the app to generate thousands of dollars in new sales on the e-commerce platform Etsy. Art-themed videos perform well to TikTok, with the hashtag #art appearing in 38 billion video streams and #artist driving 9.6 billion views to date. "It's really changed my little art world," said Morcos, a graphic artist and animator. "I focus on TikTok now more than anywhere else." Read the full post on how artists are using TikTok to drive purchasers, here. How influencers can make money on LinkedIn, according to a creator who has worked with brands like Adobe and PayPal on sponsored posts
Yes, LinkedIn influencers exist and can make real money. I talked to Roberto Blake, who got his start on YouTube but has also worked with brands like Adobe and PayPal for sponsored LinkedIn posts. Brand sponsorships are a top revenue stream for many social-media creators, but influencers often don't think of LinkedIn as one of the platforms they can make money on. Blake said he charges around $1,000 per sponsored post or article on LinkedIn, and any creator whose content is focused on career development, business, or an industry niche can potentially use the platform to earn cash. Read the full post on how influencers can use LinkedIn to make money, here. What else happened this week on BI Prime:
How much influencers get paid for sponsored posts on average with 41,000, 500,000, and over 1 million followers: Dan spoke to Marie Mostad, who cofounded the influencer marketplace Inzpire.me, which has a database of 12,000 creators. Mostad broke down how much influencers earn for a sponsored post, which depends on their follower count and the quality of their content.
A 22-year-old beauty YouTuber explains the main ways she makes money, from a merchandise line to a makeup palette with Tarte Cosmetics: I spoke to beauty influencer Adelaine Morin, who has over 2 million subscribers on YouTube. Morin detailed her multiple revenue streams and explained why creators shouldn't just focus on YouTube.
We want to hear from you!
Dan and I are seeking nominations for the top influencers and online creators in New York. We want to hear from you on which New York influencers have the most creative content and the biggest impact on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. You can submit your ideas here, or email your nominations to: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. And we are launching a new power list of the top PR agents in the influencer and creator industry. Let us know which PR pros are indispensable to their social-media influencer and creator clients across YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and more by submitting your ideas here, or by emailing your nominations to the same addresses above.
Creator Spotlight: Tomi Obebe
This week, I'm highlighting Tomi Obebe, who runs the travel and lifestyle blog and Instagram page, GoodTomiCha (19,000 followers). Obebe shared a few quick tips on how to calculate true influencer engagement (such as likes, comments, saves, and shares) on social media. "Engagement metrics are important because it helps determine how much the audience resonates and enjoys the content being shared," she said. "The higher the engagement rate, the higher influencers can charge for partnerships." Here are her tips on how to spot real (and fake) engagement on social media:
An average engagement rate is between 1% and 3% for influencers, with most rates dropping every 100,000 followers or so. Some websites like Social Blade, Phlanx, and Fohr will measure your engagement rate for you. Red flags: If every photo has the same amount of engagement (likes and comments), or if the rate calculated isn't believable (for example, account with 3,000 followers with 1,000 likes and 700 comments). Look at the comments left on an Instagram post. If they are all one word comments like "nice!," "great photo!," or a single emoji, there's a high chance the influencer is participating in an engagement booster.
Send tips or feedback to me at email@example.com. Here's what else we're reading:
A Thorn in YouTube's Side Digs In Even Deeper: Kevin Roose, from The New York Times, wrote about Carlos Maza, a video producer who called YouTube "deeply unethical and reckless," and how he is trying to bolster the video site's left wing.
A Twitter 'bug' led to the address of an Arizona high school trending on the platform 'for hours.' What else could go wrong?: Paige Leskin, from Business Insider, reported on how multiple Twitter users discovered in December that their "trends for you" tab included the address of a high school in Scottsdale, Arizona, although fewer than 50 tweets using the address appeared recently on the platform.
Tana Mongeau's authenticity is the secret to her skyrocketing career, but she'll probably never date anyone in the spotlight again: Lindsay Dodgson, from Insider, spoke to Tana Mongeau about her influencer career and how she has learned to take care of her mental health. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains why country music is universal
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How much money YouTube pays creators with 100,000 subscribers per month, according to a fitness influencer
Joe Farrington, 18, lives in the UK and posts fitness videos to his YouTube channel "Joe...Joe Farrington, 18, lives in the UK and posts fitness videos to his YouTube channel "Joe Fazer" with 139,000 subscribers. Farrington told Business Insider that he treats YouTube like a full-time job and earns money through sponsorships and ads in his videos. YouTube creators like Farrington earn money off the platform through YouTube's Partner Program, which lets creators monetize their channels with video ads. On average, Farrington's YouTube channel earns about $560 a month from the ads that play in his videos, he said. In response to the coronavirus, and taking college classes from home, he's thought about potentially taking a year off from University this fall to focus on his YouTube channel, he said. Click here for more BI Prime stories. How much money YouTube pays creators with 100,000 subscribers each month varies based on the video content and audience the channel attracts. Joe Farrington, 18, lives in the UK and posts fitness videos to his YouTube channel "Joe Fazer" with 139,000 subscribers. Farrington started his YouTube channel in 2012 and created multiple different channels throughout the years, he said. Today, he treats YouTube like a full-time job and earns money through sponsorships and ads in his videos, he told Business Insider. "Before I started this channel I got into fitness," he said. "I posted my transformation – which a transformation will always get a fair amount of views – and after I posted it, it went absolutely viral with 26 million views." Creators on YouTube earn a certain amount of money for a video from Google's AdSense program based on their CPM rate, or cost per 1,000 video views. CPM rates vary between creators, and no creator consistently has the same rate. CPM depends on a number of factors, from the place in the video where viewers normally drop off to the type of advertisers the video attracts. Many creators have ad-placement strategies for earning the most money possible. Advertisers pay more for an informative business-related video than a vlog-style video. The rate also depends on seasonality, with lower CPM rates at the start of the year and higher ones toward the end. Some videos that contain swearing or copyrighted music can be flagged by YouTube and demonetized, earning hardly any money for the creator (or none at all). One of YouTube's biggest stars, David Dobrik, recently said in an interview that he earned only around $2,000 a month from AdSense, despite weekly videos gaining an average of 10 million views. He makes most of his money on custom merch, Dobrik told The Wall Street Journal in March. After posting his "1 year body transformation" video 2 years ago, and seeing how well the video performed, Farrington decided to post more fitness-related content and continue sharing his journey with his growing audience. That video (with 26 million views) earned over $8,000 in AdSense, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider. "The viral video definitely helped," he said, adding that he gained around 60,000 subscribers from that one video. "But there's a difference between subscribers and subscribers who actually want to watch you. Some people find a video, subscribe, but then they don't watch the rest of your videos. Because I've been consistent I've gained more subscribers who actually watch my videos." Monthly, Farrington's YouTube channel earns about $560, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider. "I'd say it's about a 70/30 spilt," he said about his sponsorship revenue compared to his ad revenue. "Sponsorships 70, YouTube 30." Farrington has a long-term partnership with the popular UK protein powder company, My Protein, he said. He earns revenue when his followers use his discount code. How influencers like Farrington make money online Many influencers are getting smart about finding ways to diversify – especially in recent weeks with the ad business hurting for influencers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, YouTube creators experienced a decline in direct-ad-revenue rates from the platform in April, likely because of shifting ad budgets. Some creators have larger business ventures outside of ad-supported revenue models, like YouTube creator Preston Arsement who is also the CEO of the digital-media studio TBNR, which Forbes estimated earned $14 million before taxes from June 2018 to June 2019. Others sell consumer products like makeup, merchandise, or books that have the potential to become New York Times bestsellers. These types of revenue streams are more important than ever for influencers, as brand deals and AdSense revenue fall dramatically. "I'm getting double the amount of views now, but half the revenue," Farrington said about his YouTube channel in recent weeks. In response to the coronavirus, and taking college classes from home, Farrington said he's thought about potentially taking a year off from University this fall to focus on growing his YouTube channel. "I'm debating whether I should take a year out and focus on YouTube," he said. "And if that doesn't work out then the next year I will go back to University and do YouTube on the side." Sign up for Business Insider's influencer newsletter, Influencer Dashboard, to get more stories like this in your inbox. For more on the business of YouTube creators and influencers check out these posts on Business Insider Prime: How much money YouTube pays for 1 million views, according to 5 creators: YouTube's Partner Program allows influencers to earn money off their channels by placing ads within videos. 5 YouTube creators break down their monthly incomes from the platform: YouTube creators are paid out monthly and Business Insider spoke to 5 influencers who broke down how much they'd earned in a month from the platform. How to get in contact with top influencers using Instagram direct messages, according to a CEO who has landed clients like TikTok star Addison Rae with a simple DM: Unlike LinkedIn or Twitter, on Instagram users can direct message anyone – no matter how famous they are. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We tested a machine that brews beer at the push of a button
YouTube manager secrets, making 'slime' money on TikTok, and how much 1 million YouTube views is worth
Welcome back to this week's Influencer Dashboard newsletter! This is Amanda Perelli, writing to you from...Welcome back to this week's Influencer Dashboard newsletter! This is Amanda Perelli, writing to you from home, and here's an update on what's new in the business of influencers and creators. This week, I spoke to five talent managers who work with YouTube creators across the lifestyle, gaming, beauty, and fashion verticals to learn what it's really like to manage influencers. The life of a YouTube manager can be exciting, with exclusive red carpet events and fun projects. But it can also be a challenging gig, as "cancel culture" continues to grow and the latest crop of influencers gets younger in age. The managers painted a picture of a job that often consumes their entire day, from chasing down their clients for a response to spending hours talking them through a sudden PR disaster. Some managers shared experiences when a brand didn't take their client seriously or tried to sneak in agreement terms on a contract. "We end up becoming the talent's most trusted advisor," one manager said. "We get phone calls when talent are going through a breakup and we have to be the understanding shoulder to cry on, and that's not in the typical job description." They also shared an honest "day in the life," the art of negotiating a deal, what they look for in a client (and the traits that turn them away). "There's scandals, people going on Twitter and PR disasters that you have to talk them through," one the managers said of the job. "I've had a couple of hacking scandals – that happens a lot where the account gets hacked into and they lose followers. I've had people hacking in and take nudes and leak nudes. I've had people take photos of underage clients at parties and take photos of them smoking weed and that's ruined brand deals for them. I've had parents steal money from clients before." The managers said editing is the largest time suck for their YouTube clients, but influencers are often hesitant on hiring someone new to take over. Read the full post here. You can read most of the articles here by subscribing to BI Prime. And if this is your first time reading Influencer Dashboard, subscribe to the newsletter here. A 15-year-old 'slime' influencer made $1,000 in sales in a week after TikTok star Addison Rae reviewed his homemade products and it shows the app's e-commerce potential Self-described "slimer" Ricky Waite told my colleague Dan Whateley that his TikTok profile blew up after popular influencer Addison Rae Easterling reviewed one of his slimes earlier this month, driving over $1,000 in slime sales on his Etsy shop and adding 40,000 followers to his TikTok slime account in a few days. "To balance school and slime is pretty difficult because I've posted every single day on my Instagram account for I think two years," the high school sophomore told Dan. "I'm staying up sometimes until 1 a.m. doing my homework, but I still have to find time throughout my day to sneak a little bit of slime time." Slime accounts, in which social-media users post videos of themselves playing with the tactile toy, have been trending on platforms like Instagram and YouTube for years and have recently gotten a boost from consumers who are sheltering in place at home. Read how Waite achieved TikTok fame and launched a slime business here. A Sony Music exec explains the label's TikTok strategy and how it responds when a song like 'Break My Stride' catches fire TikTok has become a major driver of trends in the music industry in recent months. In January, Sony Music noticed that one of its songs, Matthew Wilder's 1983 hit "Break My Stride," was surging on TikTok. Dan spoke with the marketing team at Sony Music's Legacy Recordings, which manages "Break My Stride" and the rest of the record label's legacy song catalog, to learn more about the company's strategy for amplifying older songs that have reemerged into cultural relevancy. "Our entire music catalog is effectively tracked on a daily basis," said Andy McGrath, the senior vice president of marketing at Legacy Recordings. "We're constantly monitoring actions, reactions, and trends that happen on TikTok. We watch what's happening and how many people are creating their own challenges and sharing existing challenges, et cetera, and then we start to say, 'Okay something's happening here.'" When a song in Sony's collection begins to trend on social media, the company jumps into action to try to fan the flames and help boost its plays on streaming platforms. Read more on Sony Music's TikTok strategy here. How much money YouTube pays for 1 million views, according to 5 creators How much money a YouTube creator makes for a viral video with 1 million views varies, but is usually a big payday. I spoke with five YouTube creators about how much each of them earned from videos with a million views or more. The rate the influencer gets from Google's AdSense program depends on a number of factors, from the place in the video where viewers normally drop off, to the type of advertisers the video attracts. Many creators have ad-placement strategies for earning the most money possible. Their answers ranged from $3,600 to $40,000. Read the full post on how much YouTube pays for 1 million views, here. Exclusive: YouTube creator and competitive eater Matt Stonie has signed with talent management firm Night Media Matt Stonie, a YouTube creator and competitive eater with 11 million subscribers, has signed with the talent management firm Night Media. Stonie averages around 60 million views per month on YouTube and his content revolves around massive food challenges (like eating 203 Chips Ahoy cookies or 10,000 calories of chili cheese fries) where he shows off his ability to consume huge amounts of food quickly. He has set several world records, like eating 20.08 lbs of pumpkin pie in 8 minutes. He also won the 2015 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. Stonie will be managed by Nick Brotman, who also manages YouTube creators Unspeakable (19 million YouTube subscribers), Mini Ladd (7 million YouTube subscribers), and Twitch streamer and TikTok creator Neekolul. Night Media is a Dallas-based digital management company that manages YouTube stars like MrBeast and Preston Arsement. What else happened on BI Prime: How much advertisers have cut their influencer budgets in 2020, according to a survey of marketers who control $46 billion in annual spending: Dan wrote that many brands are not canceling influencer campaigns outright but postponing them to adjust production plans or to retool messaging. New TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer highlights music and gaming as focus areas in his first statements after being poached from Disney: Dan wrote that as a relative newcomer to the social-media scene, TikTok's had an outsize impact on the music industry and has recently drawn interest from gaming and esports companies. 16 YouTube stars reveal how much they get paid per 1,000 views: I spoke with 16 YouTube creators about how much each of them earn on average for every 1,000 views (their CPM). 5 YouTube creators break down their monthly incomes from the platform: I also spoke with influencers who broke down how much they'd earned in a month from the platform. This week on Insider's digital culture desk: A 'Bachelor' contestant was the target of an intricate misinformation campaign. Now, the online fandom that 'canceled' her wants to apologize: Margot Harris wrote that Jenna Cooper, a popular "Bachelor" and "Bachelor in Paradise" contestant, was forced to retreat from the spotlight after rumors surfaced that she'd gotten engaged on the show for publicity and maintained a relationship with a "sugar daddy." Lifestyle influencers are using COVID-19 to spread QAnon conspiracy theories: 'I truly believe I owe it to my audience to be more for them during this turning point in our culture': Rachel Greenspan reported that the spread represents a dangerous trend toward belief in unverified information online. The first YouTube channel to surpass 1 billion weekly views posts animated kid's nursery rhymes. More than 1,600 people watch its videos every second: Kat Tenbarge reported that on May 17, Cocomelon hit a new viewership milestone, becoming the first YouTube channel in history to surpass 1 billion views within a week, according to data published by Tubefilter. Here's what else we're reading: TikTokers Charli and Dixie D'Amelio to Launch Podcast: Natalie Jarvey from The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the TikTok stars will be launching a podcast with Ramble, the podcast network joint venture between Cadence13 and UTA. Don't let the COVID crash fool you. It's still a great time to be a YouTuber: Meira Gebel from Digital Trends wrote that creators who work primarily on YouTube have recently leaned into other social media platforms, like Instagram and TikTok, to connect with a broader audience. Thanks for reading! Send me your tips, comments, or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to the newsletter here.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America
A new survey of 389 influencers shows how much engagement on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok has increased in recent weeks
As consumers spend more time online during the coronavirus pandemic, engagement and views on social-media platforms...As consumers spend more time online during the coronavirus pandemic, engagement and views on social-media platforms have jumped. Influencers are seeing dramatic increases in engagement across platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok, according to a new survey of 389 digital creators run by the influencer-marketing firm Influence Central. 26% of respondents reported seeing an increase in views and engagement on Instagram, 9% saw an increase on TikTok, and 37% reported a jump on Pinterest. 33% of influencers surveyed said they've had a boost in views and engagement on their personal blogs. Click here for more BI Prime stories. As more people spend time at home in an effort to curb the coronavirus outbreak, engagement and views on social-media platforms are spiking. In a new survey of 389 digital creators conducted by the marketing firm Influence Central, creators reported seeing increases in audience engagement across social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, and their personal blogs. Influence Central's survey focused on the period of time from mid-February to mid-March when states and local governments first began implementing stay-at-home orders in response to the pandemic. 26% of respondents reported seeing an increase in views and engagement on Instagram, 9% saw an increase on TikTok, and 37% reported a jump in engagement on Pinterest. 33% of those surveyed said they've had a boost in views and engagement on their personal blogs. Other influencer marketers have also seen engagement bumps in recent weeks, especially on sponsored posts. The influencer marketing agency Obviously told Business Insider that it saw a 76% increase in daily accumulated "likes" on sponsored posts for its influencer campaigns on Instagram in the first half of March. The company also observed a 27% increase in engagement on sponsored posts on TikTok between February and March. Engagement on TikTok is calculated by combining likes, comments, and shares and dividing by total views. "On the influencer side, on social content, what we've seen is they're hitting upwards of 25% more views than they normally would," said Vickie Segar, the founder of the influencer-marketing firm Village. "We're seeing an extreme increase on the consumption of social content." The recent spike in social-media views and engagement hasn't necessarily translated into more earnings for influencers, however. Many digital creators have lost revenue this month as travel and events-based opportunities are shut down and brands cancel sponsorship deals as they attempt to cut costs during a slumping economy. Influencers are interested in posting 'feel good' and 'philanthropic' content on social media For influencers who are able to continue to earn money from sponsored content, many are looking to work on campaigns that are positive in tone and tied to charity and relief efforts related to the pandemic. 89% of respondents to Influence Central's survey said they wanted to work on "feel good" brand campaigns and "philanthropic efforts," a desire that falls in line with how brands themselves are approaching influencer marketing during the coronavirus crisis. Last week, the backpack company JanSport ran an influencer-marketing campaign focused on its charitable giving to the nonprofit World Central Kitchen. In other categories of advertising like traditional TV commercials, brands like Toyota have been leaning into "feel good" messages of unity in place of more transactional messaging. "Influencers are really talking about the relationship they have with a brand," said Daniel Schotland, the chief operating officer of the influencer firm Linqia. "It's more than a sponsored post. [There's] some sense of common value or bond and pride in working together at this time." Most digital creators are talking about coronavirus and the 'stay-home' economy Creators who responded to Influence Central's survey also said that they aren't shying away from speaking about the current public health crisis in their social-media posts. 73% of respondents said they have "addressed COVID-19 and the new 'stay-home' economy" instead of just focusing on their regular content. The United Nations recently encouraged creators to post about the public health crisis in an open brief, asking influencers to "use any creative medium" to educate followers on topics like the importance of physical distancing and hand washing. "We're watching influencers live their daily lives like we always do and that includes now working out from home and eating at home," Segar said. "They're not pretending like this isn't happening." Here is the full breakdown of what influencers are seeing in terms of increased engagement and views across digital platforms, according to Influence Central's survey: Pinterest: 37% of respondents saw an increase in views and engagement in the month leading up to March 18th when the survey was conducted. 18% of all 389 respondents said that increase was "dramatic" (15% or higher). Instagram: 36% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 12% of all respondents said that increase was dramatic. Facebook: 35% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 11% of all respondents reported a dramatic increase. Personal blog: 33% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 11% of all respondents said the increase was dramatic. Twitter: 22% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 6% of all respondents said the increase was dramatic. YouTube: 12% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 4% of all respondents said the increase was dramatic. TikTok: 9% of respondents reported an increase in views and engagement. 3% of all respondents said the increase was dramatic. For more information on how brands, creators, and marketers are adjusting to new consumer behavior during the coronavirus outbreak, read these Business Insider Prime posts: 7 key lessons for brands that want to run sponsored social-media posts during a crisis without appearing tone deaf, according to an influencer-marketing exec: Business Insider spoke with the influencer agency Linqia about how the firm was guiding brands and digital creators during the coronavirus pandemic. JanSport hired a Gen-Z 'think tank' to help launch a TikTok influencer campaign during the coronavirus pandemic without appearing tone deaf: The backpack brand JanSport hired 10 TikTok creators to generate buzz around its donations to the nonprofit World Central Kitchen. A top social-video data firm made a 22-page report on how the coronavirus has changed viewer habits on YouTube and other platforms. Here are the 5 takeaways: Tubular Labs put together a 22-page report on YouTube and Facebook video consumption during the coronavirus outbreak. Influencer marketers say sponsored Instagram posts have had views, likes, and comments sharply increase the past 2 weeks: As the coronavirus outbreak increases social isolation, influencer marketers are seeing greater user engagement on apps like TikTok and Instagram. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains why country music is universal