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Student-athlete Influencers Work Like Magic for Meta-shoppers

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Student-athlete Influencers Work Like Magic for Meta-shoppers


The past couple of years have accelerated some significant changes in the realm of commerce. First, because of COVID uncertainty, shoppers have gone phygital — mixing online and in-store shopping and expecting a seamless experience between the two. Second, in 2021, new NCAA rules finally emerged, giving student-athletes permission to monetize their name, image and likeness. So, just as more and more shoppers were spending at least part of their shopping time online, a sudden availability of fresh, high-impact influencer talent from student-athletes emerged. Like fresh lemonade squeezed from over a year of lemons, this new class of influencers dove into social commerce just as consumers started craving new ways of mid-pandemic shopping.

In surveys conducted by Inmar Intelligence, the growing importance of social commerce and phygital or cross-channel shopping became even more apparent. More specifically, shopping that lives alongside regular day-to-day social media experiences tops the charts for engagement and ROI.

  • 56% of shoppers spend over 7 hours per week on social media platforms, and 18% spend over 13 hours weekly.
  • 66% of all demographics have already begun purchasing through social media platforms. 
  • 46% of shoppers would perform at least half and up to 100% of their shopping online and/or through social platforms, technology permitting.

Influencers are — not surprisingly — dominating the omnichannel purchase funnel. After all, it’s an ecosystem that created the influencer role, and one that relies on their authority. 77% of Gen Z and Millennial shoppers admit being influenced by social media in their purchases. And, 70% of internet users in the United States already follow influencers on social media.

 

The introduction of student-athlete influencers initiated the second evolution of influencer marketing. Over 500,000 collegiate sports stars entered the influencer marketplace overnight, bringing with them large, loyal, pre-built audiences. These audiences are more localized, and surround personalities from all sports and events — some of the highest potential earners don’t even come from the most-watched sports, schools, conferences, or divisions.

And follower count on social media is one thing — the real measure of an influencers’ capability as a driving force behind purchase decisions is engagement. While the traditional influencer typically achieves between two and three percent engagement, the average student-athlete hits over 10% — some reaching 34% and beyond. When you consider the fact that almost 80% of young-to-mid-aged shoppers are buying based on influencer recommendations, the implications of the new athlete-influencer role are profound.

Marketers recognize the enormous potential of student-athlete influencers. Of 300 industry professionals surveyed:

  • 61% believe that student-athletes will be more effective at driving awareness than traditional influencers
  • 87% feel that student-athletes are capable of producing effective content as influencers
  • And 74% have activated, or are currently activating, student-athletes as influencers

Because such a massive opportunity can’t come without a small catch, activation of student-athletes does take a touch more effort than activation of traditional influencers. A complex system of rules and regulations at the state, school, and organizational level governs student-athlete implementation and is challenging to navigate without guidance. Engaging with a prepared partner solves this problem. Inmar Intelligence, for example, employs proactive, AI-enabled multi-layer compliance monitoring to make the complicated pre-activation steps a non-issue.

The stars of college sports are ready to get to work. Hundreds of thousands of loyal fan bases are ready to make purchases. All you have to do is prepare the playing field. Are you game?

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When you’re ready to give student-athlete influencers their shot at driving prime-time revenue, get in touch with Inmar!



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Twitter Launches New ‘Twitter Create’ Mini-Site to Highlight Monetization Opportunities for Creators

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Twitter Launches New 'Twitter Create' Mini-Site to Highlight Monetization Opportunities for Creators

Creators are the new currency for social media networks, with every platform now working to sweeten its deal in order to keep the top creative talent posting to their apps, and keep their fans coming back to check in on the latest.

And today, Twitter’s taking its latest step in working to boost its creator appeal, with the launch of a new Twitter Create mini-site, which will host a range of tips, insights and examples designed to help creators maximize their Twitter presence.

The new site, which you can check out here, includes specific sections for creators in different verticals to help guide them on how to maximize their Twitter presence.

Tap on ‘Podcasters’, for example, and you’re taken to a dedicated page of tips for how to promote your show, including notes on which specific Twitter products you can utilize.

Twitter Create

Obviously, given the focus on monetization, Twitter’s newer offerings, like Super Follows and Spaces are the main push, with each providing new ways to make money from what you do in the app.

Scroll down further in any topic stream and you’ll find case studies, notes, and other blog posts that can help to guide you in the right direction.

Twitter Create

The site provides a good overview of Twitter’s various monetization avenues, in nine different categories, while there’s also a range of blog posts and notes that can help to guide your tweet approach.

Twitter’s monetization tools, thus far, haven’t really caught on, with Twitter Blue not yet becoming a key contributor to the platform’s revenue, and other offerings also, based on Twitter’s most recent performance update, failing to drive any significant income for the company.

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But they do offer opportunity, and there are some users that are indeed driving significant benefit from these additions. The trick for Twitter now is to help creators maximize take-up, and build their own offerings to better incentivize people to pay for content, which is not a habitual behavior in the app.

That’s been a key challenge for its creator monetization tools thus far – people have always been able to read your tweets for free, why would they start paying for the privilege now? That hesitation seems to be a key tipping point that Twitter needs to overcome, and up till now, it’s been reliant on the creators themselves to come up with more compelling subscription offerings, in order to add value to their platform presence.

This new platform aims to provide more specific guidance on this element, which could make it a valuable resource for those considering their add-on options to incentivize subscribers, while newer additions like Super Follower Only Spaces provide more, simple add-on tools that can push creators in the right direction as to how they can enhance their Twitter presence for a paying audience.

Which is really what needs to happen. People aren’t going to pay for your tweets, no matter how witty you may think you are, but they will pay for exclusives and additional engagement offerings that can make them more aligned to your presence.

Up till now, Twitter hasn’t been great at articulating this, hence the low take-up of these tools. But this new platform provides more direct guidance, which could provide a boost for its monetization tools.

You can check out the new Twitter Create mini-site here.

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