Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

How data is fueling the creator economy

By Nicolette Roses-Agoro, Disciple’s Head of Community and Brand

More than 50 million people around the globe now consider themselves creators. And despite its infancy – the creator economy was born only a decade ago – it’s already valued at over £78.1 billion. While the figure itself is eye-opening, given digital interactions have become increasingly central to daily life for many, especially during the last couple of years rife with the pandemic, it’s far from surprising.

This tumultuous time has seen people turning to their screens for connection and entertainment; and on the flip side, to build their side hustle, monetising their passions and creativity. It’s never been a better time to be a content creator.

From MySpace to TikTok, YouTube and Instagram, the world’s relationship with social media has transformed immensely in the last few years. This decentralised ecosystem of entertainment has propelled the global creator economy to new heights, and it’s also elevated the meaning of what community truly is.

We’re stepping into an age where individuals recognise the need for deep connection, accessibility, and the opportunity to showcase and profit from self-built skills. At Disciple, we’ve had the opportunity to witness firsthand the awakening of society into a new way to run a business and feel fulfilled.

The future of the creator economy

While social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have served their purpose, sharing information and connecting creators with audiences since their inception, they’re starting to lose their lustre.

Society is tired of being controlled and moderated by pre-existing social platforms that limit their ability to form genuine connections and elevate what they offer to the world. This has been a key indicator when understanding online behaviour.

Creators, individuals with soft or hard skills, want a place to call their own, where they get to dictate the rules, nurture deep relationships, and leverage monetisation tools – a need that is absolutely warranted.

With these resources in hand, why wouldn’t they look to become their own founders? Why would they pass the profit off to someone else? The answer is simple: they wouldn’t.

Creators are smart, savvy, and very aware of the trends within their own spaces. They need tools that can enable them to start businesses while focusing their energy on their own art form. That’s where community and business slot together perfectly.

Unlike popular social media platforms, Disciple encourages more direct engagement and targeted communication between hosts, community members, and peers.

Platforms like Disciple are paramount to the future of community-led businesses, spearheaded by creators. We’re providing creators with the opportunity to bring their people into a space that is safe, dynamic, constantly evolving with them, and one that can turn their passions into profit.

Meaningful connection is trending

What social media platform giants often fail to recognise is that social media is not just about features and money; at its very core, it’s about community.

Genuine connection is a major trend in the creator economy. As a society, we’re moving away from the hollowness of following and liking and diving into sincerity through two-way interactions.

It’s what the entire foundation of community platforms are built upon. They exist to support and empower. They’re a place where worries of quality versus quantity and data privacy are put to rest. The ones who get this right, who put community members at the forefront and make them feel seen and heard; they’re the ones who succeed.

Even more, Roses-Agoro says the trends Disciple has been able to spot using its data analytics solution Sisense, like how its ideal customer profile is the creator, have enabled better business decisions. Since using Sisense, the return on investment from customer growth to lowered churn rates has made us hyper-aware of the value that data holds in a business.

We’re always conscious of what the latest industry standards are when it comes to community management, and incorporate engagement behaviours into the fabric of our software to empower customers to reach their desired outcome.

Success made possible with data

There are four main segments of data that are key to understanding performance. Those are broken down into retention, engagement, growth, and, if applicable, monetisation.

Retention consists of statistical points like the average number of visits per active member per month — the active return rate. Engagement then pulls in the contributor vs lurker rate. Monetisation relates to subscribers, product customers, and buyers. And growth, like monetisation, sells itself, looking at member size over time.

Long story short, success for us and our members does not exist without data.

Paul Scholey, VP of International Sales, Sisense also contributed to the creation of this article.