ECCO members from all over the globe met in Stockholm. Read Nicole Webb's report on insight provided by guest speaker Jacqueline Kothbauer talking about Metaverse and the "creator economy".

Never one to take travel for granted (even more so this side of the pandemic), I have been fortunate to attend the ECCO International Network conference in Stockholm. IMPACT has been a member of the network for over 12 years and we have discovered and shared many great insights over the years.
This conference was no exception.

Guest speaker, Swedish digital futurist Jacqueline Kothbauer, raised some interesting questions around the creator economy, and it got me thinking about the difference between a creator and an influencer. We tend to use the term influencer exclusively in Australia, but I think it’s time we create a fork in the road.

Creator or Influencer?
‘Content creator’ signals a different type of content than what influencers usually offer. Influencers gain traction due to their personalities; creators usually have an interest or expertise that sets them apart, for example personal training, cooking, technology.
Unlike the influencer world, large parts of the creator economy are driven by fans paying to take part in what the creator has to offer, such as an online drawing course or a membership for better access to the profile in question.

En masse content consumption
For Kothbauer, Jimmy Donaldson AKA Mr Beast is a standout; he is the highest paid content creator on YouTube and recently reached 100 million subscribers (which only one other creator has managed).. A report from Forbes reveals that Mr. Beast made a total of USD $54 million in 2021.
Famous for his stunt videos and giveaways, Jimmy is also an amplifier. He partnered with Virtual Dining Concepts to create a virtual burger joint, allowing restaurant owners to include the Mr Beast burger on its menu – so far, there are currently 1,000 restaurants involved, world-wide.
Reportedly, no money was spent on advertising for the venture. Mr. Beast simply tweets to his 15+ million followers and makes videos for his YouTube subscribers (he also has some 10 million followers on Facebook and 20 million on Instagram).
Mr Beast burgers is now a bricks and mortar restaurant and Donaldson recently launched ‘feastables’, a chocolate snack business. Is there no length he will go to for content?

Finding the right content creator
Brands interested in working with a content creator can choose to collaborate with an existing creator, or advertise for one.
For instance, HR platform, Deel, recently accepted applications for a Social Media Nomad. The lucky candidate will spend six months on the road in a fully-furnished van, touring Australia and New Zealand and creating content about their travel and remote work experience.
If you decide to partner with a creator, make sure your values are aligned. The Ye (Kayne West) collaboration with GAP clothing stores is currently hitting the headlines, for all the wrong reasons.

Brands as content creators
Kothbauer points to the emergence of the new FMCG company, which is 50 per cent media-publisher and 50 per cent product. Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh is a great example – an online magazine and ecommerce platform that sells “Poosh approved” products. Content first, then the sale.
There was also much discussion at the conference on the value of digital sneakers, and the NFT economy, but I will save those conversations for another day…