Content Creator, know thyself.
What does it take to work with a brand?
If you are a content creator looking to turn content into a career, chances are the above question rattles around in your head quite often. You’ve probably looked around, seen the various referral and affiliate programs available, and maybe even applied to a few. If you are a gamer, you’ve probably tried to reach out to a few developers, or at least thought about it.
Over the last few months, we’ve been learning quite a bit about what it takes to work with a brand. There are all sorts of things that companies look for, from stream, video, and social numbers to personality and community feel. The truth is that as nice as it would be, there’s no set of magic criteria, no number large enough, or characteristic attractive enough to make the rest irrelevant.
Every brand, every game developer, every PR firm is looking for something slightly different.
So what does that mean for you?
Content creator, know thyself.
The most basic piece of advice we can give after all our research is this: to put yourself in the best position to work with a brand, you have to have a deep understanding of what makes your content and your community tick.
Its not just about the numbers, though you should know those well and be able to communicate them. I’ll dig into the numbers side of things in future blogs, but as an aside, trajectories matter. Know what your growth looks like over time, not just on your content, but on your social and community platforms as well.
In addition to your numbers though, you need to know who you are as a content creator, your style and personality. Its ok to be irreverent, or intense, or controversial, as long as you know that’s who you are.
Just as you need to know yourself, you need to know your community. Who are they? What are their personalities? Are they encouraging, engaging, friendly? Are they competitive and chaotic? Are they loud and intense?
If you’ve been doing this long enough, you’ve probably heard the term “brand safe.” It’s easy to hear that term and think: “oh you mean is it family friendly and not controversial.” But that’s not exactly what a brand means when they say it.
Brand safety can also be about avoiding things like discrimination and harassment in all their forms, but hopefully you already have strong rules about those things. If you don’t, you probably aren’t going to get a lot of interest from brands.
But brand safety is also about whether a content creator fits the brand’s core values. Is this person a good representative of what we as a company are trying to achieve?
The word “influencer” is often met with some level of disgust, and we understand why. It feels a bit exploitive at times, and at others a misrepresentation of what you are doing by building community.
That term, however, didn’t come about by accident. You have influence over a community of people. The way you speak and behave extends into your community. The way your community speaks and behaves reflects back on you.
Does that mean you should change everything to be more friendly and less competitive? No not at all.
It does mean that if you know yourself and your community, you can identify those companies whose brand story matches elements of who you are.
The truth is that there are a lot of companies out their projecting a lot of different images. Chances are some of them want to work with you because of who your community is. But if you don’t know yourself, you may miss those opportunities.
So content creator, know thyself.
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