Here’s what’s catching up in the creator economy

In the midst of a bustling creator economy, brands are divided over the routes of influencer payouts, debating whether they should be based on Cost Per View (CPV), Cost Per Engagement (CPE), or Cost Per Sale (CPS). One of the major reasons for this debate is the nascent nature of influencer marketing as a formalised profession, noted Vandana Verma, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Wondrlab India.
While many experts in the industry believe that performance-based payouts are the future, Verma revealed in an exclusive conversation with BuzzInContent that such compensations are a slow burn, with many influencers being unreceptive to this model.
Verma believes that affiliate marketing is the way to go, in terms of dealing with the ambiguity of performance based payouts to influencers.
“Influencers can post a certain code which attributes the sale back to them. The dashboard, report or technology is playing in a way where the influencer can transparently see how much e-comm they have or how much purchase they have driven.”
She cited the example of Shopify and how brands on that platform (boutique brands) are different from other brands who have the money and the scale for payouts.
According to Verma, influencer affiliate marketing is the ‘next big thing’ while she also emphasised that brand transparency is necessary in performance based payouts that she added, gives influencers the opportunity to earn more.
Apart from ROIs, Verma shared that influencer affiliate marketing can drive website traffic, sales and ensure multiple performance spends.
She also shed light on the prevalence of barter systems where the influencer is paid in products and services, instead of money, in return for promotion.
“With barter, you’re doing top of the funnel as well as bottom of the funnel and it’s an authentic promotion as they are utilising the product.”
Verma also talked about the rising trend of long-term influencer-brand partnerships where the influencer works for a stipulated period with a brand and creates episodes of content.
Siddhyesh Narkar, Chief Technology Officer, Wondrlab India, shed light on how generative AI enhances content creation and is a boon for stakeholders, creators, brands and agencies alike. According to him, gen AI, being data driven, optimises strategy and helps in an agency’s budget division towards various campaigns.
“Generative AI has transformed influencer marketing into a data driven, creative enriched ecosystem.”
He added that though gen AI might be a competitive force to manual labour, the comparison is never applicable as both of them have different talking points that drive them.
Entering the trajectory of virtual influencers, Verma shared that beyond the initial investment, they are a low-cost choice for maintaining consistency in brand messaging and templating the conversation while ensuring brand loyalty as their content would be dedicated to the investing brand only.
In 2023, Opportune, Wondrlab Network’s influencer marketing platform announced a strategic partnership with Reach Vista, a virtual influencer marketing company based in India.
As part of the partnership, Opportune onboarded virtual influencers including mrpagalboi, not_enafh, _charlie_flix_, stickman, dudububu, bubududu, lanaturevibes, flake_sayz and rexxi.
Revealing that Opportune includes virtual influencers in its suggested media mix, Verma added that briefs that are specifically targeted for virtual influencer mix, centre around brands that want to talk to new age customers.
She also added that virtual influencers are top of the funnel brand building marketing techniques, are TG driven and well suited for a digitally driven audience.
Talking about the recent unveiling of Instagram’s creator workspace and the National Creator Awards by the government, Verma believes that these initiatives are hugely going to boost the system.
Charting the course for the future, both Verma and Narkar believe that trends like seamless and

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