Say what? Well, that is how the future of communication and media presents itself. It’s about creators, technology and Generation Z. Time to put prejudices and misconceptions aside and look at the bigger picture of the creator economy. What would happen if a Gen Z took over your company today?
One of the common misconceptions is that content creators or ‘influencers’ are the perfect model with the perfect hair and body. There are those, but mostly they are people who are trusted by their followers. They earned their likes and audience because they have a certain skill or talent.
While the youngest generation - Gen Z, age 10-25 – use them as a primary source of inspiration and information, travel or lifestyle advice, they are still somewhat warily viewed by the older generations. And thus businesses keep passing up on a tremendous opportunity to reach their future customers and employees.
Not the how, but the why
A creator can use many different media from podcasts (Apple, Spotify, Google) to livestreaming (Twitch, Youtube, TikTok) to written content (Medium, Quora, LinkedIn, Twitter) to video (Instagram, TikTok, Youtube). But more important than the how is the why. Creators display what matters to them and are close to a community they are building and nurturing.
By looking at your company as a member of the ‘creator economy’, you can open your eyes to a horizon of opportunities. By having your own platform you have complete control to which content you can publish. Most importantly, you can create the bridge to your end-user, gather feedback, and increase your brand equity.
While many companies are already working with influencers today, a new wave of virtual influencers is rolling in. Virtual influencers can help guide people in virtual worlds. Large companies are now investing in their own metaverse platform, which is a 3D virtual world. This can lead to more efficient testing and training, better collaboration when working remote, bringing people from different countries closer together, and many more.
This may seem like a sci-fi concept, but it is quickly becoming a reality. Through their own social media channels, these ‘meta humans’ can connect with their followers in a way that traditional celebrities and influencers cannot. For instance, they can exist in multiple locations, speak different languages and not taking a day or night off. Accounts such as @barbie (2.2M followers) @lilmiquela (2.9M followers and @imma.gram (400k followers) are having big contracts with Dior, Prada, Red Bull and even Ikea. So, their potential is only going to grow in the next coming years.
Meta humans in the metaverse
Virtual influencers can help to onboard new users to virtual worlds, the metaverse. For many people, this is still uncharted terrain and an overwhelming experience. ‘Meta humans’ can serve as guides between the traditional ways of media and the metaverse. A common misunderstanding is the statement that there is one big huge universum and that is The Meta, the company behind Facebook.
But there are several large players investing in their own metaverse platform, such as Microsoft, Shopify, Nvidia, Epic games and Roblox, the Chinese Tencent, and decentralized projects such as Decentraland, The Sandbox and Spatio.io. The ultimate dream is to have one big universum. A simple example: if you bought a pair of Nike sneakers in Nikeland on Roblox, you could use it during a meeting with your colleagues in Microsoft Mesh.
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic games, gives his interpretation of the metaverse: “It’s a realtime 3D social medium where people can create and engage in shared experiences as equal participants in an economy with societal impact.”
The changing landscape of communication
When we’re talking about the future of communication and media, we need to think about the impact of technology on how we communicate. We’re already seeing the impact of AI, Machine Learning, and Automation. AI will be used to create personalized experiences for customers, and Machine Learning will be used to optimize campaigns and customer journeys. Automation will be used to streamline processes and save time and resources.
The future of communication and media is in the hands of the creators, influencers and the Gen Z. Be prepared to adapt your communication strategies to the changing landscape. Be prepared for the Zoomers who will soon read your content, and start creating content that resonates with them. It’s time to embrace the new way of communicating.
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And discover what the creator economy can mean for you.