YouTube is the most profitable platform for creators, survey shows

Creators earn the most from their brand partnerships on YouTube – more than Instagram and TikTok, according to a new survey.

By the numbers. On YouTube, 6% of creators earned more than $10,001 per month – compared to 3% of Instagram creators and 2% of TikTok creators.

  • 50% of YouTube creators earn more than $500 per month vs. Instagram (40%) and TikTok (36%).

More expensive, but. While it’s more expensive to work with YouTube creators, brands should work with them because the platform has high engagement metrics.

Creators get a 50% engagement rate, on average, which beats all other platforms by far (TikTok and Instagram had a 3% and 2% engagement rate, respectively). Engagement on YouTube was defined as views, likes, comments and shares. Also:

  • “YouTube’s longer video format allows creators to dive deeper into your products in each video — which is especially helpful if you’re selling products like tech gear or ready-to-build furniture, which may need step-by-step tutorials.”

About the survey. It is a combination of internal data from Aspire, an influencer marketing platform, plus a survey of 1,000 “diverse creators, varying in audience size, main platform of choice, industry, and more.” Most of the creators were U.S.-based.

Why we care. Influencers can help your SEO campaigns. And with big investments continuing in influencer marketing, YouTube seems to offer brands the most ROI for working with influencers right now.

Go deeper. If you want to learn more about how much to pay influencers, you can download the survey results for free from Aspire.

Creators frustrated with TikTok. Disappointed about how much they were being paid, creators were leaving TikTok claiming mental health blows and burnout, as we reported last year. Some creators claimed they were being paid between $0.02 – $0.03 per 1,000 video views.

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About the author

Danny Goodwin

Danny Goodwin has been Managing Editor of Search Engine Land & Search Marketing Expo – SMX since 2022. He joined Search Engine Land in 2022 as Senior Editor. In addition to reporting on the latest search marketing news, he manages Search Engine Land’s SME (Subject Matter Expert) program. He also helps program U.S. SMX events.

Goodwin has been editing and writing about the latest developments and trends in search and digital marketing since 2007. He previously was Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal (from 2017 to 2022), managing editor of Momentology (from 2014-2016) and editor of Search Engine Watch (from 2007 to 2014). He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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