The digital realm is evolving, and if you're not adapting, you're becoming irrelevant. Creators, influencers, streamers, vloggers — these aren't just buzzwords. They're the new kings and queens of entertainment and advertising, but more importantly, they're shaping how we shop, think, and live. (Sorry, Hollywood.)
Forbes rolled out its Top Creator list of 2023. But here's the twist: it's not just a popularity contest. These 50 creators are setting the tone for media, marketing, and showbiz. Big brands are wide awake and taking notes on this, too. They are pouring major cash into creator marketing like never before. The reason for this is clear as day. Influencers are winning the trust game.
Here's a quick glimpse of some of the world's top players on social media:
- MrBeast on YouTube is the top earner with a net of $54 million annually.
- Matt Rife on TikTok is a comedian turned Netflix's new, live comedy star.
- Alex Cooper of the "Call Her Daddy" podcast inked a $60 million deal with Spotify.
- Huda Kattan is a beauty blogger who built a cosmetic empire.
- Mark Rober on YouTube is an ex-NASA engineer whose inventions go insanely viral.
- Tyler Blevins, a.k.a. Ninja, on Twitch is a top-earning livestream gamer.
- Marques Brownlee on YouTube is the king of tech review videos.
- Drew Afualo on TikTok addresses social issues with a comical flare.
- VivianTu on TikTok gives tough-love money advice that landed her a book deal.
Cooking Up Content, But What's the Recipe?
Reviewing these top creators isn't about fan-girling or jumping on bandwagons. It's about understanding how things are trending for content creation. These creators aren't just making content; they're setting the pace and dictating the trends. By studying their moves, their successes, and even their missteps, we get a front-row seat to the evolution of content creation. If you want to stay ahead of the trends, these content creators are your guides.
Here's what I discovered by taking a look at 2023's top creators:
- There's no "king" of platforms anymore. YouTube, TikTok, podcasts, blogs — they've all got their piece of the pie. (Surprisingly, Instagram wasn't a primary platform for any of the top creators. Interesting, right?) Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify. Understand where your audience hangs out and show up there. And if you're not on at least two platforms, you're already behind.
- Authenticity isn't a buzzword; it's currency. People can smell BS from a mile away. Drop the act. Show the behind-the-scenes, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Real resonates. Fake fades.
- Ads? Sponsored posts? That's kid stuff. The real players know how to turn their influence into brands, products, and businesses. Think bigger — like Huda Kattan big.
- People love to learn, but they hate being bored. Mix education with entertainment. Make them laugh, make them think, and they'll keep coming back for more.
- Lone wolves don't last long in this game. Collaborations — with brands, other creators, and experts in your field — expand your reach and up your credibility.
- Innovate or die. If you're doing what everyone else is doing, you're doing it wrong. Push boundaries. Experiment. Fail. Then get up and do it again.
- Have a background in something traditional? Good. Now give it a digital twist. Finance, science, education — there's an audience out there hungry for your expertise. Feed them.
The Perfect Blend of Spice and Substance
Bottom line? The Forbes Top Creators of 2023 aren't just names and numbers. They're blueprints for building success on social media. Keeping tabs on these trailblazers isn't just smart; it's essential. They didn't just stumble into the spotlight. They have a formula, a method to their madness. They know their audience, and they're always two steps ahead.
Don't just copy and paste their strategies, though. That's a rookie mistake. You've got to take those blueprints and make them unique for you or your brand. You don't win by just following the leader. You have to blend proven strategies with personal flair. Merge the tried-and-true with the never-before-seen. That's how you create standout content.
What's your recipe for standing out?