Disney seems to develop rising TikTok and Instagram creators
Creator programs are popping up everywhere, but they’re usually powered by social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube. Instagram, for example, is paying creators $ 1 billion by 2022 to encourage its most popular users to keep posting compelling videos. In June, Instagram hosted its first “Creator Week” to guide attendees through the intricacies of audience growth, merchandising, and media training.
Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important in most brands’ budgets, but the sector presents some challenges. Brands can get burned if they don’t thoroughly check the reputation of their creators. And there have been concerns about how well marketers are tracking the performance of social media campaigns that use YouTubers versus paid ads. Last year, the Association of National Advertisers reported that 65% of its members hired influencers in the past 12 months.
The Disney Creators Lab will partner with aspiring TikTok and Instagram stars with tens of thousands of followers. Melizza Black, for example, has 57,000 followers on TikTok, where she already has a Disney account. Black posts from Disney World, showing Disney merch and sharing selfies with Disney augmented reality princess filters. Conner Lundius is another Disney enthusiast with 17,000 TikTok followers who often post from Disneyland with Mickey Mouse ears.
Disney is hosting eight online courses to walk the 20 creators through lessons promoting the House of Mouse on social media. The courses take place weekly over three months and cover topics such as branding, merchandising, creativity and monetization. Disney said one of the courses will include face-to-face training from a popular TikTok star, but did not say which TikTok creator would teach the course.
Disney does not pay the creators to participate in the program, but it is possible that the courses teach Disney fans how to make money from their online activities. The makers will also get a trip to Walt Disney World and on a Disney Cruise Line in January.
Part of the push for the program is for Disney to build relationships with lesser-known creators and guide their rise through social media before they become stars. However, Disney has been on social media for years, marketing its parks and movie studios. Disney owns Marvel and Lucasfilm, which make Star Wars. Disney also owns subscription streaming apps like Disney +, Hulu, and ESPN.