Dear Millennials: Make Money In Your Pj's

By Joburg Post

Technology is the literal driver of the lives and lifestyles of millennials across the world. We’re a generation that is always ‘plugged in’ and glued to our cell phone screens. In fact, we genuinely enjoy spending hours watching YouTube videos, Snapchat clips, and scrolling down our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds. And although our South African economy may not reflect this but, amongst the 26.6% unemployment rate and the GDP per capita of $7 575.00 (2015) is an average tech savvy South African teenager with a smartphone.

This ‘plugged in’ generation has become a phenomenon for big brands and advertising agencies. They’ve now had to realise that millennials no longer digest advertising in the same way they used to 15 years ago. These agencies have had to find other ways to gain the same amount of eyeballs onto their ads. And since this generation is constantly scrolling down their Twitter and Facebook feeds, it was a no-brainer for them to start aligning their budgets and objectives with these social media tools to grow their reach.

Two major disruptors have taken place in the marketing and advertising space:

  1. Buyers no longer consume advertising the same way they used to 15 years ago. A billboard or newspaper ad is a simple waste of money as millennials blatantly ignore them nowadays.

  2. Buyers prefer to engage more with brand ambassadors like Bonang Matheba and her associated brands via social media rather than watching a simple TV ad and being fed a scripted line by a model.

In essence, this generation loves two things: relation and engagement.

In essence, this generation loves two things: relation and engagement. They want to feel like they’re part of a brand, to relate with the values and standards of a brand, and most importantly, to engage with a brand or the brand ambassador thereof. And there are no better content creators who’ve mastered this, than bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers. These creators have learnt to curate and nurture a specific audience by producing relatable and engaging content. Online influencers are the new ‘billboards’ and ‘magazines’ of our time. Their blogs, vlogs and social media pages are where we spend our spare time - ‘reading’ and ‘educating’ ourselves about current trends, what’s hot and what’s not.

And yes indeed, while some of us are sitting in Joburg traffic, slowly trying to make it to work, most of them are chilling on their beds, in their jammies, editing an Instagram post that will make them hundreds, if not thousands of Rands. For most online influencers, content creating started off as a hobby and then later grew into a business. What an awesome time to be living in, where one can make a good living from simply sharing their interests with the world.

Technology has changed not only how we do business, but also, the kind of business we do

However, it is not as easy as it sounds, since a great amount of thought has to go into producing content that interests the curator and intrigues an audience. Finding that perfect balance takes time and precision, and as we all know, time is money. For that reason, brands are paying these online influencers for partnering with them and producing quality content to promote their products.

Conversely, while there are millions of content consumers, there is only a hand full of content creators in the South African context. Though so many us are ‘technologically’ enabled, very few are jumping on to this alternative income stream bandwagon. This bandwagon offers ample growth opportunity, even for that unemployed graduate who’s been relentlessly applying for jobs, with little to no luck.

Technology has changed not only how we do business, but also, the kind of business we do. So why not use that smartphone of yours to start your business as an online influencer? All it requires are three simple things: that very data you use to stalk your favourite social influencer – Maps Maponyana, a niche, focus or theme that particularly interests you and lastly, some creativity. The rest can be learnt along the way through browsing, reading or watching other digital influencers do their thing.

By the way, online influencers can earn money in the following ways:

  1. Sponsored content – Being paid by a brand to feature or review their product on your blog, YouTube channel or any of your social media platforms.

  2. Affiliate links – a link on your page/channel that links viewers who clicks it to the brand’s online store or webpage and earns you a small commission from the sale.

  3. Monetising content through Google AdSense – signing your blog or YouTube channel up on Google AdSense and getting a percentage from the pop-up/banner adverts that show up on your website or channel.

So there’s absolutely no excuse for lazing around and adding to South Africa’s current unemployment rate. You can expand your income by joining the digital influencer movement to feed this content-hungry online community, through creating quality content and in turn earning a good living out of it. So go on, build an audience through creating focused and intriguing content, quantify your following and join the world of paid online influencers.



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