In this article, Paul Scholey, a leading expert from Sisense, and Nicolette Roses-Agoro, Disciple’s Head of Community and Brand, discuss how data and analytics are not just shaping but powering the future of the flourishing creator economy.
What is the creator economy
The creator economy is defined as a new community of creators who build businesses around their personal brands — think social media influencers, artists, and podcasters — and the software and finance tools designed to help them with growth and monetisation like Disciple. This fast-growing digital community platform provides a cloud solution that offers a custom online community space outside mainstream social media channels. Disciple helps creators power up revenue and grow engagement in an environment they have total control over.
Today, more than 50 million people around the globe consider themselves creators. And despite its infancy – the creator economy was born only a decade ago – it’s already valued at over £78.1 billion. While the figure itself is eye-opening, given digital interactions have become increasingly central to daily life for many, especially during the last couple of years rife with the pandemic, it’s far from surprising.
This tumultuous time has seen people turning to their screens for connection and entertainment; and, on the flip side, to build their side hustle, monetising their passions and creativity. It’s never been a better time to be a content creator.
From MySpace to TikTok, YouTube and Instagram, the world’s relationship with social media has transformed immensely in the last few years. This decentralised entertainment ecosystem has propelled the global creator economy to new heights. According to Nicolette Roses-Agoro, Disciple’s Head of Community and Brand, it’s also elevated the meaning of what community truly is.
“We’re stepping into an age where individuals recognise the need for deep connection, accessibility, and the opportunity to showcase and profit from self-built skills,” she says. “At Disciple, we’ve had the opportunity to witness firsthand the awakening of society into a new way to run a business and feel fulfilled.”
The future of the creator economy
While social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have served their purpose, sharing information and connecting creators with audiences since their inception, Roses-Agoro argues they’re starting to lose their lustre.
“Society is tired of being controlled and moderated by pre-existing social platforms that limit their ability to form genuine connections and elevate what they offer to the world. This has been a key indicator when understanding online behaviour,” she points out.
“Creators, individuals with soft or hard skills, want a place to call their own, where they get to dictate the rules, nurture deep relationships, and leverage monetisation tools – a need that is absolutely warranted.”
With these resources in hand, why wouldn’t they look to become their own founders? Why would they pass the profit off to someone else? The answer is simple: they wouldn’t.
“Creators are smart, savvy, and very aware of the trends within their own spaces,” Roses-Agoro says. “They need tools that can enable them to start businesses while focusing their energy on their own art form. That’s where community and business slot together perfectly.”
And that’s where Disciple comes into play. Unlike popular social media platforms, Disciple encourages more direct engagement and targeted communication between hosts, community members, and peers.
“Platforms like Disciple are paramount to the future of community-led businesses, spearheaded by creators,” she insists. “We’re providing creators with the opportunity to bring their people into a space that is safe, dynamic, constantly evolving with them, and one that can turn their passions into profit.”
Meaningful connection is trending
Social media platform giants often fail to recognise that social media is not just about features and money; at its very core, it’s about community.
“Genuine connection is a major trend in the creator economy,” Roses-Agoro says. “As a society, we’re moving away from the hollowness of following and liking and diving into sincerity through two-way interactions.”
It’s what the entire foundation of community platforms are built upon. They exist to support and empower. They’re a place where worries of quality versus quantity and data privacy are put to rest. The ones who get this right, who put community members at the forefront and make them feel seen and heard; they’re the ones who succeed.
How can you identify what works?
“At Disciple, all of our actions are governed by the in-depth data intelligence we’re able to garner when it comes to community management. Our data, community, customer success, and operations teams have built dashboards that allow us to gauge a deep understanding of which factors make up a successful community,” Roses-Agoro adds.
Even more, Roses-Agoro says the trends Disciple has been able to spot using Sisense, like how its ideal customer profile is the creator, have enabled better business decisions. “Since using Sisense, the return on investment from customer growth to lowered churn rates has made us hyper-aware of the value that data holds in a business.”
She adds, “We’re always conscious of what the latest industry standards are when it comes to community management, and incorporate engagement behaviours into the fabric of our software to empower customers to reach their desired outcome.”
With knowledge comes power – and Disciple doesn’t take that lightly. The company believes its duty is to continuously listen to its customers and build products that consistently deliver a higher experience to members, allowing customers to hit their own objectives.
“Knowing this, as our customers grow and scale, Disciple is doing the same alongside them, ensuring that we’re providing that one-stop-shop for all their creator needs. Whether that be offering tiered memberships, live-streaming to multiple platforms at one time, or growing their member base into the millions,” Roses-Agoro says. “We turn data into opportunity and opportunity into community success.”
Success made possible with data
According to Roses-Agoro, four main segments of data are key to understanding performance. Those are broken down into retention, engagement, growth, and, if applicable, monetisation.
Retention consists of statistical points like the average number of visits per active member per month — the active return rate. Engagement then pulls in the contributor vs lurker rate. Monetisation relates to subscribers, product customers, and buyers. And growth, like monetisation, sells itself, looking at member size over time.
Long story short, she says, “Success for us and our members does not exist without data.”
When thinking about creating that stickiness factor to your community, Roses-Agoro says the following areas must be given focus:
- Data from livestream viewers: Number of attendees vs sign-ups, activity in the chat, activity post-event in the community
- Percentage of members who are on the ‘top contributors’ list: These are the members that are loyal to you and your brand
- Conversation topics that garner deeper engagement and interest: Figure this out by looking at impressions, comments and likes
- Number of one-to-one connections made within the community: Members who care about each other care about the success of the community — this member loyalty is what will sustain any community
All of this insight is provided thanks to the right data, utilised at the right time. With the power of Sisense, creators are empowered. Their decisioning is based on reliable strategy and roadmapping versus gut feeling alone. This smart approach keeps members coming back — a win/win for creators and Disciple.
Sisense goes beyond traditional business intelligence by providing organisations with the ability to infuse analytics everywhere, embedded in both customer and employee applications and workflows. Sisense customers are breaking through the barriers of analytics adoption by going beyond the dashboard with Sisense Fusion – the highly customisable, AI-driven analytics cloud platform that infuses intelligence at the right place and the right time, every time. More than 2,000 global companies rely on Sisense to innovate, disrupt markets and drive meaningful change in the world. Ranked as the No. 1 Business Intelligence Company in terms of customer success, Sisense has also been named one of the Forbes’ Cloud 100, The World’s Best Cloud Companies, six years in a row. Visit us at www.sisense.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Founded by then electronic musician and label owner, Benji Vaughan, Disciple was initially created in 2015 for Benji to directly reach and engage his fans and audience digitally. Disciple has since evolved into a platform that enables and empowers community managers, business owners, influencers, coaches (and more) to build and own a private community platform. Disciple exists to create a level of freedom, control, community focus and creativity among ambitious individuals. Having worked with community leaders ranging from the likes of world-famous music artists to aspirational fitness instructors, there is no limit. As an industry leader in the Creator Economy, Disciple aims to educate on the power of building true connections led by excitement and adoration for each individual’s community focus.