‘Passion Economy’ is a term that has been doing the rounds in the digital universe. In simpler words, the passion economy is an eco-system where niche communities are challenging traditional social media conglomerates. Instead of the generic and non-specific content on various social media platforms, niche communities channel their efforts to create content that resonates with their passion and community members.
Passion economy works as a platform that connects content creators with genuine and loyal communities who share the same passions. Users get access to exclusive content and a chance to directly communicate with their favourite creators, while creators get to monetize their engagement.
The economy was born out of the users call for a community away from the social media giants. The consumers have an illusion that the giants are profiting more out of their interests and attention. This frustration has led to the rise in these community seekers, and passion economy provides them precisely what they want!
Through Creators Perspective
Digital media and content creation have undergone tremendous growth in the past decade. Passion economy provides a platform for nano and micro-influencers to turn their passion into their livelihood. From playing video games, running yoga and meditation classes, selling niche fashion products, to even taking inappropriate bathroom selfies (which your parents may disapprove of), the passion economy offers a platform for almost every passion. It enables the creators to create a niche community to engage with and monetize their interaction.
Through Users Perspective
Passion economy gives a user direct access to the exclusive content of their chosen micro-influencer. These users crave new and quality content from their creators and can go to any length and pay any price to get premium and early access to that content. By subscribing and gaining access to the niche community, they can directly engage with their creators and request a shout-out whenever they want. The communication can be through personal DMs or one-to-one video calls.
Through Brands Perspective
Influencer marketing is the new age strategy for brands who want to boost their sales and website traffic and social media engagement. When a micro-influencer endorses a brand, it creates a sense of authenticity amongst their niche community. A mere ‘shout-out’, picture post, video, or a mention in their blog post or at the end of the podcast can boost the website traffic and visibility for such brands.
Passion economy offers more personalization to a brand in contrast to the vast, and profit concentrated attention economy. The personalization of the product or service through a micro-influencer appeals more to the niche community and instantly creates trust and loyalty towards the brand. Passion economy and the rise of micro-influencers and their niche community followers has been a boon for small scale entrepreneurs with a low marketing budget. Newmarket entrants can now innovate and come up with better marketing strategies to match their bigger rivals.
Paving The Way Towards Future
The lockdown brought upon by COVID19 has been a catalyst for the growth in social media engagement. More time and energy are being spent by creators, users, and brands on the social media building their niche communities. The more authentic a community is, the more the user engagement. For this to happen, the community must stay away from money-making platforms, and the ownership must solely be in the hands of the community host.
Although it’s still in the early stages, monetizing engagement instead of products and services is a massive shift. The technology and infrastructure needed for the economy are still in its development stage, but many content creators have already begun enjoying great success through the eco-system. In the future, content creators’ opportunities do not seem to abate, neither do the benefits for consumers.