Creator of the Year Award: Celebrating Canadian Social Media Creators

We’re at a turning point in our country’s evolution. Globally, we are more commonly referred to as the reasonable, cool, and even the innovators of various industries. One of these industries being entertainment. Many people outside of Canada forget that some of the biggest A-List celebrities hail from the Great White North, including: Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd).

One commonality with these personalities being: they got their big break through social media.

Social media has created an environment for so many Canadians to be discovered, build their audience, and make a living. Canada produces an incredible number of social media personalities, from the incredible Lilly Singh (aka. IISuperwomanII), or the dynamic Jillian Harris, to some incredible star creators that are continuing to climb faster every year, including: Photographer and Creative Director Alen Palander, Fashion, lifestyle & travel blogger Filipa Jackson, Food + Lifestyle Content Creator Abhishek Dekate, Actress Torri Webster, and Beauty Blogger Sylvia Jade

Alen Palander / @alenpalander

There is a new revolution taking place. With the growth of social media, the barriers to creating and sharing digital content are lowered; we’re seeing the democratization of creative talent, where the most talented people can organically build a following and become their own media publisher. Smart marketers recognize this new wave and have fueled the fastest growing marketing channel—most commonly called influencer marketing—and we are excited to be leaders shaping the industry in the best way possible for the marketers, the creators, and the audiences themselves.

What does this mean for the influencer marketing industry?

This world of influencer marketing is pretty new and growing fast. Many may call this the days of the “wild west” where rules, regulations, and guidelines are still being defined.  Influencer marketing is in a stage very similar to how online advertising was of the late 90s and early 2000s; for every viral campaign like Terry Tate: Office Linebacker there were all those annoying pop-up ads who make the experience less legitimate and frustrating to say the least.

Jillian Harris / @jillian.harris

The future of this industry hinges on creators and brands working together to setting standards and holding one another accountable to them, being honest with consumers, and bringing legitimacy and order to this new way of marketing. This means supporting creators who grow their following organically, by producing consistent, good quality content, engaging their audience to create a discussion, and working with other like-minded  creators and brands. It means encouraging other creators to behave ethically by not buy fake followers, fake likes, engage in comment pods, or participating in follow-for-follow, or follow-unfollow tactics  to artificially inflate numbers. Note, tools like Social Blade can help brands track inconsistencies in follower growth and engagement.

Great creators also ensure that the brands they partner with are to promote products they believe in, because genuinity and authenticity are core fundamentals that this industry is built on. When you follow somebody for their content, you also follow them for the recommendations they may have for products and services; so genuine recommendations are key.

Abhishek Dekate / @abhishekdekate

Sponsored posts are a fantastic way for brands and creators to work together. The brand gets to reach an audience through the voice of a trusted source and receive incredible and creative content integrating their products. The creator gets new ideas to develop engaging content, gets recognized by marketers as an expert in their field, and gets compensated accordingly for the time and talent required to put those posts together.  The audience gets to see the creators they follow continue to produce top-quality content, gets introduced to brands and products they may not know about, and gets to celebrate the successes of the creators they’ve come to love.

About #paid

We created #paid in an effort to support people’s passion for creating engaging content, and enable the world to experience their photography and powerful storytelling on a day-to-day basis. After thousands of brand collaborations with our creators— dubbed #ThePaidCrew—we’re happy to see that we’re connecting the most creative minds with some of the most reputable, innovative, and forward-thinking brands in the world.

Our desire to empower creatives and facilitate collaborations started with our good friend, Ronnie (@inspiredtobefit). Ronnie was on a personal journey to reach her fitness goals and began documenting her path to better health and fitness. Much to her and our surprise, her Instagram account quickly gained traction as she amassed tens of thousands of followers who were looking to her for inspiration and motivation to make a positive change in their life. Ronnie’s audience was looking for tips on products that could help them achieve their lifestyle goals, and that’s when we realized there was a huge opportunity for Ronnie to make money sharing the products she believed in with her engaged audience. Ronnie didn’t have time to find or negotiate with marketers, and so we helped bring her authentic brand collaboration opportunities while she focused on what she did best: create and share beautiful content with her engaged followers. Today, we utilize our proprietary technology to facilitate collaborations between marketers and tens of thousands of creators from around the world.

Torri Webster / @torriwebster

The Notable “Creator of The Year” Award

We’re proud to partner with Notable for the first Creator of the Year Award to recognize the efforts of the top Canadian Social Media Creators who are producing awe-inspiring content, pursuing passions they love, building an engaged community, and setting a great example for current and aspiring creators around the world.

To all the creators, no matter if you were nominated or not, or whether you’re honoured with this award, know that all those who are spending time creating great content are making social media a more interesting and engaging space, one “like” at a time.