#CreatorFirst: How Niche Is Putting Branded Content In The Hands Of Creators



A client and a set of diverse creators discuss the importance of not treating creators as commodities.

The demand for today’s digital creators is only growing, with usage of original content in social marketing up 80% since 2015. Now more than ever, brands need to be able to find the right creators to represent or market their products or services.

At #SMWLDN, Jo Burford (UK/Europe Community Manager, Twitter) and Adam Payne (Senior Brand Planner, Twitter) introduced attendees to Niche, a creator-first platform that provides creators with the ability to activate their social presence across all networks and providing brands with a community of creators to choose from early in the campaign development process. Joined by a client and a set of diverse creators, the panel spoke about the importance of not treating creators as commodities, and what they see as the inherent benefits of such a relationship.

What Is Niche?

Before the panel started, Adam Payne (Senior Niche Brand Strategist, Twitter UK) took the stage to introduce Niche to the Social Media Week London audience.

Niche is global community and network of creators that specialize in creating content for social. They were acquired by Twitter in 2015 and their mission is to monetize and thrive creators that are on social media. The company started on Vine and was acquired by Twitter so that the platform would have a network of creators they could offer to clients across different media platforms. Niche is not exclusive to Twitter and considers themselves “platform agnostic.”

“Our creative team are the creators we are working with.” – Adam Payne (Senior Niche Brand Strategist, Twitter UK)

Their primary objective is to connect creators with brands. They have worked with clients such as McDonalds, Unilever, Amazon, Ford, Google, Apple and more. They create unique and engaging content (stop motion, long form videos, photos, etc.) for each client’s campaign. But Niche is not only a community of 50K+ creators, they also provide a suite of software and services for campaign execution.

Who Are The Creators In The Niche Community?

Following the introduction to Niche, Jo Burford (EMEA Community Manager, Twitter UK) took the stage to moderate a panel between three Niche creators Linda Blacker, Tom Harlock, and Ben Waddleton, as well as one of Niche’s clients, Richard Burgess (Social Media Mananager, Audi, UK).

Unlike the traditional way of bringing Influencers at the end of the creative stage for a campaign, Niche believes in a #CreatorFirst approach where they find the right Creators first before moving forward in the campaign development process.

Tom Harlock started out as a medical secretary in 2014 until he discovered Vine and within 3 months gained 500K followers. It was his main platform and he would end up accumulating 5M followers before the platform was shut down. He then moved his content to Twitter, which owned Vine, and eventually started creating content for YouTube.

“If I was stressing about every single aspect of the videos I was posting I wouldn’t have fun.” – Tom Harlock (Personality Creator)

When asked why not many Vine stars transitioned to YouTube effectively, Harlock said that it was the jump from creating DIY 6-second videos to higher production and longer videos on YouTube that scared other stars from making the transition. He went on to say that he feels that the community on YouTube is nicer than the one that was on Vine and he now has the ability to have more a conversation with his audience and they have the chance to get to know him as a person and not just someone making funny 6-second videos.

Linda Blacker is a fine art photographer who was discovered by Jo when she noticed that all the top YouTubers were using Blacker to shoot their videos. Her unique photography style got the attention of brands and bringing her photos to YouTube allowed her to receive feedback and attract a following for her work.

Niche From The Creator and Clients Point-of-View

When asked how he stays on top of what type of content is trending or relevant, Richard Burgess of Audi UK said it’s equal parts staying on top of the the creators or influencers that you personally follow as someone who works on social media and having a deep pool of creators to choose from at Niche.

Harlock compared working directly with the brand and working through Niche and says that it’s more of a collaboration with the latter. Niche truly puts the creator first when it comes to finding the write partners and collaborating on the different projects.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

Newsletter Subscription

Get the latest insights, trends and best practices from today's leading industry voices.

Watch SMW Live

SMW Insider is a premium video platform that streams more than 180+ hours of talks, presentations, and interviews from leading industry experts.

Subscribe Now

Write for Us

Interested in sharing your ideas and insights with the world? Become a SMW News contributor and reach 300k readers each month.

Apply Here