The modern consumer wants brands to entertain and inform them without overtly promotional messages and biased product recommendations. As a result, they are turning their attention to influencers and content creators on different platforms to guide their purchase decisions in the marketplace.
Creators, to capitalize on the ever-increasing demand for such content, are pushing their boundaries to produce diverse educational and entertaining content and build niche communities to bond with their viewers.
This opens up a new avenue of product promotion for brands: creator marketing. It is a type of marketing where brands partner with influencers and social media content creators to drive awareness, engagement and sometimes traffic and sales conversions.
In this article, let’s look at how creator marketing can give your brand a much-needed boost in 2024.
The Rise of the Creator Economy
The Creator Economy refers to a business phenomenon in which influencers, content creators, artists, etc., can earn revenue through their content. That revenue can come through donations from their viewers, from the platform, the ads, or brand partnerships.
This economy has experienced an upsurge after the digital revolution that democratized technology and made it easy for creators to produce, advertisers to sponsor, and viewers to consume content on multiple platforms.
Brands are recognizing this shift and are rushing to invest in creator marketing strategies. One recent report found that 66% of brands have amped up their creator marketing spend, and 52% of brands have already expanded the associated marketing teams.
It is also interesting to note that nearly half of the brands interviewed in that survey spent over $100,000 on this strategy. Furthermore, nearly 10% of the brands interviewed spent more than $1 million.
The future trends and predictions for creator marketing also seem promising. A report by Goldman Sachs revealed that the creator economy can go from $250 billion in 2023 to $480 billion by 2027, roughly doubling in revenue within four years. To top it off, the investment of brands in creator marketing in the US alone is projected to go up from $16.16 billion in 2023 to $17.14 in 2024.
These numbers not only promise a good payday to content creators but also a diverse set of collaborative opportunities for brands across the board to efficiently reach their audience. Suffice it to say that 2024 is the perfect year to emphasize creator marketing.
Creators as Strategic Assets for Brands
Creators are not just third-party promoters who highlight the benefits of your products. They are partners who play a crucial role in formulating your brand identity, raising awareness, and eventually driving sales.
Here are three advantages of collaborating with creators, rather than simply hiring them to promote your brand or products:
- Reaching niche audiences: Digital creators have built their audience, often consisting of a diverse group of viewers, from scratch. Partnering with creators allows brands to gain exposure among an audience that is already likely to be interested.
- Brand recognition: Independent content creators resonate with their audience because of their unique style of presentation. When blended with your brand’s message, this can create content that ingrains your unique value proposition in the minds of the audience.
- Customer loyalty: Creators often come with their dedicated followers who consume their content because they trust their recommendations. This trust can be transferred to your brand when they showcase your product in a positive light.
Furthermore, creators can produce a wide array of content such as educational videos, product reviews or demos, interactive live streams, personal experiences with a brand, etc., which can attract a bigger audience.
While collaborating with an influencer, brands need to determine which kind of content resonates with their audience the most. For instance, if a company sells hardware repair kits, educational content will be more valuable. Similarly, a consumer electronics brand can benefit from product reviews or demo videos.
For brands that are just getting started with creator marketing, the best strategy here is to go through your competitors’ feeds on various channels, find out which content types perform well, and invest in those.
However, if you have several competitors who are active on multiple social media platforms, doing it manually can be inefficient.
Brandwatch is a social monitoring tool that can help you keep an eye on your competitors’ creator marketing efforts, discover emerging trends in your niche, send real-time alerts about threats or popular topics, and have a comprehensive inbox to engage with all your audience from one place.
This will not only allow you to get content ideas and decide their formats but also manage your online reputation and engage with your audience.
Finding the Best Creators for Your Needs
According to Linktree’s 2022 creator report, nearly 200 million social media users identify as creators. Consequently, regardless of whichever industry you are in, chances are you will have a pool of creators to choose from.
Brands understand the importance of getting it right as well. In the same report quoted above, 58% of the surveyed brands stated that finding the right fit is one of the three most important aspects of their creator marketing workflow.
And they are right. Going with the right brand promoter can amplify your message, compliment your offerings, reach high-intent viewers, resonate with your audience, improve your authority, and ultimately drive more sales.
For instance, a Kansas-based jewelry company, Helzberg Diamonds collaborated with former Miss Kansas USA Gracie Hunt on their Christmas campaign to showcase their collection of everyday necklaces.
The brand partnered with an influencer who is respected in their domain, aligns with their values, and is geographically closer to them to maximize the impact of their creator campaign.
On the flip side, making the wrong choice will make your message appear forced and inauthentic. Apart from driving people away from your brand, it might also affect the creator’s reach as they might be viewed as a “sellout” by their audience, which can impact your reputation in the influencer network.
A creator that is right for you should have a sizable audience overlap, knowledge about the industry you are in, authority in your niche, similar values as your brand, and a genuine interest in your products. On top of that, you need to check their location, preferred language, style (humorous, formal, etc.,), and collaboration history with other brands to maximize the ROI.
As you can imagine, doing all of that can be challenging, particularly if you are a growing brand with limited resources.
Popular Pays, an end-to-end influencer marketing platform, simplifies this process by allowing brands to filter influencers in their niche based on factors such as location, language, audience demographic, engagement rate, past collaborations, and more.
Besides helping you connect with the right creator, Popular Pays also serves as a centralized platform to chat with creators and build relationships, collaborate on marketing campaigns, and collate all your creators’ assets in one place for enhanced visibility.
The Power of Trust in Creator Marketing
A creator’s message, even though it can be promotional, is usually regarded as more trustworthy when compared to an ad message or a celebrity endorsement. This is because the creator has built their credibility in that niche, and when talking about their brand partners’ products they put themselves in the audience’s shoes rather than simply hyping it up.
Moreover, creators bond with their audience over shared interests and engage with them via comments, live streams, giveaways, contests, and polls. As a result, the opinion of an independent creator or influencer is seen as a recommendation from a friend rather than as a typical promotional ad broadcast.
For example, notable food blogger Kylie Perroti collaborated with Homiah Foods to host a giveaway where the winner will win an authentic cast-iron oven and a set of South Asian spices.
Consequently, a lot of GenZers and millennials feel comfortable relying on these creators while making purchase decisions, whether they are looking for a gadget, a clothing accessory, or even daily essentials.
Brands can run similar creator campaigns to get more signups, demos, subscribers, and even sales. However, measuring the efficacy of each campaign and the reach brought by each of your creator partners can be complex.
How to optimize the performance of Content Creators
JotURL supercharges creator marketing campaigns by generating branded links unique to each influencer and campaign and tracking their performance over time.
This allows brands to continually learn about their audience’s preferences as a campaign progresses and make changes such as setting up redirects and link rotations to improve conversions.
Additionally, JotURL lets you run A/B tests, mask links, and manage UTM links which can help you find the channels, creators, and campaign types that work best for you. The tool also integrates seamlessly with popular tools like HubSpot, WordPress, etc., and you can connect it to any tool through Zapier and API.
But most importantly, JotURL offers a technology called Deep Linking, a very powerful tool for all mobile marketing activities, but which performs particularly well especially with content creators and influencers.
Deep Links allow a mobile visitor to click on the link and go directly to content within an App, without ending up in the browser.
To give a practical example, if a user taps on an Amazon link, thanks to Deep Linking they are able to get directly to that product page – it is a very powerful tool that can find purposes of use in systems such as affiliate programs, improving clicks, conversions and net earnings of content creators.
JotURL Deep Linking allows you to reach more than 60 different apps such as Amazon, Target, LTK and all the most used social networks such as Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube.
As the world is using mobile devices more and more and Content Marketing is gaining traction in the digital world, making use of these tools to optimize the performance of Content Creators can be profitable for both them and agencies who can work together with them.
From a brand optimization perspective, Deep Linking should always be taken into consideration, as it is capable of recovering users who would otherwise be lost (+45% conversions).
The rise of the creator economy points to the unending appetite for entertaining and educational content among viewers across social media platforms. This, coupled with the trust factor associated with influencers, is gradually making influencer marketing the norm rather than the exception, as signified by recent trends.
Brands across various industries are increasingly partnering with creators and influencers to engage with their audiences through different types of content such as explainer videos, product reviews, and informational guides.
Due to this phenomenon, creators play a key role in formulating a brand’s identity and have established themselves as brand ambassadors rather than just third-party product promoters or advertisers.
Considering the impact of creative marketing, brands must create the right kind of content with the right influencers for the right challenges. Moreover, to ensure continued success in these campaigns, businesses must closely track the impact of each influencer on the key performance indicators (KPIs) like engagement rate, brand sentiment, and conversions.
As managing such campaigns can be challenging, creative marketing teams can rely on tools like Brandwatch to monitor their competition and get content ideas, Popular Pays to find the right influencers, and JotURL to track the relevant conversion KPIs.
by Hazel Raoult