Tap Into the Power of the Creator Economy to Grow Your ROI

If you’re going to work with influencers, think big

Creator-led marketing has evolved from a niche tactic for some companies into the centerpiece strategy across entire industries. Globally, the market is valued at $21.1 billion, up from $16.4 billion in 2022.

Driving this growth are the results that creator marketing brings. Word of mouth has always been a powerful marketing tool, with 88% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know more than any other advertising channel.

But the next phase of creator marketing requires brands to take new and innovative approaches that go beyond tasking an influencer to boost awareness for them. It’s no longer something that can be siloed into a single channel.

Successful creator-led marketing requires an always-on, multichannel marketing strategy that taps into the creators that are the lifeblood of the creator economy. Here are a few steps brands can use to get there.

Geek out on the numbers

Knowing which creators, content and channels are driving the most ROI for your business is essential to refining which creator partnerships to pursue. That includes benchmarking your internal efforts against business goals, but also against industry norms (i.e., your competitors).

The ability to identify the creators with the reach, following and creative output that best aligns with your target audience is the only way to ensure the partnerships you pursue will meet campaign objectives.

Expand your horizons

Yes, creator-led marketing on social channels is an awareness juggernaut. It delivers. But it’s just the beginning, not the end.

Social platforms are competing aggressively to keep creators engaged with their platforms and have created multiple tools and features to keep them there. Many of these involve social commerce capabilities. Leveraging creator storefronts on social networks to turn awareness into sales is a surefire way to drive bottom-line results.

It’s not only social

The most effective creator relationships are those that expand beyond social channels. That means incorporating creators throughout your entire funnel. In the most extreme cases, that can even include product development. But more commonly, this means extending creator-led assets into additional channels like performance, ecommerce, affiliate and even traditional media where appropriate.

Scaling the impact of creator-driven content across channels and formats is not only cost effective (through more efficient production costs), but it amplifies good ideas and quality content to wider audiences as well.

Moving forward with creators

That’s a lot to absorb, and the next question typically asked is: Who’s doing all this work? Should creator marketing be done in-house, or outsourced to an agency? The answer of course depends on your company and your resources, but here are some factors to consider:

Agency benefits:

  • Bandwidth
  • Leveraging creator relationships
  • Managing creator communications
  • Reporting
  • Ideation
  • Regional connections
  • Outsourcing assistance

In-house benefits:

  • Streamlined approvals
  • Stronger creator relationships
  • Intimate campaign insights
  • Oversight
  • Tighter brand integration

The power of creator-led marketing is that it offers greater ROI and improved engagement over traditional methods. For only a fraction of the cost, brands can enjoy in-house content production at scale, outsourcing the task to experts who live and breathe content and connect deeply with consumers.

But for creator-led marketing to deliver on its promise, brands need to give creators a seat at the table. Empower them with innovative strategies that deliver key business outcomes, and you’ll reap the rewards. Ultimately, the goal is to not just work with creators, but to engage in the broader creator economy on its terms.

The more that brands can establish close partnerships with creators, the better they’ll reach customers with authenticity and authority, while achieving bottom-line outcomes.

Conor Begley is the chief strategy officer at CreatorIQ. He previously co-founded Tribe Dynamics, which was acquired by CreatorIQ in 2021. The acquisition led to the creation of a leading influencer marketing platform for the creator economy, bringing together influencer performance management and analytics solutions to help brands and businesses.