How the creator economy is changing marketing

Adele Webb Written by Adele Webb

7 min read   -  24th April, 2024

How the creator economy is changing marketing

Capturing the attention of an ever-scrolling online audience is always a challenge. It’s at the heart of every SEO, PPC and copywriting campaign for a business; a trend that has put PPC at the forefront of digital marketing for decades.

But the marketing landscape is more than just the tried and tested digital marketing options of SEO and PPC. The creator economy has transformed what is possible through influencer marketing, challenging traditional methods and redefining the brand to customer expectations.

Want to learn about the variety of creators available to enhance your next marking push?

Read on to learn all about the transformative power of creators and influencers, and which type of creator collaboration is most beneficial for your business:

What is the creator economy?

The creator economy is a digital ecosystem where individuals create and distribute content across social media channels, blogs, websites and more, often collaborating with brands and businesses in paid ads. They create content for your business, tapping into their existing niche audience to your benefit. They bring personality and perspective to your services and products, creating engaging videos, pictures and blog posts to showcase everything your brand offers.

Many of these creators are maintaining huge influence over their audiences through creating authentic content on social media. The beauty of this is how users are engaging with this content. Many are scrolling social media apps for entertainment, relaxation and distraction. So when your collaboration with a creator reaches your intended audience, they’re often more open to engaging with it in a more casual way. It’s friendlier than a PPC search campaign, and more creative than another SEO rewrite.

How could you benefit from tapping into the creator economy?

There’s more to the creator economy than meets the eye. Here are just a few of the benefits you can find from collaborating with the right content creators for your brand.

Access to highly engaged audiences
In the modern online world, generic marketing just isn’t enough to cut above your competition and retain a strong engagement with audiences. You need to drill down into your niche, creating a presence online that resonates with the right audience for your brand. 

Here’s where content creators can become a fast-forward button for brand awareness within your niche. Creators that have established themselves within your niche already have cultivated loyal followings, providing you with direct access to niche demographic audiences.

Authenticity and trust
With the rise of AI-generated content that is often of varying quality, audiences can sense a lack of authenticity and genuine connection a mile off. Through collaborating with creators you can bring authenticity to your marketing campaigns, fostering trust with consumers. 

After all, would your audience always respond to a company telling them to buy something in a highly ad-driven market? Or would they be more receptive to hearing their favourite influencer give their honest thoughts about your brand and what you can offer?

Cost-effective marketing
Traditional PPC and SEO marketing is becoming increasingly competitive, and as a result, increasingly expensive. While we feel it’s important to maintain your existing PPC and SEO campaigns as the foundation of your marketing, it’s worth considering how much you could save if you portioned a small percentage of your budget towards creator marketing. 

Partnering with creators can be more affordable than traditional advertising channels, offering high ROI and some competitive levels of engagement across your collaborative posts. Not all content creators price themselves at the same rate, and not every strategy is identical. Therefore, you could find some benefit in crafting campaigns with multiple smaller content creators, who are really making waves in your niche online.

Types of creators

The stereotype of a content creator is a totally simplified version of the huge variety of creators out there. Much like choosing your ad type or social media platform for an upcoming campaign, choosing the right type of creator for your brand and goals can make or break your results. Here’s an overview on who you could be collaborating with:

These are the high-rollers, the A-listers, the celebrities of the content creator space. Influencers are people with massive social media followings who promote products or services to their audience. Expect big results when working with these creators, but expect similarly high price tags for your posts. 

Due to the high cost of working with such expensive influencers, we’d recommend this strategy for larger companies with a healthy proportion of their overall marketing budget ready to go. It’s worth experimenting with less pricey creators initially before stepping into this league. That way you can trial what works with a smaller portion of your budget in the experimentation phase.

Content creators
Here you’ll find some of the most niche and tailored content online. Content creators that aren’t in the 500k+ follower range of influencers can bring in some serious results if you find the right person to collaborate with. They will work with your brand to produce original content across various platforms, including blogs, videos, podcasts, and social media. They come with already established demographics of their followers, often within a niche interest category online.

Smaller and medium sized businesses can really benefit from these types of creators. You’re essentially buying access and influence within a nice audience, and getting some cost-effective content creation in the process.

Micro-influencers serve the smallest of niches online, but do so with expert knowledge and experience in their field of interest. You won’t find sky-high numbers of followers here, or even millions of views across multiple pieces of content. But in a niche this small, it’s all about relevancy. Those few hundred followers are often highly motivated to make a purchase within their specific interest.

Due to the lower price of working with these micro-influencers, this is an option that can be open to many sizes of business. We’d recommend it most for brands that want to establish themselves within a niche, with a hard-to-reach audience that is anything but mainstream and generic. 

Who are creators you could work with?

Now let’s get into the details. In any one industry, there are many different styles of creator, beyond the basics we introduced above. Here, we’ve included examples from the world of interior design, to show you just how much is available to you, even when you’re limited to one specific area of interest.

Niche specialists
These are creators who have built expertise in specific industries or topics, providing targeted access to niche markets. Like Hannah Bullivant, who specialises in DIY and decluttering through intentional interior design. 

She’d be a great creator to work with if your brand sold DIY equipment or organisational items, but less useful for luxury or B2B brands.

Brand advocates
Meet the online advocates who are existing customers who create content around a brand out of genuine enthusiasm. They’re fans! Here’s a great example of a post from Haneen Matt, who teamed up with the rug company Loloi for a promoted post.

If a competitor has partnered with a brand avocate, you might benefit from seeing what worked best for them, or even collaborating with that specific creator if you feel your products can be even more exciting to their audience!

Emerging talent
Introducing the up-and-coming creators who offer fresh perspectives and potential long-term partnerships with your brand. They’re not famous, but are often open to creating engaging, genuine and authentic content, like Laurence’s page @quietly_interiors

This is a chance to consider a longer-term partnership with a content creator. As their channels grow, so will your influence within your niche. 

Established influencers 
These are well-known personalities with large followings who can amplify brand messages to a wide audience. They might be people known mostly in the influencer space, like Kelly Wearstler in the interior design industry, or famous people linked to your industry, like interior design fan Stacey Solomon.
If your brand caters to the mainstream, with products that aren’t especially niche, but could be useful to many demographics, this could be an option that brings in some incredible results for your next campaign.

Virtual Influencers
They may be new to the scene, but AI has some pretty incredible options in the influencer space. These are new on the horizon, but can offer just as much potential as many existing influencers. With virtual influencers set to become more popular over the next decade as AI becomes increasingly commonplace, modern, tech-savvy and futuristic brands could benefit from exploring this exciting new option.

Measuring success

Much like a PPC campaign, simply throwing your budget at a content creator and hoping everything works out simply isn’t enough. You’ll want to measure as many metrics as you can to truly unlock the benefits, potential and pit-falls of each collaboration. Here are some important elements to track:

Engagement metrics
Tracking likes, comments, shares, and other interactions to gauge audience engagement with creator content. Detailed insights like this can help you refine your campaign over time, working with the content creator to really bring in the most efficient results.

Conversion rates
Monitoring the number of sales or conversions generated through creator-led campaigns can be challenging, depending on how you are tracking this metric. We recommend creating specific landing pages with unique URLs that can be exclusively accessed via the content creator’s posts and channels.

Brand sentiment
This can be overlooked as marketers often prioritise the hard metrics of likes, shares and ROI. But a hugely important element of customer engagement within these collaborative posts is your understanding of how a customer feels about your brand.

Take a minute to assess audience attitudes and perceptions towards your brand before and after creator collaborations. Over time, you should see some pleasing results as your brand establishes itself online, in alignment with some treasured and beloved content creators.

In summary

In an era of digital marketing dominated by headlines of controversy, customers are looking for authenticity, connection and community. By switching up your marketing campaigns and embracing the potential of the creator economy, you can deliver all of this and more.

It’s time to forge deeper connections with your audience, drive meaningful impact in your campaigns, and be at the forefront of the most collaborative, human-led element of digital marketing.

It starts with discovery

Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.

Get in touch Get in touch

It starts with discovery

Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.