June 14, 2023
Want to Elevate Your Brand Story? Let the Creators Tell It.
Why brands should release control of their content and embrace the ‘Creatorverse’
AdWeek’s 2023 installation of Social Media Week invited attendees to dive into the Creatorverse, an area of the media ecosystem that puts brands’ stories in the hands of content creators. These people are relatable, familiar with the wants and needs of their followers and can make a major impact on the purchase decisions of your target audiences.
People do not innately trust brands, as brand messaging can come across as preprogrammed and insincere. Earning consumer trust starts with mobilizing authenticity through creator partnerships. In fact, a report from Edelman found that 63% of consumers trusted what an influencer said about a brand more than what the brand said about itself. As for more traditional media, only 26% of millennials report they trust traditional advertising – and that number is likely even lower for younger generations.
So how do you start building trust through content creators? While the first step is finding creators whose style, tone and audience are a natural fit for your brand, maximizing the impact of your investment starts with a few key practices beyond the contract.
- Trust creators
Giving up any sense of control over brand content is tough for marketers. When you live, work and breathe a brand, it’s completely natural to feel nervous about putting that in the hands of someone new. Your first instinct may be to prescribe a script or a mountain of messaging points to ensure control. But this is your sign to throw that out in favor of a question or prompt. When you keep briefs open and minimize prescriptive messaging, creators have more space to express their “why” behind your brand. Giving creators room to play does two vital things – it allows them to create the best-performing content for their channels and elevates your brand in an authentic way.
- It’s a relationship, not a transaction
Acknowledge that creators are not just line items on your media plan – they’re active collaborators and contributors to your brand’s greater story. The strongest partnerships are long term, where you and the creator have time to get to know one another. When creators have time and space to get to know your brand and build a relationship, they create authentic content that tells new stories beyond a one-off TikTok or Reel. In the end, you both have brands to protect – you’re working together because there is a natural fit between your brand and theirs, and they will do the work to ensure that it’s a win-win.
- Diversify your roster
Understand that account size, demographic and interests will play a part in the types of audiences you’re reaching through creators. While mega influencers will gain significant reach and get more eyes on your brand, micro influencers tend to have incredibly loyal, engaged audiences. Most importantly, ensuring you are mobilizing creators from different backgrounds will make a wider range of potential customers feel seen, heard and understood.