The internet and social media have dramatically altered the media landscape. Millions of content creators have carved out a new niche in the marketing industry as media has become more decentralized. Brands now have more opportunities to promote their products or services and reach out to their target audiences on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. This has led to the emergence of the "creator economy."
Content creation is the culmination of behind-the-scenes work. It's the article you read on your favorite lifestyle blog. It's the DIY YouTube video you watched. It's the Instagram photo that prompted you to test a new cosmetic brand. It's the short clip on TikTok that taught you a new life hack. It's how Google provides results for your queries. Above all, content creation is how people learn about your business, brand, products, and services.
Content creators—the people behind the scenes—help in attracting, engaging, and charming leads and consumers. They aid in the growth of your customer base, which ultimately results in increased sales. In other words, if you don't leverage content creators for your next campaign, you're leaving a lot of money on the table.
Why Your Brand Needs to Hire a Content Creator Now (and How to Find the Right One):
The Need for Content Creators
Even if you have an amazing in-house marketing team, a competent PR agency, or an extensive list of influencers eager to work with you, a campaign may demand content that requires the services of a particular content creator. The content creator can be a writer, a graphic artist, a videographer, an animator, or a combination of them all.
The primary role of a content creator is to create meaningful narratives and messages through media. There is often no acceptable replacement for this role on a marketing or editorial team. What separates them is their expertise, experience, and reputation in creating branded content.
On paper, content creators and influencers may appear to be interchangeable terms, but there are important distinctions between the two. While many content creators inevitably become influencers, the titles have diverse meanings. The central function of an influencer's platform is to attract businesses and serve as their marketing agent. On the other hand, the goal of a content creator is to make and share interesting content that adds value to their audience without necessarily focusing on the financial aspect.
That said, these titles often intersect since influencers also try to pinch-hit for content makers. Conversely, the content creators also accept brand partnerships to encourage their audience to buy certain products or services. Since they often have an organic network with actual interactions, they can land brand deals more quickly than influencers. Given these factors, every company should embrace content creator collaborations in their marketing toolbox.
As startups introduce new products, businesses flourish, and consumers demand supplies, the need for quality content continues to grow. The desire to interact with current consumers and attract new ones propels demand for content to an all-time high. Content ties brands and consumers together. It's what convinces them to choose your brand, or at the very least, makes it memorable.
The Importance of Brand and Creator Collaborations
Today's content providers have progressed beyond the niche component of marketing. More than 50 million individuals identify as content creators, indicating that the creator economy is thriving. As consumers spend more time interacting with creators across many platforms, creative collaborations can help your brand reach targeted customer segments and establish a brand reputation.
What makes content creators so valuable is not just their competence in delivering compelling material that appeals to brand audiences but also their skill to convey and accentuate brand narratives. Creators can help brands shrink the funnel by pushing the point of inspiration closer to the point of purchase. Even the best ads can look like a distraction on social media feeds. However, creative content that also promotes a brand may appear more real and trustworthy.
The reason consumers place their trust in creator content is because it has an authentic and organic nature. Creators use their own personal narrative or vision to influence their work. A good example is a creator unboxing a product to share their initial thoughts on it and then sharing their review of the item after using it for a few days. A potential customer will be eager to make a purchase after seeing the content and reacting to the trusted recommendation. And in today's eCommerce environment, they can do so instantly by simply clicking a link.
Brands can reap numerous advantages from working with creators, but these collaborations aren't without their challenges. With so many platforms and creatives to tap into, companies need to work with those who can produce material that turns heads, serves its goals, and embodies its principles. With a well-thought-out strategy for creator marketing, brands can use these collaborations to deepen ties with customers and drive more business via social commerce.
How to Find the Right Content Creator for Your Brand
The creator economy is valued at more than $100 billion. It’s redefining how brands launch campaigns and promote their products. However, enlisting someone who has a large following is not enough to make a campaign successful. Choosing the right one is just as crucial as the content itself.
When you hire a content creator, you are investing in more than just their expertise and experience. You are, in a sense, paying for access to their audience. As such, you must be specific about your goals and what you hope to achieve. With these guidelines, the creator will be able to make content that fits both of your goals.
Decide on the type of content you need for the campaign.
The first step in finding the right creatives to collaborate with is to outline your needs. Provide a brief summary of the tasks involved. While many freelance creators can handle a range of work, it's in your best interest to find experts in the areas where you need help.
Set a budget.
Think about how much you're willing to spend on the material you need. The fee will depend on a number of things, such as the size of the project, the type of content that is needed, the level of expertise of the creative, and the content itself.
When planning your budget, remember that certain types of content require more time to produce than others. Prepare to spend more than usual if your project has an imminent deadline and you want it completed on time.
Check within your community.
Finding the ideal creatives can be as simple as exploring your own backyard. Look within your community to see which creators are already talking about your brand. This makes it easy to approach them about a possible collaboration. Your community consists of your followers, existing customers, leads, and partners. They're your best brand advocates, and they've probably created content for you before.
Reach out to them and seek permission to share their contributions. Most of the time, they won't mind doing it for free or in exchange for a product. You can further inspire brand loyalty if they are given incentives and asked to take part in future product launches and campaigns.
Make use of content creator platforms.
There are several content creation platforms offering content services and tools. Using a platform streamlines your selection process by matching your brand with suitable creators. Simply provide your creative brief and preferences, and the platform will take care of the rest. There is a fee for this method, but it can be an excellent choice depending on your budget and how much time you can put into reaching out to creators.
Check the creator's KPIs.
Evaluating the creator's metrics is vital in determining if they will help you achieve your goals. When you find a creative whose work you like, do your research before approaching them. Check their profiles and look for bots and spam. For the best results, go through their prior posts, do a full Google search, and confer with any connections you have in the influencer marketing industry.
Keep an eye on your competition.
Just because you conduct some research on the competition doesn't mean you have to copy their advertising strategies. By keeping up with them, you could get a good sense of what is and isn't working. Keep an eye out for the creatives and influencers that have tagged or partnered with them. There is a good possibility they will enjoy your product as well. Competitor analysis will also shed light on any creators who may have a conflict of interest.
Top Tip to Choose the Best Fit
Hiring the right content creator requires a lot of moving parts. Maybe you would like them to be physically near your retail shop, or perhaps you want them to have a huge social media network. And although all of these are important, you need to step it up. The creators you work with must also share the values and principles of your brand. The only way to find out is to vet them.
Check out their old partnerships. The creator's personality, interests, and worldview may all be gleaned from the brands and partners they choose to work with. While their interests vary over time, you may use this information as the basis for deciding how to tackle your own partnership with them.
You can get a sense of the creator's prior work by checking out their online profile or portfolio. However, their work is not always indicative of who they are as individuals. One way to get to know the creative on a more personal level is to set up a video chat to introduce yourself and go through the creative brief. You’d learn more about their abilities and work ethic this way as well.
If the creators you wish to collaborate with have an engaged fan base, you can learn more about them. Check the comments on the creator's posts to see how they engage with their community. Analyze how they interact with their peers. It's hard to fake good energy, and that is the vibe you want to bring into a partnership with creatives.
How to Develop an Effective Content Strategy
The content production may begin after you've found, vetted, and hired the campaign's content creators. A skilled creator will almost certainly have their own set of creator tools. The most effective pieces of content should be:
Quality information should be easy to understand and share. Humans are virtual creatures, yet they have a short attention span. As a result, your content should be entertaining, straightforward, and easy to recall. They should also be easy to repost or share, particularly on mobile devices.
Content marketing that works results in a closed deal. In most cases, that's the end goal. If your content is monotonous and uninteresting, you will never be able to convert your leads into paying customers. Creators can boost engagement by using streaming formats, humorous content, and promotional freebies.
When brands micromanage what the creators make, the end result is usually cringeworthy or unauthentic. Once you and your creators have agreed on a common goal, give them the autonomy to create content that embodies their personalities and resonates with their audience.
It's no secret that creators are gaining a foothold in the marketing industry. These creatives assist brands in reaching out to new audiences outside of traditional channels. But what most companies fail to realize is how much impact content creators have. Working with the right creators results in not just strong revenue and better-qualified leads but also an incredible boost in brand recognition that conventional advertising can't match.
When working with different types of content creators, it's important to keep your content marketing approach adaptable and dynamic. Circumstances evolve, and that includes your marketing goals; therefore, it's important to always reevaluate your approach to see if it needs to be adjusted. The remarkable thing about hiring content creators is that you have a large pool to choose from, and they're constantly evolving. At the end, it's up to you to find and hire the creators that fit well with your brand.