With more than 300 million creators worldwide, the creator economy has grown exponentially over the last several years and shows no signs of slowing down. Creators — individuals who make and monetize social media content — matter to brands because they wield the power to make ideas, trends, songs, or products go mainstream overnight. They spark cultural movements and shape purchase decisions. A report by gen.video found that 53% of respondents ages 18–29 say that they’ve purchased a product after watching an influencer’s YouTube video.

Everyone Wants A Piece Of The Creator Market

Forrester’s Q1 2023 B2C Marketing CMO Pulse Survey finds that nearly three-quarters of B2C decision-makers will partner with creators and influencers in 2023. This growth in creator marketing upends traditional advertising paradigms. Brands — such as Gymshark and PrettyLittleThing — have started hiring creators as creative directors, a position once owned by the creative agency. Advertising agencies are scrambling to stand up influencer centers of excellence and acquire influencer agencies as a result. On the platform side, social media companies court creators — through revenue-sharing programs and subscriptions — to get “preferred platform” status from top creators.

#Ads Are Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

Creator marketing in 2023 is more than just an #ad promoted post on Instagram. Marketers need a multidimensional creator strategy to compete for attention in this creator-led world. Our just-published report — The State Of The Creator Economy — offers marketers insight into what they can do to embrace this creator-led world, such as:

  • Embedding brands in new communities. Creators operate within countless communities — from beauty to engineering. Develop partnerships within many communities relevant to your audience segments.
  • Fueling the brand’s content engine. Increasingly, brands hire creators to make branded content to be used across channels, not just promoted to the creator’s followers. Select creators based on their production chops and aesthetic to efficiently scale content development.
  • Driving direct, attributable sales. What’s old is new again, with a rise in affiliate creator marketing. Major retailers work with thousands of creators on large-scale affiliate programs that deliver on lower-funnel sales metrics. Work with an influencer marketing solution to manage and scale these programs.

Check out our full report to learn more about the complexities of the creator landscape. Forrester clients can schedule a guidance session to discuss how you can develop a creator marketing strategy. And join us at CX North America, where I’ll be sitting down with TikTok to discuss the creator landscape and how to win on TikTok.