With two million professional content creators, the creator economy is currently a global industry worth approximately $250 billion. And this is just the beginning.
With the widespread proliferation of creative tools, apps and social media platforms, everyone -- from big name celebrities to micro-influencers -- now has the potential to unleash their creativity, foster connections with communities and turn passions into viable businesses.
So, how can brands thrive in this new creative landscape?
As part of The Female Quotient's Equality Lounge at Cannes Lions, I recently moderated a panel discussion on this very topic. I was joined by some of the best and brightest minds in marketing including Stacy Martinet, Vice President, Marketing and Chief Communications Officer, Adobe; Ciara Dilley, Vice President, Global Marketing, PepsiCo; Kelly Conkright, Founder, The Brand Terminal, and Pauline Malcolm-Thornton, Chief Revenue Officer, ESSENCE Ventures.
Here are some of my key takeaways from the conversation.
Authenticity is Key
The magic of creator marketing lies in relevance and authenticity. The best partnerships are with creators who align with your brand, audience and objective.
"Ultimately, as marketers, in order to connect with that next generation of consumers, it's going to be more important than ever to utilize creators and tap into their authenticity," Malcolm-Thornton said. "It's really important for brands to find influencers/creators who are like-minded and share a similar mission."
Conkright added, "At the end of the day, know your brand vision, know your brand values, know your voice and know your lifestyle. If you get brand right, everything else follows."
Martinet described AI and its impact on marketers and creators alike as a quote: "Tailwind." She said, "It is bringing the content and data closer together in a way that we never had."
Not only does AI have the potential to help you select the best creators for your brand, but it can also craft better briefs, track performance metrics, predict content relevancy and more.
The key is to not shy away from these new technologies and tools, but to lean into them and leverage them to your advantage.
As the creator economy flourishes, brands are being challenged to adapt to this new reality, or risk getting left behind. But ultimately, the onus isn't entirely on us as marketers. As Ciara Dilley said, "I think the creator economy is here to stay, but I think the evolution of it is going to rely on smart creators to work out how they best partner with brands to ensure success."
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The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.com/MyersBizNet.