Brands Are Investing More Social Budget On Creator Partnerships

A new study from Sprout Social found that 74% of marketers plan on investing at least a quarter of their social media budgets on content creator partnerships in the next three to six months.

But before we get into why and how marketers are prioritizing this particular strategy, here’s some (very brief) background:

The creator economy is an estimated at a $100 billion industry, in which over 50 million people across the globe consider themselves creators, many of whom are considered amateurs, per Influencer Marketing Hub.

According to Forbes, there are about 2 million professional content creators, nearly half of whom earn their money on YouTube. Instagram takes second with 500,000 pro-creators, then Twitch with 300,000. But for the 48 million or so amateur creators, Instagram is top dog.

All the major social media platforms have been investing in tools and features meant to attract creators and connect creators to their subscribers and followers.

It all began with YouTube’s Partner Program in 2007, which invited creators to place ads in their videos and take home 45% of the resulting ad revenue.

Now, other social platforms are playing catch-up, with Meta announcing a similar deal for creators this past May centered around the Instagram Reels feature (which is also shareable to Facebook).

TikTok launched its Creator Fund in 2020, and then recently followed Meta, launching a new contextual ad feature called  TikTok Pulse that invites advertisers to insert brands into the platform's top 4% of videos (if a creator has at least 100,000 followers).

Although marketers seem to be committing more time, money, and energy to the creator economy, Sprout Social’s respondents also identified some existing challenges, like budget (45%), lack of internal resources (36%), and the inability to find creators that align with their values (34%).

Marketers who actively prioritize working with creators said their two main goals for doing so include generating more audience engagement (62%) and reaching new audiences (60%), even ahead of driving revenue (42%).

With hopes of utilizing the authenticity factor provided by the right creator partnership, more than half (53%) of marketers are aiming to strengthen their social community, and 41% are seeking to promote their brand values by leaning on creators.

Sprout Social’s study also found that out of the 500 marketers questioned, 58% expected to use Instagram, then Facebook (51%), and then TikTok (50%) for creator collabs within the next three to six months.

Surprisingly, while over half of consumers are planning to spend more time on YouTube, only 27% of marketers are putting money into creator collaborations on the platform.


“Working with creators will only become more important for brands as social media platforms, consumer expectations and marketing strategies continue to evolve and mature,” said Jamie Gilpin, CMO, Sprout Social. “But just as important as working with creators is understanding the role creators play in reinforcing brand values, strategy and identity in relatable ways. With community engagement as a top priority for brands, marketers who strike the right balance of authenticity and audience relevance within their creator partnerships will be the ones who stand out.”

1 comment about "Brands Are Investing More Social Budget On Creator Partnerships".
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