Four ways to f*ck up creator marketing

This also applies for working with influencers

Working with creators can help you to engage with existing audiences, reach new audiences and build a community. And, in the fourth place, brands work with creators because it can drive revenue.

Getting the most out of the collaboration with creators or influencers isn't easy. According to WARC, these are four big mistakes made. See the last paragraph for the sources. 

  1. Audience fit
  2. No repurposing creator content to other touchpoints
  3. Long-term collaboration
  4. Benefits for the creators' audience


Why it matters

Quite important, getting the most out of the collaboration not only benefits the brand and the creator, it also locks in next year's budget for the marketer. 

Learn from the mistakes others made and prevent you from stepping into these pitfalls. 


Fleur Willemijn van Beinum

It's good to check all six ways how creators can help a brand achieve its objectives. And maybe, even more important, how to measure it and which KPIs to use. 

Fleur Willemijn van Beinum

First, what is a creator?

Creators make original content and focus on their expertise, while influencers have a large following and use their popularity to promote things. Sometimes, people can be both creators and influencers, combining their content creation skills with brand partnerships.

In short, a creator builds his, hers, or its fame on social by producing amazing content; there are no restrictions to the social channel they use. An influencer builds a name through fame. Nigella Lawson is an influencer as she's famous all over for her indulging recipes; Alejandro is a creator due to his superb engaging, amazing content. 

N=1, I see more value in working with creators over influencers. Just plug & play promoting your stuff by influencers is a thing of the past. It's about connection and making an effort as a brand to show that you care about your audience. And that's where the creators are taking the extra step. 

Read more about the characteristics of creators and influencers. 

influencer - creator


1. Audience fit

The first mistake is a misfit on the audience level. Tapping into the right audience is quite essential; no need to explain that, do I?

Look beyond the vanity metrics such as followers. Go for the values and audience fit. Bigger and more is not always better. Sometimes selecting a niche creator has more engagement and impact. Nice side effect; mostly, they're not as expensive as the macro creators, so you can work with more creators simultaneously. 

Good to know that the number one reason creators don't want to work with a brand is that the brand's values don't align with theirs.


2. Repurpose creator content to other touchpoints

Why stick to social-only for the amazing and often professional content the creators create? This repurposing pops up in the WARC content over and over again. It's a thing because usually, the creator's content sticks to the social department. However, their content is super useful for other digital touchpoints. 

Use the content assets on your .com or in your newsletter. Repurpose the creator's content across the entire customer journey. 

Just make sure you align this with the creator. For copyright and intellectual property of the content and they can create multiple formats and sizes for the different touchpoints. The vertical for an Instagram story isn't always optimal to use in a newsletter. 


3. Long-term collaboration

It takes time, just like sales. Working with a creator is a long-term commitment, not a one-off. I repeat, it's not a one-off. Getting the most out of the collaboration really is in the long-term. not the once-in-a-time campaign. 

Next to getting started and optimizing, which takes time, the creator's community must also get used to the collaboration. The secret is in the consistency and repetitions. A waste of your money if you stick to just one campaign. 


4. Benefits for the creator's audience

The collaboration is not about the brand or the creator; it's about the creator's audience. 

Creators work with brands for more reasons than just the payment.  Creators care about how that collaboration benefits their audience or community. After all, the creator has reach by being relevant to their followers. Hence everything the creator does has to add value to them. That's the ‘what’s in it for me' game creators understand excellently, and brand marketers can still learn from them. 


Final words

It's quite essential to know how creator marketing really works. What's in it for the brand, the marketer and creator, and their audiences? Only if you do your research and homework, give creative freedom to the creator, and have some mutual fun along the way it'll be a long-term success. 

Need help? I'm here to help you with this struggle. Just drop me a DM for a quick call. 


Read also

As all good things come in three, so this series about creator marketing. 

Next to the above, working with influencers can also become a distinctive brand asset. E.g., Clooney for Nespresso. 


Source and credits

All credits to WARC and their guide, ‘Working with Creators’. Check it out, as I can't reveal all insights of this amazing guide. Above is an excerpt of what I think matters and marketers should know. 

Special credits and shout out with a big thanks to David Shadpour, Founder and CEO of Social Native, and Nick Backlanov

WARC is my go-to source for insights, research, best practices, and cases. Yes, it's a paid subscription; for me, absolutely worth it. If you're a freebie, subscribe to their newsletter and podcast to get some content for free. 

More research for this article: