How Entertainment Brands Can Get the Most Out of Creators

Jeff Gray
Jeff Gray
Feb 5, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of the entertainment industry, profound digital innovation is underway, driven by the remarkable power of creators. 

Creators have become the driving force behind the unprecedented growth of the music and gaming sectors. A diverse range of talents, from influencers to artists, has established themselves as influential figures capable of shaping trends and influencing consumer behavior. 

So how can entertainment brands best leverage creators? We posed that question to a panel of entertainment marketing experts at CreatorIQ Connect 2023. Here’s what they said.

1. Invest in the Right Creator Talent

Companies are strategically investing in talent to redefine how audiences consume content across various media channels and events. The emphasis is not just on securing brand endorsements, but on fostering organic relationships with creators who authentically align with the brand's values. The traditional model of celebrity endorsements is evolving into a collaborative partnership in which brands and creators work together to craft narratives that resonate with their shared audience.

Jeff Rubenstein, Communications Director of New Platforms at Xbox, emphasizes the importance of authentic connections, stressing that viewers can quickly discern a creator's genuine interest in a product or brand. This authenticity, born out of a creator's passion and the trust built with their audience, transcends traditional marketing strategies.

2. Test, Learn, and Collaborate

Samantha Sichel, Head of Social Product & Digital Innovation at Live Nation, advocates a test-and-learn approach for creator-led campaigns. The dynamic nature of digital platforms demands an agile strategy in which creators can experiment with content that resonates with their followers. Brands that empower creators to act as partners, rather than mere endorsers, unlock a wealth of creative potential.

The key is to trust creators as their own media entities, allowing them the creative freedom to showcase products or events in ways that organically connect with their audience. This collaborative approach not only enhances the quality of content, but also provides brands with valuable insights into audience preferences and trends.

3. Stay Flexible

While the potential of creator-led marketing is vast, challenges abound. Brand safety is a paramount concern, especially when it comes to managing the diverse, sometimes unpredictable nature of creators. Maintaining vigilance and quick adaptability is crucial to ensuring that a creator's influence aligns positively with a brand's image. Striking the right balance between creative freedom and brand guidelines is a delicate task that requires open communication and mutual understanding.

Additionally, navigating the intricacies of content licensing and platform nuances presents a unique set of challenges. Collaborations need to align not only with the creator's brand, but also with the platform's guidelines, ensuring a seamless and compliant experience for the audience. Brands that master this balancing act can harness the full potential of creator-led marketing without compromising on brand integrity.

4. Move Beyond Vanity Metrics

Jon Gibs, the former Global Head of Measurement at Spotify, emphasizes the importance of moving beyond vanity metrics. While likes, shares, and views provide a snapshot of engagement, the real impact lies in the authenticity of the connection forged between the creator and the audience. Authenticity remains a key driver of success, with data indicating that creator-generated content outperforms traditional ad copies.

Related: From Good to Great: How Media Brands Unlock Next-Level Results With Creator-Led Marketing

Data-backed evidence supports the notion that creator-led marketing yields higher return on ad spend (ROAS) compared to standard paid social campaigns. As a result, brands need to adopt more nuanced metrics that reflect the depth of audience engagement, such as sentiment analysis, conversion rates, and long-term brand loyalty.

The Future of Entertainment Marketing

The era of creator-led marketing signals not just a shift in strategy, but a transformation in how we perceive, consume, and engage with entertainment content. The entertainment industry stands at the forefront of this transformative journey, in which creators are not just influencers but architects of cultural conversations.

Embracing the power of creator-led marketing requires a strategic shift from traditional models, and a greater focus on collaboration, authenticity, and meaningful engagement. As brands navigate this evolving landscape, the ability to harness the creative energy of digital creators will be the key to unlocking new dimensions of success in the ever-expanding digital ecosystem.

Watch the Connect 2023 Sessions