fbpx

The next wave of creator marketing: Creators were brand marketers’ top investment this year, and 9 in 10 brands will increase that spend in 2024

by | Dec 21, 2023 | Public Relations

Led by high-impact influencers, the Creator Economy broke wide open in 2023 as brands’ top marketing investment, and as we enter the next wave of the estimated $21B creator marketing industry, brands and retailers are investing more than ever in creators because they are seeing the critical role they play in brand building across the entire marketing funnel, from awareness to consideration and conversion. 

New research from creator commerce platform LTK reveals the insights and biggest trends in creator marketing for 2024. The study, based on findings from a brand survey in partnership with Northwestern University’s Retail Analytics Council, reveals investment trends, business impact and strategies for creators from the top marketing decision makers at leading global brands.

The next wave of creator marketing: Creators were brand marketers’ top investment this year, and 9 in 10 brands will increase that spend in 2024

Creators are most trusted among consumers and marketers

Creators have built significant consumer trust with their shopping communities as 73 percent of Gen Z, 68 percent of Millennials and 57 percent of the general population look to creators to make purchase decisions. Brands agree and understand this trust between creators and their communities. The majority of surveyed brands say consumers trust creators the most compared to social media ads and celebrities.

Creator marketing budgets are growing the quickest

Creators are driving meaningful business impact like never before, which is leading to creator budgets growing the quickest compared to other digital channels: 80 percent of brands said they increased creator budgets in 2023, and 92 percent of brands stated influencer marketing will have higher budgets or an increased role in their marketing strategy in 2024. And 36 percent said they plan to spend at least half of their entire digital marketing budget on creators. When asked where their marketing dollars are shifting, creator marketing and connected TV shared the top position overall for investment growth, beating out channels like paid search and paid social.

The next wave of creator marketing: Creators were brand marketers’ top investment this year, and 9 in 10 brands will increase that spend in 2024

Creator strategies drive positive business impact

Brands and retailers are aligning themselves with creators, recognizing their unique ability to engage and influence consumers effectively. Creators have become a valuable asset for brands in driving immense business impact. According to the study, brands look to creators to support multiple strategies – increasing repeat purchases and basket, brand and product recognition, expanding consideration to new audiences, loyalty and retention. With consumer trust in creators being a driving factor, more than half of fashion brands and 45 percent of beauty brands said that creators improved their brand perception.

Brands have built multifaceted creator programs, averaging 3.8 different goals for creator programs. Brands report the top four most important goals for creators are generating content, driving loyalty, creating awareness and driving sales.

How to win with creators in 2024

Creator content is now more crucial than ever in the marketing mix with 98 percent of brands using it for channels outside social media, and creator investment is growing at a remarkable rate, outpacing other digital channels. Brands with winning creator strategies are investing in creators to maximize their impact across channels and focus their attention on full funnel impact by driving three key metrics—audience growth, awareness and sales.

“This study confirms that the creator economy is not just thriving—it’s leading the charge in modern marketing, with brands witnessing tangible growth and a more profound consumer connection when they entrust creators,” said Rodney Mason, vice president and head of marketing, brand platform at LTK, in a news release.

The next wave of creator marketing: Creators were brand marketers’ top investment this year, and 9 in 10 brands will increase that spend in 2024

“Social media is dramatically changing the way brands and retailers interact with consumers. This study confirms that creators are increasingly important in driving superior customer engagement and social commerce, compared to more traditional digital marketing methods,” said Frank Mulhern, professor and director of the Retail Analytics Council, Northwestern University, in the release.

Download the full study here

The reported data is from a brand survey conducted by LTK in collaboration with Northwestern University’s Retail Analytics Council in August 2023 among 164 marketing decision makers that have invested in creator marketing in the last 12 months. More than half of the global brands were $1B+ sized companies and included top retail, fashion, beauty and health, CPG, tech, entertainment, auto, travel and service industries.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

RECENT ARTICLES

7 ways digital assistants are changing the media outreach game

7 ways digital assistants are changing the media outreach game

In the landscape of public relations, digital assistants have emerged as game-changers. For media outreach professionals, understanding and leveraging these tools is no longer optional but essential. These sophisticated aids streamline processes, personalize pitches,...