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Influencer Campaigns Brand Strategy Creator Economy

The creator economy ‘shows no signs of slowing down’ in 2023

By Robin Ward, Head of Sales

January 27, 2023 | 6 min read

2023 will be the year of performance-based marketing, and creators will be an integral piece of the puzzle, according to Robin Ward, head of sales at LTK, an influencer marketing platform.

microphone, smart phone, camera and a smartphone on the YouTube app

Creators will become even more important to marketers in 2023, says Ward / Credit: Adobe Stock

2023 will be the year of performance-based marketing. It’s no secret that companies worldwide are re-evaluating marketing budgets and looking to invest in campaigns and programs that can help meet critical business objectives, like sales.

As brands look to optimize their budgets, more marketers are enlisting creators to help across their entire organization. Creators are multifaceted, efficient and effective power partners for brands, and over the past year, brands have come to learn and benefit from the essential value they offer. Creators have been on the front line of helping brands convert sales and reach objectives, in addition to boosting awareness and loyalty.

That’s why, in 2023, the creator marketing industry shows no signs of slowing down. Let’s take a look at what marketers should consider as they leverage creators.

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1. Creators at the core of marketing

Creators are vital to brand and performance marketing. For many, success this year will be based on the sales their marketing strategy is responsible for driving. At LTK, we’ve found that there is a seven- to 10-times higher return on ad spend with creators. In addition, creator-based campaigns are only expected to rise in 2023, with influencer marketing spending projected to exceed $6bn this year, a significant jump in comparison to $4.99bn in 2022.

This year will see marketers re-evaluate their influencer strategies to use creators across multiple channels to maximize investment. Marketers are giving creator content a longer shelf life – leveraging their content for multiple formats and platforms such as in print and digital advertising, in-store signage and owned social content.

Moreover, brands will utilize creator data in a variety of ways outside traditional marketing channels, including using the information to make product design alterations, inventory decisions, and measure long-term consumer brand sentiment.

2. Video evolution for shopping

As TikTok and Instagram remain the leading social platforms for shopping inspiration among Gen Z and millennials, short video content is not going anywhere.

2021 and 2022 were the years of short-form video experimentation, seeing many brands dipping their toes into video on social media. LTK found across its creator posts that shoppable videos had the strongest sales figures year over year, driving triple the sales growth over still images in the UK.

With 66% of consumers preferring video content over still images on social media, and 73% of Gen Z watching creator videos, creators and brands will lean into this trend and offer more bite-sized educational product demonstrations and reviews.

3. Creator value for shoppers and smart spending

With creators helping to close the gap between brands and customers, creator-guided shopping will influence consumers through all aspects of their discovery journey – online and in-store. LTK has found that Gen Z and millennials are turning to influencers for shopping guidance across every category, and rank influencer content as the most essential when making shopping decisions. With 76% of Gen Z shopping from creators, Gen Z has ranked creators as the most trusted to help with purchase decisions, beating social media ads and celebrities.

Due to the current economic climate, shoppers value creator-driven tips and shopping guides on how to be most efficient and practical in their spending decisions. LTK’s recent Creator-Guided Shopping Trends Report found that Gen Z and millennials rank influencer content over brand and even user-generated content when making a purchase decision.

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Looking ahead

By narrowing the distance from shopping inspiration to purchase, creator-guided shopping can help expand the role of the creators and position them as experts consumers can trust. As brands map out their marketing plans for the year, creators should stay as the base of their marketing strategy, for social media and far beyond.

Robin Ward serves as head of sales at LTK, a leading influencer marketing platform. For more, sign up for The Drum’s daily US newsletter here.

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