The creator and influencer marketing landscape is constantly evolving, with new platforms, trends, and opportunities emerging every day. Brands that want to stay ahead of the curve and connect with Gen Z audiences need to be aware of the latest developments and best practices in this space. Here are some of the key insights and tips from Ad Age’s recent report on creator and influencer trends brand marketers need to know about right now.
The Rise of Digital Campfires
Digital campfires are online destinations where audiences gather to private message, join micro-communities, or participate in shared experiences. These platforms offer more intimacy, authenticity, and engagement than traditional social media, and are preferred by Gen Z users who value personalization, privacy, and creativity. Some examples of digital campfires are Discord, Clubhouse, Twitch, Roblox, and Fortnite.
Brands that want to reach Gen Z audiences on digital campfires need to understand the culture and norms of each platform, and tailor their content and strategy accordingly. For instance, brands can sponsor or co-create events, games, podcasts, or live streams that align with the interests and values of the communities they want to engage with. They can also collaborate with creators and influencers who have established trust and influence on these platforms, and empower them to create authentic and relevant content for their fans.
The Growth of Creator Economy Platforms
Creator economy platforms are online platforms that enable creators and influencers to monetize their content, skills, and audience directly, without relying on intermediaries or advertisers. These platforms offer various tools and features that help creators and influencers grow their fan base, diversify their revenue streams, and own their creative output. Some examples of creator economy platforms are Patreon, Substack, OnlyFans, Cameo, and Shopify.
Brands that want to tap into the creator economy need to respect the autonomy and agency of creators and influencers, and offer them fair compensation and creative freedom. Brands can also leverage the data and insights from these platforms to identify potential partners, understand their audience preferences and behaviors, and optimize their campaigns. Additionally, brands can create their own creator economy platforms or features that cater to the needs and aspirations of their target creators and influencers.
The Shift to Short-Form Video Content
Short-form video content is video content that is typically less than 60 seconds long, and is designed to capture attention, entertain, educate, or inspire viewers. Short-form video content is popular among Gen Z users who have short attention spans, high expectations, and diverse interests. Some examples of short-form video platforms are TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, Snapchat Spotlight, and Triller.
Brands that want to succeed with short-form video content need to be creative, agile, and adaptable. Brands can use short-form video content to showcase their products or services in fun and engaging ways, tell stories that resonate with their audience, or join viral challenges or trends. Brands can also partner with creators and influencers who have expertise and influence in short-form video content creation, and let them showcase their personality and style.
The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are essential for brands that want to build trust, loyalty, and advocacy among Gen Z audiences. Gen Z users are more diverse, socially conscious, and vocal than previous generations, and they expect brands to reflect their values and identities in their marketing efforts. Brands that fail to do so risk losing relevance, credibility, or reputation among this influential segment.
Brands that want to embrace diversity and inclusion need to go beyond tokenism or performative actions. Brands need to ensure that their marketing campaigns are representative of the diversity of their audience in terms of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, age, culture, religion, etc. Brands also need to involve creators and influencers from diverse backgrounds in their marketing strategy, and support them with respect and resources.