The creator economy is seeing a huge boom, and many marketers are looking for ways to use it in their campaigns. The most common way marketers leverage this new economy is by collaborating with creators to expand audience reach.
As Stefan Wendt, Founder & Managing Director at CIXON GmbH, puts it, "I highly recommend collaboration with content creators from your niche to every mid-sized company as part of your social media strategy for 2023. It is currently one of the top trust-building opportunities since it combines direct access to your target audience, valuable content delivery, and high content-consumption rates."
But what should marketers look for when hiring creators?
In this article, the experts at HubSpot will explain what to look for when working with creators. The following information is perfect for marketers looking to collaborate with creators and creators trying to attract partnerships with brands.
5 Things to Look for When Hiring Creators
Here are five things businesses and brands look for when hiring content creators.
1. A Results-Driven Approach
"As a results-driven person, the first thing I care about is producing results, especially when working with creators," said Brandon Huang, Partnerships Lead for the Creators Program. "I take a close look at all the quantitative metrics that I can regarding a creator: their reach, their engagement, how consistent they are with posting, and how consistent the results are on the content they create."
Creators should regularly track their metrics to have concrete numbers to show potential brands and quantify their success. Some metrics creators should follow are:
Business owners should also be mindful of these metrics when scoping out creators to work with to get an accurate impression of whether the creator can help the brand achieve its goals.
"For example, with YouTube, you want to see consistency in views per video because it makes it easier to model out from a business perspective, and I, as a partner, have a better understanding of the results I’ll get from working with this creator over a longer span of time," Huang said.
2. Great Work Ethic
"Work ethic is also important to me," Huang told me. "Can I see the effort they are putting into creating content and marketing their content to reach new audiences?"
Huang said a creator's work ethic could also be assessed by how they bring on the right resources or personnel to support their operations.
As he puts it, "The best creators understand how to delegate and create infrastructure around them, so they don't have to do the marketing part if they don’t want to and truly focus solely on creating content."
To ensure you're hiring a strong content creator, you'll want to ask creators about their processes. How do they juggle all the responsibilities of being a content creator? It's critical that the content creators' you speak with have a thoughtful response to that question.
HubSpot's Head of Creators Partnerships, Alanah Joseph, says audience alignment is essential when collaborating with any creator.
"When we reach out to a creator, we have a pretty good idea of the content they cover," she said. "However, we’ll request additional data on their audience to better gauge how well our advertisement will resonate within the creator’s content."
Joseph said creators could prove a collaboration will be effective by surveying their own audience or knowing their audience exceptionally well. Tip for creators: You can know your audience better by creating detailed buyer personas. You can also monitor audience feedback, comments, and engagement.
However, audience alignment isn't the only factor to consider when hiring a creator..
"Culture and personality fit are also important factors to consider," Huang said. "Since we are focused on building relationships, it’s not just about results … but also how easy it is to work with a creator."
It's essential to ensure the personalities, values, and ethics of both the brand and the creator align for a smooth collaboration because the goal is for that initial collaboration to become a beneficial long-term partnership for both parties.
"As a team player, I need to make sure that I’m bringing on creators that my colleagues will enjoy working with for 1-2+ years," Huang said. "Even simple things like being responsive through communication, taking feedback well, and really reciprocating that they care about my goals just as much as their own goals — which I’m trying to help with — goes a long way. This is truly meant to be a partnership and not a singular transaction."
Businesses should partner with content creators who approach the opportunity with a positive, cooperative, team-oriented attitude, and content creators should embody that attitude when working with brands.
"Good partners are good people," Joseph said. "We genuinely enjoy working with and supporting creators. When a creator is friendly, willing to collaborate, and professional, we will find more opportunities to work with the creator or offer a long-term partnership."
4. Unique Style
Content creators should bring their personal touch to any project because brands want a campaign to stand out and capture the audience's attention.
"Editorial style and editing style are both important," Huang said. "Do they align with HubSpot? There’s more flexibility here, but certainly, unique editing captures my attention, and incorporating humor is a really fun way to make educational/business content more exciting."
Finally, authenticity is a critical component you'll want to consider when hiring a creator.
As Joseph told me, "Authenticity is key. Authenticity builds trust, so when a creator brings their full selves to their content, their audience trusts them. This is important for a brand looking to run advertisements within the creator’s content. If the audience trusts the creator, they will be more likely to trust the creator’s recommendations."
Whether you're a brand looking for a creator or you're a creator looking to partner with a business, hopefully these tips will help set you up for a successful business partnership in 2023 and beyond.