Exploring Creator Partnerships: How Brands are Adapting in 2024

From my conversations with brands so far this year, I’m hearing their biggest focus is how to create genuine connections with people. Communicating authentically and finding ways to brighten people’s days are really important to their social media strategy.

Part of this is creating amazing communities (something Ashley Cooksley talked about in her post on ‘cultivating your communities’, and Kelja Stevenson also talks about in her post on how brands can support and work with Brown and Black creators), and part of it is creating effective organic social content, as Linn Frost talks about in her post.

There’s another element, too – how brands engage and work with the creator generation.

This year isn’t easy for anyone. People are looking for escapism – whether you’re lucky enough to go on holiday or seeking escape through sport, entertainment or gaming – and brands are in a perfect position to provide people with the uplifting content they need.

Creating relatable content

Aspirational content can work well because we like to dream about what life could be like, but as the cost of living hits, people are looking for more relatable content.

That content can still be inspiring, but if you focus on things that are achievable and relatable, you’ll create longer-term and deeper connections with people. We all like to see people we relate to, experiences we could share, or things we can imagine ourselves trying. It shows you’re in touch with your communities and their needs and wants.

For some brands, that means moving away from working exclusively with high-profile celebrities and working with smaller social media content creators instead.

Stay connected to your community

Smaller creators might not have the reach of a Kardashian, but they’re likely to be much more engaged with their audiences. They know them better and can engage with them based on shared experiences. They have the experience in building loyal fan communities, and we often see them setting trends (and helping products sell out fast).

One thing I’ve been interested to see is how effective creators are at instinctively knowing how to create a genuine sense of joy and connection. The brands that work with them have an amazing advantage as they’re always tapped into their audiences – this is really useful in understanding what younger consumers want in particular.

I’m sure there will always be a role for celebrity campaigns, but as people become more focused on their budgets and spending, brands working with smaller, more niche creators who are connected with their communities will benefit from really understanding what kind of content people want from them.


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