To widen their reach and engage their target audiences, brands are turning to content creators. However, with so many different types of creators, it can be challenging to determine which one is best suited for your marketing campaigns. In this guide, we go through the various content creator umbrellas and break down how you can find the right match for every campaign.
There are various types of content creators, and each of them brings their own specific set of skills and areas of expertise to potential campaigns.
Actors (including voice actors) are the right choice when you need someone to perform scripted roles. This includes brand campaigns such as commercials, promotional videos, and explainer videos. If you’re uncertain how to hire voice actors and performers, use casting agencies such as Backstage that already have a vetted pool of talent.
Models are an excellent choice for campaigns that will showcase a product or service. Brands can find models by working with modeling agencies or online casting platforms. If you’re wondering how much it costs to hire a model, current estimates range anywhere from $25 to $200 per hour depending on the type of campaign. (Check out our guide to how much models make to learn more about talent fees.)
Influencers are social media users with a large (or especially loyal) following on their respective platforms. Because of the trust they’ve built by engaging with their communities, influencers are ideal for promoting a product and bringing awareness to a brand. Basically, if an influencer’s following sees them using something or promoting an idea, they will, naturally, follow suit.
Wondering how to hire an influencer? Start by searching for relevant hashtags on social media and checking whose posts are most popular among your target audience. You can also work with influencer marketing agencies or use platforms dedicated to hiring an influencer.
Ambassadors are individuals who partner professionally with a brand because they already have a deep understanding and passion for that brand. These content creators are useful for spreading the word and getting your product in front of the “right” audience.
Brand ambassadors and influencers are similar, but they differ in key ways. “Brand ambassadors are vetted a lot more,” said David Mitroff, CEO and founder of business development and marketing consulting firm Piedmont Avenue Consulting. Mitroff also notes that influencers will more often actively create content for the brand—from original photos to blog posts—while ambassadors act as more of an extension of the brand itself.
Brand advocates are individuals who are already passionate about a brand’s products or services and actively promote them to their friends, family, and social media followers. The difference between brand advocates and brand ambassadors is that advocates are not professional partners—their contributions come in the form of positive reviews, good word of mouth, and general communication in their everyday lives. Brands can identify advocates by monitoring social media for positive mentions of their brand. To encourage brand advocacy, engage with your most active followers or offer incentives such as referral discounts and rewards for sharing user-generated content.
Brands can also feature real people in their advertising campaigns, such as their own customers or employees. Using real people in ads can create a sense of authenticity and relatability in marketing content. This is a particularly effective strategy for brands focused on building community or promoting a specific cause. When using real people in marketing content, it’s important to obtain their permission and ensure they are comfortable with being featured in the campaign.
For Mike Vannelli, head video producer at Envy Creative, there are several factors to consider when choosing a content creator for a particular marketing campaign. “I consider factors such as the target audience, campaign objectives, platform, and budget. I also analyze the brand’s identity, values, and messaging to ensure that the chosen creator aligns with the brand and can effectively communicate the intended message,” Vannelli says.
Influence is the primary factor for R Public Relations founder Emily Reynolds Bergh. “Seek someone that [doesn’t have] the biggest following but has the biggest author influence,” she says. “You can tell based on their content—it will be consistent.”
Matthew Caiola, co-CEO at 5W Public Relations, advises that brands choose creators based on their audience and the platforms they are most active on. “You won’t want to partner with an Instagram content creator if your customers spend most of their time on TikTok,” he says.
For Andy Treys, seasoned tech entrepreneur and founder of Muscle Lab, niche and area of expertise are primary considerations when choosing a creator. “Ideally, you want to work with creators with a strong following in your target industry or market,” he says. “Additionally, consider the creator’s audience demographics. Do they align with your target audience? Finally, consider the creator’s overall aesthetic and style. You want to work with creators whose persona aligns with your brand values and messaging.”
Once you try working with a content creator, evaluate the impact of the campaign to see what did and didn’t work. Look at metrics such as engagement (likes, comments, shares), reach, impressions, click-through rates, conversions, and sales to evaluate campaign performance.
David Bates, CEO and content director at creative agency Bokeh, notes that views, impressions, and other metrics such as awareness are important, but you also need tangible growth in active users, downloads, and sales for a campaign to be considered successful. “Rather than looking at any one piece of content in a vacuum, look at how the aggregate work lends itself to positively impacting the business as compared to past performance,” he says.
Measuring the success of a campaign involves looking at both quantitative and qualitative factors. Aside from engagement and conversions, you also need to look into audience sentiment and brand perception. By choosing the right content creators and evaluating campaign performance effectively, you can achieve your marketing objectives and stay ahead of the competition in this fast-evolving landscape.