How Industry Challenges Are Shaping Creators’ Holiday Strategies
While the Creator Marketing industry is a rapidly changing ecosystem, it isn’t insulated from the economic and societal challenges that are affecting other industries, workers, consumers, and brands. Due to these challenges, Creators have needed to frequently pivot and adapt their holiday strategies this year.
Because of this, we surveyed our Creator community to ask them about how three industry challenges are impacting their holiday 2023 outlook and content strategies, and how they’re adjusting their plans accordingly.
1. Economic Uncertainty
Economic uncertainty and its potential effects on consumer spending remain top of mind for many Creators, who described it as their primary business concern. A significant 61% of Creators indicated that this uncertainty has a negative impact on their holiday campaigns, affecting their bottom line.
Similarly, this economic uncertainty is raising questions about potential partnership opportunities, with 54% of Creators expressing worry about brands limiting their marketing spending. However, Creators should take solace in the fact that brands are still planning on investing significantly in their holiday marketing, as 75% of Marketers surveyed plan to increase their holiday marketing budget compared to last year.
This economic uncertainty may be encouraging Creators to work more closely with their frequent brand partners, instead of branching out to accept new or riskier partnerships. In fact, 85% of Creators prioritize nurturing their existing brand relationships during the holiday season, while only 14% focus on securing new brand deals.
2. New Social Media Formats & Technology
The rapidly changing social media landscape is encouraging Creators to shift their content strategies and try new things. Some of these industry shake-ups are leading to positive adaptations, as Creator Kayla Fernandez says, “I’m really excited to use more short-form video content to truly showcase how excited I am about the products I love.”
But it’s not just the popularity of these formats that excites Creators. Fernandez believes short-form video can create more authentic content and partnerships. “The more that [short-form video] gets integrated into platforms, the easier I find it to support brands that I both have a relationship with as well as the ones that are new to me and my audience,” explains Fernandez.
Conversely, some Creators are turning back to owned and operated content in the face of these rapid social media shifts. “I’m actually digging deeper into blogging with all the unflattering press around social media,” says Creator Tina Adams. To some Creators, returning to tried-and-true content formats gives them a sense of freedom from these huge industry swings. Adams has adopted this approach, explaining, “I sense a growing nostalgia for quieter connections that blogging allows, without all the noise of unwanted ads and frustrating algorithms that monopolize social media feeds.”
New technology, like AI, is also gaining a foothold amongst Creators who are exploring using these new tools to aid their content creation. “I’m excited to incorporate AI tools into my strategy to produce more content faster and help reach a wider audience,” explains Creator Laura Danforth.
3. Diversity and Representation
The holiday season also presents an ideal opportunity for brands to target diverse audiences by working with diverse Creators. However, when it comes to casting, a considerable 29% of Creators still perceive ongoing discrimination in casting processes.
“It’s important for brands to showcase a variety of cultures and ethnicities during the holidays,” states Fernandez. Overlooking diverse Creators means brands are forgoing an opportunity to speak to a wider audience. “As someone who is part of a minority group that is often left out of representation, it’s a huge miss for brands. We have dollars too that we love to spend during the holidays…and Creators of color often speak directly to those audiences,” says Fernandez.
Regardless of brand’s casting practices, many Creators are tapping into their own personal stories to create content authentic to their own experiences. Creator Nicole Lewis suggests, “during the holiday season, Creators can connect with their audience on a deeper level by sharing personal stories, traditions, and values.”
As the Creator Marketing industry gears up for the holiday season, it’s clear that real-world concerns are shaping Creators’ strategies. But despite the constant change, Creators are finding innovative ways to connect with their audiences and adapt to the shifting landscape, ensuring that this holiday season is filled with authenticity, creativity, meaningful engagement and monetization opportunities for them and their brand partners.