Impact Studio Drop #09: Value Exchange

Harriet Brassett
Harriet Brassett
June 6, 2024
Welcome to Impact Studio Drop #09, your deep dive into the new, interesting and occasionally unexpected ways to do cool stuff with creators.

Welcome to Impact Studio Drop #09, your deep dive into the new, interesting and occasionally unexpected ways to do cool stuff with creators.

In this week's Drop, we explore the changing nature of gifting and what it means for value exchange campaigns between brands and creators.

It wasn’t long ago that gifted product-fuelled style hauls dominated YouTube and travel campaigns were as simple as free flights and accommodation - but in today’s creator landscape, both brands and creators are demanding more of each other, leading to fascinating opportunities for more mutually beneficial relationships. 

Collaborative Currency: The Evolution of Value Exchange between Creators and Brands

Value Exchange - A mutually beneficial relationship where both brand and creator gain from the collaboration. These exchanges can involve monetary value but also can be experiential and opportunity-based exchanges.

As the creator economy grows, the way value exchange between brands and creators continues to develop. What once was a handful of PR parcels, quickly became paid for all-inclusive holidays. But what else do creators want and how can brands continue to maximise the ROI from the creator relationships they’re building and maintaining? 

Although gifting was once a cornerstone of brand engagement, there are now questions regarding its ROI in an era where creator content is now being measured alongside other marketing channels. The most successful brands in this space know that they need to demand more from their social content activations than simple product exposure. 

As brands become more demanding around how their product appears in content and the messaging that surrounds it, we’re seeing contracts and specific content requirements included in gifting campaigns. To match this increasing ask, creators in turn are starting to demand more value back from brands. A simple product or gifted experience is no longer always enough to make this worthwhile for them.

So back to where it all began - gifting. 

Charlotte Tilbury sent out PR packages to creators within the beauty industry with missing lipsticks as part of their #HollywoodHeist campaign. Whilst this campaign was made to look like an accident in the beginning, the brand was actually baiting creators into posting content around the missing product, so that they could launch their lipstick shade finder app in response.  

Not only did this campaign generate awareness of the new tool but creators’ audiences became invested in the ‘mishap’; driving discussions within creators' communities and making their audience want to come back to watch the reveals. This ended up as a hugely successful gifting campaign, due to the thought that had gone into making it a part of an engaging campaign and one that audiences could get invested in. 

Mixing paid and gifted opportunities

Another tactic being used more frequently by brands involves mixing up gifted campaigns with paid opportunities for the most brand-loyal and high-performing creators. 

These often take the form of ambassador programmes, where creators become brand advocates over a longer period of time. To be chosen for paid campaigns and invites to events throughout the year, creators are asked to show their support for the brand with organic content posts. Brands look at the performance of each creator and offer those with high-performing content bigger, paid-for opportunities. By doing this creators are helping brands to be heard by more people with the chance of receiving more work off the back of it.

But what about brands that are able to offer creators far more than this? 

From traditional gifting to initiatives like Creator Labs, brands are continually seeking ways to foster relationships with creators while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

A solution can be to stick to gifting campaigns, but do so in a way that provides creators with something engaging they can build content around. It might simply be a PR package with missing lipstick, but what it does is give creators a jumping-off point for content that is interactive enough for their audiences to care about. 

Another solution is to combine paid and organic opportunities. For the brand, a more authentic partnership is formed as our creators demonstrate a genuine love for the products. For the creators, they receive a constant stream of opportunities to grow with the brand they’re partnering with. 

Lastly, Creator Labs empower creators with skills and experiences that benefit both parties. Creator Labs serve as a dual-purpose platform - not only do they equip creators with valuable skills, but brands can also leverage the influence of creators to amplify brand messaging to new audiences. 

Fundamentally, the evolving dynamic between brands and creators underscores the importance of cooperative relationships. Whether through gifting, educational initiatives, or ambassador programs, the key lies in mutual value creation.

more resources

Impact Studio Drop #10: Genny LecImpact Studio Drop #10: Genny Lec
Drops

Impact Studio Drop #10: Genny Lec

Welcome to Impact Studio Drop #10, your deep dive into the new, interesting and occasionally unexpected ways to do cool stuff with creators.
Ella Munn
Ella Munn
July 10, 2024
New Study Reveals Emotional Impact of Creator Content on Consumer ActionNew Study Reveals Emotional Impact of Creator Content on Consumer Action
Resources for Brands

New Study Reveals Emotional Impact of Creator Content on Consumer Action

A new study exploring the emotional impact of creator content has revealed the profound influence that creators have on consumer actions including brand consideration, purchase intent, and recommendation.
Hester Bates
Hester Bates
June 26, 2024

ready to make waves?

Impact Studio Drop #09: Value Exchange

Download your report here

Thanks for downloading the report. You'll receive the report via email shortly.