What Is Creator Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for 2024

Alexandra Kazakova

By Alexandra Kazakova
14 min READ | Jan 17 2024

Table of contents

Marketing is like a game of chess; you must strategize and plan to achieve your goals.

From that perspective, adding creator marketing to the marketing mix is like having Magnus Carlsen help you during chess.

And you’re on the best page to learn what creator marketing is and how to leverage it successfully.

This guide shows you:

  • 4 reasons to use creator marketing (with stats and Math)
  • 3 types of creators
  • The 8-step plan of a successful creator marketing strategy
  • Free marketing tools you can use to achieve your goals

We’ll also dissect examples, invent our own case studies, and offer free templates you can copy.

Let’s start.


  • Creator marketing is a strategy that partners brands with online content creators.
  • It's a long-term, complex strategy aiming to enhance visibility and engagement.

4 Reasons to Use Creator Marketing

  • Personalized content from creators builds trust and persuades more people to buy.
  • Creators understand the audience better, leading to unique insights and broader market appeal.
  • Stronger connection to your target audience, as creators can engage and drive cultural trends.
  • Lower cost per lead and better return on investment compared to traditional advertising.

3 Types of Creators in Creator Marketing

  • Influencers: Blend awareness-building and unique talent sharing.
  • Content Creators: Focus on digital marketing, an SEO checklist, and content creation.
  • Social Media Content Creators: Active on social media, provide educational, entertaining, or inspiring content.

How to Build a Successful Content Creator Strategy

  • Research competitors, audience, and trends to identify opportunities.
  • Set clear goals and KPIs.
  • Choose tactics, such as high-quality content, email lists, events, or exclusive content.
  • Select the right social media channels based on audience preferences.
  • Use a social media management tool to schedule your posts on all the channels.
  • Create a concise and informative creative brief.
  • Use a solid influencer database like inBeat to find, compare, and vet potential creators.
  • Conduct outreach, emphasize the campaign's value, and keep outreach concise.
  • Monitor the campaign, support creators, and adjust as needed for better results.
  • Consult with an experienced influencer marketing agency if you have any concerns.

What Is Creator Marketing?

Creator marketing is a marketing strategy that involves a partnership between brands and online content creators.

But before closing this tab to write to Beyonce, keep in mind that:

  • Creator marketing strategies are long-term and complex.
  • Leveraging creators is just a part of your marketing efforts to achieve your business goals.
  • Typically, creator marketing campaigns aim to enhance visibility and engagement.

We’ll dive into more about the differences between using different types of creators in a minute.

For now, let’s summarize the benefits.

Reasons to Use Creator Marketing in Your Strategy

Everyone seems to have hopped on the creator marketing train.

According to Hubspot, 88% of companies have a specific budget for creator partnerships.

Let’s see the facts:

1. More Personalized Content

The famous Bob Burg once said, “People buy from people they know, like, and trust.”

And while your brand is not people, creators definitely are.

Find your content creators wisely; their authentic, user-generated content will persuade more people to buy.

But there’s one more reason why personalized content works better:

It has unique insights.

Your brand messaging may focus on specific pain points, solutions, or product features. But content creators understand more about your audience and products than you do.

So, they will be more persuasive, highlighting unique product uses.

And that means these creators will appeal to a broader market.

Here’s a neat example: EdrawMax AI is a diagramming app:

EdrawmaxAI tool

The brand partnered with an Instagram creator called the Ultimate Ivy League Guide™. This account shares study and productivity tips for students.

This content creator can highlight EdrawMax’s specific solutions for students who want to study more efficiently:

EdrawmaxAI instagram post

2. Stronger Connection to Your Target Audience

Content creators connect and engage with your target audience:

  • Creators are more persuasive: They understand your potential customers’ pain points and needs, so they intuit possible solutions better.
  • Creators talk about your products: These influencers engage with your target audience in discussions about your products. That means they can be more persuasive.
  • Creators drive culture: These people can create authentic, raw, and convincing content. Regular people look at creators for opinions and advice; as such, creators can mobilize entire communities around them and drive current culture.

For example, husbands Doug and Sanjay influence the discussion around gay adoption and surrogacy by presenting raw moments from their lives:

Gay adoption instagram post

3. Lower Cost per Lead

According to Popupsmart, the average cost per lead for each channel is as follows:

Cost per lead broken down by channel

Let’s see how much partnerships with influencers or creators would cost per lead.

  1. Use this free Instagram money calculator.
  2. Type in the creator’s name.
  3. Choose how many posts, stories, or reels you have in mind to adjust your budget.
  4. Calculate the cost per lead.

Let’s say you want to partner with solo travel creator Roxana (@roxadventures) to promote your online business.

Profile overview in Inbeat

In Roxana’s case, a 4.36% engagement rate means she can reach 5,275 people with one post.

Now let’s see what “lead” is defined as in marketing:

  • Any person who shows interest in your products and services: In this case, Roxana’s cost per lead is $0.2 to $0.28.
  • Any person interested enough to buy: Let’s say just 1% of the people who engaged with Roxana’s post are interested in buying your products. In this case, the cost per lead is $20-$28.

By comparison, the average cost per lead is:

  • Social media advertising: $58
  • Display advertising: $63

So a simple calculation shows that in this case, at least, creator marketing lead generation is 2 to 290 times cheaper than social media advertising.

4. Better Return on Investment

Let’s recap:

  • Creators help you reach a broader audience.
  • Creators can help your brand drive culture or, at the very least, stay ahead of cultural trends.
  • The cost per lead for creator marketing is at least 2x lower than traditional advertising.

All those factors translate into a better return on investment in the long run.

According to Neal Schaffer, using creators can bring you 11x the ROI of traditional marketing.

3 Types of Creators in Creator Marketing

Now that you know why creator marketing works, let’s see the different types of creators you can choose from.

1. Influencers

Some content creators are influencers, but the reverse of the medal isn’t always true.

  • Influencers who are also creators: Aim to build awareness, share their unique talents or perspective, and monetize that content
  • Influencers who aren’t creators: Promote certain lifestyles and partner with brands for sponsored content

Influencer marketing campaigns can be a great tool in your marketing arsenal.

Maryam Remias is a good example here. She is a:

  • Niche influencer standing up against ageism
  • A content creator who shares her unique makeup talents, building audiences along the way

In the post above, Maryam promotes two of her favorite brands with which she partnered in the long run.

These brands borrow from her credibility and can gain traction in a broader market.

2. Content Creators

The easiest way to recognize a content creator versus an influencer is to look at their channels and tactics.

Content creators:

  • Typically use their websites, blogs, and YouTube channels.
  • Favor digital marketing blogs, SEO, and content marketing, leveraging social media less than influencers.

Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman is a YouTube content creator:

Andrew Huberman Youtube channel

Andrew Huberman also has different social platforms but only uses these accounts to promote his YouTube content.

For example, he posts short, catchy TikTok cuts from his podcasts to enhance his online presence and reach a broader audience:

Andrew Huberman tiktok channel

Content creators like Andrew Huberman:

  • Are perceived as opinion leaders
  • Have devout followers that trust them in that specific niche

3. Social Media Content Creators

Social media creators are mainly active on social media channels.

However, they also create content that helps their audience. This content can be:

  • Educational
  • Entertaining
  • Inspiring
  • Motivational

Remember: By contrast, social media influencers create content that influences an audience.

For example, Jefferson Fisher is a personal injury lawyer who aims to “help you argue less so you can talk more.”

In the post below, this digital creator teaches people what to say when they cry in an argument:

Jefferson Fisher instagram post

This type of content turns Jefferson into an expert in the public and interpersonal communication niche.

Therefore, his followers would heed Jefferson’s advice if he promoted a product/service in this niche.

For example, if the post above also recommended a meditation-related YouTube channel for stress relief, Jefferson’s followers would likely subscribe to it.

How to Build a Successful Content Creator Strategy

The sections above taught you what creator marketing is, its benefits, and the types of creators you can work with.

Now, let’s build your content creator strategy from A to Z.

Let’s assume you’re representing Peanut App, an app promising to connect mothers who go through pregnancy and parenthood.

1. Do Your Research

The first step in formulating a successful content creator strategy is to thoroughly conduct market research on your:

  • Competitors
  • Audience
  • Company

You must understand:

  • Trends in your niche
  • Your audience’s pain points
  • Your competitors’ strategies
  • Previous collaborations and content strategies that worked for you

This planning will help you find opportunities that you can leverage to:

  • Emphasize your strengths
  • Mitigate your weaknesses

For example, you might have a low budget – a definite weakness. But having a strong voice on social media through its content creators can mitigate this weakness.

Besides, content creator marketing can help you address larger audiences your competitors can’t reach.

In Peanut’s case:

  • Parenting trends include gentle, conscious parenting and mental health.
  • The audience’s main pain point is lacking support systems.
  • Competitors like Mummy Social produce short-form content snippets like this:
Mummy Social instagram post

From all that, you can infer that creating a support system could be a better opportunity than simply talking about it.

2. Set Your Goals and KPIs

The next point in the strategy is to set your goals and KPIs.

This part is essential because it dictates the rest of your strategy: tactics, types of creators you choose, messaging, and channels.

Let’s say we want to increase the app downloads for Peanut by 20% within the next 6 months.

Pro tip: Notice that we’ve formulated the goals very precisely and timely.

The KPIs associated with increased app downloads include:

  • Number of app installs
  • Number of active app users vs. inactive ones
  • Number of uninstalls

3. Decide on Your Tactics

We’ve already decided on creator marketing.

That’s the  strategy.

Now we need more specific tactics (i.e., smaller-scale, actionable steps) to implement that strategy.

Possible tactics under the broader campaign include:

  • High-quality content: You may consider informative, entertaining, and engaging content, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, or social media posts. Podcasts, in particular, offer unique benefits, such as connecting with your audience through the power of spoken word, fostering a sense of intimacy, and building a loyal following through regular, authentic conversations with your listeners. The best part is that you don't need lots of special equipment to produce podcasts remotely. Also, if you're interested in video content, you can explore free video editing softwares available online to enhance your video production process. Additionally, it's important to prioritize security, such as enabling features like remote wipe iPhone to safeguard your devices and data
  • Building an email list: Content creators can use an email list builder to gather subscribers, keeping them informed about new content and updates, utilizing website popups to capture visitor emails efficiently.
  • Hosting events or webinars: Your content creators can host events or webinars to offer valuable information in a more direct, interactive, and meaningful way. For Hosting events or webinars it is important to share invitations for this they can use event invitation templates. Remember to share a virtual business card and make it easy for your attendees to have all your information in one place.
  • Providing exclusive content to their subscribers: This can include bonus materials, sneak peeks, or early access to new content.
  • Harnessing the expertise of a webflow design agency can profoundly elevate the quality of your exclusive content. The ingenuity and technical prowess these professionals bring to the table not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your projects but also ensure functional excellence that resonates with your audience.

Peanut App decided to use social media posts where content creators like Abbie Herbert share snippets of their lives:

Abbie Herbert Tiktok post

4. Pick Your Channels

Figure out where your audience spends most of their time.


  • Trends and statistics that explain tendencies in your industry
  • Your sales department’s data
  • Insight from social media
  • Interviews and questionnaires

Peanut chose TikTok and Instagram as its main channels.

That’s a good choice because of:

  • The audience’s age: Gen Z and Millennials are most likely to use these social media platforms. Peanut’s audience is also primarily in this age group. Therefore, their preferred social media platforms would be TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
  • The audience’s content consumption: New moms are likelier to prefer short-form content they can easily browse. They’re also in search of communities. Instagram and TikTok tick both boxes, whereas YouTube does not.

5. Create Your Brief

After deciding on all these issues, it’s essential to structure them in a creative brief.


  • An “About” section: Emphasize your unique selling point and product features.
  • Expected deliverables: Showcase how many deliverables you want and the type of creative assets you need, such as Instagram Stories, TikTok videos, audio content, etc.
  • Examples: Include three links to good-performing content assets you want your content creators to replicate.
  • Creative storyboard: Use large strokes to paint how your creative assets should look like. For example, what the intro/hook should be about, what features to focus on, and how the CTA should sound.
  • Dos and don’ts: Be specific about the best practices your content creators should follow.

Pro tips:

  • Fit all this information on one page.
  • Use bullet points to organize your creative brief better.
  • Be concise.
  • Don’t restrict your creators’ originality and inspiration too much.

Here’s a neat example based on one of inBeat Agency’s clients:

Example brief for Inbeat clients

6. Choose Your Creators

Use inBeat to find and compare different social media profiles.

  1. Filter by number of followers, location, engagement rate, and specific keywords.
  2. Compare profiles, looking at their specific engagement rates and interests.
  3. Use inBeat’s fake follower checker to ensure these creators didn’t buy bot accounts.
  4. Use inBeat's money calculator to check different pricing tiers.
  5. Click on all the profiles you want to shortlist.
  6. Export them as CSV to start your outreach process.

Here’s how that search looks for the Peanut app:

Example of a search in the Inbeat app

One of the content creators that Peanut partnered with is nano-influencer Dr. Thomishia Booker.

Let’s analyze her profile using this free engagement rate calculator:

Engagement rate calculator screenshot

As you can see, the average engagement rate is fairly good for the platform.

inBeat also boasts an up-to-date, precise fake follower checker. Let’s calculate Dr. Thomishia Booker’s audience score using this dedicated tool:

Fake follower checker screenshot

With no inactive followers and a comment/likes proportion far exceeding the average, this nano-influencer was a good choice for Peanut.

7. Outreach and Brief Your Creators

After you have your list of content creators, you can perform influencer outreach.

  • Emphasize why you think they’d be a good fit for your influencer program.
  • Highlight your expectations and possible payment.

Remember: Your outreach email should be 75-100 words for best results.

Be friendly but professional, and avoid sounding too cliché or salesy.

Here’s a good outreach message from Peanut:

Subject: Peanut app collaboration

Hey Thomishia,

I’m [Name], a [your job position] at Peanut. I love your content, but I especially related to how you turn everything into a song.

Your overall gentle and conscious parenting approach is amazing.

That’s why I think you’d be a great fit for our next campaign. We’re looking for content creators to help us increase app downloads.

Our app aims to help mothers find and support each other. After all, it does take a village.

We only need two Instagram posts from your side.

Let me know what you think by replying to this email.

Looking forward to your feedback!


After you’ve enrolled your content creators:

  • Have them sign contracts.
  • Give them the creative brief.
  • Ask them to keep in touch with any issues.

8. Conduct and Monitor the Campaign

After onboarding your creators, it’s time to start the campaign.

  • Support your content creators throughout the creative process: Make yourself available to them and implement a gamification system with precise rewards. If needed, launch mentoring programs to nurture their skills and help them reach their full potential.
  • Keep track of the creative assets: Ensure each content creator delivers the assets they were supposed to on time.
  • Monitor your campaign metrics: Use analytics tools or a simple spreadsheet to monitor your KPIs. Look for patterns or trends that may indicate what’s working well and what’s not.
  • Adjust the campaign: Based on the analysis, make any necessary adjustments or changes, like finding a new messaging angle or testing different channels.

Pro tip: You can also scale your campaign with creator ads. These have been proven to reduce fatigue and lower CPAs considerably.

Wrapping Up

This guide took you through the intricacies and benefits of creator marketing, from what it is to a detailed campaign plan.

A solid plan is essential because it helps you pick the best tactics and find the best creators for your marketing goals.

Remember that inBeat is here to support you with an array of free and paid tools.

We already showed you how to use our platform, engagement rate calculator, fake follower checker, and money calculator.

So go ahead and try inBeat now – it’s fast, free, and flexible!

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