Connected Thinking: Driving Genuine Creator Success

Last week, our Connected Thinking series delved deep into the world of creators, joined by TikTok sensation GK Barry, and Benefit Cosmetics’ Influencer Marketing Manager, Kibibi Reid.

We covered the complexities of how to tackle fair payment, what makes a successful partnership and what “return” really looks like from a brand perspective.

Read on for our key takeaways:

  1. Embrace the evolution

The creator space is ever evolving. Brands need to be willing to adapt and receptive to change. Just four short years ago, TikTok was a space of dance challenges and whipped coffee recipes. Fast forward to 2024 and it has evolved meteorically into a platform driving astronomical e-com figures.

Brands who were initially hesitant to engage with TikTok influencers are now reaping the rewards of its expansive reach – millions of views on a video can sell out a product in minutes, with most creators generating a much bigger reach on the platform than they do on others. Cracking the TikTok code isn’t easy though, as the platform's algorithm is so nuanced, continuing to challenge brands.

As the platform continues to evolve, lead the charge and test and learn – whether that’s getting involved in livestream shopping (you can sign up to our free upcoming webinar on this here!) or tapping into nicher communities on the channel, those who take the risk reap the rewards.

  1. Creative control trumps scripted content

Shock: giving a creator a script to read from will result in uninspiring content and a lack of return. Who knew?

Well – most of us did, of course. But that hasn’t stopped several brands out there from being *too* prescriptive when it comes to creator content.  

We’ve all been following influencers for long enough now; users can spot a disingenuous partnership a mile off and have no qualms in calling it out. As Grace pointed out, if she’s given a script or asked to say something that she would never choose to say, the video won’t do well, users will scroll past because they know it isn’t her.  

If brands align with influencers whose values and love of a product is genuine, a script won’t be necessary. By granting creators the freedom to integrate key brand messaging into content in their own way, it’s likely both engagement and sales will see a lift.

  1. Numbers are great but community is king

Brands should prioritise community-building and sentiment as a measurement tool just as much as numbers. By working with creators who have a genuine love for their products and post a brand organically as part of their everyday life, more natural campaign opportunities will arise with the opportunity to foster a longer standing relationship.

At the start of a campaign, determine what success looks like for your brand – while metrics like reach and engagement are valuable, true ROI lies in nurturing a loyal community that resonates with the brand's narrative and keep coming back for more. Even if the ROI isn't always immediately quantifiable, Kibibi Reid spoke to how products can see an instore uplift in sales off the back of online creator content, and the results are affected when they don’t work with influencers on a launch campaign.

  1. Transparency is key when it comes to fair payment

It’s important to have upfront conversations establishing clear expectations – both on budgets and deliverables. This is not to say that brands should undermine creators’ value – as our Head of Brand Marketing, Lucy Robertson, outlined: it’s not about getting the cheapest rate, it’s about open communication and paying fairly for content and results.

These conversations lay the groundwork for long-term partnerships that extend beyond one-off campaigns through to events, collaborations, brand trips and more. Longer term relationships yield the best results – as Kibs said, when a creator has a genuine affinity for a brand, it links back to that community feel. Both parties need to think bigger picture, with a year-long partnership, in the long run a creator could end up getting paid more – these conversations are about give and take, and relationship building is the foundation to that.

If you missed the event and you’d like to hear more about how to drive success with creator campaigns, drop us a line at For more of the conversation, head over to our Instagram to view the highlight reel!  


For the latest instalment in our Connected Thinking series, we were joined by GK Barry, for a deep dive into the creator space – think taboo topics, the future of the space and much more.


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