What Does the Future Hold for Content Creators? - bicom

What Does the Future Hold for Content Creators?

What Happens When Influencers Take Centre Stage and What Does This Mean for Brands? 

In the dynamic landscape of PR and marketing, content creators have become pivotal players in brand strategies. Worth just $1.7 billion in 2016, the influencer marketing industry is set to reach $22.2 billion according to Influencer Marketing Hub by the end of 2025-witnessing more growth and becoming a more effective marketplace. As brands navigate the evolving digital ecosystem, influencer marketing is at the forefront, offering innovative ways to build meaningful relationships with target audiences beyond traditional approaches. 

The Shift to Influencer-Led Brand Strategies 

The creator economy has ushered in a new era where influencers are central to PR and marketing strategies. Today more than ever, there is a growing need to leverage influencer marketing to foster deeper connections with audiences. According to a study led by Matter Communications, 69% of consumers trust influencer recommendations which urges brands to partner with authentic voices, going beyond content creation. Influencers are getting more involved in enhancing brand relatability and trust. 

Sephora Canada understood the power of influencers early on. In 2020, the beauty retailer’s Diwali campaign starred Canadian influencers Ankita Bhardwaj and Thanuska Subramaniam, and Sephora Canada Beauty Advisor Neru Yasokumar. For their Lunar Year campaign, earlier this year, the brand took another step further not only partnering with influencers but also key opinion leaders like The RepresentASIAN Project™ founder Madelyn Chung and Hanna Sung, veteran of Canadian media and co-founder of Media Girlfriends. 

In Canada, brands are increasingly recognizing the value of allowing influencers a reasonable amount of freedom to lead the narrative. This strategy ensures that the content remains authentic and aligns with the creator’s personal brand, resulting in more effective and engaging communication. By integrating influencers into their strategies, brands can craft stories that are not only compelling but also reflective of their values and mission. 

Cross-Channel Integration for Maximum Impact 

Modern influencer marketing strategies are inherently cross-channel, utilizing various platforms both traditional and non-traditional to reach diverse audience segments. From Instagram and TikTok to YouTube, influencers create multi-faceted campaigns that capture attention across the digital spectrum. This cross-channel approach ensures that brand messages are amplified and reach audiences where they are most active and engaged.

TikTok superstar Khaby Lame was one of the first “traditional” social media influencer to be part of a major ad-campaign for Pepsi Nitro in 2020. More recently #TikTokDancer Charli D’Amelio was selected by Garnier for the launch their all-new Hair Filler line-reaching consumers across platforms in and out-of-home. 


Part 1/7 – When do you need Hair Filler?💚 #GarnierCanada #FructisHairFiller #HairCare #Fillmein #NewProduct #VitaminC #HyaluronicAcid #Ceramide

♬ son original – Garnier Canada

Brands are capitalizing on this trend to stay relevant. By strategically placing content creators across different channels, brands can maintain a consistent presence in the minds of consumers, reinforcing brand awareness and loyalty. 

Canadian luxury department store Holt Renfrew chose influencer Emy Jade to be part of their Spring beauty campaign. The Montreal-based stylist and influencer was seen on billboards and in-store where exclusive social media content was projected as part of their window display. The brand also shared collaborative posts featuring the influencer’s beauty routine across social media platforms. This holistic media-mix approach creates more opportunities for both influencers and brands to further develop compelling stories while reaching new audiences. 

The Rising Importance of Nano and Micro Influencers 

While mega-influencers with millions of followers continue to hold sway, there is a growing appreciation for nano and micro influencers. These influencers, with smaller but highly engaged followings, offering unique advantages for brands.  

Montreal tech company, Heylist, has made it their mission to bring nano influencers to the forefront by building a database of nano content creators that brands can tap into and drive meaningful collaborations and conversations among online communities. 

This year only, Heylist’s nano-influencer campaigns on Instagram have achieved an impressive average engagement rate of 8% compared to industry standards of 1-2%. 10 of the agency’s beauty campaigns conducted between January and May 2024, garnered an average engagement rate of 9.2% and 1.65 million total potential impressions- proving that nano-influencers foster stronger interactions with their audiences by building genuine relationships based on authenticity and personal connection. 

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, there is a strong preference to work with influencers with smaller reach (nano: 44%; micro: 26%) ahead of expensive ones (macro: 17%; celebrities: 13%), nano and micro influencers bring a level of authenticity and intimacy that larger influencers may not be able to provide. Their recommendations are perceived as more genuine, making them ideal for brands looking to build strong, trust-based relationships with their target audiences.  

People’s shopping habits have shifted significantly where brands are struggling to catch savvy shoppers’ attention. Enter User-Generated Content (UGC) creators- ordinary people who produce authentic and relatable content based on their interests, experiences, or expertise. 84% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations above all other sources of advertising and 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions (Stackla). Their genuine endorsements and experiences make promotional efforts more organic and less intrusive, encouraging brands to invest in UGC for little cost. 

What does the Future hold? 

As influencer marketing continues to evolve, its role in Canadian PR and marketing strategies will only grow more significant. By embracing the unique strengths of influencers and content creators, brands can craft engaging, authentic narratives that resonate deeply with their audiences. The cross-channel, data-driven approach ensures that these strategies are not only impactful but also adaptive to the ever-changing digital landscape. 

In this new era of the creator economy, the key to success lies in collaboration, authenticity, and strategic precision. Brands that harness the power of influencers to build relationships rather than merely drive sales will thrive, staying relevant and resonant in the hearts and minds of consumers.