How A Content Creator Can Transform Your Event
By Michelle Bruno
May 9, 2023
What event organizer doesn’t want a continuously innovative event with a loyal fanbase and hot and cold-running sponsors? A creator can help get you there.
So, what’s a content creator? Joe Pulizzi, the godfather of content marketing, defines creators as content entrepreneurs, including bloggers, podcasters, authors, newsletter writers, speakers, coaches, consultants and freelancers.
What you need to know about content creators
Creators are killing it these days. The creator economy, which describes entrepreneurs developing and distributing digital content, has grown exponentially. Over the past three years, 165 million individuals worldwide have become creators. In 2022, the total addressable market of the influencer marketing space (within the creator economy) was $14 billion, and it’s expected to reach $143 billion by 2030.*
The barrier to entry into the creator economy is low, and the competition is fierce. Thus, creators are very clear about what makes them different.
Creators remain involved with their content, stewarding it through the creation, editing, distribution, performance and monetization process. There are no silos. They stay with the babies they’ve birthed from beginning to end. Such rigid quality control gives them confidence that the end product reflects their personality. It also offers fans the authenticity they crave.
Contrary to the job title, being a creator is not about creating content. It’s about creating connections. Hence, creators are inimitable community builders. They know who their audience members are and what they need (even as those needs change) and deliver it consistently. Such dedication builds trust, loyalty and followers as word spreads.
Perhaps it goes without saying, but creators are creative. You need to look no further (in the B2B creator space) than Ann Handley, Rand Fishkin or Andrew Davis to witness ingenuity.
Creators are the masters and mistresses of cross-promotion. They know how to build their communities by leveraging the reach of other creators—featuring a creator on their podcast in exchange for a guest spot on said creator’s podcast, for example.
Creators are adept at repurposing content, transforming multiple blog posts or an online course into a book or converting a podcast into a blog post or a series of social media posts.
Creators understand social media. For instance, many choose one channel—TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Spotify, Twitch or Substack—to build their media empires. They invest deeply in the voice, medium and subscriber base that the platform attracts. They also know how to use social media for discovery, planting breadcrumbs on social sites that lead fans back to their principal places of “business.”
Successful creators are independent. They make decisions for the good of the fans and not necessarily based on an organization’s guidelines or marketing objectives. That’s also why their fans love them.
Creators are sponsorship magnets. Not only are they accustomed to working with sponsors as a monetization channel, but they (the successful ones) are also garnering lots of attention these days. Brands will pay creators $6 billion in 2023.**
Creators know how to develop multiple revenue streams. Jay Clouse, the brainchild behind Creator Science, derives income from seven different sources, including community memberships, sponsorships (newsletter, podcast, video), digital products (courses, workshops), consulting, affiliates and royalties.
Creators are both deeply, madly in love with and scared to death by artificial intelligence. Thus, they have been among the first to experiment with it and harness its productivity power.
How to leverage content creators for events
Creators are magical, and event organizers in all business-to-business industry segments—association, for-profit and corporate—can leverage them. But because creators are, by definition, solopreneurs who use their voice versus the voice of your event brand to build connections, tapping into the magic requires work. Here are some ideas on how to use creators to transform your event:
- Find and sponsor emerging (and talented) creators in your event verticals. They can help you grow your event brand as they grow their communities.
- Build a creator studio inside your event organization, tapping executives or rising stars with a penchant for content creation to build communities that dovetail with your target audiences. Scott Monty was with Ford Motor Company when he began blogging and amassing an audience that brought him and Ford considerable notoriety a decade ago.
- Work with a creator as a consultant to help you develop a creator mindset within your event organization. It will require you to let go of some of the control and structure you’re accustomed to having with internal teams. Nevertheless, it can help you present and promote your events and potentially restructure your offerings for exhibitors and sponsors.
- Piggyback off successful creators in adjacent or complementary verticals. Use their audience to grow your audience. Agencies (speaker bureaus may also be an option) specializing in influencers can help you find suitable creator partners.