Social media and creator economy take center stage in 2024 – report

The year 2024 marks a significant shift as social media transforms from a siloed, ancillary tactic to a pivotal element of the marketing mix, according to Insider Intelligence. Recognizing the profound impact of culture and community on driving conversions, companies are increasingly turning to creators to shape their marketing strategies. 

The Rise of Social Agencies

In a clear sign of the times, brands ranging from Pizza Hut to Rolls-Royce have recently appointed social agencies of record, indicating a strategic commitment to harnessing the power of social platforms. This move is reflective of a broader industry trend, where nearly every marketer is actively working to integrate social media and creators into their marketing strategies for the year 2024.

CMOs Embrace Social Marketing

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are at the forefront of this transformation, recognizing the pivotal role social media plays in connecting with audiences. As a testament to this shift, social marketing budgets are on the rise. According to data from August 2023 by Deloitte, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and the American Marketing Association (AMA), spending on social marketing activities over the next 12 months is expected to reach its highest level since the height of the pandemic. This financial commitment underscores the growing importance of social media in the overall marketing ecosystem.

Acquisitions Signal Industry Changes

The growing influence of the creator economy is further evidenced by the increasing number of acquisitions in the social and influencer marketing space. In 2023, at least 15 influencer marketing firms, known for their profitability, were acquired, as reported by The Information. Notably, Stagwell’s acquisition of Gen Z-focused agency Movers+Shakers stands out as a high-profile move that could pave the way for more industry consolidation. As companies aim to streamline their operations, the trend of acquiring social and influencer firms is likely to continue.

The Shift Towards In-House Creators

Another notable trend in 2024 is the prioritization of co-creation and collaboration in creator partnerships. Brands are moving away from short-term content sponsorships in favor of long-term, strategic collaborations with creators. In a bid to enhance agility and creativity, agencies are also bringing creators in-house, viewing them not just as content creators but as strategic partners. This shift is indicative of the expanding role that social media plays in companies’ overall strategic remit.

As we navigate the marketing landscape in 2024, it is evident that social media and the creator economy are no longer peripheral elements but integral components of successful marketing strategies. The increased allocation of budgets, the surge in acquisitions, and the growing trend of in-house creator collaborations all point to a transformative period in the industry. Companies that embrace these changes are poised to thrive in the dynamic and ever-evolving world of marketing.

Written by Jordan Bevan


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