Influencers and creators are not new additions to the marketing mix, yet brands leaders are still figuring out how best to work with this new school of talent.

At the same time, a growing appetite for content across all platforms—from TikTok to YouTube—is taking its toll on the creator community.

With marketers under pressure to drive ROI against the backdrop of an economic downturn and creators in demand, both sides are learning as they go.

Earlier this month, Social Media Week Europe gathered agencies, brands and creators in one place to delve into the trends they’re seeing and glean insights into successful collaborations.

With speakers from companies such as Burger King U.K., LadBible, Brandwatch,, Gymshark and Virgin O2, the audience got a behind-the-scenes look at how the creator economy is being adopted as a marketing channel.

Here, we highlight some of the wisdom imparted from marketing professionals throughout the event.

1. Marketers should trust their instincts

“The idea of following our instincts and luck is really interesting, and to be able to capitalize on those things as a creative agency or as a brand you really need the structure in place entirely in order to facilitate that,” said Thomas Walters, Europe CEO and founder at social media agency Billion Dollar Boy.

“If you’ve got a lack of trust in the frameworks that you have put in place for creators, and you can’t facilitate quick reactive content that is still on brand and brand safe, then you’re not going to do amazingly well.”

2. It’s time to give creators more freedom

“I would love to see more freedom. I feel like agencies and brands are becoming stricter nowadays. Recent briefs I’ve been getting have been very scripted,” said Linasha Kotalawala, a beauty content creator. “My audience doesn’t like to engage in things when it’s a lie.”  

3. Creators shouldn’t be an afterthought

“Creators should be on every single brief that we get,” said Nicky Palamarczuk, head of social and influence at VCCP. “They’re a brilliant way to activate an idea and tap into usually a very engaged audience.”