Report: The New Creator Economy

Gio Palatucci
June 29, 2022

More than 50 million people worldwide consider themselves, “creators.” But what distinguishes someone as a creator? And if all influencers are creators, are all creators influencers?

Sprout Social defines creators as those who “work with the intent to create engaging content that educates and informs the audience.” They can also create for pure entertainment. Some use digital platforms to share the behind-the-scenes of their analog art.

While creators can wield a lot of influence, that influence typically centers on a specific topic, rather than sharing all the intimate details about their personal lives. This is a key differentiator between influencers and creators. While influencers commoditize their life, creators monetize the very act of creation. 

@happykelli #ad Smiling is contagious with @SmileDirectClub ! #smiledirectpartner ♬ original sound - HappyKelli


In 2020, Nathan Apodaca’s TikTok of him skateboarding while drinking a bottle of Ocean Spray went viral proving once again that great brand moments often come directly (and organically) from the community.Users are getting savvy with brands and advertising. Sometimes these moments aren’t purely serendipitous but directly break the fourth wall between brand and consumer. When creator Cori Spruiell came up with a heartwarming idea to reboot a classic 1990s Cheerios commercial, she put the call out directly to General Mills who smartly made it come to life.

But don’t expect to exchange ideas for your customer’s gratitude. These users expect to get paid and will tell their followers exactly how the business relationship went down.


With TikTok’s user-friendly editing tool in everyone’s pocket, anyone with a smartphone can be a creator. But to really gain traction and attention you need impeccable creative chops paired with a deep understanding of what makes people tick.

These are the niche creators of TikTok who are raising the bar:

  • Gen Z Employee Advocates: Gen Z digital natives and pandemic graduates have new priorities when it comes to work and the creative storytelling chops to share that POV.
  • Culture Commentators: Tabloids may be considered trashy but audiences still love a hot take or a vicious takedown. Opinion is the medium for these content creators.
  • Gen Z Historians: As out-of-touch politicians pull Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ+ language from schools, Gen Z is turning to TikTok for history lessons.
  • Sketch Comics and Filmmakers: TikTok is experimenting with expanding its video length to up to 10 minutes which would lend itself well to these creative storytellers.
  • Daily Ritualists: Is it a bones or no bones day? Even the most mundane can become a riveting daily ritual. Must-see TV is now replaced with daily readings from geriatric pugs and other personas.


Like working with influencers, choose partnerships based on your key objectives. Don’t demand every KPI from every relationship. Creators are often most effective for advertisers when partnered to complement your existing content generation strategy, insert your brand into a bigger conversation topic, or create a splash. 

For a deeper look download our report:
Download Report


No items found.
Previous Article
Next Article