Emplifi Fireside chat — Zarnaz Arlia (Emplifi CMO) and Kelsey Chickering (Guest Speaker - Forrester Principal Analyst)

Fireside chat with Kelsey Chickering (Forrester) on the creator economy: 5 key takeaways

Emplifi recently invited Forrester Principal Analyst Kelsey Chickering for a fascinating discussion on the rising power of social commerce and the creator economy with Emplifi CMO Zarnaz Arlia. The chat revolved around the transformation in commerce due to social platforms and creators, best practices in creator and affiliate marketing, and upcoming trends for 2024.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the wide-ranging discussion, along with the standout quotes to inspire your social strategy going forward. 

Be sure to watch the full fireside chat, “The Impact of Social Commerce on the Creator Economy: What Does the Future Hold?” for even more insights to power your social commerce strategy in the months ahead. Check out this video for some of the highlights.

Takeaway 1: Social commerce and the creator economy offer massive potential for brands

The webinar highlighted the significant transformation in the world of commerce due to the rise of social commerce and the creator economy. The discussion touched on how this trend is picking up steam while it offers immense potential for businesses to tap into.

"Today, we are seeing an incredible transformation in the world of commerce, largely due to the rising power of social commerce and the vibrant community of creators," Arlia said. "And these creators aren't just on the sidelines. They're at the forefront, reshaping the core of our social commerce journeys, and the best part is that this trend isn't slowing down anytime soon."

This demonstrates the sheer potential of social commerce and its ability to impact commerce on a global scale. With this potential comes responsibility, and it’s essential that marketers ensure that the influencers they partner with are transparent and authentic. This will help brands maintain their credibility and get creators proper compensation for their work. Ultimately, this will result in a better experience for both creators and consumers in the world of social commerce.

Takeaway 2: Brands need to rethink their engagement with social media platforms

Both speakers emphasized the importance of brands rethinking their engagement with social media platforms, particularly in terms of how they collaborate with creators. Chickering shared that brands should work with multiple influencer types and use a multidimensional approach.

"Creators, they operate within so many different types of communities, everything from beauty to engineering," she said. "Developing partnerships with many different communities relevant to your audience segments is one way to make it multidimensional." She further suggested, "Finally, collaboration and trust, those are the most important ingredients to successful creator partnerships."

Chickering emphasized that it’s not about one-time collaborations, but nurturing and growing a relationship with creators. It’s about recognizing that these relationships can be mutually beneficial. A key element of successful relationships with influencers is to be as transparent as possible, being open to feedback and criticism while slowly building trust on both sides.

Takeaway 3: The value of creators extends beyond social media posts

You can’t measure what creators bring to your organization only via what they share on social. It’s essential to build long-term partnerships with creators and leverage user-generated content (UGC) for marketing purposes.

"The best partnerships are more than just social media posts," Chickering said. "So think about how you can get the most out of your assets. Negotiate content rights that go beyond your creator or social media networks that go onto your website or onto email, other places, even other paid media places like digital video."

Looking into the brand world, Arlia also shared the successful example of a popular yoga clothing brand, which has been able to leverage UGC and influencer content to move products. 

"They're using Emplifi to gather photos and videos, not just from their customers, but also from the influencers that they collaborate with," she said. "So, the cool thing is those posts are from influencers on social media. They're not just getting a one-time show. They're being repurposed on the main page. And here's the actual kicker: they're turning those posts into shoppable content. And they saw a 293% increase in repeat visit rate, which more than doubled their average order value, and they increased their time on site by 60%."

This shoppable content is then shared across their website, email, and other digital marketing channels. By leveraging content from influencers, the company has been able to increase their brand reach and drive more sales. 

Takeaway 4: Brands can leverage the power of social commerce to serve multiple marketing objectives

Brands can use social commerce to serve multiple marketing objectives, from enriching customer relationships to driving direct sales. The importance of fair and respectful collaboration with creators was also highlighted.

"Our data shows that nearly half of Gen Z says that social media influencers are actually the primary way that they discover new products and brands," Chickering said. "68% of B2C marketers said that they're partnering with creators to enrich existing customer relationships with more products and services."

Brands should continue to think beyond the transaction and focus on long-term relationships. When working with creators, it can’t be considered a one-time transaction; it can absolutely create ongoing value for both parties. 

Takeaway 5: Brands need to adapt their infrastructure to support a successful social shopping experience

To successfully tap into the power of social commerce, brands need to update their infrastructure to provide a seamless social shopping experience. Getting out front of the holiday rush with testing is a big part of ensuring that happens, especially with social promotions and looking into a creator affiliate program.

"This is the time to get creative with your social media campaigns," Chickering said. "We're seeing people going directly to Instagram and Facebook to shop, so you want to make sure you're offering an experience that is intuitive, user-friendly, and most importantly, secure."

She suggested taking a closer look at the competition to see what strategies and tactics they’re using on their social media channels. By doing so, it can provide insights into what works and what doesn't, and that can be used to build out a more effective plan. 

You can watch the full fireside chat featuring Kelsey Chickering (Forrester Principal Analyst) and Zarnaz Arlia (Emplifi CMO) on-demand, and download your complimentary copy of the Forrester report, The State Of The Creator Economy, to help you shore up your social commerce strategy in the months ahead.

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