How can brands avoid problems working with creators?

Last week we attended creators day at “Summer in the City” the UK’s largest online video festival. Creators day is for creators and influencers, a special day for them to share peer to peer learning, find out from brands how to work with them. How they should be growing audiences and retaining them amongst other things. (Written by Stuart Hall) 


The main event takes place over the weekend with the public able to meet and hear from their favourite YouTubers and Twitch stars, I’ll be honest, I was not expecting to be blown away.

How wrong could I be, in truth, very, It’s easy to see why some creators get a bad wrap, but the majority of those who I heard talk on stage as part of panel debates and the agencies and talent management companies that work alongside them, including the brands that work with them made for an interesting day, and I learned loads.  

I’ll be bringing you more in depth articles, but it was refreshing to see that in one of the first sessions the topic of working within the Advertising Standards Authority guidelines was covered, and it was covered by a creator.  

Instagram and YouTube has brought in some of the leading stars on the platforms to showcase talent, it's especially interesting to see what those who are using the platforms think about the future of them, and how technology is going to evolve (anyone for portrait TV’s on an axel that also swivels to horizontal?).

How do Brands and creators work best together?

First, you need to look at the pain points, what things can go wrong and why? too often we hear: “I’ve tried something and it did not work” but do you look at why it did not work? working with creators has its own unique challenges, being prepared for these challenges will help your campaign run far smoother.

What are the bugbears of Brands and Creators working with each other? James Erskine raised in the “How to work with brands?” session put on by Social Circle, which was a nice twist for the marketing panel debate.

Creator Bugbears

  • The brief being too restrictive that is stifles creativity

  • Not being given enough information by the brand

Brand Bugbears

  • Creators are creative, but not necessarily professionals (deadlines, response time, email reply)

  • Brands being nagged drives them mad (pitching ideas out of budget for a campaign)

  • Difficult for brands to have open dialogue when needed.


Unanimously the panel agreed that, brand and creators should use the opportunity at the beginning of a project to get as many of the questions out in the open in the early meetings.  

Creators need to ask, what does success look like for the campaign? how is the campaign being measured? equally the brand should be transparent with this to avoid getting the wrong metrics back or a poor explanation of the results.

It's also worth ensuring at the very start you have the right fit with your brand, a creator who has built up an audience of your target demographic is one thing, but think about the core values and personality that helped the creator build the brand, is the channel full of swearing? Is that what works for your brand? Research at the outset can save a lot of pain when it comes to delivery.

Equally, creators need to consider which brands are a good fit, it's far easier to develop content for a brand you actually buy into.

Stuart Hall