Creator partnerships are not just about the money


Date: 14 November 2023


The latest research by partnership management platform reveals the top reasons creators choose to work with a brand, what gives a long-term partnership the best chance of success - and why sometimes things don’t work out.

Recent research offers fascinating insights into the factors that influence creators in their decision to work with a particular brand. Did you know, for example, that a majority of more prominent creators consider brand reputation to be the most important consideration when creators consider a partnership proposal? Or that rushed due dates are the number-one reason for a partnership going south?

Let’s take a look at the Adweek report’s key findings, which were produced by the leading partnership management platform, with Adweek.

What influences a creator to partner with a particular brand?

Creators tend to collaborate with brands they feel share their own values. This is especially true for those with a smaller following, whose main priority when deciding whether to work with a company is brand alignment (49%). Regarding dealing with larger businesses, 44% of creators say brand reputation is the most crucial consideration. After brand values and reputation, compensation is the third-most important consideration for creators, proving it’s not all about the money.

Money talks

But that doesn’t mean remuneration isn’t an important consideration. Eight out of ten creators indicate that it’s hugely (or very) important to be transparent about compensation during initial outreach. In fact, 80% said that upfront payment terms and performance expectations are essential to communications. While the actual value of a partnership may not be the most important factor in convincing a creator to work with a brand, being transparent about compensation was ranked as one of the most critical elements when evaluating a partnership.

Regarding getting paid, most creators tend to prefer a flat fee, rather than a bonus or commission structure. Having said that, four out of five prefer a mix of the two, and creators are much more open to performance-based compensation once they have built a relationship with a brand: 18% of creators want to be paid solely by commission or bonus from a new brand partner, compared to 33% once a relationship has been established.

Performance expectations

As we’ve already seen, performance expectations are critical in helping creators decide whether to engage with a brand, or not. As many as 80% of respondents consider a discussion around performance vital in early communications, putting it on an even footing with remuneration in terms of importance.

Pitfalls to avoid

It is important to consider a few factors that can potentially damage - or even end - a relationship between creator and brand. This is a tightly packed field, but 44% of respondents to the survey say that rushed due dates are very problematic, while 43% suggest low compensation can be a terminal issue for a relationship.

Lastly, 42% reveal that a brand taking too long to get a project off the ground can be a source of irritation. Given that 86% of creators want to expand their stable of brand partnerships (and most influencers get more requests than they can handle), it seems they’re in no rush to hang around for a brand that drags its heels.

Going the distance

It’s a universally accepted truth that long-term partnerships are more effective, and both brands and influencers see the benefits for themselves and their customers - or followers - when they settle in for the long haul.’s research shows the factors that give long-term brand-creator relationships the best chance of success are the quality of the product (53%), high compensation (40%) and being granted creative freedom (39%). The last of these in particular has been shown to come with various brand benefits, and can even enhance brand reputation.

Hopefully, this all gives marketers in the partnership economy some food for thought. It goes without saying that building relationships with creators is a nuanced process. But it is also true that you get out what you put in, and the remarkable effectiveness of well-aligned creators is ultimately more than adequate compensation for any effort to align them.

Copyright 2023. Sponsored post made possible by Cristy Garcia, CMO, at

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.