Why social media creators are the protagonists of their channels and what this means for brands

Social media creators are the protagonists of their stories, of their channels.

I recently watched ‘Tenet’, the film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The story follows a protagonist, John David Washington, as he weaves his way through a mysterious world in which time can be reversed.

John’s character is the protagonist in the truest of forms – we don’t know him by his name but we don’t need to; the film broadly follows his story and viewpoint throughout.

We feel like in a sense, we are the character.  At the end of the movie, John says to another character, ‘I realised I wasn’t working for you, we’ve both been working for me. I’m the protagonist’.

Social media creators are the protagonists of their stories, of their channels. They are the characters of their online lives.

We follow them through their journeys, their adventures and their friendships. They stay at the centre when others come in and out.

The way creators work with brands is interesting from this perspective; brands that seek to connect in with their stories are often the brands we like to work with and who perform well. They are not trying to become the protagonist but instead partner with them. They understand the power of this; communities want to see this.

Brands that seek to change the narrative, to make it too much about themselves often don’t connect with the viewer. The viewer gets removed from their usual connection to the channel – the protagonist has been replaced. It is not what they tuned in for.

The balance of our, and our partners job, is to work with the protagonist, not try and become them. By doing so, followers are connected to brands via the creator, not just a billboard.

One of our ‘tenets’ at No Logo agency is that creators are the experts of their communities. We seek to demonstrate to brands the need to value the creators viewpoint and understanding of their community in telling brand messages.

As a brand working with a creator, three key questions we find helpful to ask are:

  • Does the creator’s communication style align with our message?
  • How can we give them freedom to incorporate our brand while still conveying our key message?
  • What can we learn from the creator’s understanding and connection to their community? By valuing the creator’s perspective and understanding of their audience, we can effectively craft a message that resonates with both the creator’s community and our brand. By collaborating with creators and treating them as experts in their field, we can create authentic and meaningful content that truly connects with our target audience.